Hi, this is Kenneth Ferreira of Ramona Property Managers, Inc. and in California landlords have a lot to know and keep up with. In fact in California, once you have an agreement to let someone live in your property, even if it’s verbal, you still have statutory obligations to your tenant. So here’s a brief overview of what’s involved in being a landlord in the state of California.
In California, both tenants and landlords have certain rights and responsibilities. Let’s start with the tenants here. Tenants have the right to live in a habitable property. They have the right to repair and deduct when a landlord fails their maintenance duties. They have the right to receive reasonable notice prior to landlord entry. They have a right to legal tenant eviction process. They have a right to live in privacy, peace and quiet and to receive notice when changes to the lease are made.
A tenant’s responsibility includes notifying a landlord before moving out. Keeping the noise to a reasonable level. Informing the landlord when any maintenance issues come up. Notifying the landlord when they’re away for prolonged periods of time and, of course, payment of rent on time.
As a landlord you’re required to disclose anything that may affect your tenant’s health or safety. Some of the mandatory disclosures include lead-based paint disclosure, bed bug disclosure, Megan’s law disclosure, mold disclosure, flood zone disclosure, a death in the unit, any limitations, contamination from methamphetamine and also if the utility expenses are shared.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard landlords complain about a lack of rights. And while California is certainly a very tenant friendly state, landlords do have certain rights and responsibilities as well. Landlords have the right to proper notice from a tenant vacating the premises. They have the right to enter the premises to perform maintenance and conduct inspections. They have the right to make changes to the agreement terms and they have the right to be notified when maintenance issues appear.
The landlord’s responsibilities include following the proper eviction procedures and serving tenants with proper notice before making changes to the terms of the agreement. Giving tenants reasonable notice prior to entry and they’re responsible for making needed repairs in a timely manner. A landlord is responsible for knowing rent control laws outlined in AB 1482.
Housing discrimination California takes housing discrimination laws very seriously, and so should you. Take courses, talk to attorneys, and educate yourself so you stay out of trouble. It ain’t fun being called a racist because you are enforcing the no-smoking clause in your lease so know your rights, and consult an attorney when seeking legal advice.
The bottom line is there’s a lot to being a landlord here in California, and that’s okay California is a great place to live and a terrific place to own property. If you’re a landlord just make sure you do your best to keep up on the laws.
You may also want to consider talking to a professional property manager. Here at Ramona Property Managers we’d be more than happy to answer your questions…we like to help, it’s what we do.