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My son is renting a 2-bedroom apartment with 4 other people in Santa Cruz, CA.

It was initially agreed that he would share a room with one of the other tenants. That agreement did not work out, because when he got there all of the space in the room had been taken up by the other person. So basically my son has been in the living room.

We knew he had signed the lease and he needed to follow through on it, which he did.

The lease is ending at the end of August and he will be leaving the apartment and not resigning the lease. The other tenants will be staying and resigning the lease. The main person who seems to be the head person of the apartment says he will not give him his deposit back until they find another renter to share the room. But, as I stated, that person does not really share the room. As I see it, it will be quite hard to find someone to rent a room that is not shareable.

How can he get his quarter of the deposit back?

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I presume the 4 of them are cosignatories on the lease. A party can terminate the lease or renew it. If one party does not agree, then there is no agreement (lease). So assuming that the party has given proper notice, the lease is not renewed. Whether or not the landlord and the other tenants want to agree to a lease is their business. When a lease is terminated, the landlord has 21 days to return the deposit (Cal. Civ. 1950.5(g)(1)). The existing lease may contain an automatic renewal clause, so the tenant may need to provide 30 days notice.

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  • But if the landlord gives the deposit back to the tenants jointly, how does the son get his part from the uncooperative other tenants? – interfect Jul 24 '18 at 20:03
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    That's a problem, if the landlord gives it all to one of the three survivors. He would have to take the recipient to small claims court to get his quarter. – user6726 Jul 24 '18 at 20:16
  • @interfect on the other hand, if your son gets the entire deposit from the landlord, he can give 3/4 of it to the others. – phoog Jul 24 '18 at 21:25

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