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What do landlords need to know to avoid litigation?

On Behalf of | Aug 15, 2022 | Real Estate Law |

Many people are attracted to California real estate because it makes such a smart investment. As a landlord, though, there are certain laws you need to know and adhere to, to avoid issues. 

California is known for strict landlord-tenant laws, so knowing what they are is imperative to protect yourself and your real estate investment. 

Fair housing laws

When you search for tenants for a California rental property, you must abide by the fair housing laws. This includes what questions you ask during tenant screening and how you handle your renters. 

You can legally reject a tenant based on negative references, criminal behavior, eviction history and bad credit. You cannot reject a candidate based on physical disability, national origin, sex, race, religion and familial status. 

Rental agreement laws

California landlord-tenant laws stipulate that tenancies of 12 or more months require rental agreements. Oral agreements are legal, but proving the terms is challenging. Creating a rental agreement in writing allows you to prove what was agreed to, which ensures fast dispute resolution. 

You also need to cover the proper notices in the agreement, which include utility, military ordinance, pest control, mold, lead pain, death in the unit, civil code, demolition permit and carcinogenic materials. 

Repair requirements

Real estate investors must repair any serious defects in rental properties to ensure they comply with the local health and building codes. They must also make the property livable. 

Tenants are required to take care of the unit and repair any damages caused by their negligence or abuse. 

As a landlord, knowing the laws you must follow is a must. The information here provides a good overview but knowing the legal requirements will help you avoid issues down the road.