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New law makes changes to security deposits

Posted at 10:43 AM, Jul 02, 2024

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — July 1st California's assembly bill-12 tenancy: security deposits changes how apartment complexes charge. We talked with someone in Bakersfield struggling to find a decent price for a apartment.

  • Andrea Montero is in the market to buy a new home yet she says it is difficult and struggles to pay rent because of the housing market.
  • Speaking with local property management company they express their concerns of how they will adapt to the law.
  • Small property management complexes are exempted to this new law and large property complexes are impacted by this change.


Rental prices have continued trending at a high level in California since the COVID pandemic... especially when it comes to security deposits.

I'm Chantaye Imani, your Bakersfield neighborhood reporter...

But a new law is promising to bring down the cost of renting an apartment or house on your next lease.

Andrea Montero is in the market to buy a home... but the cost of rent and security deposits are keeping her locked out.

"If it’s a 2,000 monthly rent and their deposit is asking for 2,500 at that point you're looking for the bill to be 4,500.”

Governor Newsom approved Assembly Bill 12 in October of 20-23... which changes how landlords charge security deposits.

The existing law allowed landlords to charge two times the rent for a deposit if a person lived in a non-furnished apartment...

And up to three times that amount if they lived in a furnished apartment.

Now, due to AB-12, apartment complexes can only charge an amount equal to one month's rent.

Andrea, who is the provider for her family and a first-time renter, says finding a place is already hard because of the steps to qualify.

"I would most likely have more breathing space for utilities or whatever is happening.”

With this change comes a stricter application process that landlords say they will have to go through... based on a renters credit and income. There are also complexities to how each property decides on who to rent to, Jameson Shepherd from Performance Property Management says.

“If you are too strict vacancies can go higher but if you're lax on your standards and you put in tenants that aren’t qualified there may be more damages there may be more eviction it can make it harder for landlords to balance risk overrule.”

Shepherd says the higher deposits reduce the impact that any property damage caused by renters will have on the landlords... as companies try to find a balance between that potential cost and the risk of vacancies.

“It may have any impact, or it could cause if the law is tightened too much some owners may decide they might now want to be here anymore"

This bill will go into effect on July 1st.
In Bakersfield, I’m Chantaye Imani, your neighborhood reporter.

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