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California Standard Residential Lease Agreement

The California standard residential lease agreement is a document that property managers and landlords can use to define the terms and conditions for leasing their residential property to a tenant. The agreement should clearly identify the address of the property being rented, the names of each tenant, as well as that of any additional occupants. Before signing the lease, tenants should review the financial commitment expected of them to ensure that their income can sustain the monthly rent, utility expenses, security deposit, and any additional fees assigned in the agreement.

Rental Laws CIV §§ 1940 – 1954.05

Handbook (Guide) Guide to Residential Tenants’ and Landlords’ Rights

Security Deposits

Maximum (§ 1950.5(c)) – Two (2) Months’ Rent Unfurnished | Three (3) Months’ Rent Furnished

Returning (§ 1950.5(g)(1)) – Twenty-One (21) Days

When is Rent Due?

Tenants must pay rent on the date defined in the rental agreement when the term is for one (1) year or less. If the agreement does not specify a rental due date, rent must be paid at the end of the month (§ 1947).

Realtor Version

Residential Lease or Month-to-Month Rental Agreement (Form LR) – This residential lease has been approved by the California Association of Realtors® for realtors and other industry professionals.

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Disclosures

Lead-Based Paint Disclosure – The presence of toxic paint must be disclosed to all tenants if the property was built prior to 1978.

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AB 1482 Just Cause Addendum (CIV 1946.2(e)(8)(B)(i) & 1947.12(d)(5)(B)(i)) – This addendum must be signed and attached to the lease if the property meets certain requirements and is not subject to the rent increase or just cause laws of the California Civil Code.

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Bedbug Infestations (CIV Code § 1954.603) – Landlords are obligated to provide tenants with written notice with general information and education about bed bugs.

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Flood (GOV Code § 8589.45) – The landlord must inform new tenants if the dwelling is located in a special flood hazard area.

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Toxic Mold (HSC Code § 26147) – If the landlord has reason to believe that mold is present in the rental unit, and that mold exceeds California’s guidelines, then a written disclosure must be provided to all prospective and current tenants.

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Smoking Policy (CIV Code § 1947.5) – Should the landlord prohibit or limit smoking on the rental property, the rental agreement must describe the areas where smoking is prohibited.

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Demolition (CIV Code § 1940.6) – Before accepting any deposits or the signature of a rental agreement, landlords must give written notice if they have applied for a permit to demolish a rental unit.


Just Cause (§ 1946.2(f)(3)) – Unless the property meets the requirements in § 1946.2(f)(3) of the Civil Code, the Landlord is required to provide the following notice to the Tenant:

California law limits the amount your rent can be increased. See Section 1947.12 of the Civil Code for more information. California law also provides that after all of the tenants have continuously and lawfully occupied the property for 12 months or more or at least one of the tenants has continuously and lawfully occupied the property for 24 months or more, a landlord must provide a statement of cause in any notice to terminate a tenancy. See Section 1946.2 of the Civil Code for more information.


Megan’s Law (CIV Code § 2079.10a(a)(3)) – States that every lease and rental agreement must contain this specific language:

“Notice: Pursuant to Section 290.46 of the Penal Code, information about specified registered sex offenders is made available to the public via an Internet Web site maintained by the Department of Justice at www.meganslaw.ca.gov. Depending on an offender’s criminal history, this information will include either the address at which the offender resides or the community of residence and ZIP Code in which the offender resides”.


Methamphetamine Contamination Disclosure (CIV Code § 25400.28(b)) – Written notice must be provided to prospective tenants if the rental property has been contaminated with methamphetamine and if the property is subject to remediation. Additionally, a copy of the remediation order must be given to the tenant, and the tenant must state in writing they that have received a copy of this order.


Ordnance Locations (CIV Code § 1940.17(b)) – If a landlord has knowledge of any former ordnance locations in the neighborhood of the rental unit, they must provide written notice to new tenants prior to the signature of the rental agreement.


Pest Control (CIV Code § 1940.8) – If periodic pest control services have been performed on a dwelling, the landlord must provide each new tenant a copy of the notice provided by the pest control company.


Shared Utilities (CIV Code § 1940.9) – Tenants must be notified if the unit has a shared gas or electrical meter, and the tenant must be informed how the cost will be allocated between parties.