Table of Contents
This California Rental Lease Agreement form is intended for short-term rentals or standard leases of residential property. It can be used for month-to-month agreements or year-long leases.
Rent Payment Terms and Late Fee
The tenant agrees to pay rent in advance in check or money order form. If rent is late, the landlord may charge a late fee under California Civil Code, section 1671, which allows the landlord to pursue liquidated damages for breach of contract. The landlord will also charge a fee for returned checks and require future rent payments to be made by money order.
The tenant agrees to pay a security deposit which may not exceed two months’ rent for an unfurnished apartment or three months’ rent for a furnished apartment. The landlord must return or account for the security deposit after the tenant vacates under California Civil Code, section 1950.5.
Information about Utility Bills, Guests and Pets
The tenant agrees to pay for utilities. The tenant agrees not to have any guests for longer than a 14-day period. If the landlord agrees to pets, the landlord may require an additional pet deposit as long as it does not exceed the maximum specified deposit. The tenant may agree to pay an additional pet deposit and additional rent for a pet and sign a pet agreement. The tenant agrees to pay penalties for violating these agreements.
Waterbeds and Liquid-filled Furniture
The tenant agrees not to have a waterbed or other liquid-filled furniture, hazardous materials, or other exceptionally heavy items. If the structure was built after 1973, the tenant may have a waterbed that conforms to California Civil Code, section 1940.5, and must carry waterbed insurance.
If the tenant is assigned a parking space, the tenant agrees that it will be only used for passenger vehicles in operating condition. The tenant agrees not to wash the vehicle or perform repairs in the parking space. The tenant agrees to maintain the parking space and not to sublet it. The landlord and tenant agree which, if any, animals or vehicles are permitted on the property and where the vehicles should be parked. The landlord and tenant may make other special arrangements.
Behavior on the Premises and Damages
The tenant agrees not to cause excess noise, not to loiter in common areas, and to abide by all laws.
If the property becomes damaged or destroyed, either the landlord or the tenant may terminate the lease or agreement.
All tenants are jointly and severally liable under California Civil Code, section 1659, which means that if rent is not paid or the property is damaged, the landlord may pursue damages from each tenant up to the full amount regardless of any agreements the tenants may have between themselves.
Subletting the Property
The tenant agrees not to sublet the property or abandon the property or to have any long-term guests.. The landlord may evict subtenants or reclaim abandoned property.
Landlord Responsibilities for Maintenance of the Property
The landlord agrees to provide a sound structure with adequate plumbing, water, heating, lighting, trash removal, and smoke detectors. The tenant agrees to maintain the property and observe quiet hours. The landlord may require other responsibilities from the tenant. The landlord may not enter the premises without notice except in an emergency or to make repairs. The tenant has the right to request reasonable repairs to the property without retaliation, and may withhold rent if they are not completed under California Civil Code, section 1942. The landlord agrees to carry insurance coverage on the structure only. The landlord may agree to make certain repairs or improvements to the property.
Both the landlord and the tenant agree that notices shall be made in writing. The landlord agrees to give 30 or 60 days notice of a rent increase. Both the landlord and the tenant agree to give 30 days notice to vacate the property. If the tenant has rented the property for more than a year, the landlord agrees to give 60 days notice. In no case can the landlord give less than seven days notice, under California Civil Code, section 1946.
The landlord and the tenant agree that notices to the tenant will be made at the property and notices to the landlord will be delivered by mail.
Lead Based Paint Disclosure and Mold
The tenant is provided with information about lead paint.The owner agrees that there is no lead-based paint on the property and the tenant agrees that he or she has received information on the hazards of lead-based paint. The owner agrees that there is no mold on the property.
Maintenance and other rules
- The tenant agrees that the property was in good condition at the beginning of the lease or agreement, and agrees to maintain the property. The tenant agrees not to display any signs or other exhibits. The tenant agrees to notify the landlord if repairs need to be made. The landlord agrees to provide smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and the tenant agrees to test them monthly. The tenant agrees to abide by all rules regarding the pool, laundry area, and other common areas.
- The tenant agrees to carry insurance to cover personal property losses.
- As described in California Civil Code, section 1954, the owner may enter the property at any time in case of an emergency. The owner agrees to give 24 hours notice for entry for other reasons.
- The landlord may report delinquency in rent to credit reporting agencies and may use information obtained in a credit report to pursue unpaid rent and other charges under California Civil Code, section 1785.26.
- The landlord may limit the number of occupants.
- The landlord and the tenant agree on appliances and other items that are currently at the property. The tenant agrees that he or she has received copies of rules and regulations.
- The tenant(s) agree that they are both jointly and severally responsible for upholding the contract and all parties will be liable for all breaches of contract including damages and penalties under California Civil Code, section 1659.
- The tenant agrees that he or she has been made aware of the sex offenders’ registry under California Penal Code, section 290.46.
- The landlord agrees to translate this agreement into Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Tagalog, or Korean, if necessary, under California Civil Code, section 1632.
Termination of the Lease
If a year-long lease terminates without either party giving notice to vacate or renewing the lease, it will convert to a month-to-month agreement. If the tenant vacates before the lease expires and fails to pay rent, the landlord may pursue damages up to the amount of unpaid rent plus other damages including attorney’s fees, under California Civil Code, section 1951.2.
How to Fill / Write
This form can be partially completed online. If you are unable to do so, you may print the form and fill it out neatly in pen.
- Enter the landlord’s name and apartment number, if any.
- Enter the tenant(s) name.
- Enter the apartment number, if any, and the property address.
- Enter the monthly rent and due date.
- Enter the security deposit.
- Enter the late fee.
- Enter parking and storage details, if any.
- Enter the beginning date of the rental agreement or lease.
- Check whether this is a month-to-month rental agreement or a lease. Enter the end date if it is a lease.
- Enter the amount of the first month’s rent and security deposit paid by the tenant, and the total.
- Enter the landlord’s name, address, and contact information where rent is to be paid.
- Enter the late fee.
- Enter the returned check fee.
- Enter utilities to be paid by the landlord, if any.
- Enter any long-term guests or pets permitted on the property.
- Enter the pet deposit, if any.
- The landlord initials to acknowledge no knowledge of lead paint in the property.
- The tenant initials to acknowledge receipt of materials on lead paint.
- Enter any additional arrangements or exceptions.
- Enter property manager’s name and contact information.
- Enter name and contact information for a person authorized to receive notices for the landlord, if any.
- Enter name and contact information for a person authorized to accept rent for the landlord, if any.
- Describe appliances and amenities in the property for the tenant’s use.
- The tenant checks boxes to acknowledge receipt of rules, keys, garage door opener, or any other items.
- The tenant initials to indicate that he or she is fluent in English or that the rental agreement or lease has been translated. The translator, if any, prints his or her name and signs and dates the form.
- The landlord(s) sign and date the form.
- The tenant(s) sign and date the form.
California law does not require that a rental agreement or lease be witnessed, notarized, filed, or registered. It is valid upon execution. Both the landlord and the tenant should keep a copy of the rental agreement or lease in a safe place.
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California Law Codes
- California Civil Code Section: 1632, 1659, 1671, 1785.26, 1940.5 1950.5, 1951.2, 1954
- California Penal Code Section: 290.46