Do Tenant Have Rights in California?

All the tenants in California have some specific responsibilities and rights as per the law. The most essential aspects of California renters rights and laws are heretofore discussed. In California, you qualify to be a recognized tenant the moment you sign a rental agreement with your landlord. Your contract should have the names of all the parties, the total amount of rent, due date, the duration of the lease and the fees charged due to late payments. The lease contract must be signed by the two parties and dated. A tenant will only be evicted if he or she fails to pay rent or by breaching the major clauses in the signed contract.

Renter Security Deposits

The law allows landlords in California to take a security deposit. However, the deposited to be collected must not exceed three times the rent amount for a furnished apartment and two times the rent for the unfurnished apartment. A landlord must give his tenants an accounting of the security deposit 21 days before the tenant leaves the apartment. The security cash can be used to cater for various expenses such as cleaning the dirt that surpassed the reasonable wear and tear of the house from the usual usage. The monies can also be used for repairing damaged areas. The remaining amount should be refunded back to the renter within 21 days. In case the landlord chooses not to refund the deposit, he should notify the renter within 14 weeks after the renter moved out of the renter’s right to be available on a walk-through. On a walk-through, the landlord must show the damage that should be repaired by the tenant.

Discrimination and Pet Policies

California renters should not suffer any form of discrimination based on color, nationality, ancestry, disability, race or color. Landlords are not supposed to rent to renters with pets unless the pet is a dog trained to help tenants living with a disability. Landlords should not ask for extra rent or deposit for such pets and other disability-related pets.

Privacy Rights

A landlord is only required to enter a renter’s house under special circumstances and during usual business hours. The renter should be given at least a one-day notice unless it is an emergency. Apart from emergency reasons, the landlord is allowed to enter the renter’s house when making a first move-in inspection, when making necessary repairs and when showing the unit to a potential tenant.

How Defaults on Rent Are Handled

If a renter is unable to pay rent, the landlord should notify the renter that he has 72 hours to pay or vacate the premises. In case the landlord has reasonable reasons to think that the renter has abandoned the unit, he might repossess the unit and terminate the lease contract. Note that this should be done within specific timeframes as per the particular state codes.

Renter Rights Eviction

A Californian landlord has the right to evict a renter who has refused to honor the agreement. However, the landlord should file a lawsuit in court and then present eviction papers to the renter. The renter is given 5 days to answer the eviction documents. If the renter does not respond, the landlord will then evict the tenant and claim possession of the house.