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Landlord / Tenant Rights

Rights & Responsibilities

  • Click appropriate links below to read full version of "California Tenants, A Guide To Residential Tenants' and Landlords' Rights and Responsibilities"

  • 2012 Update to California Tenant Book English Version

  • 2010 Update to California Tenant Book Spanish Version

The Rental Housing Mediation Board has compiled information to help both tenants and landlords understand their rights and responsibilities. The information is divided into three sections:

*Special Note: Please visit the California Department of Consumer Affairs Website and review the informational PDF for more information.

Beginning Occupancy

Please click on any of the 14 headings below for links to the specific documentation mentioned in any bulleted item.

  • Who is a "Landlord" and Who is a "Tenant"?

    • General Information About Landlords and Tenants
    • Special Situations (Lodgers and Residential Hotels)
  • Looking for a Rental Unit

    • Month-to-Month Rental Agreement or Lease
    • Inspecting before you rent
    • Lead
    • Asbestos
    • Prepaid Rental Listing Service
    • The Rental Application
    • Credit Checks
    • Application Screening Fee
    • Holding Deposit
  • Before you Agree to Rent

    • General Information
    • Shared Utility Meters
    • Translation of Proposed Rental Agreement
  • When you have decided to Rent

    • What the Rental Agreement or Lease Should Include
    • Tenant's Basic Legal Rights
    • Landlord's and Tenant's Duty of Good Faith and Fair Dealing
    • Alterations to Accommodate a Disabled Tenant
    • Landlords Disclosures
    • Basic Rules Governing Security Deposits
    • Inventory Checklist
    • Renters Insurance
  • Unlawful Discrimination

    • What is Unlawful Discrimination?
    • Resolving Housing Discrimination Problems

During Occupancy

  • Living in the Rental Unit

    • Paying the Rent
    • Obtaining Receipts for Rent Payments
    • Security Deposit Increase
    • Rent Increases
    • When can the Landlord Enter the Rental Unit
    • Subleases and Assignments
  • Dealing with Problems
  • Having Repairs Made

    • Repair and Deduct Remedy
    • Retaliatory Eviction
    • The Abandonment Remedy
    • The Rent Withholding Remedy
  • Resolving Problems

    • Talk with your Landlord
    • Getting Help from a Third Party
    • Arbitration And Mediation

End of Tenancy

  • Moving Out

    • Giving and Receiving Proper Notice
    • Advance Payment of Last Month's Rent
  • Refunds of Security Deposits

    • Common Problems and How to Avoid Them
    • Initial Inspection Before Tenant Moves Out
    • Suggested Approaches to Security Deposit Deductions
    • Refund of Security Deposit After Sale of Building
  • Terminations and Evictions

    • When can a Landlord Terminate a Tenancy?
    • Written Notices of Termination
    • Property Services of Notices
  • The Eviction Process

Landlord-Tenant Glossary

    Last Updated: Feb 1, 2016
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