Regardless of your state, your Rental/Lease Agreement will contain standard information mandated by Federal law, including:
- The names of both the tenant and landlord,
- The property address,
- Whether pets are permitted,
- Information regarding lead-based hazards,
- The amount of rent and security deposit due,
- The date and location of when and where the rent is to be paid
However, not all states will have identical lease agreement requirements and may differ on some important issues.
For example, some states may impose stricter security deposit amounts, while others may differentiate on required notice timeframes for a landlord, before entry into a premises.
As long as the Federal minimum requirement is met, states may adopt varying laws and regulations for leasing and renting properties. It is important to familiarize yourself with the specificities and requirements of California state law to ensure your lease agreement adequately protects your financial and legal rights.
1. California Residential Lease Agreement Sample
The sample lease agreement below describes a contract between “Landlord” Tony Stark and “Tenant” Steve Rogers. He agrees to rent a house in Los Angeles for $1,000 per month and continuing on a month-to-month basis. The tenant agrees to pay for all utilities and services for the Premises.
This is a good example of what provisions a simple lease agreement might contain, and how one should look in its final form.
2. California Landlord and Tenant Laws
California imposes specific and distinct requirements for landlords and tenants when executing a Lease/Rental Agreement. For example, the California Civil Code requires the following documents and notifications:
For unfurnished premises, security deposits must not exceed two (2) months’ rent, while furnished premises allow for up to 3 months’ rent to be requested by a landlord. (Cal. Civ. Code § 1950.5) (§ 1940.5(g))
Landlords must return security deposits to the tenant within twenty-one (21) days of termination of the Lease/Rental Agreement.
Landlord Right of Entry:
In non-emergency situations, before entering a premises, a landlord must give twenty-four (24) hour notice, while a forty-eight (48) hour notice is required before a tenant moves out. (Civ. Code § 1954(a))