Mandatory Disclosures for California Lease Agreements
If you’re a California landlord, you should be aware that state law requires residential lease agreements to include a number of disclosures. Many landlords use boilerplate agreements that recycle the same terms over and over again. When a landlord reuses a lease agreement that omits mandatory disclosures, the landlord risks liability exposure with multiple tenants.
Although there’s nothing wrong with relying on a well-drafted contract, it’s important to revisit your agreements frequently, as landlord-tenant laws change. Have your real estate and eviction lawyer review all agreements periodically. You should also seek legal counsel when entering into a rental agreement with unusual, new, or specific terms. As the old saying goes, prevention is worth a pound of cure. In this case, taking the time to ensure your agreements are legally sound could save you a lot of time, money, and frustration down the road.
Here are several common mandatory disclosures required by state law.
Toxic Mold, Lead-based Paint, and Asbestos
Landlords must disclose the presence or potential presence of certain types of health hazards, including toxic mold, lead-based paint, and asbestos. Landlords are required to provide tenants with information about lead-based paint for any property built before 1978 regardless of whether the landlord knows if lead-based paint is present in the building. For properties built before 1981, landlords must alert tenants to the potential presence of asbestos. Finally, if a landlord knows the unit is contaminated with toxic mold, the landlord must notify the tenant.
If a rental unit shares utilities with other units in the building, the lease agreement must disclose who pays for utilities.
Registered Sex Offenders
California Civil Code Section 2079.10a requires landlords to include certain language about Megan’s Law and the registered sex offender database, which provides the public with information, including residential addresses, of registered sex offenders.
Landlords who use pest control services must provide their tenants with the name of the service provider, the type of pest being controlled, the pesticides used in the process, and a warning about the toxicity of pesticides. Landlords should also note that they’re required to provide additional notices to tenants if they choose to contract with pest control services not specified in the lease.
Previous Death in the Unit
California law requires landlords to inform renters when a previous tenant died in the unit any time within the preceding three years. Landlords must also disclose how the previous occupant died.
California Eviction and Real Estate Law
These are just a handful of the disclosures landlords must include in their rental agreements. To make sure you’re covered on all federal and state disclosures, work with an experienced attorney.
Attorney Kirkman J. Hoffman has more than 20 years’ experience representing commercial and residential landlords, owners, and property managers in Silicon Valley and the surrounding regions. Contact the team at Hoffman Law Group today at (408) 241-9620 to discuss your real estate or eviction matter.
This website has been prepared by Hoffman Law Group, APC for informational purposes only and does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice from an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.