California Property Laws You Should Know

by Rob Godar 07/28/2019

Are you thinking of living in California or in the process of buying a home? You should know that you will be subject to the laws of the state whether as a renter or a landowner. It is, therefore, necessary to learn as much as you can about the rules of real estate in California. Here are some of the common ones that you should know:

1. All real estate contracts must be documented.

Anything that has to do with the purchase, lease or ownership of property or any sort of real estate has to be written down to be accepted as legally binding. Ensure that there is a real estate lawyer present whenever you have a real estate deal. Also, ensure that your original contract is close to your possession in case of any legal dispute.

2. All property issues must be revealed to the buyer or renter.

Buyers and renters have the right to know all the defects of the property before the deal is closed. This also includes any deaths that may have happened in the last three years on the premises. This ensures that there is full disclosure before any deal. It also gives you the right to legal respite if you discover an issue with a house you just bought or rented.

3. Any property abandoned after three years reverts to government ownership.

Under California law, any property that is not in use or lost is regarded as “unclaimed property.” If the property stays that way for three years, it officially belongs to the California government. You must reclaim any property you want to keep before the grace period elapses.

4. Security deposits are limited.

If you are renting property in California, you should know that the security deposit you need to pay cannot be more than two months’ worth of rent for an unfurnished apartment and three months where the apartment is already furnished. You should also receive the full amount of your security deposit when your lease is up. Part of your deposit may be withheld to cater to normal wears and tears of the apartment or damages caused by pets.

5. Evictions require adequate notice.

If a landlord wants to evict a tenant, they have to give proper notice before any action. The legal process of eviction is quite complex and can take a long time to sort out. 

These are not all the laws of California, but they are important enough for you to familiarize yourself with. Talk to a real estate agent in California for more information.

About the Author

Rob Godar

Greetings everyone; those of you I know and those of you I’ve yet to meet!

My name is Rob Godar and I thank you for joining me on my journey as I share my long-time passion for Silicon Valley Real Estate.