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 LawTalk Your Own Question
LawTalk, Attorney
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 37855
Experience:  I have 30 years legal experience. Additionally, in CA I held a Real Estate Broker's license.
Type Your Real Estate Law Question Here...
LawTalk is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I recently vacated a rental property on Nov 30, 2015, after

Customer Question

I recently vacated a rental property on Nov 30, 2015, after 21 days the rental company did not notify me or return my security deposit. I have requested an explanation and a itemization accounting of the security deposit. They responded on January 5, 2016 stating that they were not returning my security deposit due to landlord not providing final invoices. The landlord listed the property for sale on January 5, 2016. The rental company is claiming it's not their fault but the landlord is the cause for the delays.
Since they have not complied with the 21 day law
1)Returning deposit minus itemized deductions within 21 day
2) Failed to provide good faith service information, 14 days to complete.
Is there an argument that could prevail in court, based on recent California court rulings
Larry C
Stockton, CA
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.

Good afternoon Larry,

I'm Doug, and I'm very sorry to hear of your situation. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today. I have been a licensed CA attorney for more than 30 years. The bulk of my practice was in Stanislaus County and San Joaquin County (Stockton).

As the management company is an agent of the landlord, and while the agent cannot be responsible for the negligence of the principal, the principal is liable for the negligence of the agent.

You will want to sue the owner of the property for failure to return the deposit or to submit an itemized list of deductions within the 21 days. You will want to ask for treble damages as well---meaning the court will give you your deposit back as well as twice the amount of the deposit as penalty for the failure of the owner or his agent to comply with the law. You appear to have a meritorious case here. Small claims court would be the place to file suit.

You may reply back to me using the Reply link and I will be happy to continue to assist you until I am able to address your concerns, to your satisfaction.

Please be so kind as to rate my service to you. That is the only way I am credited for assisting you.

I wish you and yours the best in 2016,