1) How many days do I have to wait to get my security deposit back?
California Civil Code Section 1950.5 requires that within three weeks (21 days) after a tenant has vacated the unit, the owner must either: 1) return the security deposit to the tenant, 2) furnish a copy of an itemized statement indicating the amount of any part of the security deposit used (e.g. for unpaid rent, repairs, etc.), or 3) a combination of #1 and #2.
Effective January 1, 2003, rental property owners must give the tenant an option to perform a walk-through with the residents no earlier than two (2) weeks prior to the termination of the tenancy. The intent of this new law is to give residents an opportunity to remedy identified deficiencies in the unit prior to move out.
2) Can a landlord increase the rent more than two times per year?
If you have a lease for more than 30 days (e.g. 1-year lease), your rent cannot be increased during the term of the lease, unless the lease allows rent increases. If you have a periodic rental agreement (month-to-month), your landlord can increase your rent, but must give you proper advance notice in writing. (Civil Code Section 827 (b))
3) How much can a landlord legally raise the rent?
Under California Law there is currently no maximum limit for rent increases.
As of January 1, 2001, a landlord must give the tenant at least 30 days’ advance notice if the rent increase is 10 percent (or less) of the rent charged at any time during the 12 months before the rent increase takes effect. A landlord must give 60 days’ advance notice if the rent increase is greater than 10 percent. (Civil Code Section 827b.)
4. When can a landlord enter an occupied rental unit?
California laws gives five (5) reasons that a landlord can legally enter a rental unit.
(1) In an emergency.
(2) When the tenant has moved out or has abandoned the rental unit.
(3) To make necessary or agreed-upon repairs, decorations, alterations, or other improvements.
(4) To show the rental unit to prospective tenants, buyers, or lenders, or to provide entry to contractors or workers who are to perform work on the unit.
(5) If a court order permits the landlord to enter.
Effective January 1, 2003, California Civil Code 1954 states that except in the first two situations above (emergencies and abandonment), the landlord must give the tenant twenty-four (24) hours written notice before entering the unit.
The notice may be provided by the owner in one (1) of the following ways:
-Personally delivered to the tenant twenty-four (24) hours prior to entry;
-Left with someone of suitable age at the premises twenty-four (24) hours prior to entry;
-Left on, near, or under the usual entry door of the premises twenty-four (24) hours prior to entry; or
-Mailed to the resident six (6) days prior to the intended entry.
If the owner or agent’s reason for entry is to exhibit the residential unit to prospective or actual purchasers, the notice may be given orally, in person, or by telephone. If the owner or agent has notified the resident in writing within 120 days of the verbal notice that the property is for sale and that the owner may contact the resident orally for the purpose of showing the unit, a twenty-four (24) hour verbal notice is presumed reasonable. At the time of entry, the owner or agent shall leave written evidence of the entry inside the unit.
5. How much advance notice must my landlord give if he wants a tenant to move out of the rental unit?
Landlords are required to provide a 60-day advance notice to a resident if the landlord elects to terminate a tenancy. If the tenant has resided in the unit less than 1 year, the landlord is only required to give a 30-day notice. (Civil Code Section 1946.1)