Top 10 Legal Mistakes Made by California Landlords

2:17 pm Uncategorized

Oops 150x122 Top 10 Legal Mistakes Made by California LandlordsIf you are a California landlord, take note of the top 10 legal mistakes that landlords make and protect yourself against them:

  1. Using Incorrect or Outdated Lease Forms – be sure the lease forms you use conform to current California law.
  2. Screening Applicants Incorrectly – asking the wrong questions can open you up to a discrimination lawsuit.
  3. Discriminating Against Families – excluding families as tenants is illegal.
  4. Making Promises You Don’t Keep – if someone rents from you based on a promise you did not keep (i.e., free Internet service), your tenant may be able to break the lease and sue you for the value of what was not delivered.
  5. Excessive Late Fees – courts generally do not uphold excessive late fees, so it is better to set modest late fees that reflect actual damages.
  6. Violating Rights to Privacy – landlords must provide tenants with prior notice before entering their home or a tenant may be able to break the lease.
  7. Wrongful Use of Security Deposits – California landlords are required to provide tenants with advance notice before deducting any funds from a security deposit.
  8. Ignoring Dangerous Conditions – not making prompt repairs, allowing security to lapse or ignoring environmental hazards can cost landlords a lot in terms of broken leases and having to reimburse tenants for stolen or damaged property.
  9. Keeping Entire Security Deposit for Broken Lease – if a tenant breaks a lease, landlords are not automatically entitled to keep the entire security deposit.  Reasonable effort must be made to lease the space, and a pro-rated amount returned to the tenant.
  10. Failure to Return Security Deposits – in California, landlords must return a security deposit within 21 days.

Our real estate practice is focused on providing you with three main benefits: Helping you avoid the legal pitfalls associated with real estate ownership and transactions; maximizing your tax advantages; and ensuring your bottom line profitability on every one of your real estate holdings.

If you have California real estate questions, contact our Orange County real estate law firm.

Help is available to you by contacting your Southern California financial planning experts today.

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