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Davis

Davis, California

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

New City of Davis ordinance could save renters money

A new resolution could save renters money in the city of Davis beginning as early as September 2010.

ASUCD unanimously passed the resolution in support of an ordinance requiring the return of interest earned on security deposits to Davis renters on Nov. 19, 2009.

This resolution seeks to refund interest earned on security deposits at the end of the lease period to its rightful owners – the renters, said Chris Dietrich, ASUCD vice president.

Although the amount of money saved from such an ordinance varies, it is not expected to save a significant amount. However, any bit saved helps, Dietrich said.

The Davis City Council will vote and decide whether to pass the ordinance at next Wednesday’s meeting. The City-UCD Student Liaison Commission will lay out a recommendation to the Davis City Council.

Ultimately, this ordinance strives to protect renters’ rights. The majority of renters in Davis are students, according to a press release from ASUCD.

Dietrich, along with his fellow members in the City-UCD Student Liaison Commission, began researching prospective solutions to this problem in September 2009. Dietrich said the current resolution is a follow through of a past concern.

ASUCD created the Davis Model Lease, which strives to balance the interests of renters and apartment managers. Currently, about half of the apartment complexes in Davis use this lease, which requires the return of interest earned on security deposits. However, the apartment complexes that do not abide by this lease often do not return interest earned on security deposits.

This disparity among Davis apartment complexes’ policies is the primary reason why Dietrich proposed this resolution.

UCD student representatives on the City-UCD Student Liaison Commission support this ordinance. According to Dietrich, there is not a clear consensus among rental property owners. The ordinance could pose a challenge administratively for complexes that currently do not refund tenants for interest earned on security deposits.

Generally, smaller complexes do not refund interest earned on security deposits, Dietrich said. The number crunching is time consuming and turnover during this end-lease period is particularly burdensome for apartment managers and staff.

Isabelle Medina, corporate office manager of Tandem Properties, which owns 15 apartment complexes in Davis, said that renters are reimbursed for 2 percent of interest earned on security deposits at the end of the lease period.

Carlos Hernandez, manager of La Salle Apartments, currently reimburses tenants for 2 percent of interest earned on security deposits per year. Hernandez stated that the policy will be changing.

The amount of money renters are reimbursed for depends on several factors, including the condition of the apartment at the end of the lease period and how long the tenant has lived in the apartment, Hernandez said.

Sherri Vivas, manager of Le Tournesol Apartments, notes that the refunded percentage of the interest earned on the security deposits has been declining. Le Tournesol residents currently receive 1.5 percent of interest earned on security deposits per year. In accordance with the Davis Model Lease, tenants initially received 5 percent of interest earned on security deposits per year. Ten to 11 years ago, however, 5 percent declined to 2.75 percent. Five years ago, 2.75 percent lowered to 1.5 percent.

The next City-UCD Student Liaison Commission meeting is Jan. 13 at 4:30 p.m. in the City Chambers Conference Room, 23 Russell Blvd.

THERESA MONGELLUZZO can be reached at city@theaggie.org.

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