When it comes to renting residential property, such as an apartment or condo, there are certain rights and responsibilities that both renters and landlords have. Understanding what these are is important for both parties.
Having a lease is beneficial for both tenants and landlords. Although oral lease agreements are legal for lease durations shorter than 12 months, written agreements hold up better in court and detail the lease’s terms.
Tenant Rights and responsibilities
According to the State of California Department of Consumer Affairs, a tenant has certain rights, no matter what the lease states. There are limits as to when the property owner can enter the premises and how much security deposit the landlord can charge. The tenant has the right to withhold rent for specific reasons, to repair serious defects in the unit, to a security deposit refund and to sue the landlord for lease violations.
In return, the tenant is responsible for paying rent on time, keeping the unit habitable and clean, fixing minor repairs, giving proper notice for moving out and not disturbing other tenants.
Landlord rights and responsibilities
A landlord has the right to collect the agreed-upon rent, receive proper notice for moving out and collect payment for property damages.
As for responsibilities, some of the ones a landlord must follow include:
- Providing a habitable unit
- Providing amenities such as a locking mailbox, smoke detector, garbage cans and trash removal, HVAC equipment and fire exits
- Disclose hazards such as asbestos, mold, lead-based paint, bed bugs and other pests or carcinogenic material
- Giving proper notice and reason for eviction