BTU Spring Campaign – Security Deposits: Berkeley Rent Board to discuss State Bill 603

Justice?Berkeley’s Rent Board will discuss support for the state bill SB603 which would provide further protections for tenants and their security deposits. All-too-often, landlords don’t return security deposits or follow state laws, such as the rule that they have to let tenants know they can request a pre-move inspection, or the law that landlords must send copies of receipts. SB603 would allow a chance for tenants who have to take owners to small claims court to get damages. And if landlords risk having to pay the tenant MORE than just their deposit, maybe landlords won’t try to keep it for no good reason.

Tell the Rent Board what you think on Monday, or write them here:
If you write the Rent Board, please say you support BTU and make sure you title your email “For the Commissioners re: May 13 Meeting” so it gets to them.

Tenants Together, the statewide group leading the charge on this issue, just published a report about security deposit theft.

The report contains the following findings from a survey of Tenants Together members from across the state:

  • 60% experienced unfair withholding of some or all of their deposit;
  • 53% did not receive any of their deposit funds within 21 days of vacating the last time they moved;
  • 36% reported that their entire deposit was never returned the last time they moved.

The report also analyses of the outcomes of security deposit cases filed by tenants in small claims courts to recover their deposits. The three-courthouse study, the first of its kind in California, found:

  • Tenants prevailed in over 70% of the cases that went to judgment;
  • In only 3.5% of the security deposit cases filed by tenants was a landlord assessed a penalty by the court.

read more here:

state bill: