Home | Education | State Law

California Lease Agreement

california residential lease agreement
California Residential Lease Agreement
TurboTenant's California lease agreement, crafted by local attorneys and property owners, ensures legal compliance and full protection for landlords.

The California Lease Agreement from TurboTenant is meticulously crafted to ensure your compliance and protection as a landlord. The lease is divided into three key sections, each serving a specific purpose in the rental agreement process.

Section 1: Custom to You

Section 1 is tailored to include information about you, your tenants, the rental property, and the lease details. You input this information through TurboTenant’s lease creation process. It includes the main details of the lease, such as who is on the lease, rent amount, utility responsibilities, and more, which are summarized at the beginning of the lease agreement for easy reference.

Additional Provisions

Here, you can include property-specific rules, necessary local clauses, or other details unique to your situation. Although this section offers customization, it is recommended to have these additional provisions reviewed by a legal professional.

Lost Key

This section outlines the tenant’s responsibility to return all keys upon moving out. If they fail to do so, they are liable for the cost of rekeying the property.

Section 2: Specific to California

Section 2 comprises clauses that are specific to California law, aimed at keeping you within legal boundaries. Notably, details in this section are not editable to ensure compliance, with the exception of certain disclosures.

Late Fees

It specifies that rent is due on the first of each month, with a grace period until the fifth. If rent is not paid in full by then, you are entitled to charge a late fee as defined by the lease terms.

Security Deposit Provisions

California law requires that the security deposit be returned within 21 days of the lease’s end, less any deductions for damages or unpaid rent. Interest on security deposits is not mandated unless specified by local law.

Occupancy Limits and Guests

The lease stipulates who may legally occupy the premises, typically limited to the tenant and any additional occupants listed, like dependents.

Notification of Repairs

Tenants are responsible for repairs stemming from misuse or negligence and must promptly report any serious property issues to the landlord. Conversely, landlords must address necessary repairs to maintain a safe and habitable environment.

Access to Premises by Landlord

The lease outlines the conditions under which a landlord may enter the property, including emergencies and maintenance.

Changing Locks

Tenants must request in writing if they wish to change locks and must bear the cost, even though the installation may be performed by the landlord.


The lease includes mandatory California disclosures, such as asbestos, methamphetamine/fentanyl, flood zones, prior deaths, military testing sites, shared utilities, and bed bug information.

Section 3: General Things to Know

This section contains general clauses common to most lease agreements across the United States, following best practices for the landlord-tenant relationship.


Tenants are prohibited from subleasing the property without the landlord’s written permission.

Altering or Improving the Property

Tenants must obtain written consent before making any alterations or improvements to the property.

Follow the Law

Tenants must adhere to all applicable laws and ordinances and avoid being a nuisance to neighbors. Breaches can be grounds for lease termination.

Helpful Things to Know About California Landlord-Tenant Law

California sets limits on the amount that can be charged for security deposits, which varies depending on whether the property is furnished or unfurnished and if the tenant is a service member. Local laws may also require interest to be paid on these deposits.

Security Deposit Return

Landlords have a 21-day window to return the security deposit, provide an itemized list of deductions, and issue any remaining refund along with the necessary receipts, unless repairs are under a certain dollar amount or the tenant has waived their right to receive them.

Streamline Your Rental Property Management – For Free
Get More Out of Your Lease Agreement
Get Started Today
Default Image Description


What is the maximum amount I can charge for a security deposit in California?

In California, landlords can charge up to two months’ rent for an unfurnished rental and three months’ rent for a furnished rental. For service members, the limit is one month’s rent for unfurnished and two months’ rent for furnished rentals. An additional half month’s rent may be charged if the tenant has a waterbed.

How long do I have to return the security deposit to the tenant after they move out?

Landlords in California must return the security deposit within 21 days of the tenant moving out. This includes providing an itemized statement of deductions for damages or unpaid rent and receipts for deductions exceeding a specified amount, unless the tenant waives this right.

Are there any specific disclosures I need to include in my California lease agreement?

Yes, there are mandatory disclosures required in California lease agreements. These include information regarding asbestos, methamphetamine or fentanyl contamination, flood zones, previous deaths on the property, military testing sites nearby, shared utilities, and bed bug infestations.

Streamline Your Rental Property Management