California Rental Laws

Written by on April 22, 2013

State Flag of CaliforniaThis article summarizes some key California rental laws applicable to residential rental units.

We’ve used the Official State Statutes and other online sources cited below to research this information and it should be a good starting point in learning about the law.

With that said, our summary is not intended to be exhaustive or a substitute for qualified legal advice. Laws and statutes are always subject to change, and may even vary from county to county or city to city.

You are responsible for performing your own research and complying with all laws applicable to your unique situation.

If you have legal questions or concerns, we recommend consulting with the appropriate government agencies and/or a qualified lawyer in your area. Your local or state bar association may have a referral service that can help you find a lawyer with experience in landlord-tenant law.

This research and information is current as of April 22, 2013

Official Rules and Regulations

Details:

Security Deposit:

  • Security Deposit Maximum: Two months’ rent for unfurnished dwellings; 3 months’ rent if furnished dwellings. (Civ. Code §§ 1950.5 and 1940.5g)
  • Security Deposit Interest: No state-wide statute, but 15 (or so) localities have rent control ordinances that require you to pay interest, including Los Angeles. (reference)
  • Separate Security Deposit Bank Account: No Statute
  • Pet Deposits and Additional Non-Refundable Fees: Not Allowed (Civ. Code §§ 1950.5m)
  • Deadline for Returning Security Deposit: 21 days (Civ. Code §§ 1950.5g)
  • Security Deposit can be Withheld: (handbook)
    • For unpaid rent;
    • For cleaning the rental unit when the tenant moves out, but only to make the unit as clean as it was when the tenant first moved in;
    • For repair of damages, other than normal wear and tear, caused by the tenant or the tenant’s guests; and
    • If the lease or rental agreement allows it, for the cost of restoring or replacing furniture, furnishings, or other items of personal property (including keys), other than because of normal wear and tear.
  • Require Written Description/Itemized List of Damages and Charges: Yes. Receipts and documentation not needed to accompany the itemized list of repairs if repairs and cleaning cost less than $126. (Civ. Code §§ 1950.5g 4A)
  • Record Keeping of Deposit Withholdings: No Statute
  • Failure to Comply: A bad faith claim or retention by a landlord may subject the landlord to statutory damages of up to twice the amount of the security, in addition to actual damages. (Civ. Code §§ 1950.5(l))

Lease, Rent & Fees:

  • Rent is Due: Unless there is a contract to the contrary, and the lease is for less than one year, rent is due at the end of the month. Most leases state that rent is due at the beginning of the month. (Civ. Code §§ 1947) and (Civ. Code §§ 1962)
  • Payment Methods: Landlord must allow at least one form of payment that is neither cash nor electronic funds transfer, unless tenant has had an insuffienct funds payment, or stopped payment on a money order. Then the landlord can require payments to be paid in cash. (Civ. Code §§ 1947.3(1-2))
  • Rent Increase Notice: 30 days if rent increase is less than 10 percent of the lowest amount of rent charged during the last 12 months. 60 days if rent increase is more than 10 percent of the lowest amount of rent charged during the last 12 months. (Civ. Code §§ 827(b)(2-3))
  • Late Fees: Allowed, but they must be “reasonable” and obey rent control laws, and are only enforceable if specified in the lease. (handbook)
  • Application Fees: The maximum fee is adjusted each year based on changes in the Consumer Price Index since January 1, 1998. In 2012, the maximum allowable fee is $44.51 (Civ. Code §§ 1950.6(b)). Use Cozy to avoid charging application fees because the tenant pays for the credit report directly.
  • Prepaid Rent: Landlord is allowed to collect one month’s pre-paid rent (first month’s rent) plus two or three months’ security deposit. (handbook)
  • Returned Check Fees: Equal to the actual bank fee. Or landlord can charge a flat “service” fee which is $25 for the first occurrence, and $35 for each occurrence thereafter (handbook). I recommend using Cozy to collect rent online to nearly eradicate late payments.
  • Tenant Allowed to Withhold Rent for Failure to Provide Essential Services (Water, Heat, etc.): Yes, because the property is under the “implied warranty of habitability.” (handbook)
  • Tenant Allowed to Repair and Deduct Rent: Yes, but not more than the cost of one month’s rent, and tenant cannot use this remedy more than twice in a 12-month period. (Civ. Code §§ 1942)
  • Landlord Allowed to Recover Court and Attorney’s Fees: Yes (Civ. Code §§ 789.3d)
  • Landlord Must Make a Reasonable Attempt to Mitigate Damages to Lessee, including an Attempt to Rerent: Yes (Civ. Code §§ 1951.2)

Notices and Entry:

  • Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Fixed End Date in LeaseNo notice is needed as the lease simply expires. I recommend giving 60 days notice anyway.
  • Notice to Terminate Any Periodic Lease of a Year or More – If ALL tenants have lived there longer than a year, the landlord is required to give 60 days notice. (handbook)
  • Notice to Terminate a Periodic Lease – Month-to-Month: Landlord is required to give 30 days notice. Tenant is required to give 30 days notice. (Civ. Code §§ 1946)
  • Notice to Terminate a Periodic Lease – Week-to-week: Landlord is required to give 30 days notice. Tenant is required to give seven days notice. (handbook)
  • Notice to Terminate Lease due to Sale of Property: 30 days notice if ALL of the following are true: (Civ. Code §§ 1946.1) (handbook)
    1. The landlord has contracted to sell the rental unit to another person who intends to occupy it for at least a year after the tenancy ends.
    2. The landlord must have opened escrow with a licensed escrow agent or real estate broker, and
    3. The landlord must have given 30-day notice no later than 120 days after opening escrow, and
    4. The landlord must not previously have given you a 30-day or 60-day notice, and
    5. The rental unit must be one that can be sold separately from any other dwelling unit. (For example, a house or a condominium can be sold separately from another dwelling unit.)
  • Notice of date/time of Move-Out Inspection: 48 hours (Civ. Code §§ 1950.5(f))
  • Eviction Notice for Nonpayment: Three days (Civ. Procedure Code §§ 1161(2))
  • Eviction Notice for Lease Violation: Three days to remedy lease violation or landlord can file eviction (Civ. Procedure Code §§ 1161(3)). Landlord can also terminate the lease for subletting without permission or illegal activity on the premise. (Civ. Procedure Code §§ 1161(4))
  • Required Notice before Entry: 24 hours (Civ. Code §§ 1954a)
  • Entry Allowed with Notice for Maintenance and Repairs (non-emergency): 24 hours (Civ. Code §§ 1954a)
  • Emergency Entry Allowed without Notice: Yes (Civ. Code §§ 1954b)
  • Entry Allowed During Tenant’s Extended Absence: No (Civ. Code §§ 1954)
  • Notice to Tenants for Pesticide Use: No Statute
  • Lockouts Allowed: No (Civ. Code §§ 789.3b(1))
  • Utility Shut-offs Allowed: No (Civ. Code §§ 789.3a)

Disclosures and Miscellaneous Notes:

  • Landlord Must Accept First Qualified Applicant – The 2012 Fair Housing Handbook of California says on page 24, “The landlord should take the time to check out the information and make a selection based on the first qualified applicant(s),” although there is no statute to support this. It’s recommended but not law.
  • Copy of Lease: Provide a copy of the rental agreement or lease to the tenant within 15 days of its execution by the tenant. (Civ. Code §§ 1962(4))
  • Utilities: Landlord must disclose if utilities that service tenant’s unit also service other areas (such as common foyers), and disclose the manner in which costs will be fairly divided up. (Civ. Code §§ 1940.9) Landlord must also provide a formula for dividing up utilities when utilities are split among multiple tenants.
  • San Francisco Utilities: Landlords must provide heat that can maintain a room temperature of 68 degrees. This level of heat must be provided for at least 13 hours, specifically from 5-11 AM and 3-10 PM.
  • Move-In Condition: Landlord is not required to provide a Move-In Condition Checklist for the Tenants to complete. However, it is recommended and extremely helpful should you ever go to court over physical damages to the dwelling.
  • Mold: Landlord must disclose, prior to lease signing, knowledge of any mold in the dwelling that exceeds safety limits or poses a health concern.  Landlord must distribute a State Department of Health Services consumer handbook. (Health & Safety Code §§ 26147)
  • Demolishment: If a landlord or agent has applied for a permit to demolish a rental unit, the landlord must provide written notice to prospective tenants before accepting any money. (Civ. Code §§ 1940.6)
  • Ordinances: Landlord must disclose the locations of former ordinances in the neighborhood. (Civ. Code §§ 1940.7)
  • Sexual Offenders: Landlords are required to include the following language in the lease:
     “Notice: Pursuant to Section 290.46 of the Penal Code, information about specified registered sex offenders is made available to the public via an Internet Web site maintained by the Department of Justice at www.meganslaw.ca.gov. Depending on an offender’s criminal history, this information will include either the address at which the offender resides or the community of residence and zip code in which he or she resides.” (Civ. Code §§ 2079.10a)
  • Pests Disclosures: At lease signing, Landlord must disclose any pests control contracts or disclosures received by pest control companies.  If the premise is being treated for pests, landlord must disclose the pesticides used and their active ingredients, and any warnings associated with them.  (Civ. Code §§ 1940.8, and Business and Professional Code §§ 8538)
  • Smoking: If the landlord limits or prohibits smoking, landlord must include a clause that specifies the areas on or in the premise where smoking is prohibited. (Civ. Code §§ 1947.5)
  • Proof of Domestic Violence Status: Landlord is entitled to proof/documentation of domestic violence status of the tenant if the tenant claims they are a victim. (Civ. Code §§ 1941.5, 1941.6, 1941.7)
  • Locks: Landlords must change the locks if requested by a domestic violence victim and proof of court order is given. (Civ. Code §§ 1941.5 and 1941.6)
  • Special Treatment: A victim may terminate a lease with 30 days notice and proof of victim status. (Civ. Code §§ 1941.7) A landlord cannot end or refuse to renew a tenancy based upon the fact that tenant or a member of tenant’s household is a victim of a documented act of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. (Civ. Procedure Code §§ 1161.3)
  • Abandoned Property: The rules are lengthy and specific, please read Civ. Code §§ 1965, 1980 to 1991.
  • Retaliation: Landlord must not terminate a lease, increase rent, decrease services, cause a lessee to quit involuntarily, or bring an action to recover possession to a tenant who has filed an official complaint to a Government Authority, been involved in a tenant’s organization, or exercised a legal right. Courts will assume “retaliation” by landlord if negative action is taken on the tenant within 180 days (six months) after any of the prior tenant actions. (Civ. Code §§ 1942.5) It will also be considered retaliation if the landlord acts negatively within six months after any of the following:
    • Using the repair and deduct remedy, or telling the landlord that the tenant will use the repair and deduct remedy.
    • Complaining about the condition of the rental unit to the landlord, or to an appropriate public agency after giving the landlord notice.
    • Filing a lawsuit or beginning arbitration based on the condition of the rental unit.
    • Causing an appropriate public agency to inspect the rental unit or to issue a citation to the landlord.

Court Related:

Business Licenses:

  • Business License required: No state-wide statute, but local cities and counties may have regulations and requirements. Check with your local governing authority.

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1,383 CommentsLeave a Comment

  • Kathryn

    I rented a condo for Dec. to mid Jan. I sent the landlord $2500 as a deposit for 1/2 the rent. Circumstances came up that I wasn’t going to be able to go to the condo. So 3 weeks after sending the deposit and 6 and 1/2 months before the beginning of rental period I notified the landlord of this. The landlord kept $600 of the deposit saying that was the cancellation policy. Since the only thing in writing was the rental period and amount, am I out the $600?

    • Lucas Hall

      Hi Kathryn,

      Perhaps. Do you know if the landlord had any damages? Also, what does the lease say?

      • Kathryn

        No damages. Also no lease agreement in writing.

        • Lucas Hall

          In my non-legal opinion, I don’t see how they could keep any if he money if they didn’t have any damages (although they might have some you don’t know of) and they didn’t put it in writing.

          However, if you knew of the cancellation policy, you would have to lie in court to say otherwise – but if they didn’t say anything until after the fact, I don’t know how they will be able to prove anything. I’m just thinking out loud. It might be worth it to you to lose $600 just to avoid going to court. If you lose, you’ll likely have to pay their legal fees.

          Good luck to you. I hope that helps and please know that I’m not a lawyer not is this legal advice.

          • Kathryn

            Thank you for your reply. From a moral standpoint I feel the same way. I agree that going to court, even small claims, is not worth the emotional energy as I live in a different state. Chalk it up to an unfortunate learning experience.

  • Jan. March

    I have rented an illegal add on apt. To a house for 25 years that is now being sold. Don’t the owners have to pay me to move after 25 years?

    • MARY RIMACHI

      If you live in a rent control city you have to be paid relocation costs b4 the date they say you are to go. If you stay, they file a unlawful detainer on you, you go to court, prove the unit is a illegal add on, and you are protected under rent control, and they are prohibited by law from evicting you until the unit is legalized. IF you live a non controlled city, the unit is still illegal and thy must repay your $$$ as the initial contract is non enforceable. WIN WIN.

  • Will F

    Hi Lucas again I need some of your expert advice. I recently was given 60 days notice to move out. We left after 30 days and did a very extensive job cleaning. I own 2 rental properties so I know whats expected. I scheduled a move out inspection within the time. The representative came over at our agreed time and said the place looked great absolutely no issues. I asked her if we should expect our full deposit back ad she said yes. Well 21 days passed and I received the refund they took out $700 for cleaning the carpet/house. My understanding of the code 1950.5 the landlord or agent has to point out issues at the move out inspection and cannot charge without giving me chance to correct the problems. Should I take him to small claims ct?

    • Will F

      I am planning to take my LL to small claims court as he kept a portion of my deposit without pointing out issues during the move out inspection that was done by the Prop Manager. Also 22 days have passed and I still have not received my remaining portion of my security deposit. From my reading it seems like the LL forfeited all claims because of not returning my deposit in 21 days. Is this correct if I go to court will not returning my deposit be enough for me to demand my $ plus damages. How much should I ask for total? my deposit was $2850 and he kept 700 illegally for cleaning?

      • Lucas Hall

        Hi Will

        All I can really tell you is what it says in Civ. Code §§ 1950.5(l):

        “(l) The bad faith claim or retention by a landlord or the landlord’s successors in interest of the security or any portion thereof in violation of this section, or the bad faith demand of replacement security in violation of subdivision (j), may subject the landlord or the landlord’s successors in interest to statutory damages of up to twice the amount of the security, in addition to actual damages. The court may award damages for bad faith whenever the facts warrant that award, regardless of whether the injured party has specifically requested relief. In an action under this section, the landlord or the landlord’s successors in interest shall have the burden of proof as to the reasonableness of the amounts claimed or the authority pursuant to this section to demand additional security deposits.”

  • Jan. March

    after renting without a lease for 25 years at $750.00 per month, what is the approximate amount they would have to give me as they are selling the house and said that I have to move

    • Lucas Hall

      Hi Jan.

      I’m not sure. It’s my understanding the relocation cost reimbursement is regulated at the local county or city level. Check with your local municipality.

    • MARY

      In Los Angeles it is 17000+ if you live in a rent controlled unit. You are for all purposes on a month 2 month . I told you before check to see if you live a rent control city and then do as Lucas suggested, call the rent control oficials in the city you live and give them yor addrss ato verify if your protected nder rent control. IF SO , the relocation costs for you would be maximum as your tenancy is 25 yesrs. AND this must be id b4 you leave the unit so do not leve or gie possession to the unit until you get paid. THIS IS THE LAW.

      • william

        How is that fair to the owner? Why should we as owners have to pay to relocate someone when we sell our property. At best we should give them ample notice and give them back their first and last months rent.

        • MARY

          I AGREE WITH YOU, but this is the law in Los Angeles, SF and Oakland (amounts vary). There are organized groups of “renters”in LA who go from unit to unit and exploit this and even as I write this post the city council is entertaining a bill to change this but this is the reality.

  • Grace

    I have a 4 unit condo. The unit 4 tenants have lived for 2 years. Before they moved in we asked them signing an move in inspection report. We also have all photos on our file.
    She has a roommate with a dog moved in one year ago. Now their unit has rats . We hired pest control to solve this problem. We also have a janitorial service to clean the area. But they insist that is still not a safe and habitable manner. Landlord responsible for the rat infestation.
    Other 3 units condo no rats problem at all. This roommate always leave dog food on the floor that attract rats, and sometime nobody at home for many days. My question is -Tenant cause the problem, are they responsible to this case-as CA Civil Code section 1941

  • Laverne

    Hi,

    My husband is a civilian govt employee and we recently renewed the lease on the San Jose apt we rent. However, two months later hubby received permanent change of station orders for his govt job and we are being relocated at govt expense. Our orders contain an unexpired lease clause. With 22 months left to go on our lease, we notified the landlord that we have movement orders. He has placed the apartment up for rent at a very steep increase, from $4000 to $5700 per month.

    We don’t believe he will be able to find a renter at that price, as it is far higher than anything else in this neighborhood. What are we responsible for, and is he truly attempting to mitigate his losses by advertising at a price he is unlikely to get?

  • Casey

    Hi there,

    I am renting a room from the home owner who also lives in the house. We had an oral agreement only, and I paid 2 months rent in advance. 2 weeks after I moved in, the owner wanted me to sign an agreement stating I had to clean the house for them to live there. When I moved in it was decently clean. Now I know that was just for show. These people are terribly dirty and now have a litter of puppies AND a litter of kittens whcih they neglect.

    The owner says I am a guest and need to “respect the masters or move out.” Anything I say is “talking back.” Now, I would prefer to get my money back and go far away, but they are refusing, saying they are broke. What can I possible do? Call it a loss?

    Thank you for your time.

  • Tom

    Hi,
    We gave our LL the required notice. On the last day of our obligation 7/31/15, LL’s required us to complete the walk through early since they had a prior engagement. We still had items in the house, garage , patio when the walk through was done. Took some items to storage 45 minutes later we arrived to find ourselves locked out our property still inside. Finished moving items outside at 8:30 pm. LL’s live in other 1/2 of duplex but were gone. Three days later we asked for our items & did get curtains. When was asked for W/D the LL said you left them we sold them Sunday at garage sale. Not sure if this is right or how to approach it.

  • Cal

    My tenant died 1 week ago, and has no next-of-kin, will, POAs, or other docs. Where in the CA law or codes do I locate how long I must “keep” the propert in the unit? Can I sell it after whatever waiting period?

    TZhX – Cal

  • Alx

    Hello Lucas,

    First want to say thank you for all the wonderful help/advice you provide.
    I’m a first time Landlord and I have a tenant that has not paid rent, I’m confused as to all the info I find on line. Where can I get forms needed to provide to him to get the process of eviction started? What can I do to make sure this is quick and easy. Should I hire a lawyer? as I’ve tried to figure this out myself and just keep getting confused or what I can and can not due. I would hate to have this back fire on me. As of now the tenant is avoiding me and do not think it will get confrontational. I appreciate any guidance you may provide. Thank you!

  • Cris

    I live in San Francisco where renters are being forced out of their homes due to the excessive rent increases. I have lived in my unit for 10 yrs. and in 2011, the LL tried to get me evict me using the excuse that my assistance animal was not authorized; he is now aware of the ADA and made a reasonable accommodation. He has however harassed me these last 4 yrs., and last year increased my rent by 18%; more recently its increased 22% (a rent increase of 40%). In addition, LL is demanding tenants to remove their own washer/dryers and is using the water crisis as the reason. Is there recourse in my getting him to lower my rent to a reasonable proportion and can we stop him from taking away our right of peaceable enjoyment to do laundry?

  • Terri

    I rent a furnished guest cottage on my home property. The current tenant complains so much about things like the gardeners making noise on Wed. to his car being damaged by the sun in the parking area. Rent is month to month. Everyone who has stayed there loves it but this person is wearing me down. I want to give 30 days notice end of this month. Should I offer $1-200. if he moves before the 30 days? and, would clause 1942.5 affect me in any way or is that just for leases? What would you do??

    • MARY

      I would proceed with caution if you live in a rent control city/property. If he has been there more than 1 year he gets a 60 day and if it is for no cause eviction you may be required to pay relocation costs. Call the city and give them your address before yo do anything to check with rather than proceeding on what you think.

  • Terri

    Thank you Mary. He has just been here 3 months and although it is Los Angeles county, not the city. I will check with my city though.

  • Robert

    I paid a $500.00 move in fee to the HOA of a condo building where I am moving into as a tenant of a privately owned condo. I received confirmation from the HOA management company of my move-in date and one of two elevators was reserved for my move in. I was notified yesterday by the managment company that I can not move in for my scheduled day this Saturday and will have to reschedule; a $100 refund was offered because one of the two elevators is broken. I explained to the management company that this was not acceptable as I have to be out of my old place, I have movers scheduled and the utilites are being shut off this weekend at my old place. Is the HOA in breech of their agremement and do I have recourse?

    • Lucas Hall

      Hi Robert

      I can only think of one other recourse: demand they pay for your actual damages in full. If they don’t, you could try to take them to small claims.

  • jane

    when breaking a lease can a landlord charge you until the property gets re rented out? please advise or are they only able to charge 2 months

    ca state in case it makes a diff

  • kenneth e stewart sr

    I have lease agreement and have lived here going on 4 yrs. I have been robbed twice first when I went back to old location to retrieve the remainder of my things. the second last year “home invasion” received injury due to gun beating Just getting Police Report Two Managers have defraud Tenants now have new owner. Since, new owner we have had “two shoot outs” inside apartment complex Can not get response with old nor new owner lease Agreement States”Secure Apartment Complex.Now late fees have been increased by $60.cause know one know where,how or to whom?Help Us!!

  • Kathryn

    I just bought a condo (in California) as an investment. I don’t want to rent to smokers even if they don’t smoke on the premises because their clothing still absorbs the smell and gets into the walls, carpet, etc. Am I allowed to have such a policy?

  • mahshid naderi

    Hi Lucas,
    Thanks for your excellent site and all the information that you provide.
    I just bought a house and rented it as my income producing property.
    Since it’s located in Sherman Oaks, in L.A. County I know I need to register it and pay an annual fee to the city.
    Can you please let me know what from do I need to complete and where can I obtain it?
    Thanks

    Mahshid

  • PLuMB

    My niece is like a daughter to me and in 2009 I bought a house for her and her husband to rent (and 3 kids). She hasn’t paid rent in 8 months. I want to retire soon and this has become a very big burden on me to have to pay the mortgage. She won’t talk to me or return phone calls or text messages. Her kids are my grand kids and I love them all very much. I am at my end and want to sell the house. Although it hurts me terribly to do so, I am left with no options. I know she has let everything go and destroyed parts of the property. I just want her to move out so I can fix it and sell it. I am in California. What can I do?

    • Ahu

      Trying to collect now is pretty much impossible. You are going to have to bite the bullet and consider the relationship a complete loss. That being said, you will need to give her 65 days notice to vacate (if you are mailing it, 60 if delivered in person) and consider selling it “as is” rather than fixing it up. You might take a loss, but is it worth it to continue with the carrying costs AND renovation costs?

      If you ever do rent again, use a well respected management company and never rent to friends or family. I’m speaking from experience.

  • izzy

    My family moved into a home 4/1/14 it was a year lease. It was never renewed even tho I requested for it. We asked for several things to be fixed including a fountain outside the front door. It was agreed that ut would be filed with dirt and turned into a flower bed. Never was done. The are 2 rooms in the house that have no light fixtures in which they agreed to put some in. Over a year later still nothing. We are looking into another home and have to obviously give our 30 day notice. We have caused no damages to the property and even moved into it after clearly seeing that it was not cleaned. Previous renters shavers soaps and hair still in showers. Are we able to withhold the last months rent if we agree to be out by October 1st?

    • Ahu

      You should have made your complaints when you moved in. That you have waited a year to bring up that the house wasn’t clean was a poor choice. There is no way to prove that the house was dirty when you moved in having lived there for longer than a day. Next time, speak up and take pictures with dates.

      • izzy

        I never said things weren’t brought up. We did the walk thru and pointed out all the things I could see. If you read correctly things were brought to the landlords attention and he agreed to make the necessary repairs and corrections several times. Over a year later we are still awaiting repairs

        • Ahu

          ” We have caused no damages to the property and even moved into it after clearly seeing that it was not cleaned. Previous renters shavers soaps and hair still in showers.”

          That is exactly what you posted. You could have told him to clean the house before you moved in. But, you didn’t.

  • Shamika Clements

    I have been living and paying bills at my recently deceased grandfather’s home with my children. Now the family has decided to sell the home and has a potential buyer. Am I entitled to a relocation fee? If so, what amount for an unincorporated area of Los Angeles, CA? I think that the realtor is trying to stick me with $2500 which is not enough for a deposit for a studio apartment in this area.

  • Danielle Sauerland

    My land lord wants to deduct the difference between the rent which was lowered for me because she didn’t want to have to get another tenant. My rent was 1,200 mo. and she lowered it to 1,100 a month . This went on for 5 years. I had a family financial problem and she said she would lower it to $ 800.00. for three months. At the end of three months, I was in financial need and I gave her my notice. ( 30 days)/ She got furious and said I had taken her for a ride. I rented her home for 10 years. Now she wants the difference between the lowered rent ( both times) and the original rent.
    My deposit is $ 1,250.00. She now has a property manager and she came up with the idea. Can she do this??

    • Ahu

      Did you put it into writing that you would have your rent lowered? If it was a verbal agreement, there is no legal binding and you can be held responsible for the past rent.

  • Danielle Sauerland

    She excepted the 1,100 checks for 7 years without comment. The mere fact that she kept cashing the checks seems to be the situation here. She said she didn’t want to put up with another tenant that would tear her house up. How would this hold up in sc court?

  • Ahu

    She lowered the rent to $800 as per your verbal agreement and then you reneged on the deal. You owe her the difference and again, unless you have it in writing. It seems that you are not a very honorable person and bitter that she has decided to not rent to you. She did you a favor for a decade by lowering the rent and you did take advantage of it. She owes you no mercy and you owe her money. She is a business woman who has bills to pay as well. There is no reason she should continue to support you.

    How can it hold up in court? Called a contract.

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