An Overview of California Renters’ Rights for First-Time Renters
If you’re relocating
to the Golden State, there are many things you should learn. But first, will
you buy or rent your home? If you choose to temporarily occupy a house or an
apartment, you must learn about California
renters’ rights. Luckily for you, this state is very much tenant-friendly.
In fact, it is one of the first states to enact rent control laws.
Start your research
by acknowledging the fact that here both oral or written agreements serve the
same purpose. Both are legally acceptable and made to protect your privileges
and grant you security. Now, let’s see how it all works.
According to California rental laws, both parties
have some mandatory responsibilities to fulfill. Of course, both sides have the
guaranteed rights as well. The U.S.
Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) have passed laws
and regulations that apply to California’s landlord-tenant relations. These
laws and regulations address critical issues like discrimination and owner
duties to get rid of the environmental health hazards, such as lead-based paint
or toxic mold. Each title covers a certain subject matter. Most of these
federal regulations are written in the Code of Federal Regulations (“CFR”).
What Rights Do Tenants Have in California?
The list of tenant rights in California is quite
reasonable and extensive. Here are the main things they can do:
Use their right to withhold the
monthly payment if the terms they have agreed on with the owner are being
Utilize the repair and deduct
Require reasonable notice from the
owner before entering the unit,
Exercise their legal right when it
comes to safety and potential hazards,
Ask for special protection if they
were victims of domestic violence.
Still, there is more
to learn when it comes to tenant rights
in California. That is why it is best to look up some additional
information from the official documents and statements before you decide where to live and
start getting quotes from moving companies.
Before you start to make your new apartment checklist or commence to pack to move in a hurry and enjoy Cali’s sun, make sure to know all the terms you will be agreeing to. The State’s Tenant Protection Act of 2019 brought statewide rent and eviction control laws. These regulations affect most rented households across the state. The Act covers rental increases for qualifying units at 5% to 10%. In addition to this, landlords can raise the costs only once over a year.
This state also
allows cities and counties to establish their local rent control statutes. The Act does not disregard more
limiting regional rent control laws. Furthermore, locally based rules can apply
to those properties that the Act doesn’t cover.
Proprietors may charge a nonrefundable application fee that is not higher than their real costs for screening services. It covers a sensible amount of time spent by the owner or agent collecting information about the prospective resident.
The application screening fee must not be higher than $30, adjusted yearly with a rise in the Consumer Price Index. As of 2021, the highest fee a landlord can charge in this state is around $52. Proprietors can’t charge these fees if there is no current vacancy. Finally, they must present applicants with a receipt listing their expenses and time spent processing the rental application in California.
What can a landlord not do in California throughout this process? Some counties and cities forbid landlords from asking about an applicant’s criminal history and checking out their background.
Even if the city, town, or county where the home is located does not ban landlords from examining applicants’ criminal histories, proprietors need to be cautious. When reviewing applicants’ criminal records, they must do it in a non-discriminatory and consistent way.
If a landlord’s
practice of viewing criminal history has a biased effect, the proprietor is
then engaging in illegal discrimination. For example, if the owner asks only
those applicants of a certain race or nationality for criminal history
information, they are committing illegal action. Also, landlords can discard
applicants only based on their past convictions that are immediately linked to
the application. In other words, this refers to legal punishments that can
adversely affect the landlord’s business interests and concerns.
CA Security Deposit Laws and Rules
Proprietors are allowed to charge no more than two months’ rate as a security deposit for unfurnished apartments. As for furnished rentals, the highest security deposit can cover three months’ rent. If the lessee is an active service member, the owner can’t require more than one month’s rent for an unfurnished rental and two-month rent for a furnished one.
If you are moving
with pets, you should know that all cleaning and pet fees are
recognized as part of your security
deposit. The total of these fees can’t be higher than the maximum
appropriate security deposit. All these costs are refundable according to the
same principles that generally apply to security deposits.
Property owners have 21 calendar days after the tenant has
left the place to provide them with a detailed report. This report should show
the amount and the precise use of the security deposit. In addition to it, they
must return any remaining part of the security deposit.
from the best places to live
in the Bay Area to San Diego, all lessors are legally compelled to keep their rentals livable and healthy.
If they fail to do so, tenants have the right to:
● deny paying the rent,
out without prior notice,
● press charges against the landlord,
● call health inspectors,
● use their right to repair and deduct.
California tenants’ rights grant
the reparation and diminishing required monthly costs in specific situations.
First, the problem must be quite serious. Then, the occupant must get in touch
with the owner. If the owner doesn’t repair the damage, tenants can do it
themselves or by hiring a handyperson to decrease the standard monthly cost.
Still, the tenant can’t pay more than one month’s rent for the repair. Also,
they cannot use the repair and decrease their fees twice in a 12-month period.
The renter must also look carefully into all local rules about the repairs and
Landlord Rental Property Responsibilities in CA
lessors have to follow all regional,
statewide, and federal safety codes. These codes can range considerably,
and they mainly depend on the state.
of the principal safety codes are:
● Knowing how many smoke detectors and carbon
monoxide detectors are required per rental and whether they have to be
● Understanding the risks of having lead paint on
your property. According to the EPA’s guidelines, you must learn how to
eliminate these hazards or hire a licensed expert to get rid of them.
● Being able to get rid of mold in your property.
This is especially important when it comes to toxic mold.
● Keeping handrails suitably placed and fixed and
having proper lighting in stairwells.
● Understanding weather-related rules.
addition to this, landlords need to maintain the correct amount of insurance on
their properties, such as insurances from fires, floods, and even residents’
claims. Some of the types of insurance
proprietors get are:
● Homeowner’s insurance policies,
● Water, fire, or flood coverage,
● Coverage for natural disasters,
● Cover for lawsuits and legal expenses,
● Insurance to cover lost rental income.
any of these codes are violated, you should start composing your packing
list and searching for a new, safer place.
And if you need to grasp some instant relocation hacks, try out an efficient moving company app.
Renters are not the
only ones who must think about all the living costs, lease expenses, and their moving
budget. Property owners
also have a lot on their plates when it comes to the unit they sublet. They
Mortgage or a private loan for
Property taxes to the government to avoid
They must decide whether they will
be paying for the utilities or put the occupant in charge of them.
In most condos and
single-family homes, temporary residents are in charge of paying electricity
bills, heat, water, etc. Still, when the owner is responsible for providing
these vital services, and they fail to do so, they could face legal
repercussions. If the utilities and other monthly costs pose a problem for you,
be sure to learn how to save money for your next move and choose a moving company that
matches your budget.
Termination and Eviction Laws: Can I Be Evicted for No Reason in California?
State laws define how and when a landlord has the right to
cancel a tenancy. Three main scenarios that can lead to eviction are:
Failing to pay the agreed monthly
compensations to the owner,
Subletting a rental without the
When a renter neglects to make the payment on time, the lessor must give them a three-day notice to reimburse the cost or move out. If the tenant does not pay or move out within this period, the owner can file an eviction lawsuit.
Violating the lease policies can come in various forms. For instance, some break the rules by bringing a pet when there is a no-pets policy. In that case, the proprietor must provide a three-day notice to fix the problem or leave. The drill is the same as in the previous point. If the lessee does not act according to the rules, they can expect a lawsuit.
In addition to this,
proprietors can give residents a three-day
unconditional notice when they sublet the rental without authorization,
commit any waste or cause a problem, or take part in illegal activity at the
apartment. If you get evicted, you better look up some useful moving
tips immediately, get your relocation
essentials packed quickly, and contact some California movers.
Learning Everything About California
Renters’ Rights Is Essential
Welcome to the Land of Milk and Honey and statewide rent control. Once you have read this article, you have gained some useful insight into the renters’ rights in California. Respect your part of the deal, make payments timely, and keep your household as tidy and trouble-free as possible. That way, all of your privileges will stay intact. However, if you spot any red flags in your unit that can’t seem to be fixed, start looking for a better place to live.
tip: If you want to move
efficiently, avoid common moving
scams, and do it all
without any relocation stress, consider using an app to
compare moving companies. That way, you will reduce some expenses and skip the
time-consuming chores related to switching to a new home. Contact us
for more information.
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