What Is the Landlord Law in California?


Quick Answer

Some key landlord-tenant laws in California include laws encompassing required landlord disclosures, security deposit limit and return, rent rules, tenant rights to withhold rent, and termination and eviction rules, according to the legal website Nolo. Under California law, landlords should disclose particular information to tenants.

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Full Answer

Based on the California state law, landlords can charge up to two month's worth of rent for a security deposit, and it should be returned within 21 days after a tenant moves, Nolo explains. If a landlord fails to return the deposit, a tenant can sue him in small claims court for deposits up to an amount of $10,000. State law also regulates other rent-related issues, such as late and bounced check fees, how much notice a landlord should give tenants when raising the rent, and the number of days a tenant must pay rent or move before a landlord can file for eviction.

Nolo states that tenants can withhold rent, sue the landlord, move out without notice, or contact state or local health inspectors if the landlord does not address important repairs, such as a broken heater. California state law also specifies the proper time and process of terminating a tenancy. For instance, if a landlord finds out that a tenant has been assigning or subletting without permission, he can give the tenant an unconditional quit notice that orders the tenant to move out within three days or else he can file for eviction.

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