California Landlord-Tenant Laws
The California landlord-tenant laws and disclosures are summarized below.
- The maximum amount a Landlord can charge a Tenant for security deposits for rental properties depends on whether the property is furnished or not furnished. For a furnished rental property, a Landlord can require up to three months’ rent. For an unfurnished rental property, the landlord can only charge up to two months’ rent for the security deposit.
- The landlord must return the security deposits within twenty-one days of the lease termination date specified in the lease agreement. The Landlord must write an itemized statement of deductions if a deduction is needed.
Source: § 1950.5
Lead-Based Paint Disclosure Form – Owners of housing units built before 1978 must inform tenants of lead paint hazards and give Tenants the form.
Bedbug Disclosure – Landlords must provide a Bedbug Disclosure Form to confirm the absence of bed bugs in the property. The tenant must read and sign the document.
Demolition – Landlords must inform tenants of a future demolition before accepting a rental contract or deposits if they have received permission from their municipal office to demolish a residential unit.
Death – Landlords must disclose whether a death has occurred on the property within the past three years to tenants, except deaths stemming from HIV.
Flood Hazard – Landlords must disclose if the property is in a flood hazard area. The landlord is required to inform the tenant whether the property is in a flood hazard area or not.
Megan’s Law Disclosure – Disclosure must be included in every residential contract in California. A disclosure copy can be accessed in PDF, MS Word, or ODT format.
Mold Disclosure – a legal requirement to provide tenants with a mold disclosure document attached to the lease agreement. This document informs tenants of any known mold issues in the rental property.
Ordnance Locations – In writing, the Landlord of a residential dwelling unit must inform the prospective tenants if they know any former federal or state ordnance locations in the area.
Pest Control – If remediation has been done, the tenant must receive a pest inspection report. This report shows that proper measures have been taken for any pest-related issues within the property.
Shared Utilities – when an electrical or gas meter is shared, the rental agreement specifies the utilities between the parties.
Smoking Policy Disclosure – landlords are obligated to give tenants a smoking policy that outlines the areas where smoking is permitted, which includes common spaces. The Landlord needs to display it on their rental property premises.
Methamphetamine or Fentanyl Contamination Disclosure – The landlord must provide written notice to all future tenants if the rental property has been found contaminated or is under remediation. The landlord must also give the potential tenant with a copy of the related order.
Landlord’s Right to Entry
To give a Right to Enter Notice, the Landlord can do one of the following things:
- Personally deliver it to the tenant.
- Leave it with someone old enough to receive it on the property.
- Leave it on, near, or under the entry door.
- Mail the notice at least six days before the intended entry.
Source: § 1954.d.1