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California Housing Laws You Need to Know

Here are a few housing laws you should be aware of if you own or rent property in California

By Lizzie HowardPublished about a year ago 3 min read

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California has some of the strictest housing laws in the United States. These laws were put in place to protect tenants' rights and ensure that landlords follow specific guidelines when renting out their properties.

This post will go over some of the most significant housing laws in California that you should be aware of.

Laws You Need to Know About California


Under California law, landlords must maintain their properties in a habitable condition. This means the property must have adequate heating, plumbing, and electrical systems and be free of health and safety hazards.

Security Deposits

The quantity that landlords may demand as security deposits is regulated by California law. Landlords are only permitted to charge a maximum of two months' rent for unfurnished rentals and three months' rent for furnished rentals. Also, after 21 days of the conclusion of the lease, landlords must provide renters with a documented itemization of all deductions taken from the security deposit.

If you're a landlord in California, it's important to understand the housing laws that apply to your property, such as those in the lovely neighborhood of Burton Valley.

Rent Control

Californian cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco have rent control laws that set a cap on how much rent may go up each year. These laws differ from city to city and often provide exemptions for newer structures or certain kinds of housing.


Renters cannot be discriminated against by landlords in California on the basis of their race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status, ancestry, family status, source of income, or status as a person with a handicap.


Landlords can only evict tenants for specific reasons under California law, such as failure to pay rent, violating the lease agreement, or causing a nuisance. Additionally, landlords must provide tenants with proper notice before starting the eviction process.

Just Cause Eviction

The state of California recently passed a "just cause" eviction legislation requiring landlords to provide a justification for ending a lease. The law applies to properties not subject to local rent control ordinances.

Tenant Rights to Repair

California law allows tenants to make certain repairs and deduct the cost from their rent if the landlord fails to make the necessary repairs within a reasonable time.

Why You Should Know California Housing Laws


Knowing California's housing laws can help landlords maintain transparency in their dealings with tenants, building trust and fostering good relationships.

Fair Rent Practices

Understanding rent control laws can help landlords set fair rental rates, benefitting tenants and increasing the likelihood of long-term occupancy.

Legal Compliance

Knowledge of housing laws can help landlords comply with state regulations, avoid legal penalties, and reduce the likelihood of tenant disputes.

Avoiding Legal Disputes

Knowing the laws governing California's housing market can help landlords and tenants avoid legal disputes and costly lawsuits, saving time and money.

Increased Property Value

By complying with housing laws, landlords can ensure their properties comply, which may lead to increased property value and a better reputation in the market.

Penalties for Not Knowing California Housing Laws

Punishment by the Law

Infractions of housing rules may result in a variety of legal consequences, including monetary fines, potential legal action, and even eviction. Injunctions from the court are another potential problem for landlords since they might hinder their capacity to run their company.

A Drop in Rents

Suppose California's housing regulations are not followed. In that case, a landlord risks losing rental revenue because tenants who feel their rights have been violated may choose to withhold rent or take legal action.

Damage to Property

The failure to offer living circumstances that are livable may result in damage to the property, which can be expensive to repair and negatively influence the value of the property.

Reputation Damage

Infractions of housing regulations may tarnish a landlord's image in the industry, making it more difficult for the landlord to bring in new tenants and keep occupancy rates stable.

Security Threats

Tenants might be placed in danger of injury or sickness when safety requirements are not followed, which can result in possible legal action & reputational harm.


California's housing laws can be complex and vary by city, making it essential for landlords and tenants to understand their rights and obligations. Landlords must maintain habitable properties, limit security deposit amounts, comply with rent control ordinances, and avoid discrimination.

Tenants have the right to safe and habitable living conditions, protection against discrimination, and cause eviction. Understanding these laws is crucial for anyone involved in the California housing market.


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