Landlord Rights in California

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“A California landlord-tenant law includes rent control policies, restrictions, limitations, and other miscellaneous policies. Many cities have specific regulations regarding rental agreements.”

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Landlord Rights in California

A California landlord-tenant law overview explains every party’s rights and duties when entering a lease agreement. We encourage you to contact a real estate agent or attorney. Here we will discuss about Landlord Rights in California.


The bit about Responsibilities and Landlord Rights in California 

Tenancy laws in California are some of the strictest in the country. Regardless of whether their lease agreement defines those rights and responsibilities.

The landlords, in particular, are responsible for complying with these requirements. When screening and renting to tenants within the area. In return, landlords receive specific rights, which tenants have to fulfill.


Timely Consideration

The landlord receives rental payments from the tenant on time and in full in exchange for leasing a property to them. A landlord may charge a reasonable fee if the late rental or bounced/returned payments are late.


Performance by the Lease

It is the landlord’s right to expect the tenant to perform under the lease terms and the tenant’s obligation to do the same. If a tenant violates the lease agreement, the landlord may evict them. A tenant who violates the lease may face eviction.


Appropriate Notice

It is the tenant’s responsibility to notify the landlord immediately whenever he discovers a problem within the unit that requires repair. If the tenant fails to provide adequate notice, he cannot hold it against the landlord for failing to repair the problem.


Appropriate Notice.


The landlord has a right to notice any defects, damages, or other problems as they occur. It is also possible for the landlord to receive compensation from a tenant who willfully or carelessly causes the damage.


Proper Maintenance

As long as the lease is in force, the landlord must complete necessary repairs and maintain the property in a habitable condition. A California tenancy law requires that each tenant receives an implied warranty of habitability under every lease agreement, whether written or oral.

The landlord cannot ignore this guarantee or force the tenant to waive it. Landlords are solely responsible for ensuring the property remains habitable. Also, tenants may end their lease early without penalty if the landlord does not.


Prompt Repairs

Landlords are responsible for repairing any damage to a tenant-occupied property. If the tenant provides adequate notice, except when the tenant caused the damage directly.

California law allows tenants to withhold rent payments from a landlord who refuses to complete repairs or doesn’t complete them satisfactorily so that they may complete the repairs themselves or hire a qualified contractor.


Unbiased Practices

Landlord Rights in California have to comply with tenancy discrimination laws. A landlord cannot discriminate against a prospective tenant based on a criterion such as:

  • An ethnicity,
  • Skin color,
  • Gender,
  • Age,
  • Religion,
  • Disability,
  • Or family status.

Landlords cannot select from various criteria to screen applicants; screening processes must be applied “across the board.”


Rent Payment Clauses

A variety of details need to be included in a California landlord-tenant agreement, such as rules on late fees, bounced checks, amounts of written notice, etc.


Late Payments

California law does not state a specific grace period for tenants who fail to pay on time, but a landlord might stipulate one in their agreement.


Bounced Checks

Bounced checks are subject to an additional fee. California rental laws allow a $250 fee for the first bounced check and a $35 fee for subsequent bounces.


Rent Withhold

A tenant who refuses or fails to make significant repairs to their property is permitted to partially withhold payments according to the “Repair and Deduct Remedy.”


Rent Increase Amount of Notice

Once every 12 months, landlords are permitted to increase the rent price in California. If a landlord increases the rent by more than 10% of the lowest amount paid in the last 12 months, he must give the tenant at least 60 days’ notice.

Tenants must verify that rents are both legal and appropriate. The landlord can’t raise rent prices for retaliation or as a discriminatory measure.



Many reasons can lead to a landlord evicting their tenant; here are the most common:

  • Breaches of rental agreements.
  • An act of criminality.
  • Paying late.

Normally, a landlord will give the tenant three days’ notice before paying or leaving the apartment. It is, however, the tenant’s right to give at least 30 days’ notice if they have been renting for more than a year. A tenant would get a federal standard of up to three months’ notice if the agreement did not exist.


California Landlord Laws That Every Real Estate Investor Should Know


Anti-discrimination laws

What a landlord cannot do California? If you are looking for tenants for a rental home, California landlord-tenant law obliges you to adhere to the law on fair housing. This will dictate the way you market your California rental property. When screening tenants, it will also determine the questions asked of you. And, how you manage those who lease from you.

California landlords can deny tenants their criminal history, credit history, bad references, and eviction history. It is illegal to discriminate against renters. This includes discrimination based on their family, religion, race, gender, nationality, or disability. This applies to sexual orientation, gender identity, and other personal traits.


Limits on security deposits and return regulations

Security deposits are among the main causes of disputes between landlords and tenants. A security deposit isn’t required in California. But, landlord rights permit charging two months’ rent. If the rental property comes furnished, the landlord can require 3 months’ rent instead of a security deposit. Requesting security shows if a renter is financially stable.

In terms of security deposit returns, California law covers landlords and tenants. It permits landlords to keep any or all of the deposit in cases where:

  • The tenant is in arrears for unpaid rent
  • The tenant is responsible for causing damage to the rental property
  • The rental is filthy

If the landlord chooses to hold back a portion or all of the security deposits they must provide the tenant with a written list of what expenses were reimbursable (repairs or rent that was not paid, etc.). You must make repair receipts available within 21 days. If you have no compelling reason for withholding your security deposit from the tenant, he has to return the deposit within 21 days of the tenant getting out.


Lease agreement law

California law governs landlord-tenant relations. It requires rental agreements for tenancies lasting over 12 months. Although oral agreements are legal it’s difficult to verify the terms of a verbal contract. Written lease agreements allow for easier confirmation of the terms. They also allow for quicker resolution of disputes. This is an official document. An attorney should prepare it. The document must include all required disclosures and notices.

The required California rental agreements cover items like:

  • lead paint,
  • civil code,
  • insect control,
  • carcinogenic substances,
  • utilities,
  • demolition permits,
  • military regulations,
  • death in unit utility, and
  • mold.


Repairs laws

Every real property investor must repair the big flaws in their rental properties. They need to do this to meet local health and building codes. They must also make repairs. This is to ensure that the rental property is fit to live in. Tenants must also ensure that they properly maintain rental properties. Tenants must fix any damage from their carelessness. They are accountable for it. The landlord rights California also have to pay for the damages incurred by their relatives, friends, or pets.

California landlord-tenant law gives tenants many choices. They can take them if the landlord can’t complete repairs. But, the tenant must first tell the landlord about the needed repairs. They must then give the landlord enough time to finish them. Usually, people consider 30 days enough time for the majority of repairs. If the landlord does not complete repairs on time, tenants can:

  • You can leave the apartment
  • Assume the right to repair and deduct’
  • Sue the landlord
  • Rents withheld
  • Contact your local health department or state health inspectors


Rental payment laws

California the law of landlord-tenant doesn’t permit landlords to demand rent with cash. The only exception is when the tenant hands the check to the landlord, and it bounces. This must have happened for three months in a row.

Earlier in the year, lawmakers adopted the law. It makes California a good choice for tenants and is tenant-friendly. By law, rent increases cannot exceed five percent, plus inflation, each year up to 2030. The law only applies to homes built in the years before. Owners of single-family homes and duplexes are exempt if they occupy the property.

In the California real property market, landlords aren’t legally required to provide an extension of grace periods for rent payments. If a landlord would like to provide a grace time, they must add it to the lease agreement. Once the grace period is over, we will assess a penalty for late payment.


Eviction laws

Before beginning the eviction procedure the landlord must give the tenant a written warning. Renters who have lived in the property for 12 months or more must give a 60-day notice. Anyone residing in the house for less than 12 months must receive a 30-day notice. However, there is a possibility of a three-day notice if the tenant:

  • Has rent arrears
  • Someone damaged the rental property.
  • Violation of any clauses in the rental agreement
  • Make use of the rental property to serve an illegal purpose
  • It is a nuisance for other tenants
  • Sexual assaults or violence committed


Note of entry

The landlord must give renters an official notice of 24 hours before entering their rental properties. If tenants abandon their rentals or if the rentals require urgent attention, the landlord can enter them. They can also enter if they are being shown to tenants, need agreed repairs, or if a court orders it. Landlords can enter units during business hours, except for unoccupied properties or in emergencies.


California Landlord Rights to Enter Their Properties

There are no restrictions on landlords entering their properties. However, they must give at least 24 hours’ notice before entering. If an emergency arises, they may enter without warning.

To avoid problems, each party may schedule a visit during business hours to give the landlord 24 hours’ notice.


FAQs: Landlord Rights in California 


Can You Withhold Rent in California?

Yes, tenants can hold back rent in California. They can do this when landlords have failed to address serious issues that make the property unlivable. But, you can’t completely stop paying rent because you must pay the fair value of rent in the current condition. Find local laws to find any specifics regarding withholding rent.

How Long Does it Take to Evict a Tenant in California?

In general, the process can take about 45 days. Go to the state’s website for complete details about the process for eviction.

Is California a Landlord-Friendly State?

California is typically friendly to landowners. Landlords can charge rent application fees. They can also collect security deposits. Always make sure you review local laws in conjunction and state law to make sure that you’re well-informed.

What is the Eviction Process in California?

Landlords can be able to evict tenants when they commit any of the following failures to be able to pay their rent on time or on time. The tenant violates the lease. They fail to solve the problem. Landlords use the property for unlawful actions. They cause serious damage to the property. Or, they cause a nuisance to neighbors and tenants. Below you will find all information on the laws governing eviction and procedures.

The landlord has to provide a written notice that permits you to leave within 30 days (or 60 days) if you’ve resided in the rental home for more than a year.



California landlord responsibilities have one purpose in mind, which is to establish a successful and mutually beneficial relationship between landlord and tenant with no disagreements and a secure and healthy living space. That includes anything including the laws governing rent to security laws. Of course for tenants, it’s difficult to decide where to start. In the end, your landlord has a job to do professionally. simply want to live in an apartment.

But knowing Landlord Rights in California and your landlord’s responsibilities helps ensure that you get treated fairly. A landlord-tenant relationship may need clarification for first-time renters, especially in this state, where real estate laws are very strict.

Hedy Ghavidel

HEDY GHAVIDEL Managing Attorney  Roseville Office  1-866-471-6981  Bio...

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