As a residential renter, there are more disputes with landlords on security deposits then just about anything else. I received a question from 'Heaven59', “Dear Jon, how long after you move out can you sue for your security deposit? What's the limit?”
I did some research on this topic and landed on the California Department of Consumer Affairs website. www.dca.ca.gov/publications
Their handbook is called, “California Tenants - Guidelines for Residential Renters and Landlords Rights and Responsibilities.” If go to the section on “Refunds of Security Deposits” and scroll down to the subheading called “Legal actions for obtaining refunds of security deposits”, you’ll find your answer.
In this section it states your landlord has 21 days after you move out to return your security deposit. After that you can file a lawsuit in small claims court if the amount is under $10,000 or superior court if it’s over $10,000.
There is no time limit to file beyond that.
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