Apartment Renters' Rights in Los Angeles County, California

As of 2011, Los Angeles County, California, is the most populous county in the nation, and with more than 10 million local residents, the county government's Department of Consumer Affairs has the authority to investigate complaints from tenants against their landlords. The California Landlord and Tenant Act applies to most residential leases within the county, but some cities have enacted special rent control ordinances.

  1. Privacy Rights

    • California renters have a right to privacy within their apartments. Landlords cannot intrude upon their privacy and illegally enter their apartments without first providing them with at least 24 hours' written notice, and may only enter their apartments during business hours after giving them notice. Landlords can enter without notice to address emergencies threatening their property or other tenants and to show their apartments to prospective tenants.

    Foreclosure Notice

    • In 2011, the state adopted new foreclosure laws to help tenants during foreclosure evictions. The state requires landlords to attach a foreclosure notice to an eviction notice. Landlords must notify their tenants of their rights to stay in their homes for at least 90 days or longer, if they executed a written lease. Landlords must also notify their tenants of their rights to receive free legal help if they are eligible for pro bono assistance. Their notices must be in at least 12-point font.

    Rent Control

    • As of 2011, there were four cities in Los Angeles County with rent control regulations: Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, Santa Monica and the city of Los Angeles. Each city is responsible for establishing its own regulations, but rent control laws generally limit the amount of rent landlords can charge, when they can evict their tenants, limits late charges and how often they can increase rent. Although California law does not require landlords to provide their non-rent-control tenants with reasons for lease termination, rent control laws require it.

    Written Notices From Landlords

    • Landlords can give their tenants a three-day "pay or quit" notice when they are delinquent in their rent payments. The notice allows them to pay the full amount of rent, and California law requires landlords to accept the rent. If they do not pay, they must move out, and landlords may file an unlawful detainer in court to evict them after three days. Additionally, landlords can give their other tenants a three-day pay or quit notice if they violated the terms of their leases. Tenants have three days to remedy any violations. Landlords must provide their other tenants with at least 30 days of written notice to move out for any other legal reason if they lived in their apartments for less than 12 months.

    Considerations

    • Since state laws can frequently change, do not use this information as a substitute for legal advice. Seek advice through an attorney licensed to practice law in your state.

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