A Landlord/Tenant attorney is a legal professional who represents a party in a dispute involving the tenancy at issue. They can provide advice and assistance during eviction proceedings, lease negotiations, and other landlord-tenant disputes.
Important Facts About California’s Landlord-Tenant Laws
Understanding the rental processes and designated responsibilities as a Landlord and/or tenant can help you avoid problems and unnecessary frustrations down the road. If you ever feel you’ve encountered unfair treatment from a landlord or tenant, contact a real estate attorney for assistance. Here are seven things to keep in mind when dealing with the rental process:
Landlords Must Comply With State and Local Laws
Landlords must comply with both state and local laws, which includes California’s Tenant Protection Act of 2019 and the Los Angeles Rent Stabilization Ordinance. The Tenant Protection Act governs most residential leases in California, disallowing unreasonable rent increases and unreasonable evictions.
The Los Angeles Rent Stabilization Ordinance similarly places limits on rent increases during a 12-month period and evictions for units covered under the ordinance. These local and state laws and ordinances are created to protect both tenants and landlords.
Understanding the Rental Agreement
Be sure to thoroughly read through and understand the rental agreement before signing anything. The rental agreement is a legally binding contract between you and the landlord, and it outlines both your rights and responsibilities.
Be sure to ask the landlord and/or tenant about anything you’re unsure of, and never sign a rental agreement if you don’t completely understand it. An attorney can also look over the contract to ensure there aren’t any errors or reasons for concern. If there are any provisions in the agreement that you are not sure about or comfortable with, seek the advice of an attorney and/or try to negotiate with the landlord or tenant before signing.
Security Deposits Are Limited to Two Months’ Rent
In California, if the property is unfurnished, landlords are only allowed to collect a security deposit equal to two months’ rent. This deposit is intended to cover damages to the property beyond normal wear and tear, and it must be returned to the tenant within 21 days after they move out if all of the requirements are met.
If you are a landlord intending to keep any of the deposit, you must provide the tenant with a written itemized statement of damages. The statement must include a description of the damages, the estimated cost of repair, and the amount deducted from the deposit.
Landlords Can’t Enter Property Without Notice
In most cases, landlords are not allowed to enter a tenant’s rental unit without giving advance notice. The amount of notice required varies depending on the reason for entry, but it must be a reasonable amount of time.
For example, if the landlord needs to enter the unit to make repairs, they would need to give the tenant an advanced notice. However, if there was an emergency, the landlord would only need to provide as much notice as is reasonably possible under the circumstances.
Tenants Have the Right to a Habitable Home
Under California law, landlords are required to provide tenants with a habitable home. A habitable home is one that is safe, clean, and in good repair.
If the rental unit does not meet these standards, the tenant can file a complaint with the local housing department or take legal action against the landlord. Reach out to a real estate attorney if this is the case, as they can help ensure your rights.
Landlords Need to Disclose Specific Information
California landlords are required to disclose specific information under California law. Some of those disclosures include information about the existence of toxic mold, a smoking policy, and bed bug information. Some disclosures are only required if they are relevant to the property. A real estate attorney can help you know what information needs to be disclosed.
There Are Limits on Late Fees
In California, landlords can collect late fees on rent that is turned in late. However, the late fee must be reasonable based on factors such as how much the rental cost is and how late the rent was paid.
Contact Mellor Law Firm to Understand Your Real Estate Rights
Leasing is a big commitment, so it’s essential to know the laws that apply to rental properties before you sign any paperwork. If you’re unsure of anything in the rental agreement, be sure to ask the landlord or a tenant attorney for clarification and understanding.
If you run into any disputes with your landlord or tenant over the condition of the property or other issues, reach out to Mellor Law Firm today. We can help ensure your rights are protected and that you’re treated fairly.