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California Leases and Rental Agreements Laws

State laws govern the manner in which lease and rental agreements may be drafted and enforced, such as security deposits and anti-discrimination provisions. California leases and rental agreements must limit deposits to the equivalent of two months rent (if unfurnished), while landlords may not discriminate against prospective tenants on the basis of their sexual orientation or marital status. All states must comply with federal anti-discrimination laws.

Below are the basics of California leases and rental agreements, with links to additional resources. See Rent and Security Deposits for more general information.

Code Section C.C. §51.2, 1945, 1950.5; Govt. Code §§12920, 12955
Terms of Leases If tenant remains in possession and landlord accepts rent, parties are presumed to have renewed lease on same terms and for same time, not to exceed 1 year
Deposits Limit 2 months rent for unfurnished, 3 months rent for furnished; interest on deposit not required; deposit must be refunded within 2 weeks of termination
Discrimination No discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, ancestry, familial status or disability; special accommodations for senior citizen housing, familial status or disability
Uniform Residential Landlord & Tenant Act Adopted? No

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a California Landlord-Tenant Lawyer or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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Next Steps
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