(5) Free California Rental Lease Forms to Download

California Sublease Agreement
California sublease agreement is a document that allows for subletting and done in accordance to provision (CIV § 1995.210). It is a legally binding document between a sub-lessor (current tenant) and a sub-lessee (subtenant) in a residential space.
Rental Application California
California residential rental application form is used by a landlord or property management company to collect crucial information on potential tenants.  The filled-in formation ranges from personal information to rental history, employment, credit, and references information. Once the applicant fills the form, they authorize the landlord to conduct a background check on them.
Commercial Lease Agreement California
The California commercial lease agreement is a legal document that governs the relationship between the landlord and the tenant in a commercial property.  Although there are decreased regulations compared to other leases, the California commercial lease agreement complies with the state laws.

Landlord-Tenant Laws

The laws governing the California rental lease are found under:

Security Deposits

In California, the maximum security deposit for an unfurnished unit is two months’ rent, while for a furnished one, it’s three months. Landlords have a 21-day window to return this deposit after the tenant leaves, as mandated by (CIV Code § 1950.5(g) (1)). Notably, there’s no statute on deposit interest or its separate account placement.


Rent should align with what’s stated in the lease agreement. While landlords can impose late fees, they must be reasonable (CIV § 1671). If rent is overdue, landlords can issue a 3-day notice § CCP 1161(2) mandating tenants to settle the amount or vacate. Interestingly, California doesn’t have a rent grace period statute. Any rent increase requires a 30-day notice (CIV Code § 827(b)(2-3)). If the hike exceeds 10% of the lowest amount charged in the past year, a 90-day notice is necessary.

Required disclosures

The Landlord must disclose the following to prospect tenants

  • AB 1482 Just Cause Addendum: This ensures no restrictions on rent hikes or evictions (CIV 1946.2(e) & 1947.12(d)(5)(B)(i)). Some exceptions apply.
  • Lead-Based Hazards: For buildings erected before 1978, landlords must notify tenants about potential lead risks (Title 42 U.S. Code § 4852(d)).
  • Bedbug and Flood Disclosures: Landlords must declare units free from bedbugs and inform if units lie in flood zones.
  • Demolition and Megan’s Law Disclosures: Tenants should be informed about demolition permits and directed to websites showing local registered sexual offenders.
  • Shared Utilities, Smoking Policy, Mold, Ordinance Locations, and Pest Control: These disclosures ensure tenants know utility agreements, smoking rules, mold risks, former ordinance locations, and recent pest treatments.

You can read more about Required Landlord – Tenant Disclosures in a Rental Lease Agreement

California Eviction

Evicting a tenant can be complicated. Valid reasons include rent non-payment, lease violations, or illegal activities. For more on eviction rules and templates, Click here.

Landlord’s Access/Right to enter

In non-emergency situations, landlords must give a 24-hour notice before entering a property (CIV Code § 1954(d)(1)). However, emergencies allow for immediate access.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you negotiate rent in California?

Yes. You can always negotiate rent before signing a new rental lease or renewing your rental lease.

Does a rental agreement need to be notarized in California?

No. It is not mandatory to Notarize a lease agreement in California.

Can tenant make a move against landlords?

Yes. California landlords are required to offer habitable rentals, thus, tenants can sue the landlord, move without notice, call the state health inspectors, repair and deduct rent or withhold rent if the landlord fails to take care of the premises as required.

Can a tenant legally break a lease?

Yes. California State gives the tenant the right to break a lease under some circumstances such as income disruption, job loss or transfers. However, liability for the lease still remains.

What happens when a lease expires?

The landlord requires the tenant to return the premises back upon expiration of the lease according to their agreement unless there is an agreement renewal between the landlord and the tenant.