California Standard Residential Lease Agreement Template – PDF – Word

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The California standard residential lease agreement is a contract made between a landlord and a tenant pertaining to the renting of real property. This agreement includes terms and conditions that outline the responsibilities of both parties as well as rental period, rent amount, etc. A landlord will usually take the potential tenant’s information to provide a background and credit check through an application form and, if they are approved, a lease agreement will be signed by both parties.

For more information about the residential rental laws in California refer to the Guide to Residential Tenants’ and Landlords’ Rights and Responsibilities (Spanish Version).


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

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)).

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

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 – 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 disclosing in writing in a separate document (CIV 1947.5).

Rent Grace Period

No grace period 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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