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 David C. Garner Your Own Question
David C. Garner
David C. Garner, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 952
Experience:  JD with Distinction, Admitted to practice in California
Type Your Landlord-Tenant Question Here...
David C. Garner is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have a tenant who wants to apply for our rental but

Customer Question

Hi I have a tenant who wants to apply for our rental but doesn't have a job.
Instead he has a large amount of savings.
He has very good credit but seems to be picky.
He was not on good terms with his previous landlord.
We don't have other candidate now.
If we want to approve to him, what should we pay attention to?
And we want him to put double deposit but he insists he can only offer first
and last month rent and deposit.
What's the difference for us?
Submitted: 4 days ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  David C. Garner replied 4 days ago.


I want to help. Your main concern is his ability to pay. From what you say, his is unemployed and although he has savings, you have no way to access those should he not pay. Further, nothing would prevent him from spending those elsewhere. You already know that he was not on good terms with his previous landlord, so unless you are ok with a problem renter, then this is a huge red flag. You did not indicate what jurisdiction you are in, but it is unlikely you can legally double his deposits simply because you are uncomfortable with his finances.

Given all of these factors, I would steer clear of this applicant.

I hope this helps.


Customer: replied 4 days ago.

we have checked his credit.

He has very good record of payments.

We are in California.

He mentioned he can pay first month and last month rent before moves in. what's the difference between this and double deposit? I can use it for future references also.

Expert:  David C. Garner replied 3 days ago.


In California you can charge the first months rent and last months rent or first months rent and a deposit, but not both. You won't be able to charge a double deposit legally. Do people do these things and get away with it? All the time.

The short answer is whether or not you want to take this risk. If you are willing to accept him as a tenant knowing that he has no job and that his relationship with his last landlord was not good, you can do so, but its risky. Before deciding, I would talk with his previous landlord.

I hope this helps.


Customer: replied 2 days ago.

to be clear, like you to confirm:

in california, if we request move in cost:

"first month rent+last month rent + deposit"

is it leagal ? many people did so. is there a link for the law not able to do so? it is my first time to hear that. thanks a lot.

Expert:  David C. Garner replied 2 days ago.


In CA you can charge first and last, or first and deposit, but not first, last and deposit. Do some people get away with it anyway? Sure.

I will see if I can find you a link.


Expert:  David C. Garner replied 2 days ago.

Hello again,

Here is a link to the CA department of consumer affairs website. It, it its various sections, covers just about anything.

If you look about half way down the page it covers deposits. You can charge up to two times rent for a deposit regardless of whether you call it first and last, security, cleaning, etc. You can't charge that and a separate damage deposit.

If you go to the main table of contents, most issues that can come from a rental are listed.

If I can help further, please let me know.


Related Landlord-Tenant Questions