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  • Daniel Rodriguez

2018 Guide to Landlord Rights in California

Renting out an apartment or commercial property takes more than just handing the keys over to a tenant. The relationship between landlord and tenant requires following state and federal laws strictly. California is a state that protects and upholds the tenant’s rights. In fact, it would seem property and contract law were designed only with the tenant’s right in mind. However, tenants do not have unlimited power. There are rights that landlords can enforce to prevent tenants from engaging in conduct or actions that negatively impact the landlord or other tenants, such as damaging property or failing to make rent payments. What are a landlord’s rights in California? How do landlord rights affect tenants? And what does the law require from landlords? Our Roseville landlord tenant lawyers discuss the answers.

What Are a Landlord’s Rights in California?

Whether you are the landlord of a small residential property or a large commercial complex, you must abide by the law. As a landlord, you must ensure all necessary legal elements that create a landlord-tenant relationship are in place, such as a rental agreement that adequately discloses required information about sex offenders, toxic mold, and other notices to your tenant. In addition to providing tenants with the appropriate disclosure notices, you must also comply with other aspects of landlord-tenant law, such as limitations capping security deposits.

While this may sound obvious, it is also essential. Complying with the law mitigates liability and financial risk, while facilitating the efficient completion of procedures like eviction. However, while the law creates many requirements and duties for landlords, it also grants them certain rights. Our Roseville real estate attorneys discuss three of the most important, including:

  1. The right to evict tenants

  2. The right to inspect the property or properties

  3. The right to increase rent

Right of Eviction

As a general rule, once two contracting parties accept the terms and conditions of a contract, they are bound by law to honor it. In a leasing contract, for example, the property owner agrees to rent his or her property to a potential tenant for a certain price. Terms of payment are established in the contract and agreed to by both parties. Once both parts agree, they are bound to comply with all rules contained in the contract.

For example, a landlord agrees to rent an apartment in Roseville to a tenant for $3,000 per month for six months. The contract specifies, “No changes to the property shall be made without the express consent of the owner.” Both landlord and tenant agreed to the deal. Three months into the rental period, tenant renovates the kitchen and changes the apartment’s layout. In this sort of scenario, may the landlord terminate the contract and evict the tenant from the property? The answer is potentially – but only by following proper eviction procedures.

An eviction is an action taken by a landlord to remove a tenant from his or her property. For instance, this action can be taken against a tenant if he or she engages in unlawful activities such as selling drugs. A tenant can be evicted from a property before the end of the rental period for breaching the contract. Therefore, a landlord can exercise his or her right to evict a tenant. However, California law requires proper and timely notification to the tenant from the landlord.

Typically, the law requires three-day notice before filing an eviction lawsuit, whether this is a notice to cure (repair the violation), to pay rent, or an unconditional quit notice. However, other notification requirements could apply depending on the whether the rental agreement is fixed (predetermined) or month-to-month.

Right of Property Inspection

As a landlord, you have the right to enter the rented property for inspection. However, like other landlord rights in California, this right comes with certain conditions and limitations. For example, the property inspection must occur during normal business hours. Additionally, you must provide the tenant with reasonable advance written notice, unless an emergency such as a fire or gas leak occurs.

Right to Increase Rent

As part of their rights, a landlord can also increase the amount of rent charged to their tenant or tenants. However, you must follow state regulations, which are based on the size of the rent increase. For example, if you intend to increase the rent by 10% or less, you must provide at least 30 days’ notice to your tenants. If the planned increase exceeds 10%, you must notify your tenants 60 days in advance.

Roseville Real Estate Attorneys Representing Landlords

Keep in mind that landlords are bound to follow the law carefully. Do not take action against a tenant before consulting with our Sacramento real estate lawyers.

The Roseville tax attorneys at NewPoint Law Group, LLP provide legal assistance to landlords facing difficulties with tenant disputes in California. Serving Roseville and Sacramento, we have over 25 years of experience in business, real estate, estate planning, and tax law. To learn more about your rights as a landlord in a free consultation, call NewPoint today at 800-358-0305, or contact us online.

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