California Rental Law – An Overview
There are many clauses in California rental law. It would be very difficult for an article of this size to go over all the aspects of California rental law although it will make an effort to cover those aspects of California rental law that are most commonly used by tenant and landlords alike.
Without much further ado, here are the most important California rental law aspects.
Security deposits - California rental law – According to California rental law, a landlord may charge a security deposit amount that is no more than the sum of two month’s rent. If the apartment happens to be furnished, California rental law will allow the landlord to collect three months of rent instead of two as security deposit. Also, California rental law states that landlords can charge half a month’s rent as extra security deposit if the tenant is going to have a waterbed in the property. Waterbeds are notorious for expensive damages when they break or leak and California rental law allow the landlord to have some additional liability protection against tenants who sleep on waterbeds.
Rent increases - California rental law – For a landlord to be able to increase rent, the rental contract must first have a provision that says that the rent can be increased or raised. According to California rental law, a landlord must also provide due notice before increasing rent of an apartment or other rental unit. If the intended increase in rent is less than 10% of the existing rent amount, the landlord will have to provide 30 days of notice before actually increasing the rent. If the intended increase in rent is going to be more than 10%, the landlord shall provide 60 days of notice before raising the rent, according to California rental law. Also, for notices sent through the mail and not personally delivered, the landlord will have to provide an extra 5 days of notice before increasing the rent.
Discrimination – California rental law – California law has some of the toughest clauses on discrimination against potential tenants in the country. For example, California rental law will not allow a landlord to inquire about sources of income or about the immigration status of a potential tenant. California is home to one of the largest immigrant population in the U.S. and it not uncommon for landlords to ask if a tenant is a legal citizen or a green card holder. However, California rental law does not allow these kinds of questions to be asked. It will also not allow questions about the tenant’s age or health conditions and will definitely not allow any discrimination against sex, race, creed and disability.
Subletting - California rental law – California law generally does not allow subletting on any levels. However, some landlords will be willing to work with a tenant in a pressing situation. Even in those cases, the original tenant will still be responsible for rent payments and will sort of act as a landlord to the tenant he brought in for the subletting arrangement. If the newly brought in tenant default on their rent payments, the original tenant will be held responsible according to California rental law.