Includes new information calculating allowable rent increases under TPA
SAN FRANCISCO – California Attorney General Rob Bonta today issued five consumer alerts advising California tenants of their rights and protections under state law, and alerting property managers and landlords of their obligations to tenants. The consumer alerts cover information about the Tenant Protection Act (TPA), security deposits, habitability, and the eviction process. The ‘Know Your Rights as a Tenant’ consumer alert includes a new chart outlining, for each county, the maximum annual rent increase currently allowed under the TPA and is available in 24 languages. Both property owners and property managers must familiarize themselves with the requirements of the TPA and other landlord-tenant laws to ensure that they are acting in compliance with those laws.
"If you live in a rented home in California, you have rights. California law protects tenants from San Diego to Siskiyou -- regardless of immigration status or employment status, race, or gender identity,” said Attorney General Bonta. “California law protects you from eviction without a court order, discrimination, and retaliation. Most tenants are also protected from evictions without just cause and large rent hikes. I urge all Californians to familiarize themselves with their tenant rights, and to seek immediate help if they believe their landlord is violating the law. Information on tenant rights should be accessible, easy to understand, and available to all Californians, and today's consumer alerts aim to do just that."
According to the California Budget and Policy Center, almost 17 million Californians – 44% of all state residents – live in homes that are rented and over half of California renter households are housing cost-burdened, placing them at increased risk of housing instability and homelessness. Californians who are especially likely to be renters include those with lower incomes.
Californians who are facing eviction or believe their landlord has violated their tenant rights should seek legal help immediately. If you cannot afford a lawyer, you may qualify for free or low-cost legal aid. To find a legal aid office near where you live, visit LawHelpCA and click on the “Find Legal Help” tab. If you do not qualify for legal aid and need help finding a lawyer, visit the California State Bar webpage to find a local certified lawyer referral service, or visit the California Courts’ webpage for tenants facing evictions.
The alerts issued today provide guidance for tenants and landlords, and cover information including the following:
Know Your Rights as a Tenant
Obligations as a Landlord or Property Manager under the Tenant Protection Act (TPA)
The Right to a Safe and Well-Maintained Home
o Working plumbing, including hot and cold water and sewage disposal.
o Safe and working electrical equipment and wiring, including lighting.
o Walls and roofs that keep out rain and wind.
o Unbroken windows and doors, with working locks.
o Working smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.
o Safe fire or emergency exits.
o Adequate pest control for rodents (like rats) and insects (like roaches and bed bugs).
o Adequate sanitation, including enough trash cans, and clean common areas.
o Floors, stairways, and railings in good repair.
o Repairs to prevent and fix health hazards, such as fire hazards, visible mold, or dampness.
In addition to statewide protections, some cities and counties have additional rental protections, including stricter limits on rent increases than the TPA and additional just cause requirements. Californians should check what protections are in place where they live. For more information and resources, visit the Resources for Tenants tab here.
Today’s Know Your Rights alert is available in English, Spanish, Arabic, Armenian (Eastern), Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Farsi, French, German, Hindi, Hmong, Italian, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Lao, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Tagalog, Telugu, Thai, Ukrainian, and Vietnamese. The remaining four consumer alerts are available in English, Spanish, Chinese (Simplified), Korean, Tagalog, and Vietnamese.
All of the alerts are available here.