How Much Can You Charge for a Security Deposit?

You need to be well versed in your state’s law to understand the specific requirements for security deposits. The general rule of thumb is that one month’s rent is acceptable, which is usually sufficient to pay for any damages.

[In California,](] for example, landlords can charge two months’ rent for an unfurnished unit, or three months’ rent for a furnished unit. If the tenant has a waterbed, you can add an additional half month’s rent to the total security deposit amount.

Please note that the landlord normally cannot require the tenant to pay the security deposit in cash only.