Below are questions asked by rental property owners regarding California property management and resident manager laws followed by answers provided by Attorney Franco Simone.
Q: I am a landlord in the City of San Diego, and I have not updated my rental agreement with my tenant this year. Are there any new required addendums or disclosures that I am required to give my tenant?
A: Yes, there are new required disclosures that landlords must provide to their tenants starting January 2022. Starting January 1, 2022, residential landlords are required to provide a booklet called “Information on Dampness and Mold for Renters in California” to their new tenants. All new leases and rental agreements should include this booklet that is provided by the Department of Public Health. THIS IS REQUIRED FOR ALL CALIFORNIA LANDLORDS. [This booklet is also available at www.aoausa.com/forms.]
Additionally, the City of San Diego recently amended their Recycling Ordinance to require landlords of multi-family residential rental units to provide each new tenant with information about recycling at the rental property. You should contact an attorney’s office to make sure you meet the requirements of the Ordinance. THIS IS ONLY REQUIRED FOR MULTI-FAMILY RENTAL UNITS WITHIN THE CITY OF SAN DIEGO.
Q: I own an apartment building in Santee. I was talking to my neighbor who is also a landlord, and he informed me that I am required to have language in my lease/rental agreement about rent control under AB 1482, also known as the Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (“TPA”). All my tenants are currently on month-to-month rental agreements, but lived in their units before the TPA was enacted. Do I have to amend my rental agreements to include language from the TPA?
A: Yes, for any tenancy commenced or renewed on or after July 1, 2020, you must provide notice that your property is subject to the protections of the TPA as an addendum to the rental agreement or as a written notice signed by the tenant, with a copy provided to the tenant. The notice to the tenant must use the exact language from TPA in 12-point type. If the tenants refuse to sign an addendum or the notice, then you should serve your month-to-month tenants with a 30- Day Notice of Change of Terms of Tenancy to add the language. Additionally, I also encourage landlords to make sure that you are using updated rental agreements and leases when you are renting to a new tenant. If your property falls within an exemption from the TPA, you must also provide proper notice of exemption to avoid California rent control.
Q: I recently became aware that my lease with my tenant has the property address misspelled. Is this something I need to fix, and if so, how do I fix it?
A: Yes, if the property address is misspelled in your lease/rental agreement it can make it difficult to evict your tenant if issues arise. You should always make sure that you are using the legal address that corresponds to the assessor’s parcel number (A.P.N) on your deed. If you are still in the lease when you discover this issue you will need to sign an addendum with the tenant to correct the address. If the tenancy is a month-to-month, you can serve the tenant with a 30 Day Notice of Change of Terms of Tenancy to correct the address.
Q: I have a tenant that is storing personal property in the common areas. Unfortunately, my lease does not include a provision that states where the tenant’s personal property is allowed to be stored. I want my tenant to remove their items from the common areas. What can I do to prohibit this behavior?
A: If your lease does not prohibit the behavior and the behavior is not illegal, then you cannot ask a tenant to stop. If your tenant is currently on a month-to-month rental agreement, you can serve the tenant with a 30-Day Notice of Change of Terms of Tenancy to make it so the tenant cannot store items in the common areas. Most standard residential leases/rental agreements, like the AOA lease, include general provisions that most landlords find helpful to create rules for their tenants to follow. If you find that there are additional rules or provisions that you would like your tenants to follow, you can create an addendum or list of house rules. It is important to have an attorney review any addendums or house rules to make sure your terms are legally enforceable and compatible with your lease/rental agreement.
Q: I have had multiple tenants list my property for rent on websites like AirBnB and VRBO for short term rentals without my permission. Is there a way to prohibit this behavior?
A: Yes, most leases/rental agreements will have a clause prohibiting subletting, assigning and/or adding additional occupants without the landlord’s prior written consent. You should also add language specifically prohibiting short term rentals. Additionally, if your contract states that subletting/assigning is a non-curable breach of the lease/rental agreement you do not have to give the tenant an opportunity to stop prior to serving a 3-Day Notice to Quit.
Attorney Franco Simone, of Simone & Blevins, has been doing evictions for over 28 years. He is also an adjunct law professor at the University of San Diego. Mr. Simone’s office is open Monday – Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Tel: 619-235-6180, website: www.landlordslegalcenter.com or email [email protected].