California Rental Application Form
Rental Application Fee
By completing a rental application form, a potential tenant authorizes the landlord to perform background checks. Landlords can require an application fee to cover the costs of these checks.
The state of California sets a maximum fee a landlord can charge a prospective tenant for a rental application. This amount is adjusted yearly according to the Consumer Price Index. As of December 2021, the maximum fee is $55.58 per applicant. Most application fees fall in the $30 to $50 range.
Lessors may not charge an application fee if no home is currently available. And, if the fee is not used to obtain a consumer credit report, the lessor must return the payment with a written receipt.
California state law sets two months’ rent as the security deposit amount for an unfurnished house or apartment and three months’ rent for a furnished house or apartment. (CA Civ Code § 1950.5 (2016))