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Updated January 21, 2022

A California rental application is often used by a landlord or property management company when seeking a viable candidate for a rental property. This application will help the prospective tenant to present their information in an organized manner for approval. The landlord may require a non-refundable fee and should receive an answer from the landlord shortly (1-2 days). Once approved, the tenant will be issued a lease to sign.


  • Application Fee  – Initially, landlords could charge a maximum screening fee of $30. This amount may be adjusted annually with the Consumer Price Index. As of February 2020, the maximum application fee is $53.33 ( Cal. Civ. Code § 1950.6 , California Apartment Assoc. ).
  • Security Deposit  – California landlords cannot charge an amount exceeding two (2) months’ rent for unfurnished properties, or three (3) months’ rent for furnished properties ( Cal. Civ. Code § 1950.5(c) ).