California Security Deposit Laws

The return of security deposits is the most common disagreement between landlord’s and tenants. There are 4 basic laws to abide by in California when it comes to returning the security deposit.  The following four are in California Civil Code Section 1950.5 (b):

  • Unpaid Rent
  • For Cleaning the Rental unit; But this can only be for cleaning it as well as it was cleaned when the tenant first move in.
  • Damages caused by the tenant or tenant’s guest excluding normal wear and tear
  • If the lease allows it, the replacing or fixing of furnishings furnished for the rental

What is Normal Wear and Tear?

This is also one of the most popular topics of disagreement between landlords and tenants.  “Normal wear and tear” is basically the useful life of carpet, paint, fixtures, etc…   If the useful life of paint is 4 years, then a landlord cannot simply charge the tenant to repaint the entire house if the house has not been painted for the past 5 years.  If the useful life to carpet is 6 years, then the landlord cannot simply charge the tenant for changing the carpet after 7 years of not changing the carpet.  However, if the tenant hangs a plasma tv on the wall and does not repair the large holes in the wall after the useful life of painting, the landlord can charge for repairing and painting that wall.  The most important thing in preventing disagreements in regards to security deposits is to educated your owners and your tenants.

Government Gone Wild – Debt Crisis of America

I just saw this video on our Debt.  It’s pretty crazy.  Why can’t our government operate like everyone else?  Why can’t they just spend within their means and only use what they bring in.  In this short video clip, it explains how in 2046 our revenue that we bring in will 100% go to only the interest payments that we owe on our debt.

Renting San Diego Rental Properties Faster with Video

Our company has recently started using video to rent our properties and it has allowed us to rent our properties much faster than the average company not using videos.  Using videos enables our prospective tenants to view the property before actually getting to the property.  They are also able to immediately share that video with a friend and co-worker that will allow us to get more views and more prospects.

Using Craigslist is great for getting properties rented but if one is only able to view 4 photos then it’s often hard to get a real feel of the property.  This is why using video is so great on craigslist.  The potential renter can now view the entire San Diego rental from click of a button.

Using video also allows us to work only with higher quality prospects so that we’re not bringing hundreds of prospects through the door but only those prospects that really want to see the place.  Contact us below to request a free management proposal for your San Diego rental.

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5 Inexpensive Ways to Give You Rentals More Curb Appeal

In a competitive rental market it is important to make a good first impression for all our rentals.  Here are 5 inexpensive suggestions in giving your rental a little more curb appeal so that it will rent fast and at a higher rent.

1.  The 1st way is to put on a new door to the house.  This is one of the 1st things that a potential renter will look at as they are walking up to the door.

2.  The 2nd way  is to plant fresh flowers along the path leading up to the door.  This will along with the door will be the 1st things that a renter will see.

3.  The 3rd way is to look at the entry way and see if you can do anything with paint in regards to the walls.

4.  The 4th way to freshen up the place is to add fresh flowers in the entry way.

5.  The 5th and last way to add a little more curb appeal to the place is moldings in the entry/living area when you first walk in.  This can make a plain room very appealing simply by placing crown moldings in a barren room.

92109 Property Management

We specialize in property management in the 92109 zip codes of Pacific Beach and Mission Beach because that is where our offices are located.  We manage about 67 properties just in this zip code.  If you have a house, condo, duplex, 4 plex in this zip code, give our office a call at 858-488-2550 or fill out our free property management proposal.

Property Managers in San Diego

How To Choose a Property Manager in San Diego

Here are a few key components to why owners have chose us to be their property managers in San Diego.

  1. Our people make the difference – personal relationships, experience, and know how.
  2. Serving the San Diego area for over 13 years – We’re experts in the property management field in this area.
  3. Superior Tenant Screening – We find the best tenants.
  4. Internet Advertising – We use all the latest technology to rent your unit.
  5. Free – No Obligation Consultation

Contact Us Today for a Free Estimate for  Management of your San Diego Property!

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San Diego Housing Market (Feb. 09)

The average single family home price as of February 12, 2009 for San Diego is $445,219. San Diego is currently a buyer’s market. Homes is San Diego currently stay on the market for about 103 days and San Diego’s median price per square foot for homes is currently about $271. to purchase. There are 2,671 properties available for sale as of today, in San Diego.

If you’re not ready to buy just yet, check out our current rentals available.

How to Handle Security Deposits in California

Normal Wear and Tear versus Standard Deductions


If you asked 100 property managers what the most difficult task in managing a property is, their answer will most like be handling security deposit disputes. This is due to the vagueness of determining “normal wear and tear”.

This is such a difficult issue because there is no legislative definition for this phrase. Therefore, the individual parties involved will ultimately have varying opinions ranging from those of the tenants, owner, property manager, lawyer, and judge. The tenants will use this term, especially in court, to explain almost all damage regardless of the extent of it. More than likely it will be up to the landlord to prove damage to be outside of “normal wear and tear”.


The security deposit laws vary from state to state. However, generally “normal wear and tear” refers to the acceptable amount of use of a property without the lessee being financially responsible for any repairs or maintenance. There is a level of use of the rental allowed that would cause an expected and acceptable amount of wear resulting in repair or upkeep of the property.


Generally speaking, the law would exclude the tenant from being responsible for the costs of the normal upkeep, and defer these costs to the landlord. The problem is that neither courts nor legislatures have explicitly defined what the actual percentage of repair work is the property owners responsibility or the lessees.

It is not simple to determine this particular issue in a security deposit. However, steps can certainly be taken to attempt to alleviate problems in this area.

  • The property should be in good condition before the arrival of a tenant. Documentation of the property’s condition is important. Use of pictures and having everything stated in writing is the most effective documentation. Require the lessee to sign on the condition of the property before moving in.
  • Make sure that all conditions are decided by being realistic. Understand that acceptance of things that will not withstand tenant charges upon departure is a must.
  • At the end of the lease, use consideration of the length of occupancy when figuring out the percentage for repair or maintenance of an item. Remember that 6 month occupancy and 3 year occupancy are very different in terms of “normal wear and tear”.
  • Remember to distinguish between “normal wear and tear” and damage. Damage pertaining to things like filth (dirt, bleach stains, grime), negligence (mildew, leaks, mold), and abuse (damaged floors, holes in walls, etc).
  • Use common sense when deciding whether or not to pursue court proceedings. Is it worth the fight when it comes to disputes with tenants over things like carpet cleaning for a 2 year rental?


As your san diego property management company, we understand that is more effective and less costly to settle tenant disputes than to be subjected to a court battle with an unstable defense based on “normal wear and tear”.