California Rental Laws

Written on April 22, 2013 by , updated on April 11, 2019

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.

Official Rules and Regulations


Security Deposit:

  • Security Deposit Maximum: Two months rent for unfurnished dwellings; 3 months rent if furnished dwellings. (Civ. Code §§ 1950.5)
  • Security Deposit Interest: No statewide statute, but 15 (or so) localities have rent control ordinances that require you to pay interest, including cities in the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles (reference).
  • Separate Security Deposit Bank Account: No Statute
  • 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) California law allows landlords to withhold a portion, or all, of a security deposit for four reasons: 1) unpaid rent; 2) to clean the rental unit after the tenant moves out, but only to make the unit as clean as it was when the tenant first moved in; 3) to repair of damages beyond normal wear and tear, and; 4) to pay the cost of resorting or replacing furniture, furnishings, and other personal property damage beyond normal wear and tear. The lease or rental agreement must specify that the security deposit can be used to pay these costs.
  • Require Written Description/Itemized List of Damages and Charges: Yes. If repairs and cleaning costs are less than $126, receipts and documentation are not needed to accompany the itemized list. (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 deposit, 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)
  • Payment Methods: Landlord must allow the tenant to pay rent using a form of payment that is not a cash payment or an electronic funds transfer payment. If the tenant had an insufficient funds payment or a stopped payment on a money order, the landlord can then require that rent 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 notice 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: Late fees are 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. The application fee cannot exceed $30. (Civ. Code §§ 1950.6(b))
  • Prepaid Rent: The 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: The landlord can charge a fee equal to the actual bank fee or a flat “service” fee which is $25 for the first occurrence, and $35 for each occurrence thereafter (handbook).
  • 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 the tenant cannot use this remedy more than twice in a 12-month period. (Civ. Code §§ 1942(a))
  • 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 Re-rent: 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.
  • 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: The landlord is required to give 30 days notice. The 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: For periodic tenancies only (example: month-to-month), 30 days notice is sufficient if ALL the following are true:
    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 opened an escrow account with a licensed escrow agent or real estate broker, and
    3. The landlord gives 30-day notice within 120 days of opening the escrow account, and
    4. The landlord must not previously have given the tenant 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.)(Civ. Code §§ 1946.1) (handbook)

    Note: A landlord can only end a periodic tenancy when the property or rental unit is sold, and not a fixed-term tenancy that has not yet expired.

  • 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: The tenant has three days to remedy the lease violation or landlord can file eviction. If the violation has not been corrected by that time, the landlord can file for eviction. The landlord can also terminate the lease for subletting without permission or due to illegal activity happening on the premise. (Civ. Procedure Code §§ 1161(3) and 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:

  • Bed Bugs:
    • A landlord shall not show, rent, or lease any vacant dwelling unit to a prospective tenant if the landlord knows the unit has a current bed bug infestation. (Civ. Code §§ 1954.602)
    • A landlord shall provide a written notice regarding information about bed bugs to the prospective tenant. The exact language and information can be found in Civ. Code §§ 1954.603.
    • Landlords must notify tenants about the procedure for reporting suspected infestations to the landlord. (Civ. Code §§ 1954.603(a))
    • Landlords are required to conduct follow up treatment not only of infected units, but all surrounding units until bed bugs are eliminated. (Civ. Code §§ 1954.604)
    • Landlords are required to notify tenants within two business days of receiving the pest control operator’s findings after an inspection. (Civ. Code §§ 1954.605)
  • Accepting 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: The landlord must 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 the 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. The landlord must also provide a formula for dividing up utilities when utilities are split among multiple tenants. (Civ. Code §§ 1940.9)
  • 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 once it is developed and approved. (Health & Safety Code §§ 26147 and Civ. Code §§ 1941.7)
  • 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)
  • Ordnances: Landlord must disclose the locations of former ordnances (weapons and artillery) 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 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)
  • Pest Disclosures: At lease signing, the landlord must disclose any pest 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, as well as any warnings associated with them. (Civ. Code §§ 1940.8, and Business and Professional Code §§ 8538)
  • Smoking: If the landlord limits or prohibits smoking, the landlord must include a clause that specifies the areas on or in the premise where smoking is prohibited. (Civ. Code §§ 1947.5) (Guide: How Landlords can Prohibit Smoking)
  • 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 of domestic violence. (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 14 days notice and proof of victim status. (Civ. Code §§ 1946.7(d)) A landlord cannot end or refuse to renew a tenancy based upon the fact that the 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: Landlords may 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). If a tenant has provided notice of a suspected bed bug infestation, or has made an oral complaint to the lessor regarding tenantability (Civ. Code §§ 1942.5(1)). 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 statewide statute, but local cities and counties may have regulations and requirements. Check with your local governing authority.
  • Daly City requires all property managers or landlords/owners who do not live in a shared rental to get a business license (§ 5.16.050(a))

State agencies & regulatory bodies

Housing Authorities

Realtor and landlord/tenant associations

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2,582 CommentsLeave a Comment

  • Charles

    My father was in the process of selling a rental property and he passed away before escrow. The property is now in escrow but one of the tenants (handyman) is not allowing the reality Co. to view the inside of the apts. Whenever he gets notice, he always has an excuse why it can’t be done. What can I do so the realitor can gain entry to view in inside the apts. This is all being done via emails and cell phones cause I don’t live in the area.

    • Mary

      Are you the beneficiary of the estate with legal control?
      The agent should be able to post the appropriate documents on the tenants door. The notice of possible sale as well as 24-hour notices to enter.
      Please let me know if you need more info on a 24-hour notice to enter.

    • Anthony

      I have a tenant that has a brother and his wife come over nearly every week. He claims he doesn’t sleep over but I’ve seen them leave the property some mornings. He claims he sleeps in the van on the street. Can I kick him out for breach of lease? I’m afraid he will argue that he doesn’t sleep there and all I have is my word

      • Mary

        Is he a bad tenant otherwise? Do you really want to kick him out?

        • Anthony

          Hi Mary, thank you for the response, he has been pretty bad tenant, I’m just concerned that he will think its acceptable to continue to allow his brother stay. Some other issues I have had with him involve cleanliness, his daughter running a paid child care without permission. I’ve squared that issue with him but he seems the type that will do things without asking for permission in regards to issues with the house. Right now the brother staying over is the last straw for me because there’s no sign of him stopping even after I put on the lease he cant have guest sleep over beyond what is written on the lease BUT I cant prove it beyond my visual account.

  • Yani

    Hello. My mother passed away in CA, and at the time of her passing her gas and electric bills were already past due, and were turned off within days of her death. The landlord accused me of shutting off the utilities (that were both in her name), and is complaining that he will now be responsible for paying her utilities in order to get them turned back on. From what I’ve read, he is not responsible for unpaid bills by tenants, but he claims he is. By now the gas bill has already been paid by me, but so far I haven’t had the funds to pay her outstanding electric bill yet. Will he in fact be responsible for paying it until I get the funds?

    • Mary

      Usually those accounts are in different names and shouldn’t be a problem for the landlord to turn on. If the account was always in the landlord’s name and became past due then it would be a problem.

  • Christina

    I’ve been renting a 3 bed apartment since November 2017 on a month to month lease, just my son and I, my friends daughter recently moved in, not on. The lease…. I fell on hard times but landlord/owner agreed to work with me….. he came by yesterday without warning and saw my friends small dog there (no dogs are allowed) and decided to serve a 3 day pay or quit. He’s saying I owe him 2600 but I don’t believe that’s accurate. I paid 3000 to move in and he agreed that if he gets the 1300 dollar money order that he would allow me 30 days to move out. And not put the eviction on my record. Should I still expect my deposit returned. Home has no damage and is not in need of any repairs.

    • Mary

      Your landlord can deduct from your deposit any money due (such as back rent) and any damage or cleaning necessary to get the unit in the same condition it was when you received it.

  • gus brown

    i live a 2 bedroom with my cousin. in the beginning of the month my cuz tried to pay the rent the manger would not except. the next day a termination letter was put on our door. we assumed we had to move 2 days later she put a 3 day letter to pay or quit, 5 days later they changed there mind an told us to pay with a late fee. now there trying to take us to court for the months rent. after the termination letter we where going to move. can they do that. we payed first an last plus deposit.

    • Mary

      I’m a little lost – why did they refuse rent payment? Was it a partial payment? After the pay or quit was payment made?

  • Vikki Salmela

    I had tenants that decided not to renew a long term contract, and moved. They left the place filthy, left large pieces of furniture, 70+ nails and holes in one small loft area, broken appliances where parts are no longer available. Did not disclose a leaking stop waste valve for outside, which was not properly maintained by them. Gummy tape across windows and sills, a large crack in my quartz counter top, utility bills the list is endless, and they are way over their deposit.

    I have sent the reports with receipts. They are telling me I am hallucinating, but I have hundreds of photos. How long is the proper length of time to wait, once demand of payment due over their deposit is not paid or addressed before serving them with small claims?

    • Mary

      I’m sorry this happened. I am unsure if there is a definitive number of days. I would think 30’days would be sufficient. Your attorney will be able to provide a better answer. You provided receipts etc within the 21 days right?

      • Vikki Salmela

        I plan on going to small claims court where you can’t use an attorney. I gave the 21 day report with as many receipts as I could get in that time and was very detailed. It took a long time to fix all, and get billed with receipts within that time, including the water bill, which only comes out every 60 days, and they know they owe the majority of it. Parts had to be ordered for some damaged appliances. I sent a second report with the additional missing receipts, but have not heard a word since the first submission. I have been business like from the start, with only nasty emails as a response, which I have kept for court, along with some of the damaged parts and photos.

        I just want to look as if I have gone the extra mile from the start.

        • Mary

          Sounds like you have documentation of everything. I hope the results are in your favor and you are able to recover the cost of repairs. I wish people didn’t have such disregard for other people’s property, but sadly, I see it all the time.

  • Gloria

    I leased a house for a year and the tenants just moved in was informed by the owner she wants to sell now. what are the tennants rights?

    • Mary

      Typically the lease goes with the sale of the property under the same terms. Month-to-month is a different story – that can be ended with proper notice.

  • Shannon

    Our tenant was served with a 3 Day Notice to Pay or Quit. She has informed us that she cannot afford to either pay or hire a moving truck by the day she needs to pay or move. She is threatening to move her stuff outside. The rental is in a condo complex, so we own the unit but not the grounds outside. If she does that, can we inform her that her stuff will be thrown in the garbage and removed from the grounds? Thanks for any information in advance.

    • Mary

      My guess is that this is an idle threat. She would also likely be in another violation of her lease. The HOA would likely fine you which you should be able to roll that over to your tenant. I don’t know what your CC&Rs say regarding items outside, but your safest course of action would be that should the tenant move her belongings outside, you would want to put a 14-day notice of abandonment on them and have them removed after that period. That cost can be deducted from her deposit. So you could tell her that they will be tossed – because eventually they will be. You do know that you cannot lock her out right? You will probably need to begin eviction – which takes months. Best of luck to you.

  • Susanna

    Are there any rules regarding due dates & grace periods to pay rent? A friend in a HUD-subsidized apartment (for years) he previously paid rent around the 6th or 7th each month. Seniors living on social security receive their deposits on a varying schedule. My friend does not get his check until the 3rd of the month. Mine comes the 4th week. Another person I know gets hers about the 29th each month. Shouldn’t there be some protection in the law to prevent a landlord (or manager) from suddenly and arbitrarily changing this arrangement and demanding the rent be in their hands on the first? Many seniors just don’t have the backup funds to make such adjustments. Many vendors allow one to pick a convenient regular date.

    • Mary

      Rent is typically due on the first. The lease agreement should say when rent is due and if there is a grace period. It would be worth having a conversation with your landlord to try to work out a date that would work for both of you. Get it in writing.

  • maci

    I have lived in my house for 6 years and its a month to month lease but has never been renewed from the first time I signed the lease. they said I have 30 days to move out and not renewing the lease to due to many dogs which is false and cops being calls at my residence. I asked the landlord for more time and they said no. Im still in the unit and have warned them that a final walk through isn’t needed as I still live in the house but they showed up anyway taking pictures and looking through the windows and talking to neighbors while being on our home camera system. Do I have any rights for false eviction. They typed a 30 day notice but put eviction notice on the top but not filed with the courts. I have told them I have 4 kids also.

    • Mary

      Since you have resided in the unit for more than a year, you are entitled to a 60-day notice to vacate (unless they are selling and then certain criteria apply). They don’t have to provide a reason. You are untitled to a pre-move out inspection where you have an opportunity to correct any potential security deposit deductions.

  • Ninnette

    Hi We are looking for a rental home and found one where it stipulates that the tenants are responsible for all repairs and all property maintenance is that legal in California and what if it was a major repair like the plumbing or the roof would we still be liable for that as tenants please advise thank you

    • Mary

      You would need to consult an attorney on the legality of such a stipulation. Is that the actual wording – all repairs? Or is it all tenant caused? Typically tenants would be responsible for repairs that are tenant caused (say your kid flushed something down the toilet and a plumber needs to snake it) and owner would be responsible for normal wear and tear (snaking the plumbing because roots have clogged the lines). If I was tenant I would not want to sign a lease stating that I would be responsible for ALL repairs.

  • Brian Lindsey

    Hello, I moved into a friend’s place she’s renting and agreed to pay at the beginning of the month a discounted rate for rent. Moved in 2weeks prior. The weekend my rent was due was Labor day and my paychecks were delayed until the 5th. Prior to moving in I had let her know I needed to move out of the place I was staying before but wasnt in the position to pay upfront and no deposit was needed. I agreed to fix problems with the house as part of my rent. On the 4th I was informed she needed the money that day. My checks hadn’t cleared until the 5th but I was already on my way to work and couldn’t give her cash in hand. I don’t know what to do.

    • Mary

      As a friend you should have a discussion with her to remind her of the terms set by the 2 of you. This is the tough thing about verbal agreements- it’s always he said she said and filled with misunderstanding. Always get agreements in writing.

  • Amanda

    I have lived in a condo For 4 years Now our lease was only written up One time the original time we signed lease I have always Paid rent I have the landlord on camera With his knowledge admitting I am not a bad Tenet but I informed Him Of some safety issues regarding the neighbor and her Speeding in the drive way or endangering the kids safety. He had arranged to PickUp rent the 1st which I agreed He NEVER showed and I was unavaible due to surgery which he knew and was informed I would be having showed up the Night of surgery I couldnt get down the stairs to give him the check I had My gallbladder removed and the Next day I had a Notice to pay or Quit AND and 60 day to surrender premises EVEN after I deliver My rent. What are my rights can

    • Mary

      If you have not paid rent according to your contract, your landlord is within his rights to serve you a pay or quit notice. If your agreement is month-to-month, which sounds like it now is, your landlord is within his rights to serve you a 60 day notice of termination. I would try to have a conversation with your landlord and discuss the matter – it could simply be a misunderstanding.

  • Liz

    My tenant’s son has been staying at the rental unit going on 2 weeks now. His dad is in the hospital for the last 2 months. I’m trying to be understanding, but do not want the son thinking he is now a tenant. I do not want him living here when his dad returns. Is there a limitation to the amount of time a relative can stay in the unit? Is there anyway the son can try to claim that he is now a tenant even though he is not on the lease?

    • Mary

      If you lease or month-to-month agreement does not specify the amount of time a visitor can stay, you might want to consider writing up an agreement (which might be challenito get signed if the tenant is in the hospital). He could most definitely claim resident status, especially if he has mail delivered in his name. You would need to talk to an attorney about the ins and outs of that type of situation.

      • Liz

        I don’t think that he has mail delivered there, I keep a close eye on things. Also, the unit is covered by section 8, if that makes a difference.

        • Mary

          I don’t know the ins and outs of section 8. Hope things work out for the best. Keep the lines of communication open and get everything in writing.

  • Jenn

    Hello, I have a 2 year lease currently with my landlord. Our lease would end April 15, 2019. This morning I received a letter from my landlord stating that they have decided to put their home for sale and my family and I have 60 days to move out and that our lease is now a month to month lease. Can they do that?? My family and I don’t have the money to move and we pay our rent on time. We are in California and I also read something about cash for keys. As a tenant can I tell my landlord that if they want us to break the current lease that is good until April 2019 that they can pay us what it will take for us to move out? Or tell them that they have to honor our lease till April 2019?

    • Mary

      Your rights as a tenant have not changed. They cannot change you lease to a month-to-month at will (that’s why it’s a lease). You lease is still valid and will go with the sale of the property. This, of course is assuming you have not violated the terms of your lease. If you want to discuss a cash for keys option with your landlord to move and essentially buy you out of your lease that’s up to you. You may want to consult an attorney.

  • Terry

    My son and friends rented a house in California while they are in school. All the parents live out of state or country. When I asked realtor if the neighborhood is safe I was told yes. I also called the local police station to ask if there is gang activity etc. and was told they could not give out that info. Moved in Friday. My son and friend woke up Mon. morning to building tagged across street with the letters AVES. Found out its a gang and also found out that Drew ave. which is the cross street is their main area. Also found out that USPS stopped delivering mail in this area because of the gang activity. We immediately contacted rental agency and said my son and others are moving out. Also there was black mold in bathroom.

    • Mary

      There’s a lot happening here. As I show renters units I do not comment on neighborhoods at all. It is for the prospect to figure out. Depending on where the lease agreements come from, they might have a section in there that the tenant is aware of neighborhood conditions.
      Black mold is an issue. (Any mold) Have you had it tested? How much? It can be cleaned up. Has the leak been repaired?
      All that being said – what is your question? Are you wondering if they can get out of their lease? It all depends what the lease says. Always read what you sign.

  • Susanna

    I tried one of the links above for “handbook” and got a “404 not found” error. Where can I get the handbook document?

    Same for the links to “California Department of Consumer Affairs – Landlord Tenant Rules” and “A Guide to Residential Tenants’ and Landlords’ Rights and Responsibilities (PDF)”

    How can I obtain these?

  • Brienne

    My son had a 12-month lease, Oct 1 17 to Sept 30, 18. On 8/29 he was told that the unit was sold, and he had five days to move out. He was given another unit in the complex. He didn’t get everything out, and the keys were not requested by the management company. On 9/14, his unoccupied unit was cleared out by management, and he is now being charged with a cleaning fee. There was trash, admittedly, and reportedly broken furniture (leased). He had initially rented with three other boys, and it is not clear if there was an inspection at the end of their leases (end of June), or an inspection when two new tenants were placed in July. What are his options in this situation?

    • Maty

      Based solely on the information you provided – He’s in a lease to a specific date. You didn’t receive proper notice that the tenancy would end Oct 1 (Unless your lease was specific that it would end on Oct1). Did they accept the term ending early? They shouldn’t have entered without keys being turned in since he was technically still a resident. Did they let management know they had vacated? They also removed items without posting a 14-day notice of abandonment. Did they lead management to believe that they were abandoning the items? A lot of possible violations. There wouldn’t have been an inspection when a roommate moved out. Only at the end of the tenancy. What options are you looking for?

  • miriam medina

    I have lease the same property for 8 years i have asked the landlord to fix the restroom and other stuff he refuses to fix anything , house has mold he never mention the mold. i fix the restroom a couple of times the people he usually hires to fix stuff around the house don’t do a good job. i have a 1 year old baby now the house smells horrible. i am currently sleeping in the living room do to the smell, my room is next to the restroom and baby cant sleep do to the horrible smell. owner got married to new lady the lady is every single day at the property she cut my plants she moves the furniture i have outside from one place to another i have spoke to her already she says its her house her property. my kids are allergic to mold.

  • eliza

    i have a question my landlord increase my neighbors rent around 2% and mine 10%, is thats ok ? i live in Daly City, is the lawn the same to everyone ? what do i do to fix this

    • Mary

      Unless you are in a rent control city, are not in a lease, and are given proper notice, your landlords can raise the rent as they see fit.

      • Eliza Fernandes

        Yes there is rent control, and i am on the lease , but they increase the rent in my apartment more than the others, is this according to the law

        • Mary

          I don’t think Daly City has rent control. Wasn’t it voted down? You should call your city hall to find out the details. What are the terms of your lease – when does the initial term expire?

  • Laurie

    We signed a non-sublet 12 month lease on a home. We purchased a new home after 4 months so gave our landlord 40 days notice and asked to be released from our lease when the house rented again. I wanted to get the word out that our rental would be available so asked the landlord for new rental terms. He said it would be the same as ours, even the monthly rent, plus pet friendly, I have it in writing. He then hired a property management co to find a new tenant but is now asking $150 more than our rent and the house is just sitting because the rent is too high. We’ve returned all keys, he’s done a final walk thru. He says we are still responsible for electric and water. Can he legally raise the rent while holding us to our lease?

    • Mary

      Without knowing the terms of your lease – You are bound to the terms of your lease until the lease expires or the unit is re-rented. Unless it’s a rent control city, he can adjust the rent rate as necessary. They should be doing the best they can to re-rent the unit. In other words – if they find a qualified tenant, they shouldn’t deny them because you are in a lease. Your rent is another story. Without knowing the terms, they typically cannot raise the rent you are responsible for. You’re locked in according to the terms of your lease. As for utilities- I don’t know what your terms are but I would think you should be able to shut them off and the landlord should have to turn them on in their name.
      confirm by consulting an attorney.

  • Christina E. Moore

    So if my neighbors house was raided by the sheriffs department in San Bernardino county, are the police required to tell the landlord of the illegal activity and the warrant they served to his tenants? And can they be evicted before they are convicted of any crime.?

    • Mary

      I’m not sure if the police would be required to tell the owner. The property manager should tell them for sure. They definitely need to know to get that kind of activity out of their property. Illegal activity is typically grounds for ending tenancy and/or eviction.

  • Laurie

    Reposting: We signed a non-sublet 12 month lease on a home. We purchased a new home after 4 months so gave our landlord 40 days notice and asked to be released from our lease when the house rented again. I wanted to get the word out that our rental would be available so asked the landlord for new rental terms. He said it would be the same as ours, even the monthly rent, plus pet friendly, I have it in writing. He then hired a property management co to find a new tenant but is now asking $150 more than our rent and the house is just sitting because the rent is too high. We’ve returned all keys, he’s done a final walk thru. He says we are still responsible for electric and water. Can he legally raise the rent while holding us to the lease?

  • Karrie

    Hello im a on site manager & on a month to month & apartments was sold Oct. 2018 & wasn’t informed & tenents didn’t receive any notice that property was being sold now the new owner post a 24hr. notice on 10/3/18 to enter all units on 10/5/18 for an inspection & I never received anything from previous Owner about this guy name Al & notices don’t have our address on it also . Do I have to let this stranger enter my apartment. It also says that he will enter if I’m not home.

    • Mary

      You need to have a conversation with you landlord/boss. You were not aware of the selling? You don’t regularly speak with the owner? As an on-site manager you should know what’s going on. Usually inspections and appraisals are done. As for the NOE – if it was posted properly then they are able to enter. Make yourself available and meet the new owners and get as much information as you can.

      • Karrie

        I was not contacted by Property Management , and this man came to my door saying he was the owner and the buyer of the place. So the next day I called Property Management and ask them if they sold the apartment complex and I was told yes so I asked who do they sell it to was it a man named Ellen they said they don’t know and could not tell me anything Ellen posted notices on everybody’s door to enter on Friday which is today and found out today that he was not the owner he’s a property manager at a different property

  • ken

    I want to know if there is a educational school for learning the requirements for renting and leasing property?Im trying to get my daughter started? In california or online

    • Mary

      A property manager in California needs to have a real estate sales license. Classes can be taken online through Allied or similar. The difficult part is they don’t teach you all the ins and outs of property management. They do cover some though. You can get books on property management laws like The California Landlord Law Book.

  • steve

    AS a landlord can I show my rental place (currently occupied) more then once on a given day, if I give more then 24 hours notice? My tenant seem to think that I can’t.

    • Mary

      You probably could. You might want to try to group showings together to keep the disruption to a minimum.

      • Steven Gutwein

        I am trying to gather all showings this sat from 10 to 4. The tenants are saying that I cant and that the entry only gives me a single entry on that day. They threatened to call the cops if I try to enter.

        • Mary

          Each notice to enter must have the dates and times. You can post multiple. But don’t try to a notice for one day and time for a different time. Also don’t post one notice to cover a broad range. Be as narrowed down and specific as possible without restricting too much.
          Good Example:
          Friday January 1 between 12:00pm-1:00pm. (If you post 12:00 and your 15 minutes late it may pose a problem)
          Bad Exapmples:
          Friday January 1 8:00am-5:00pm.
          Friday-Saturday 12-4.

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