California Tenant Rights – A List of Rights Available to California Tenants
There are a number of California tenant rights that are available to renters in the sunshine state. These California tenant rights will help the tenants understand their privileges as renters in a rental arrangement and also safeguard them against abuse from the landlords. Without much further ado, here is a closer look at some important California tenant rights.
Oral or written leases – California tenant rights – If a rental contract is going to run for a period that is longer than a year, California tenant rights will allow a tenant to demand a lease in writing. As a bare minimum, the lease should state the address of the rental property, the name and address of the landlord, the amount of rent, and the name of the persons authorized to collect rent and a few other details. Leases shorter than one year can be an oral lease although California tenant rights are better protected when a lease is put down on paper and in writing.
Laws against discrimination – California tenant rights – California state has some of the toughest laws against discrimination and California tenant rights will protect tenants from discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, country of origin, immigration status and sexual orientation. It would also be against California tenant rights if a landlord tried to enquire about the source of income for a potential tenant who might be trying to apply for a rental property.
Shared utilities – California tenant rights – Some apartment buildings in California have so many units that it is a common practice for the electricity company to take only one reading for the entire building. The cost of utilities is then shared by the tenants. If an apartment has such an arrangement, California tenant rights will allow the tenant to be notified of such an arrangement before they sign their names on the lease.
Notice periods – California tenant rights – California tenant rights will allow a tenant to receive a 60 day notice to quit if they have lived at an apartment for a period that is longer than one year. If they have lived for less than a year, California tenant rights will only allow 30 days of notice before they are asked to leave an apartment.
Security deposit refunds – California tenant rights – California tenant rights will allow a tenant to demand a refund of their security deposit within a period of 21 days after the end of a lease. If the landlord is making any deductions to the security deposit, California tenant rights will require the tenant to wait an additional 14 days before the security deposit is refunded. Landlords can only make deductions to the security deposit when they are trying to collect owed rent or when they have to pay for repairs that are related to damages caused by the tenant. A landlord is not allowed to deduct the security deposit refund to pay for routine maintenance expenditures that are considered wear and tear expenses. They may only charge for damages that are well beyond the scope of normal wear and tear.