Posts Tagged ‘ California rental laws ’

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Accurate Credit Bureau Landlord Advice Tenant Security Deposit

Deadline for Returning Security Deposits by State

The following list is a guide to help landlords determine when the security deposit must be returned to the tenant. As a reminder to all landlords, you should be performing a walk through prior to the tenant moving as this will prevent arguments as to the condition of the unit at move out.

Alabama 35 days after termination of tenancy and delivery of possession
Alaska 14 days if the tenant gives proper notice to terminate tenancy; 30 days if the tenant does not give proper notice
Arizona 14 days
Arkansas 30 days
California Three weeks
Colorado One month, unless lease agreement specifies longer period of time (which may be no more than 60 days); 72 hours (not counting weekends or holidays) if a hazardous condition involving gas equipment requires tenant to vacate
Connecticut 30 days, or within 15 days of receiving tenant’s forwarding address, whichever is later
Delaware 20 days
District of Columbia 45 days
Florida 15 to 60 days depending on whether tenant disputes deductions
Georgia One month
Hawaii 14 days
Idaho 21 days, or up to 30 days if landlord and tenant agree
Illinois For properties with five or more units, 30 to 45 days, depending on whether tenant disputes deductions or if statement and receipts are furnished
Indiana 45 days
Iowa 30 days
Kansas 30 days
Kentucky 30-60 days, depending on whether tenant disputes deductions
Louisiana One month
Maine 30 days (if written rental agreement) or 21 days (if tenancy at will)
Maryland 45 days
Massachusetts 30 days
Michigan 30 days
Minnesota Three weeks after tenant leaves, and landlord receives mailing address; five days if tenant must leave due to building condemnation
Mississippi 45 days
Missouri 30 days
Montana 30 days (10 days if no deductions)
Nebraska 14 days
Nevada 30 days
New Hampshire 30 days; for shared facilities, if the deposit is more than 30 days’ rent, landlord must provide written agreement acknowledging receipt and specifying when deposit will be returned — if no written agreement, 20 days after tenant vacates
New Jersey 30 days; five days in case of fire, flood, condemnation, or evacuation; does not apply to owner-occupied building with two or fewer units where tenant fails to provide 30 days’ written notice to landlord invoking provisions of act
New Mexico 30 days
New York Reasonable time
North Carolina 30 days
North Dakota 30 days
Ohio 30 days
Oklahoma 30 days
Oregon 31 days
Pennsylvania 30 days
Rhode Island 20 days
South Carolina 30 days
South Dakota Two weeks to return entire deposit or a portion, and supply reasons for withholding; 45 days for a written, itemized accounting, if tenant requests it
Tennessee No statutory deadline to return; 10 days to itemize
Texas 30 days
Utah 30 days, or within 15 days of receiving tenant’s forwarding address, whichever is later, but if there is damage to the premises, 30 days
Vermont 14 days
Virginia 45 days
Washington 14 days
West Virginia No statutory deadline
Wisconsin 21 days
Wyoming 30 days, or within 15 days of receiving tenant’s forwarding address, whichever is later; 60 days if there is damage

Accurate Credit Bureau California Landlord Tenant Law Leases and Applications

California Landlord Tenant Rental Law

For professional California rental leases and rental applications go to http://www.accuratecredit.com/html/freerentalapplications.html

Security Deposit:

Security Deposit Maximum: Two months’ rent for unfurnished dwellings; 3 months’ rent if furnished dwellings. (Civ. Code §§ 1950.5 and 1940.5g)
Security Deposit Interest: No state-wide statute, but 15 (or so) localities have rent control ordinances that require you to pay interest, including Los Angeles. (reference)
Separate Security Deposit Bank Account: No Statute
Pet Deposits and Additional Non-Refundable Fees: Not Allowed (Civ. Code §§ 1950.5m)
Deadline for Returning Security Deposit: 21 days (Civ. Code §§ 1950.5g)
Security Deposit can be Withheld: (handbook)
For unpaid rent;
For cleaning the rental unit when the tenant moves out, but only to make the unit as clean as it was when the tenant first moved in;
For repair of damages, other than normal wear and tear, caused by the tenant or the tenant’s guests; and
If the lease or rental agreement allows it, for the cost of restoring or replacing furniture, furnishings, or other items of personal property (including keys), other than because of normal wear and tear.
Require Written Description/Itemized List of Damages and Charges: Yes. Receipts and documentation not needed to accompany the itemized list of repairs if repairs and cleaning cost less than $126. (Civ. Code §§ 1950.5g 4A)
Record Keeping of Deposit Withholdings: No Statute
Failure to Comply: A bad faith claim or retention by a landlord may subject the landlord to statutory damages of up to twice the amount of the security, in addition to actual damages. (Civ. Code §§ 1950.5(l))
Lease, Rent & Fees:

Rent is Due: Unless there is a contract to the contrary, and the lease is for less than one year, rent is due at the end of the month. Most leases state that rent is due at the beginning of the month. (Civ. Code §§ 1947) and (Civ. Code §§ 1962)
Rent Increase Notice: 30 days if rent increase is less than 10 percent of the lowest amount of rent charged during the last 12 months. 60 days if rent increase is more than 10 percent of the lowest amount of rent charged during the last 12 months. (Civ. Code §§ 827(b)(2-3))
Late Fees: Allowed, but they must be “reasonable” and obey rent control laws, and are only enforceable if specified in the lease. (handbook)
Prepaid Rent: Landlord is allowed to collect one month’s pre-paid rent (first month’s rent) plus two or three months’ security deposit. (handbook)
Returned Check Fees: Equal to the actual bank fee. Or landlord can charge a flat “service” fee which is $25 for the first occurrence, and $35 for each occurrence thereafter. (handbook)
Tenant Allowed to Withhold Rent for Failure to Provide Essential Services (Water, Heat, etc.): Yes, because the property is under the “implied warranty of habitability.” (handbook)
Tenant Allowed to Repair and Deduct Rent: Yes, but not more than the cost of one month’s rent, and tenant cannot use this remedy more than twice in a 12-month period. (Civ. Code §§ 1942)
Landlord Allowed to Recover Court and Attorney’s Fees: Yes (Civ. Code §§ 789.3d)
Landlord Must Make a Reasonable Attempt to Mitigate Damages to Lessee, including an Attempt to Rerent: Yes (Civ. Code §§ 1951.2)
Notices and Entry:

Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Fixed End Date in Lease: No notice is needed as the lease simply expires. I recommend giving 60 days notice anyway.
Notice to Terminate Any Periodic Lease of a Year or More – If ALL tenants have lived there longer than a year, the landlord is required to give 60 days notice. (handbook)
Notice to Terminate a Periodic Lease – Month-to-Month: Landlord is required to give 30 days notice. Tenant is required to give 30 days notice. (Civ. Code §§ 1946)
Notice to Terminate a Periodic Lease – Week-to-week: Landlord is required to give 30 days notice. Tenant is required to give seven days notice. (handbook)
Notice to Terminate Lease due to Sale of Property: 30 days notice if ALL of the following are true: (Civ. Code §§ 1946.1) (handbook)
The landlord has contracted to sell the rental unit to another person who intends to occupy it for at least a year after the tenancy ends.
The landlord must have opened escrow with a licensed escrow agent or real estate broker, and
The landlord must have given 30-day notice no later than 120 days after opening escrow, and
The landlord must not previously have given you a 30-day or 60-day notice, and
The rental unit must be one that can be sold separately from any other dwelling unit. (For example, a house or a condominium can be sold separately from another dwelling unit.)
Notice of date/time of Move-Out Inspection: 48 hours (Civ. Code §§ 1950.5(f))
Eviction Notice for Nonpayment: Three days (Civ. Procedure Code §§ 1161(2))
Eviction Notice for Lease Violation: Three days to remedy lease violation or landlord can file eviction (Civ. Procedure Code §§ 1161(3)). Landlord can also terminate the lease for subletting without permission or illegal activity on the premise. (Civ. Procedure Code §§ 1161(4))
Required Notice before Entry: 24 hours (Civ. Code §§ 1954a)
Entry Allowed with Notice for Maintenance and Repairs (non-emergency): 24 hours (Civ. Code §§ 1954a)
Emergency Entry Allowed without Notice: Yes (Civ. Code §§ 1954b)
Entry Allowed During Tenant’s Extended Absence: No (Civ. Code §§ 1954)
Notice to Tenants for Pesticide Use: No Statute
Lockouts Allowed: No (Civ. Code §§ 789.3b(1))
Utility Shut-offs Allowed: No (Civ. Code §§ 789.3a)
Disclosures and Miscellaneous Notes:

Landlord Must Accept First Qualified Applicant – The 2012 Fair Housing Handbook of California says on page 24, “The landlord should take the time to check out the information and make a selection based on the first qualified applicant(s),” although there is no statute to support this. It’s recommended but not law.
Copy of Lease: Provide a copy of the rental agreement or lease to the tenant within 15 days of its execution by the tenant. (Civ. Code §§ 1962(4))
Utilities: Landlord must disclose if utilities that service tenant’s unit also service other areas (such as common foyers), and disclose the manner in which costs will be fairly divided up. (Civ. Code §§ 1940.9) Landlord must also provide a formula for dividing up utilities when utilities are split among multiple tenants.
San Francisco Utilities: Landlords must provide heat that can maintain a room temperature of 68 degrees. This level of heat must be provided for at least 13 hours, specifically from 5-11 AM and 3-10 PM.
Move-In Condition: Landlord is not required to provide a Move-In Condition Checklist for the Tenants to complete. However, it is recommended and extremely helpful should you ever go to court over physical damages to the dwelling.
Mold: Landlord must disclose, prior to lease signing, knowledge of any mold in the dwelling that exceeds safety limits or poses a health concern. Landlord must distribute a State Department of Health Services consumer handbook. (Health & Safety Code §§ 26147)
Demolishment: If a landlord or agent has applied for a permit to demolish a rental unit, the landlord must provide written notice to prospective tenants before accepting any money. (Civ. Code §§ 1940.6)
Ordinances: Landlord must disclose the locations of former ordinances in the neighborhood. (Civ. Code §§ 1940.7)
Sexual Offenders: Landlords are required to include the following language in the lease:
“Notice: Pursuant to Section 290.46 of the Penal Code, information about specified registered sex offenders is made available to the public via an Internet Web site maintained by the Department of Justice at http://www.meganslaw.ca.gov. Depending on an offender’s criminal history, this information will include either the address at which the offender resides or the community of residence and zip code in which he or she resides.” (Civ. Code §§ 2079.10a)
Pests Disclosures: At lease signing, Landlord must disclose any pests control contracts or disclosures received by pest control companies. If the premise is being treated for pests, landlord must disclose the pesticides used and their active ingredients, and any warnings associated with them. (Civ. Code §§ 1940.8, and Business and Professional Code §§ 8538)
Smoking: If the landlord limits or prohibits smoking, landlord must include a clause that specifies the areas on or in the premise where smoking is prohibited. (Civ. Code §§ 1947.5)
Proof of Domestic Violence Status: Landlord is entitled to proof/documentation of domestic violence status of the tenant if the tenant claims they are a victim. (Civ. Code §§ 1941.5, 1941.6, 1941.7)
Locks: Landlords must change the locks if requested by a domestic violence victim and proof of court order is given. (Civ. Code §§ 1941.5 and 1941.6)
Special Treatment: A victim may terminate a lease with 30 days notice and proof of victim status. (Civ. Code §§ 1941.7) A landlord cannot end or refuse to renew a tenancy based upon the fact that tenant or a member of tenant’s household is a victim of a documented act of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. (Civ. Procedure Code §§ 1161.3)
Abandoned Property: The rules are lengthy and specific, please read Civ. Code §§ 1965, 1980 to 1991.
Retaliation: Landlord must not terminate or refuse to renew a lease to a tenant who has filed an official complaint to a Government Authority, been involved in a tenant’s organization, or exercised a legal right. Courts will assume “retaliation” by landlord if negative action is taken on the tenant within 180 days (six months) after any of the prior tenant actions. (Civ. Code §§ 1942.5) It will also be considered retaliation if the landlord acts negatively within six months after any of the following:
Using the repair and deduct remedy, or telling the landlord that the tenant will use the repair and deduct remedy.
Complaining about the condition of the rental unit to the landlord, or to an appropriate public agency after giving the landlord notice.
Filing a lawsuit or beginning arbitration based on the condition of the rental unit.
Causing an appropriate public agency to inspect the rental unit or to issue a citation to the landlord.