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California Landlord Tenant Law

California Landlord Tenant Law


Quick Guide to California Landlord/Tenant Rights 

State Laws and Rights

All California landlord tenant laws can be located under the official guide of the State of California Department of Consumer Affairs titled A Guide to Residential Tenants’ and Landlords’ Rights and Responsibilities.  This guide is complex and 124 pages long, so this article will attempt to explain some common issues referenced within the guide.  For a complete listing of California landlord tenant law under this guide, visit the following website.

Tenant Rights Concerning Unlawful Discrimination

Under California landlord tenant laws, no person shall be denied renting privileges by a landlord, managing agent, real estate broker, or salesperson according to their race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, familial status, source of income (in most cases), or disability.  

However, if the property is occupied by the owner and they are renting out a room, they may indicate a preference for gender under California landlord tenant law.  

Damages to the Property

Under California landlord tenant laws, a landlord may deduct expenses from a security deposit after a tenant has moved out for normal wear and tear damages.   The landlord is often responsible for maintenance during the tenant’s stay under California landlord tenant law that involves defects such as build and health codes.  

The tenant also has responsibilities in order to prevent certain kinds of damages occurring to the property that could have been avoided.   Some of the responsibilities of the tenant include the following:  

• Operating gas, electrical, and plumbing equipment properly

• Disposing of trash in a clean manner

• Not destroying, defacing, or removing any structure within the dwelling unit

• Using the premises as they were intended to be used, such as using the bedroom as a bedroom and not a bathroom

• Notifying the landlord when door and window locks don’t work properly

Terminations and Evictions under California Landlord Tenant Law

Under California landlord tenant laws, a landlord is responsible for giving the tenant a 30-day or 60-day notice for eviction.  There are certain cases under California landlord tenant law, however, where a landlord can evict a tenant with a 3-day notice: 

• Failed to pay rent

• Violated the lease

• Damaged the property extensively

• Caused a nuisance to other tenants

• Committed domestic violence or sexual assault

• Engaged in drug dealing or made illegal drugs on the property

• Engaged in conduct involving weapons or ammunition

Security Deposits and California Landlord Tenant Laws

The California landlord tenant law states that a landlord must, in person, inspect the premises before a tenant moves in, and no damages found during this inspection can be subtracted from the security deposit.  California landlord tenant laws do allow landlords to keep a partial or full amount of the security deposit in the following cases: 

• There is unpaid rent

• The landlord must clean the unit when the tenant moves out to match the standard of cleanliness before the tenant initially moved in

• Damages need repaired due to negligence or simple living wear and tear

• The lease allows the landlord to use the deposit to replace other property such as keys and furniture