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Free California Residential Lease Agreement
A 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...
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A 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.
Before signing a lease, the tenant will be expected to complete a rental application for approval by the landlord. In accordance with California law, the landlord cannot charge more than $30 per applicant to process the credit report and background history (CIV 1950.6(b)).
Table of ContentsForms (3)
Association of Realtors
Apartment Owners Association
Standard Residential Lease
Security Deposit Laws
Maximum Amount ($) Returning
Rent Grace Period Helpful Resources
California Association of Realtors
Download: Draft – Template (Rental App + Lease)
Apartment Owners Association
Download: Adobe PDF
Standard Residential Lease Agreement
Download: Adobe PDF, Microsoft Word (.docx)
Security Deposit LawsMaximum 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)).
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).
Rent Grace PeriodNo 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)).
Guide to Residential Tenants’ and Landlords’ Rights and Responsibilities (Spanish Version).
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Free 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, ...
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California Standard Residential Lease Agreement
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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 – 1954.05Handbook (Guide) – Guide to Residential Tenants’ and Landlords’ Rights
Security Deposits When is Rent Due? Realtor Version Disclosures (13)
Security DepositsMaximum (§ 1950.5(c)) – Two (2) Months’ Rent Unfurnished | Three (3) Months’ Rent FurnishedReturning (§ 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).
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.
AB 1482 Just Cause Addendum
Bedbug Disclosure Demolition Flood Just Cause
Lead-Based Paint Disclosure
Ordnance Locations Pest Control Shared Utilities Smoking Policy Toxic Mold1) AB 1482 Just Cause Addendum
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.
Laws: CIV 1946.2(e)(8)(B)(i) & 1947.12(d)(5)(B)(i)2) Bedbug Disclosure
Landlords are obligated to provide tenants with written notice with general information and education about bed bugs.
Laws: CIV Code § 1954.6033) Demolition
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.
Laws: CIV Code § 1940.64) Flood
The landlord must inform new tenants if the dwelling is located in a special flood hazard area.
Laws: GOV Code § 8589.455) Just Cause
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.
Laws: CIV Code § 1947.12 (d)(5) & CIV Code § 146.2 (e)(8)6) Lead-Based Paint Disclosure
The presence of toxic paint must be disclosed to all tenants if the property was built prior to 1978.
Download: PDF7) Megan’s Law
Every lease and rental agreement must contain the written notice set forth in the statutes bellow notifying tenants that they have access to a registry of sex offenders in the area.
Laws: CIV Code § 2079.10a(a)(3)8) Methamphetamine Contamination
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.
Laws: CIV Code § 25400.28(b)9) Ordnance Locations
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.
Laws: CIV Code § 1940.17(b)10) Pest Control
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.
Laws: CIV Code § 1940.811) Shared Utilities
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.
California Association of Realtors Residential Lease Agreement
Get familiar with the California Association of Realtors residential lease agreement using DoNotPay’s guide! Compose your contract IN MINUTES with our template!
California Association of Realtors Residential Lease Agreement Deciphered
Maintaining a smooth landlord-tenant relationship is one of the central pillars of a successful property lease. The parties can easily achieve this and protect their rights by signing a lease agreement. Many Californians opt for the version made by the California Association of Realtors (CAR), a real estate institution based in Los Angeles.If you aren’t familiar with the CAR residential lease agreement, read our article and get acquainted with the essentials of this form. DoNotPay offers some practical tips on handling your California lease agreement and other legal documents in a matter of minutes.
What Is a CAR Residential Lease Agreement?The CAR residential lease agreement is a specific form this institution offers to landlords and tenants as an alternative to a standard lease agreement.
The CAR contract template contains a ready-made list of all recommended and obligatory provisions a lease agreement should cover. Besides that, it stands out from other California lease agreement templates because it:
Has a favorable structure that explains each section in detail
Is revised by lawyers
Gets updated regularly
Aligns with the landlord and tenant rules proposed by the Civil Code of California Law
Disadvantages of a CAR Lease AgreementMany realtors use the lease agreement made by CAR, but not all of them choose this version. This contract can also only be used in California—it will be useless for you if you live in another state.
The contract form looks comprehensive, but the parties may spend a lot of time filling it out as it’s 22 pages long. This can be too much if you have only a few terms to establish. Another disadvantage is that modifications are limited to the blank spaces only—you cannot add your own clauses.
Does a CAR Lease Agreement Require Notarization?Having a lease contract notarized isn’t mandatory in California, regardless of the form the parties are using. The agreement becomes enforceable when all the parties involved accept the proposed rules and sign it. You can have your signatures validated for extra security, but there are no state laws that impose this.
What Does a CAR Residential Lease Agreement Cover?The table below shows the contents of the CAR lease agreement:Provisions Details
Names of the landlord and the tenants
Physical addresses of the parties
Signatures of all parties involved
Date of signing Lease details
Start and end date of the lease
Lease type (month-to-month or long-term)
List of available premises
Condition of the premises, including available furniture, appliances, landscaping, alarms, and carbon monoxide detectors
Parking and storage Utilities
Responsibilities regarding utility payments
Availability of gas meters, electric meters, and water submeters
Payment amount, due date, and method
Late charge and returned checks
Security deposit Amount
What the tenant can use a security deposit for
Returns Additional clauses Move-in costs
Repairs and alterations
Maintenance and reporting
Pet and smoking policy
Keys and locks
Landlord’s right to enter the property
Photographs, signs, and advertising
Joint and individual responsibilities and obligations
Duties upon vacating premises
Breaches and termination
Insurance and potential damage
The revised versions of the California Association of Realtors lease agreement from 2018 and 2019 propose two new mandatory disclosures:
Bed Bug Addendum
Tenant Flood Hazard Disclosure
How To Get the Best out of Your Contracts With DoNotPay
If you decide to write a California lease agreement yourself, you may face a real challenge due to specific requirements. When drawing it up, you should consider:
Current state laws
Your writing style and potential mistakes
All mandatory and recommended disclosures
Attorneys can easily compose a professional lease agreement, but most people can’t afford their assistance. Luckily, this is not the only option you have!DoNotPay offers a user-friendly tool that lets you choose the desired document template and customize it according to your needs. Tell us what details you want to add to your contract, and watch us generate it in a heartbeat!
Our app can help you create a residential lease agreement that is universal and applicable in any state. We can also generate:
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