Question: I just gave my 30-day notice to my landlord and instructed him to deduct my last month’s rent from my deposit. My landlord is asking me to pay rent and refusing to take it out of my deposit. Do I have to pay?
The Rental Girl: Yes, you have to pay last month’s rent. You cannot use the deposit as last month’s rent. Security deposit disagreements are regulated by consumer affairs. For accounting purposes, deposits are not considered income. Though there is no government agency that oversees what a landlord does with your deposit once it is in his hands, technically the deposit is to be held in an interest-bearing account separate from the rental income account. The purpose of the deposit is to protect the landlord in the event there is damage, unpaid utilities, or unpaid rent. The distinction here is that the landlord can elect to use the deposit for unpaid rent, but not vice versa. If you do not pay your last month’s rent, your landlord can post a “3 day notice to cure or quit” and you may end up with an eviction on your record.
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