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Home  California  Landlord/Tenant

Prohibited Practices/Illegal Lease Clauses

Where To Get Legal Or Government Assistance (CA)

See Repairs

See Discrimination/Fair Housing

See Evictions















Discrimination/Fair Housing

Housing Discrimination (CA)
Learn if you're protected from discrimination and where you can go for help.

Housing Rights In Spanish (CA)

Legal Rights Of Persons With Disabilities (CA)
The Rights of the disabled in employment, housing,
nondiscrimination in business and services, access, education,
parental rights, programs and services, benefits and health care. Also explains the civil rights of persons with mental and developmental disabilities.

Where Else To Get Legal Or Government Assistance (CA)

Other Housing Information In The San Francisco Area (CA)
Rent control, eviction, discrimination, security deposits, unlawful entry and evictions. (CA)
Tenant help book with information on repairs, security deposits, rent issues/rent increases/rent control, evictions, rights under written and oral agreements, ending the tenancy, subleasing, the landlords right of entry, discrimination and retaliation.  Also has help #s and resources.

For eviction matters click on "WHEN YOU'VE DECIDED TO RENT"

For Retaliation Click on "BEFORE YOU AGREE TO RENT"
Learn what housing is covered, the types of discrimination that is prohibited and where to go for help.

Housing Exempt From The Fair Housing Act
Some housing can discriminate.  Find out which.

Discrimination In Advertising Related To Housing

What Is a Disability As Defined By The Fair Housing Act 

Filing A Lawsuit Under The Fair Housing Act

Requirements For New Buildings (Built After 19991)

Procedures & Penalties For Violations
Guide to finding accessible housing for people with disabilities. 

For More See Prohibited Practices/Illegal Lease Clauses 

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Housing Rights In Spanish 

Flyer Fair Housing Rights (Spanish)

Flyer Fair Housing Rights for Families With Children (Spanish)

Flyer Fair Housing Rights for Home Buyers (Spanish)

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State By State Laws Against Landlord Retaliation (NOLO)
Not every state protects tenants from retaliation.

How The Various States Treat Landlord Retaliation
See Part 2 for the statutes and pro tenant case law on retaliatory conduct by landlords against tenants who exercise their rights under housing codes or other laws governing tenant rights. Each state varies with respect to the types of conduct landlords are prohibited from doing, the types of tenant activities that are protected, and the remedies available for a violation of the statute. And not all states are covered.

NOTE: for specific case law, search for key words by holding down the CTRL key and then press the letter F. Then search for your state by entering in the two letter abbreviation.
For example CA or GA or NY.

City And County Housing Codes (All 50 States)
Check your city and county housing codes for further protection. Some expressly protect against retaliation for reporting a violation. Once on your code website, search for retaliat or retaliation.

If you still can't find help, Google your state along with the words Landlord and Retaliation. If you are in a big city, Google that as well


Georgia landlord retaliation
New York landlord retaliation
San Francisco landlord retaliation

Google Scholar
Do the same search above in Google Scholar for state specific case law. Repeat search choosing Articles.

Where To Get Legal Or Government Assistance (CA)
Aside from state law, federal law may protect you from retaliation if the decision was based on your race, color creed, national origin, marital or family status or age if over 40. For details see Discrimination/Fair Housing.

If the landlord is punishing you for exercising your legal rights, you may have to sue in court.  For help, call your landlord tenant hotline, or get media support through your local TV, newspaper or radio station.

Where To Go For More Help

For more help see Lawyers, Courts & Self Help

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Uninhabitable Premises/Constructive Eviction

Sometimes a landlord will create a nuisance or fail to make needed repairs. If such actions make the premises unlivable, the law may permit the tenant to immediately move out and sue for "constructive eviction."  

If the tenant wins, damages can be collected for back rent, damage to furniture and other expenses.

Note a tenant cannot normally sue for constructive eviction unless the problem caused them to move out before the end of their lease.

Some states even allow for a partial constructive eviction, such as when the landlord's negligence makes only part of your apartment unlivable.  For example.  Suppose your landlord did not repair the leaky ceiling and as a result of this you can no longer use your dining room.  Then at least as far as the use of your dining room goes, you have been constructively evicted.

Note: The rules for constructive eviction depend on case law and vary from state to state.

So be very careful about claiming constructive eviction without first seeking help from an attorney.

Help Resources

Where To Get Legal Or Government Assistance (CA)

For More Help, See Repairs and Lawyers, Courts & Self Help

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Form Letters (Samples)

Where To Get Legal Or Government Assistance (CA)

The Forms Below Are Generic & Not State Specific


Tenant's Notice To End The Tenancy

Notice To Landlord To Make Repairs (Lawsmart)


Amendment Of Lease (

Assignment Of Lease (

Sample Residential Lease (

Consent To Assignment Of Lease (

Sample Tenant Notice Invoking Option To Renew Lease

Landlord Demand Letter Informing Tenant Of Breach Of Tenancy And What Tenant Must Do To Make Amends

Landlord Notice To Terminate The Tenancy (Lawsmart)

Lease Termination Agreement (Lawsmart)

Memorandum Of Lease (Lawsmart) 

Notice Of Rent Increase ( 

Residential Rental Application (

Notice To Tenant To Make Repairs (

Where To Go For More Help

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Mobile Homes

Your Rights As A Mobile Home Owner (CA)

Where To Get Legal Or Government Assistance

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HUD/Public Housing

Public vs. Private Housing

Public housing differs from private housing in two important ways. In public housing, a family's rent is based on the family's income and size. In a private house or apartment, rent is set by the landlord. In addition to this, many of the rights and duties of public housing tenants are directed by federal law. In contrast, most rights and duties of private tenants are set by the landlord. In most cases, you actually have more rights in public housing than in private housing.

Links To Local HUD Offices Throughout US

Where To Get Legal Or Government Assistance (CA)

HUD Help
Federal laws and regulations protect you from discrimination, fraud, and unscrupulous practices in buying and renting a home. Know your rights.
Admission, rents and lease requirements, eviction and grievances procedures and help numbers.

State Housing Authorities (All 50 States, DC & US Territories)
State housing agencies may give money and advice directly to low- and moderate-income people to help with rent, utilities, repairs to remove health and safety hazards, accessibility for the handicapped, and becoming homeowners. They also may construct, own, and manage public housing, which usually includes providing social services for the residents.

Where To Go For More Help

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Right To Tenant's Property Left Behind 

Your Rights to Possessions You Have Left Behind in a Rental Unit (CA)

Where To Get Legal Or Government Assistance (CA)

Options for a Landlord: When a Tenant's Personal Property Has Been Left in the Rental Unit (CA)

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Crime Prevention

Getting Your Landlord To Prevent Crime (General)

Contacting Your Neighbors (Consumer-SOS)
Use Internet phone books and reverse lookups to find out who your neighbors are and contact them. Good to organize a neighborhood watch, or simply have them turn down the noise.

How To Start Your Own Neighborhood Watch (CA)

Where To Go For More Help

See Nuisances, Noise & Neighbors

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Help Agencies & Mega Sites

Help For Tenants In LA County

Can't Pay Your Rent, Mortgage or Utilities? (Consumer-SOS)
Step by step on what to do and where to go for assistance.

Landlord Tenant Help Throughout California
Where to get free help for your landlord tenant problems.

Housing Help In California (Free/Low Cost  Legal Advice)
Help groups in Los Angeles, Ventura, North Hollywood and Van Nuys. 

San Jose Legal Aid Contact Information (CA)

Help Resources In Urban Areas
How to find legal help and deal with housing code problems, discrimination, roommates, late rent and lack of money, finding an apartment, transportation, health & safety and more.

California Municipal Codes and Ordinances (Cities A-Z)
FindLaw's listing of California city codes and ordinances.

Form Letters (Samples)

United Way Help Line  (For All 50 States, DC & Puerto Rico)
Choose your state, select your city, and look up help agencies throughout your city and state. Their stellar search engine can lead you to any social service topic you can think of.  Just type in the words "housing rights" or "HUD" or "housing Authority" or "housing codes", etc.

Find Your Local Newspaper, Magazine, Radio & TV Stations
Give them a little bad press and you're bargaining power increases tremendously. Select your state, and then click on your county or city for the proper media to report to. (DC Not Included).

Find The AARP In Your State
The AARP offers legal advocacy for seniors and may also have state specific consumer brochures which are available to everyone.  
Has help agency #s for 31 states, i.e. where to report your landlord and where to get free legal help. Also has links to each state's landlord/tenant laws.
This site has excellent resources, help numbers and links to pro-tenant publications in almost every state. It's a really good site!!!
This online resource for residential tenants has links to the law in 28 states, Australia, Canada and the UK.  They also have articles and tips for the lay person. 
Has links to landlord tenant laws in most of the 50 states and around the world.  Some of these links go to self help booklets written especially for the lay person.
This site has select laws from each state on security deposits, evictions and landlord laws, but it's not consumer friendly. Their "landlord Laws" sections may have stuff on notice to end tenancy and other stuff tenants should know. 

National Help Orgs For A Variety Of Consumer Problems
The Elderly, Environment, Families, Fraud, Health & Safety, Insurance The Handicapped, Medical Problems, Telemarketing and more.

For More General Advice, See 

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Help For Tenants In LA County

Housing Help In California (Free/Low Cost  Legal Advice)
Help groups in Los Angeles, Ventura, North Hollywood and Van Nuys. 

Help Resources In Urban Areas (Consumer-SOS)
How to find legal help and deal with repairs,  housing code problems, discrimination, roommates, late rent and lack of money, finding an apartment, transportation, health & safety and more.

Information On Homeless Shelters; Low Rent Housing; Renter's Tax Credits; Renter's Rights; And Utility Bill Assistance (Los Angeles County)

City of Los Angeles Codes & Ordinances

Los Angeles Tenants' Rights (Los Angeles)
Los Angeles Housing Law, Frequently Asked Questions 
Eleven Legal Reasons for Evictions, Rent Increases Requiring Approval/Declaration, Increases Not Requiring Approval/Declaration, Rent Level After a Vacancy 
Occupancy Limits, Relocation Assistance 
Referral Agencies, Information Requests.

Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles Eviction Defense Center
(213) 387-9038 

Coalition for Economic Survival
1296 North Fairfax Avenue West Hollywood, CA 90046 (323) 656-4410

Inquilinos Unidos 660 South Bonnie Brae Los Angeles, CA 90057 (213) 483-7497


L.A. City Housing Department 111 North Hope Street Los Angeles, CA 90012 (800) 994-4444 (213) 367-9411 (complaints)

L.A. County Health Department (323) 881-4015

Small Claims Court (downtown branch) 110 N. Grand Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90012 (213) 974-9759 (recorded information)

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Your Rights As A Tenant In A Residential Hotel (San Francisco)

Commercial Tenancies-Frequently Asked Questions For Landlords & Tenants (CA)

New And Old Rules For Landlords & Tenants -- Part 1: Residential Tenancies (CA)|
Duty to install security devices, ending the rental agreement, eviction, notice to the landlord or tenant,  attorneys' fees, and how foreclosure on the landlord affects your lease.

Find Your City's Municipal Codes

Learn how your city code treats, garbage, nuisance and safety hazards. If you can't find your city, follow their links to other code sites that can help you.

What Should I Know Before I Rent? (CA)
Repairs, repair & deduct/maintenance, types of leases, oral and written rental agreements, the landlord's right to enter, evictions & lockouts, losing a lawsuit and discrimination.

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