We are a non-profit organization serving the needs of individuals and companies who own, manage, or provide services and products to more than 30,000 rental housing units in the Central Valley.
Rights & Responsibilities
Maintenance and Repairs
An apartment must be fit to live in, that is, it must be habitable. This means it must be fit for occupation by human beings and that it substantially complies with government health and safety codes. A landlord is responsible for fixing repair problems that make the apartment uninhabitable. Generally, "habitable" means:
- Leak-free walls, windows, doors, and ceiling;
- Plumbing in good working order;
- Gas, heating and electricity in good working order;
- Clean and sanitary buildings and grounds, free from debris, filth, rubbish, garbage and rodents;
- Adequate trash receptacles in good repair;
- Floors, stairways, and railings in good repair.
- Whether the landlord is responsible for making less serious repairs is usually spelled out in the rental agreement.
- Residents are required to take reasonable care of the apartment and common areas. You are also responsible for repairing damage you cause or that is caused by anyone for whom you are responsible (family, guests, or pets).
When can the Landlord enter the Rental Unit?
A landlord may enter a rental unit after providing proper notification and only for the following reasons:
- In an emergency;
- When you have moved out or have abandoned the apartment;
- To make necessary or agreed-upon repairs or other improvements;
- To show the apartment to prospective residents, purchasers or lenders;
- To provide entry to contractors;
- To conduct an initial inspection before the end of the tenancy as allowed by law;
- If a court permits it.
Except in an emergency, or with your permission, the landlord must give you reasonable advance notice before entering. The law considers 24 hours advance written notice to be reasonable in most situations.
Payment of Rent
A rental agreement will state when the rent is due, generally on the first of the month. Make sure you understand exactly when the rent is due, where you should send payment, and what the policy is regarding late fees and late payment of rent. If you pay by mail, make sure to send it early enough to arrive when it's due. Be prepared to pay by check or money order. It protects you in case there is a dispute over payment.
If deployed or transferred, active military personnel and their families may be exempt from normal notice requirements of the rental agreement. It is always a good idea, however, to send the owner a letter informing him/her that you are moving.
A landlord may set reasonable rules about the length of time guests may stay with you. These are usually spelled out in your rental agreement. Restrictions based on age, race, gender, gender identification or sexual orientations are not legal. A landlord cannot object to overnight guests based on religious or moral views.
After the rental agreement's time limit for a guest has passed, the landlord may ask your guest to fill out an application to rent and sign a rental agreement.
A landlord can give you a written notice for failing to comply with the rental agreement, rent increases, when terminating the tenancy, or changing the terms of the rental agreement.