California Rental Agreement Templates

California Rental Agreement

The California rental agreements are contracts between a landlord overseeing a real property and the tenant who wishes to use it. These documents describe the rules associated with using the property, as well as the amount of rent. Rental agreements must comply with California’s landlord-tenant laws.


California Residential Lease Agreement

California standard residential lease agreement is a written contract between a landlord and tenant for the renting of property in return for monthly rent. The tenant agrees to make payment and abide by the rules and terms of the agreement. If for any reason the tenant should break the lease, such as non-payment of rent or other lease violation, the landlord will have the right to remove the tenant through the process of an eviction.

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California Month-to-Month Rental Agreement

The California month-to-month rental agreement is a legal document outlining a formal relationship to rent a residential premise between the property owner (‘landlord”) and another party (“tenant”) in exchange for a monthly fee. This document has no end date but enables either party to alter or terminate the agreement monthly.

The month-to-month lease allows for a more dynamic relationship between the landlord and tenant.  It provides a level of flexibility to alter lease terms as long as state regulations for providing notice of these alterations are followed.  This type of arrangement is beneficial to landlords because with proper notice, they can change the rent amount on a unit without waiting for a fixed lease term to end.  From a tenant’s perspective, a month-to-month lease is an appealing option to those who plan to live in a unit for a short time or are unsure of what their future holds.  

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California Rental Application Form

The California rental application form is a document used to screen potential tenants by collecting information about their rental history, income, and other information that would help the landlord decide whether they would be an acceptable tenant.

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California Roommate Agreement

The California roommate agreement contains the necessary language to solidify the terms and conditions of a rental situation involving two (2) or more roommates. Whether the individuals are college students new to renting or working professionals with experience in renting, it is typically recommended that living arrangements are clearly documented on paper. Topics that should be discussed and agreed upon will include rent amount, security deposits, and rental period.

This form will also cover some of the areas that consist of the nuts and bolts of day-to-day living such as cleaning schedules or grocery shopping. Of course, other topics that may be more specific to a situation may be included (so long as they are legal) but all the items in this agreement should be solidified before the Signature Parties engage. After all, it will constitute a legal contract.

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California Commercial Lease Agreement 

The California commercial lease agreement may be used to establish rental terms for any retail, office, or industrial property located within the State. If renting to a business, the landlord should seek a guaranty to ensure that if the tenant does not pay, the person in charge of making payments is liable for any unpaid receivables.

There are three (3) main types of commercial leases: Triple Net (NNN), Gross, and Modified Gross. A triple net lease is an agreement where the tenant pays both the fixed amount of rent and all costs related to the property (e.g., common area maintenance, taxes, and insurance). A gross lease is used when the tenant pays a monthly payment while the landlord covers all other expenses. The modified gross lease requires the tenant to pay a monthly payment in addition to some of the property expenses.

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California Security Deposit Laws

Maximum Amount ($) – Equal to two (2) months’ rent (unfurnished dwelling), three (3) months’ rent (furnished dwelling) (CIV 1950.5(c)).

Returning – Landlord must return the tenant’s security deposit (minus any deductions for damages, etc.) no later than twenty-one (21) days after the tenant has vacated the dwelling (CIV 1950.5(g)(1)).

California Required Disclosures

AB 1482 Addendum – Tenant must sign in order to ensure the property is not restricted from evicting a tenant or from being able to increase the rent (AB-1482 Tenant Protection Act of 2019).

Bed Bugs – Landlord is required to provide a written notice to any prospective tenant that will help inform them about bed bugs in general as well as provide prevention and treatment information (CIV 1954.603).

Demolition – Landlord must provide written notice to any prospective tenant before signing an agreement if the landlord has applied for a permit to demolish the residential dwelling (CIV 1940.6).

Flooding – Landlord is required to notify the tenant if the rental property is in a potential flood zone (CIV 8589.45).

Lead-Based Paint – Landlords renting property built before January 1, 1978, must attach this federally-mandated disclosure form.

Megan’s Law – A registered sex offender disclosure form that must be attached to every residential lease agreement (CIV 2079.10a(3)).

Mold – Written disclosure regarding mold in certain units must be provided by a landlord to any prospective tenant (HSC 26147).

Ordinance Locations – Prospective tenants must be notified if a residential dwelling for which they are applying was formerly a federal or state ordinance location (CIV 1940.7(b)).

Shared Utilities – If gas and electric meters for a particular dwelling are not separate (i.e., the meter does measure solely that particular unit’s services), the landlord must notify the tenant before the tenancy begins (CIV 1940.9).

Smoking Policy – If the landlord has prohibited smoking in a residential dwelling, the tenant must be made aware either by including a provision in the lease agreement or disclosing in writing in a separate document (CIV 1947.5).

California Rent Grace Period

No grace period required in California. Landlords may serve a tenant who has defaulted in the payment of rent a three (3) day notice to pay the day after rent is due (§ CCP 1161(2)).

These resources are for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Landlords and Tenants are encouraged to seek specific legal advice for any of the issues as found in this blog.


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