Today we're launching “It’s Your Money,” a new campaign to stop security deposit theft by California landlords. The campaign website, www.YourDeposit.org, features know-your-rights information for tenants, tips on how to protect deposits, tenant stories and policy recommendations. The site allows tenants to share their security deposit horror stories.
deposit theft is one of the most common grievances among California’s
15 million renters. In a recent survey, over 60% of Tenants Together
members reported improper withholding of deposit money. This is an
astonishing figure, but not one that surprises anyone working with
“Millions of dollars are being stolen from
tenants every year,” commented Dean Preston, Executive Director of
Tenants Together, California’s statewide organization for renters’
rights. “It’s gotten so bad that tenants paying their security deposits
don’t ever expect to see that money again. Something has got to
Unlike in many other states, California law does not
require deposit money to be held in a separate account, does not require
a landlord to pay interest on the deposit to tenants, and rarely
imposes any penalty on landlords that improperly withhold deposits.
“It’s Your Money” campaign seeks to change the dynamic and bring about
basic fairness when it comes to security deposits. The campaign
coalition is united around three basic principles:
1. Deposit money should not be co-mingled with other landlord assets
2. Tenants deserve interest on security deposits
3. Landlords who improperly withhold deposits must face meaningful penalties
We are encouraging tenants to share their story and individuals and organizations to sign on to support the basic principles of the campaign.
For more information, visit www.YourDeposit.org.