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California Residential Lease Agreement | PDF

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A California standard residential lease agreement is a written contract between a landlord and tenant for the renting of property in return for monthly rent. The tenant agrees to make payment and abide by the rules and terms of the agreement. If for any reason the tenant should break the lease, such as non-payment of rent or other lease violations, the landlord will have the right to remove the tenant through the process of an eviction.

Before signing a lease, the tenant will be expected to complete a rental application for approval by the landlord. Per California law, the landlord cannot charge more than $30 per applicant to process the credit report and background history (CIV 1950.6(b)).

Table of Contents



California Association of Realtors

Download: DraftTemplate (Rental App + Lease)





Apartment Owners Association

Download: Adobe PDF





Standard Residential Lease Agreement

Download: Adobe PDF, Microsoft Word (.docx)




Security Deposit Laws

Maximum Amount ($) – Equal to two (2) months’ rent (unfurnished dwelling), three (3) months’ rent (furnished dwelling) (CIV 1950.5(c)).

Returning – Landlord must return the tenant’s security deposit (minus any deductions for damages, etc.) no later than twenty-one (21) days after the tenant has vacated the dwelling (CIV 1950.5(g)(1)).

Required Disclosures

AB 1482 Addendum – Tenant must sign in order to ensure the property is not restricted from evicting a tenant or from being able to increase the rent (AB-1482 Tenant Protection Act of 2019).

Bed Bugs – Landlord is required to provide a written notice to any prospective tenant that will help inform them about bed bugs in general as well as provide prevention and treatment information (CIV 1954.603).

Demolition – The landlord must provide written notice to any prospective tenant before signing an agreement if the landlord has applied for a permit to demolish the residential dwelling (CIV 1940.6).

Flooding – The landlord is required to notify the tenant if the rental property is in a potential flood zone (CIV 8589.45).

Lead-Based Paint – Landlords renting property built before January 1, 1978, must attach this federally-mandated disclosure form.

Megan’s Law – A registered sex offender disclosure form that must be attached to every residential lease agreement (CIV 2079.10a(3)).

Mold – Written disclosure regarding mold in certain units must be provided by a landlord to any prospective tenant (HSC 26147).

Ordinance Locations – Prospective tenants must be notified if a residential dwelling for which they are applying was formerly a federal or state ordinance location (CIV 1940.7(b)).

Shared Utilities – If gas and electric meters for a particular dwelling are not separate (i.e., the meter does measure solely that particular unit’s services), the landlord must notify the tenant before the tenancy begins (CIV 1940.9).

Smoking Policy – If the landlord has prohibited smoking in a residential dwelling, the tenant must be made aware either by including a provision in the lease agreement or by disclosing in writing in a separate document (CIV 1947.5).

Rent Grace Period

No grace period is required in California. Landlords may serve a tenant who has defaulted in the payment of rent a three (3) day notice to pay the day after rent is due (§ CCP 1161(2)).

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