(5) Free California Rental Lease Forms to Download

Free California Sublease Agreement - PDF Download

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. The subtenant is bound to comply with the original terms as stated

Free Rental Application California - PDF Download

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

Free Commercial Lease Agreement California - PDF Download

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. The lease agreement must follow the provisions provided

Landlord-Tenant Laws

The laws governing the California rental lease are found under:

  • California Civil Code: Divisions 2 (Property) and 3 (Obligations)
  • California Tenants: A Guide to Residential Tenants’ and Landlords’ Rights and Responsibilities (PDF)

Security Deposits

According to Cal. Civ. Code § 1950.5) (§ 1940.5(g)), the maximum security deposit for an unfurnished unit is two months’ rent while the furnished one is three months’ rent.

The landlord is supposed to return the security deposit within 21 days after the tenant vacates the premises as required by (CIV Code § 1950.5(g) (1)).  There are no statutes required on the interest and placement of the security deposit in a separate account.


The rent is supposed to be paid as stated on the lease agreement. The landlord can charge late fees but are supposed to be reasonable according to (CIV § 1671).  The landlord also has a right to send a 3-day notice ((§ CCP 1161(2))) to the tenant to pay the rent which requires the tenant to pay the rent due plus penalties or vacate the premises.

There is no statute on the rent grace period in California.

The landlord must notify the tenant 30 days before increasing rent according to (CIV Code § 827(b)(2-3)). In cases where the rent is to be increased by more than 10% of the lowest amount charged within the past 12 months, then the landlord is required to give a 90-day notice.

Required disclosures

The Landlord must disclose the following to prospect tenants
AB 1482 Just Cause Addendum– It is signed to ensure there is no restriction when it comes to renting increases or tenant evictions. It is written according to (CIV 1946.2(e)) & 1947.12(d)(5)(B)(i)).  However, it can be exempted if it falls under:

  • Properties with two separate dwellings and the owner occupy one of the units
  • Premises constructed in the last 15 years
  • Restrictions by regulatory restrictions, deeds, and other documents that limit affordability to moderate and low-income households
  • Units that are under local rent control ordinance

Lead-Based Hazards disclosure– The landlord should notify the tenants of potential traces of lead-based hazards for all the buildings constructed before 1978 according to (Title 42 U.S. Code § 4852(d)).

Bedbug Disclosure– (Cal. Civ. Code § 1941.1) (§ 1942.5) (§ 1954.600-1954.605) requires the landlord to declare the unit free from bed bug infestation and the tenant’s belonging have no bed bug infestation.

Flood Disclosure– (Cal. Gov. Code § 8589.45) requires the landlord to inform the tenants if the units are located in a special flood area.

Demolition – (CIV § 1940.6) requires the landlord to inform the tenant if they have received a permit to demolish the residential unit before accepting a deposit or rental contract.

Megan’s Law disclosure– The notice must include the provision to direct the tenants to a website that shows registered sexual offenders in the area according to (Cal. Civ. Code § 2079.10(a)).

Shared Utilities– shared utility agreement such as a gas or electric meter must be duly shown according to (CIV § 1940.9).

Smoking Policy Disclosure – according to (CIV § 1947.5), the landlord must state if smoking is allowed in the units or not and common areas If available.

Mold Disclosure– A document must be attached with the rental agreement highlighting the mold status and health risks in the units according to (HSC § 26147 & 26148).

Ordinance Locations– (CIV § 1940.7(b)) requires the landlord to inform the tenant of former state or federal ordinance location (Military training) before entering into a rental agreement.

Pest Control – (GOV § 1099) requires an inspection report given to the tenant in cases where pest control has been done in the premises.

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

California Eviction

If a landlord wishes to terminate a lease early and evict the tenant it has to be for a valid reason including, failure to pay rent, violating the lease or rental agreement, or committing an illegal act.
You can read more about the Eviction rules and download the Eviction Templates here.

Landlord’s Access/Right to enter

For non-emergencies, the landlord is supposed to notify the tenant 24 hours before entering the premises and access without notice for emergency purposes according to (CIV Code § 1954(d)(1)).

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.