Important Facts About California Landlord-Tenant Law | San Gabriel Property Management - Article Banner

California’s landlord-tenant laws include extensive rules and regulations for both landlords and tenants, which they are required to follow at every stage of the tenancy. Lack of adherence to these laws can result in lawsuits and heavy penalties, so San Gabriel landlords need to be aware of these in detail.

In this article, we have tried to cover some important facts about the California Landlord-Tenant Law. However, we also suggest that you consult a professional property management company in San Gabriel for more detailed and personalized information.

Security Deposit Rules

According to California landlord-tenant law, the security deposit amount cannot be more than two months’ rent for an unfurnished rental, and it cannot exceed three months’ rent for a furnished unit. After the tenants move out, landlords should return the security deposit within 21 days.

In case the landlord charges any amount from the security deposit for fixing tenant-caused damages, they need to send copies of receipts and a list of every item or utility being repaired, within 21 days. They are not required to send receipts if repairs cost less than $126. If the repairs take more than 21 days, they should send the tenants actual receipts (and not copies) within 14 days of repairs, and the remaining deposit amount, if any.

Also, when the existing tenants move out, landlords can deduct amounts from the deposit to clean the property and make it as clean as it was before the tenants moved in. Apart from that, landlords cannot deduct any amounts for wear and tear of the San Gabriel property. 

Rent Control in California

Rent prices vary widely in the different counties and neighborhoods of California. In Los Angeles, the rent can be increased only once a year, and you are required to give the tenants a 30-days’ notice before increasing the rent. Under most circumstances, landlords are subjected to a lower rent cap in Los Angeles County up to 5%. Also, if you pay for the utilities, you are allowed to increase the rent by 1% every twelve months.

Important Landlord Disclosures

The California landlord-tenant law requires you to make certain disclosures to the tenants, as follows:

  • Landlord’s contact details
  • Registered sexual offenders’ database disclosure (Megan’s Law)
  • Information on bed bugs and ways to report them
  • Terms related to the security deposit
  • Non-refundable fees, if any
  • Existing damages to the property, if any
  • Shared utility charges
  • Smoking policy
  • Disclosures related to lead-based paint or mold

If you fail to disclose any of the crucial factors from the ones listed by the California law, you may have to pay civil and criminal fines worth $16000 dollars per violation. 

Late Rent Fees and Tenant’s Right to Withhold Rent

In case of delayed rental payments, landlords can charge a reasonable amount of late fees. There is an additional provision where landlords can charge tenants a penalty if their rent payment check bounces. 

The tenants also have a right to withhold rent and use up to one month’s rental amount to get any fixes or repairs done twice a year, if the owner fails to keep the home in a habitable condition. This is also called the repair and deduct remedy.

Tenant Eviction Laws in San Gabriel

In case of a just cause eviction, landlords in California must give their tenants a notice at least 30 days in advance, before filing a lawful eviction. They can evict tenants with either an unconditional quit notice or pay or quit notice if tenants are found to sublet the unit or if they fail to pay the rent on time. 

Tenant Screening Laws

In California, landlords can check the credit reports, criminal records, employment history, and rental history without the tenant’s permission as a part of the screening process. You can charge up to $50 as an application fee depending upon the costs you invest in the process and provide the applicant with an itemized receipt. You are permitted to deny applications only in accordance with Fair Housing Laws.

Landlord’s Access to San Gabriel Property

Written NoticeEven though you are the landlord, you cannot visit the property as and when you please, as California has strict tenant privacy laws. You need to send a written notice before visiting your property, as follows:

  • 24 hours’ notice when you visit any non-urgent repairs
  • 48 hours’ notice when you visit for a move-out inspection

However, when you visit for an emergency like a threat to the safety of the tenants, you are not expected to send any notices.

Landlord-tenant laws in California can be difficult to understand, especially for new property owners. Consider hiring an experienced property management company that can handle all your property-related responsibilities while ensuring strict adherence to all laws.  

ZenPro Property Management has been in the real estate business in San Gabriel for over 18 years, and our trusted property managers can easily help you abide by all laws, to ensure that your rental experience is happy and stress-free.

For more information on landlord-tenant laws in California, contact us at ZenPro Property Management.