A residential lease agreement in Fresno is a binding document between a landlord and a tenant. This agreement outlines the terms and conditions surrounding the use of a rental property in exchange for payment.
Residential Lease Agreement Requirements in Fresno
Fresno currently has one mandatory disclosure that landlords must include in all lease agreements. This disclosure is in addition to California’s lease agreement requirements.
In January 2022, the City of Fresno passed an ordinance banning indoor smoking for all multi-unit rental properties. Smoking is only allowed in designated outdoor smoking areas at least 20 feet from the premises. Fresno Landlords must disclose these regulations in the lease agreement, and clarify if there are any designated smoking areas on the premises. Landlords must also deliver a copy of these rules to all rental units.
Landlord-Tenant Rights and Regulations in Fresno
When it comes to landlord-tenant rights, Fresno landlords should be aware of the following:
Rental Housing Improvement Act
The City of Fresno’s Rental Housing Improvement Act works to improve the quality of rental properties and ensure all units are in compliance with health and safety standards. All dwelling units must undergo necessary inspections and be registered as a rental property through the city’s Rental Property Registry.
Eviction Protection Program
Fresno’s Eviction Protection Program offers protections for residents facing an unlawful eviction. If an eviction is considered unlawful by the city, the tenant may be eligible to receive city-appointed legal assistance at no charge. A few examples of an unlawful eviction include:
- Retaliation for reporting code violations
- Unlawful rent increases
- Non-payment of rent due to COVID-19 income loss
Optional Lease Agreement Disclosures and Addendums in Fresno
While not mandatory, landlords can add specific disclosures and addendums to their leases. This helps outline the responsibilities of the tenant and can prevent future liability issues.
Since California is listed as the #1 state for asbestos-related deaths, landlords should include a disclosure stating if asbestos is present on the property. If asbestos is present, tenants should take precautions to minimize the chance of disturbing the asbestos fibers.
Fire Safety Disclosure
Due to California’s higher wildfire risk, landlords may want to include a fire safety disclosure in the lease agreement. This should provide information relating to smoke detectors, fire sprinklers, fire safety systems, alarms, and evacuation plans.
Summary of Required Lease Disclosures for the State of California
- Methamphetamine and Fentanyl Contamination – Landlords must disclose any known presence of methamphetamine and fentanyl in a rental agreement. For contaminated property, landlords must include a copy of any contamination-related notices. They must also inform prospective tenants in the rental agreement about ongoing remediation efforts before they sign the lease.
- Mold – Landlords must disclose any knowledge of mold on the property. This includes 1) any reason to believe there is toxic mold or 2) a high chance of mold forming. This disclosure is mandatory unless the mold was remediated to California safety guidelines.
- Sex Offender Registry Notice – Prospective tenants and citizens alike have access to information relating to the sex offender registry. This is known as Megan’s Law Disclosure and must be disclosed in every rental agreement.
- Demolition Permit – If a landlord has intentions to demolish a rental unit or building, or has applied for a demolition permit, they must disclose this in the rental agreement. The disclosure should state the approximate date on which demolition will occur.
- Military Ordnance – Landlords must provide a military ordnance disclosure for any property that falls within one mile of military training grounds or ordnance storage. This disclosure notifies the tenant that there is a possibility of live munitions near the rental unit.
- Death in a Rental Unit -Unless occurring due to HIV or AIDS, death in a California rental unit must be disclosed if it occurred within 3 years of the beginning of the lease agreement due to statutes on emotional defects in a property.
- Shared Utilities Arrangement – In California, when each unit does not have its own utility meter, the landlord must disclose this information in the rental agreement. They must also provide a mutual written agreement with the tenant for payment of services.
- Bed Bugs – Landlords must include a bed bug addendum in their rental agreements. This addendum provides information about preventing infestations and the proper protocol if one arises.
- Flood Zone – If the landlord has knowledge of the rental property residing in a flood zone, they must disclose this information to the tenant in the rental agreement.
- Smoking Policy – If a landlord wishes to prohibit smoking tobacco in any part of the rental property, they must disclose specifically where smoking is prohibited.
- Lead-Based Paint – It is a federal law in the United States that any home built prior to 1978 must disclose the risks posed by lead-based paints.