December 17, 2017

Your Rights as a Landlord


If you are a landlord, you can rent your property for whatever amount you choose, although you may not raise rent during the term of a lease and you must give proper notice to your tenant of any change if there is a periodic tenancy (week-to-week or month-to-month). (If your property is located in a jurisdiction which has rent control laws, please refer to those laws.) You may rent to whomever you wish and you may set any terms in your rental agreement you wish, provided that they are not contrary to local, state or federal laws. While generally you may refuse to rent to anyone, you may not discriminate against a tenant or prospective tenant because of his/her race, color, religion, sex, ancestry, national origin, disability, familial status (federal and state law), marital status, ancestry, sexual orientation, source of income or arbitrary reason (State of California law). The prohibition against discrimination based on familial status makes it illegal, in most circumstances, to refuse to allow children to live in a residential unit.

You may evict a tenant, who violates any provision of your rental agreement, which you and the tenant have agreed is a ground for eviction. Failure to pay rent is always grounds for eviction.

You may reserve the right to enter, inspect and make repairs on or show the rental property at reasonable times and in a reasonable manner.

You have the right to have your property returned to you in the same condition as it was when the tenant took possession, with the exception of ordinary wear and tear and damage done by natural forces or people other than the tenant or his guests.

You do not have the right to relieve yourself of duties imposed on landlords by the law.

Your Duties as a Landlord

As a landlord you have a duty:

  1. To comply with current applicable building and housing codes;
  2. Make all repairs and do whatever is necessary to put and keep the rental premises in a fit and habitable condition;
  3. Keep all common areas in safe condition;
  4. Maintain in good, safe working order, and promptly repair all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air conditioning, and other facilities and appliances which you have supplied or are required by your agreement or any law to supply after you have been notified by the tenant of any defects in writing (in emergencies such notice does not have to be in writing).
  5. To provide and install battery-operated or electrical smoke detectors and to place new batteries in a battery-operated smoke detector at the beginning of the lease.
  6. You must perform any other duties required by your rental agreement.
  7. You may also be required to allow a tenant with a disability to modify the premises and accommodate that tenant’s needs.

Except in emergencies, you must notify your tenants in writing of any breaches by the tenant of duties imposed on him by law.