Sample California Security Deposit Dispute Letter | Leasehold Estate | Civil Law (Common Law)

Any Party

Any Street
Any Town, CA 99999
RE: Security Deposit Dispute regarding real property located at ___________________
Dear ____:
I am sending you this letter in the hopes that the dispute between us can be resolved quickly and
with a minimum of time and expense to the both of us. Regarding the conversation we had
earlier today I would like to point out the following facts.
The ___________________ in the residence is clearly very old and therefore not in the best of
shape. California Civil Code § 1950.5 states in pertinent part that “(e) The landlord may claim of
the security only those amounts as are reasonably necessary for the purposes specified in
subdivision (b). The landlord may not assert a claim against the tenant or the security for
damages to the premises or any defective conditions that preexisted the tenancy, for ordinary
wear and tear or the effects thereof, whether the wear and tear preexisted the tenancy or occurred
during the tenancy, or for the cumulative effects of ordinary wear and tear occurring during any
one or more tenancies.”
So your claims that I should pay for damage to the ______is not valid. Old appliances have a lot
of wear and tear and your claims are your opinions only as you are not a licensed appliance
repair person. The appliances still work although noisy because of age.
Be advised that should you persist in your claims against my security deposit I will have no
choice but to file a lawsuit against you for the bad faith claims you have made. Note that this
may subject you to paying me three (3) times the amount of my $____ security deposit
pursuant to California Civil Code § 1950.5(l) which states that, “The bad faith claim or retention
by a landlord or the landlord’s successors in interest of the security or any portion thereof in
violation of this section, or the bad faith demand of replacement security in violation of
subdivision (j), may subject the landlord or the landlord’s successors in interest to statutory
damages of up to twice the amount of the security, in addition to actual damages. The court may
award damages for bad faith whenever the facts warrant that award, regardless of whether the
injured party has specifically requested relief. In any action under this section, the landlord or the
landlord’s successors in interest shall have the burden of proof as to the reasonableness of the
amounts claimed or the authority pursuant to this section to demand additional security
deposits.”

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Note that in the event that this dispute goes to court you will have the burden of proof as to your
claims. And I will be sure to add causes of action such as breach of contract, fraud and unfair
business practices in addition to my cause of action for your bad faith claims.
It is my sincere intention to settle this matter amicably without the need for either party to resort
to any legal action. However, if I do not receive a response from you in writing on or before
______________ I will have not choice but to take further legal action to protect my interests.
Sincerely,
______________

Be sure to modify this wording to fit your particular situation.
Do NOT just use the wording in this sample unless it applies to your
situation. To view all of the text in California Civil Code section
1950.05, or any other California code sections go to:
http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes.xhtml
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address. Be sure to remove these notices before using this
document.

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