California renters will no longer be required to provide a security deposit larger than one month’s rent after a new law goes into effect.
Assembly Bill 12 will take effect on July 1, 2024, and it will stop landlords from charging two or three times the monthly rent as a deposit. According to San Francisco Assemblyman Matt Haney who is behind the bill, it is a broader effort to make housing more affordable.
Shanti Singh was one of the tenants who was heavily charged and said she was almost driven into a financial hole.
“I almost emptied my bank account paying three months’ security, first month, last month, this is all I have, this is a big chunk of change earned in five number,” Singh said.
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Today, Singh helps other tenants across the state defend and advance their rights with the organization Tenants Together. He shared that with the help of this new law, the state continues to get more people into housing.
“Especially, with our housing crisis as severe as it is, it just doesn’t make sense if a tenant can afford to pay the rent,” Singh said. “But because they don’t have three months’ worth or two three months’ worth of rent accumulated, they can’t access that house.”
However, opposition to the law came from a statement by the California Association of Realtors.
“AB 12 imposes a one-size-fits-all approach in a state with nearly 40 million people and housing units of different types and with different amenities,” read the statement, which also claimed that the bill “denies small housing providers the flexibility they need to continue offering housing in the state, thereby exacerbating California’s housing crisis.”
However, Singh disagreed.
“The more complex, more carve-outs and more complications put into these types of protections, not only housing but other consumer protections as well, it can be very confusing for tenants and tenants to understand. landlord,” said Singh. “Landlords need to know that they are following the law and what the rules are, and tenants need to know what their obligations are. So really, simplicity is very important.”
For more information on the new bill, click here. For more information on Tenants Together, visit their website.