28 Aug Tenant Concerns | Frequently Asked Questions
Tenant Concerns | Question #1:
When a Tenant applies for the unit, the landlord will give the tenant a rental application to check your credit history and past landlord-tenant relations. The landlord may obtain your credit report from a credit reporting agency to help him or her decide whether to rent to you. The landlord may use this information to make a final decision on whether to rent to you. Generally, landlords prefer to rent to people who have a history of paying their rent and other bills on time. If the landlord refuses to rent to you based on your credit report, it’s a good idea to get a free copy of your credit report and to correct any erroneous items of information in it. When you submit a rental application, the landlord may charge you an application screening fee.
Tenant Concerns | Question #2:
CHANGING LEASE TERMS
A landlord’s ability to change the terms of a tenancy depends on the cooperation level, the tenancy type, the nature of the change, and the terms of the tenant’s lease or rental agreement.
When a lease is month to month, a landlord can change the terms of the lease by giving a written 30 day notice of the change.
When there is a tenancy, such as 6 month or 1 year lease, a landlord can make a change with notice if the lease provision allows for a change. If the lease does not allow for a change, then the tenant can consent to the change. If however the tenant does not consent, the landlord cannot change the terms of the lease, until the expiration of the lease. The landlord can then change the terms of the lease, with a new/renewal of the lease, or with a 30 day notice if the lease becomes month to month. Be advised, if the change is with the rent amount, there are different rules.
If the tenant fails to comply with the notice, after the expiration of the notice, the landlord can sent a three day notice to perform, or else the tenant can be evicted.
Tenant Concerns | Question #3:
Late fees are legal in California. However, such fee need to be stated in the Lease Agreement between you and the landlord, thus giving you notice of how much the fee is. Usually, a fee is considered reasonable if the fee is around 5% of the rent payment, which in this case, it is. However, you need to also check you local rent control laws.
Tenant Concerns | Question #4:
Under the case of Gruzen v. Henry, if the house you are renting is illegal, then the landlord is not entitled to collect or request any rent. Such an agreement between the landlord and tenant would be against public policy, which means this is an illegal contract.
A tenant may be able to sue to recover the rent paid over the course of the agreement, however a court may not allow for such recovery if there isn’t any unhabitabily issues with the illegal unit.
Tenant Concerns | Question #5:
SMOKING ON PROPERTY
Yes. Landlords have the right to prohibit smoking of cigarettes or other tobacco products in and around a rental property as long as it is written into the lease agreement. CAL. CIV. CODE § 1947.5. Many leases ban smoking of any kind, including cigarettes, e-cigarettes, and marijuana.
Tenant Concerns | Question #6:
Based on the Proposition 64 The minimum age is 21; Possess no more than 6 plants at a time; Grow only where you live, where it cannot be seen and lock it; Carry no more than 28.5 grams, leave the rest at home. In addition, Cities can prohibit outdoor growing, but not indoor growing. Lastly, a landlord may be able to restrict the growth of the plant within the lease agreement. However, if the growth is for medical use, that is another story.
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The response above is not intended as legal advice. This response does not create an attorney-client relationship. Legal questions can only be fully answered through consultation with an attorney to whom you give full and accurate details. It is highly recommended that you seek advice from an attorney by setting up a confidential meeting. All who read this answer should not rely on the answer to govern their conduct.