What are the rules that govern the return of the security deposit to the tenant? According the code; upon termination of a rental agreement on residential property, the landlord must return the unused portion of the security deposit and an itemized statement showing what deductions have been made, no later than 21 days after the tenant vacates the property. (Cal. Civ. Code 1950.5(g)) The itemized statement must be accompanied by receipts or invoices issued by the person that performed the work that the deductions were used to pay for; or, if the landlord or property manager (Agent) performed the work, the itemized statement must list the work that was done, the time spent, and the reasonable hourly rate charged. Sometimes, the work cannot be accomplished within the 21 Day period, then the landlord or agent must notify the tenant that there are funds that will be withheld until the damage is repaired, and another letter will be sent itemizing that cost.