Even though the landlord owns the property, you generally have the right to your privacy. No one may enter your home without legal authority. Your landlord must give you at least 24-hours notice before entering the property unless there is an emergency, you have requested repairs or maintenance (without designating certain dates and times) or the contract permits the landlord to enter the grounds (but not the dwelling unit) for yard maintenance.
A Habitable Home
The property must be safe and sanitary. It must be free of pests when you move in, and there must be proper wiring, plumbing, heating and weatherproofing. The landlord must maintain these conditions throughout your rental period. If repairs are needed for safety or sanitation, your landlord must make such repairs without charging you for them. If you have caused the problem, the landlord is still obliged to make the repair if you don’t do it. However, you are responsible for the cost.
If the landlord refuses to provide certain kinds of repairs, and if you did not cause the problem, you may correct the problem if you first give written notice to the landlord. In the written notice, be sure to define the problem and give the landlord a reasonable amount of time to make the repairs. In some circumstances, you may then deduct the cost of the repairs from your rent, after submitting the receipts to the landlord. The law limits the time you have to wait, the kinds of problems you are allowed to fix and the amount of money you are allowed to spend.
Month-to-Month Rental Agreements
Either you or your landlord can end the agreement with a 30-day written notice. The landlord does not have to tell you the reason for the 30-day notice, but the reason must be a lawful one. For instance, the landlord can’t issue an eviction notice in retaliation for complaining in good faith about conditions to the landlord or a public agency or for joining a tenant organization. If your tenancy began more than one year ago, your landlord must give you a 60-day notice. If you have a rental agreement for a specific time period, you may not be evicted before the end of that term without a good reason.
If your rent is more than seven days overdue, your landlord may give you written notice to either pay the rent within 72 hours or move out. Alternatively, the landlord can give you a 144-hour notice when the rent is five days overdue. Your landlord may charge certain fees for late rent.
Eviction for Cause
If you have caused intentional damage to the property or have been found responsible for committing criminal acts on the property, your landlord can give you a 24-hour written notice to move out. This notice must tell you why you are being evicted. As in all cases, the landlord cannot evict you for illegal and/or discriminatory reasons.
If the landlord has properly served you with an eviction notice, and you do not comply, the landlord can seek a court order to have you evicted. You have the right to appear in court to challenge the landlord’s request for an eviction order. Until the landlord has obtained a court order to evict you, the landlord cannot try to force you to leave by removing your belongings, locking you out of the property or shutting off your utilities. If you lose in court, the landlord may ultimately have law enforcement remove you from the property, and you may be required to pay the landlord’s court costs and legal fees.
If you pay a deposit when you rent a house or an apartment, the landlord must account for the deposit within 31 days after the tenancy terminates and the tenant delivers possession to the landlord. The landlord may keep only the part of the deposit that is needed to pay for any damage directly caused by you, absent normal wear and tear, unless your rental agreement states otherwise.
In a month-to-month tenancy, your landlord may not increase rent during the first year of your tenancy. After that, your landlord may increase the rent by giving you at least 90 days written notice. Unless you can show that the rent increase is retaliatory, discriminatory or imposed in bad faith, you must pay the new rent. A fixed-term lease may list a method for increasing rents during the term until the fixed-term lease has expired. If it doesn't, your landlord may not increase the rent.