Overview of California Tenant Landlord Laws

A set of well-placed rules and regulations guide property-related activities in the state of California. They shield the renters and landholders against impediments of all kinds.


A rental agreement creates a contract. The contract should be in writing. Deals can also be made orally, but only when the term is less than an year. The agreement should contain all the details associated with the property. It should include the names of the tenants and landholders, rent amount, period of the tenancy contract, due dates and other charges. Special obligations should be added to the contract prior to it being signed. This is the duty of the landowner.


Rent can be decided by the landlord and the tenant. The default date for payment is the end of every month. If any change is required, it has to be mentioned in the tenancy contract. In case the due date happens to fall on a holiday, the tenant is allowed to wait till the next working day to pay off the rent. Notices about increase in rent should be sent to the tenant well in advance.


There are not many limitations to the placing of a security deposit but the law states that the amount cannot exceed three months’ (furnished dwellings) or two months’ rent (unfurnished dwellings).

Responsibilities of the tenant

The renter must always abide by the rules and regulations of the state and those stated in the tenancy agreement. The unit must be used carefully and should be maintained in a sanitary manner. The facilities provided by the landlord should be used carefully.

Responsibilities of the landlord

All damages should be repaired and the entire property should be in a safe and livable condition. It is the duty of the landlord to see that these issues are taken care of. Services like garbage disposal, lands maintenance,   heating and cooling, hot and cold running water, weather protection and electrical systems should be in a good condition. The landlord is obligated to make all repairs to the property unless the damages are caused by the tenants.


In case the rent is defaulted, a notice has to be sent to the tenant at least 3 days in advance. The amount to be paid should also be specified in the notice. If the clauses in the agreement are violated by the tenant, the landlord has the right to seek eviction procedures. For this purpose, a notice has to be sent to the tenant at least 30 days in advance.