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How Much Can Landlords Charge for Application Fees in California?

Application fees in California are capped at approximately $60. Plus, landlords are only allowed to charge you as much as they actually spent on screening services.

California law limits how much a potential landlord can charge you for an application fee, although the cap increases each year based on inflation. In 1998, the cap was $30. By 2019, it had risen to $50.94. That's just the upper limit, though—a landlord is only allowed to charge you the amount they actually paid in screening fees.

As an applicant, you have the right to see a written receipt of your potential landlord’s screening expenses. If their expenses ended up being less than you paid, they have to return the remaining money to you.

The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice.