How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask insearchoftheanswer Your Own Question
insearchoftheanswer, Lawyer
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 53684
Experience:  Lawyer; developer/owner of RE developments.
Type Your Landlord-Tenant Question Here...
insearchoftheanswer is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Can I charge first and last months rent and a security deposit

This answer was rated:

Can I charge first and last month's rent and a security deposit in California?


Good morning. California law provides that the maximum security deposit for an unfurnished apartment should not exceed an amount that is equivalent to two months of rent. However, California tenant rights security deposit laws increase the maximum amount of security deposit to an amount that is equivalent to three months of rent if the apartment or rental property is furnished. The law combines rent and security deposit for making this calculation. Based on the foregoing, you can collect the last month's rent and the security deposit under the foregoing and you can always require the first month's rent be tendered with the lease agreement. So, the botXXXXX XXXXXne is YES.



I hope this has given you information that has been helpful to you. I wish you the best of luck!


If you have a follow-up question, please remember that there might be a delay between your follow up questions and my answers because I may be helping others or taking a break.


If I have adequately answered your question, even though the answer might not have been the one for which you hoped, I would appreciate it if you would please click the GREEN ACCEPT button so that I receive credit for my work; otherwise, though you have made a deposit, I do not receive credit.


If you need additional clarification on this question after clicking ACCEPT, please do not hesitate to click Reply and I will be happy to do what I can to help you further. Thanks for allowing me to be of service to you.


Please be aware that the information provided here is not legal advice. Rather it is simply general information. All states have intricacies in their laws and any information given is simply information only and specifically is not intended to be, nor does it constitute, legal advice. This communication does not establish an attorney-client relationship with you. I hope this answer has been helpful to you.



Customer: replied 4 years ago.

OK, I just needed to make sure because I posted a rental on Craigslist and someone sent me this email. I just need to make sure that I am not doing anything illegal.



Just an fyi- it is against the CA rental law that you ask for both last month & deposit...along with first months rent. However either or cannot exceed the monthly rent.

Have a nice day.


Thank you,


They are misinterpreting the law....You can collect the last months rent and the security deposit under the law. Then, the first month's rent must be paid simply as part of the's not a deposit, it's just simply the first month's rent that would be due for occupancy.

insearchoftheanswer and 3 other Landlord-Tenant Specialists are ready to help you

Related Landlord-Tenant Questions