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Home arrow eBook Categories arrow Law arrow California Tenants: A Guide to Residential Tenants’ and Landlords’ Rights and Responsibilities

California Tenants: A Guide to Residential Tenants’ and Landlords’ Rights and Responsibilities

eBooks - Law
February 01 2008

California Tenants—A Guide to Residential Tenants’ and Landlords’ Rights and Responsibilities, Asiaing.comWhat should a tenant do if his or her apartment needs repairs? Can a landlord force a tenant to move? How many days notice does a tenant have to give a landlord before the tenant moves? Can a landlord raise a tenant’s rent? California Tenants—A Guide to Residential Tenants’ and Landlords’ Rights and Responsibilities answers these questions and many others.

Whether the tenant is renting a room, an apartment, a house, or a duplex, the landlordtenant relationship is governed by federal, state, and local laws. This booklet focuses on California laws that govern the landlord-tenant relationship, and suggests things that both the landlord and tenant can do to make the relationship a good one. Although the booklet is written from the tenant’s point of view, landlords can also benefit from its information.

Tenants and landlords should discuss their expectations and responsibilities before they enter into a rental agreement. If a problem occurs, the tenant and landlord should try to resolve the problem by open communication and discussion. Honest discussion of the problem may show each party that he or she is not completely in the right, and that a fair compromise is in order.

If the problem is one for which the landlord is responsible (see pages 35–38), the landlord may be willing to correct the problem or work out a solution without further action by the tenant.

If the problem is one for which the tenant is responsible (see pages 35–38), the tenant may agree to correct the problem once the tenant understands the landlord’s concerns. If the parties cannot reach a solution on their own, they may be able to resolve the problem through mediation or arbitration (see page 77). In some situations, a court action may provide the only solution (see pages 44–46, 61–62, 68–73).

The Department of Consumer Affairs hopes that tenants and landlords will use this booklet’s information to avoid problems in the first place, and to resolve those problems that do occur.

Download California Tenants: A Guide to Residential Tenants’ and Landlords’ Rights and Responsibilities

PDF format, 1.1MB, 120Pages.

California Tenants—A Guide to Residential Tenants’ and Landlords’ Rights and Responsibilities was written by the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Legal Affairs Division and was produced by the Department’s Policy & Publications Development Office. The 1998 printing of this booklet was funded by a grant from the California Consumer Protection Foundation.

Department of Consumer Affairs, 1998
Reprinted, 2000
Updated and reprinted, 2001
Reprinted, 2002
Updated and reprinted, 2003
Updated, 2004
Updated and reprinted, 2006

General Information About Landlords and Tenants:

A landlord is a person or a company that owns a rental unit. The landlord rents or leases the rental unit to another person, called a tenant, for the tenant to live in. The tenant obtains the right to the exclusive use and possession of the rental unit during the lease or rental period. Sometimes, the landlord is called the “owner,” and the tenant is called a “resident.”

A rental unit is an apartment, house, duplex, condominium, or room that a landlord rents to a tenant to live in. In this booklet, the term rental unit means any one of these. Because the tenant uses the rental unit to live in, it is called a “residential rental unit.”

Often, a landlord will have a rental agent or a property manager who manages the rental property. The agent or manager is employed by the landlord and represents the landlord.

In most instances, the tenant can deal with the rental agent or property manager as if this person were the landlord. For example, a tenant can work directly with the agent or manager to resolve problems. When a tenant needs to give the landlord one of the tenant notices described in this booklet (for example, see pages 43–44, 47–48), the tenant can give the notice to the landlord’s rental agent or property manager.

The name, address and telephone number of the manager and an owner of the building (or other person who is authorized to receive legal notices for the owner) must be written in the rental agreement or lease, or posted conspicuously in the rental unit or building.

Read California Tenants Online

How to Use This Booklet:

You can probably find the information you need by using this booklet’s Table of Contents, Index, and Glossary of Terms.

Table of Contents

The Table of Contents (pages v–vii) shows that the booklet is divided into nine main sections. Each main section is divided into smaller sections. For example, if you want information about the rental agreement, look under “Rental Agreements and Leases” in the “BEFORE YOU AGREE TO RENT” section.


Most of the topics are mentioned in the Table of Contents. If you don’t find a topic there, look in the Index (page 101). It’s more specific than the Table of Contents. For example, under “Cleaning” in the Index, you’ll find the topics “deposits or fees,” “tenant’s responsibility,” etc.


If you just want to know the meaning of a term, such as “eviction” or “holding deposit,” look in the Glossary (page 79). The glossary gives the meaning of more than 60 terms. Each of these terms also is printed in boldface type
the first time that it appears in each section of  the booklet.

The Department of Consumer Affairs hopes that you will find the information you’re looking for in this booklet. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, call or write one of the resources listed in “Getting Help From a Third Party” (see pages 76–77) or “Tenant Information and Assistance Resources” (see page 87).

Comments (4)add comment

Rafael Garcia said:

Soooo sorry my email address was wrong... its.
November 08, 2009

Rafael Garcia said:

Need advice.
I was late on my rent due to fanincial hardship. I recieved a 3 day pay or quit notice on the 5th, it was taped on my door. It stated that I owed my rent of $2,000.00, $120.00 late fee and $150.00 more which is a total of $2,270.00. Rent was due on Nov. 1st and as soon as I received a check that I was expecting which was on Nov., 5th, I cashed the check the check on 6th, made a cashiers check and placed it in her mail box with a memo stating that enclosed was the cashiers check for the amount of $2,120.00 which includes rent and late fee of $120.00.
I also stated that it was not $2,270.00.00.
The Landlord called us that same day and said we were short $150.00. I asked for what and she said check your contract, its for legal fees. I was in shock and I told her that I needed to see proof of burden.
She said she would ask her attorney on Monday.

I went back on the Lease contract that expired on April 2009. I did see a $150.00 that was added in pen.

My question is, Is this legal?
I requested a meeting before the contract expired and we met and in writing I made some new request before signing a new conract and she has not responded.

Anyone, someone please help.

November 08, 2009

Hollis Vossekuil said:

May 28, 2008 | url

Maria Washington said:

:cry :cry :cry :cry :cry :cry :cry :cry :cry :cry :cry :cry :cry :cry :cry :cry :cry :cry :cry :cry :cry :cry :cry :cry :cry :cry
May 28, 2008

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