A residential lease agreement in Long Beach 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 Long Beach
Long Beach has no city-specific residential lease agreement requirements or disclosures. As such, landlords and tenants in Long Beach follow California requirements for lease agreements.
Landlord-Tenant Rights and Regulations in Long Beach
When it comes to landlord-tenant laws, Long Beach landlords should be aware of the following:
Just Cause Eviction Ordinance
In Long Beach, it is illegal for a landlord to evict a tenant without a just cause. This includes both at-fault and no-fault just cause evictions.
A no-fault eviction is a term used when the notice to end the tenancy is not based on any fault of the tenant. This type of eviction is typically used in scenarios such as month-to-month tenancies. Some examples of no-fault evictions include:
- The landlord, their spouse, or family member decides to occupy the unit (must be in the lease agreement)
- The landlord decides to withdraw the unit from the market
- A federal order or local ordinance requires the tenant to vacate the property
An at-fault eviction is a term used when the tenant is at fault. For at-fault evictions, landlords must provide written notice of the eviction, as well as an opportunity to cure the violation (if it is curable). Some examples of at-fault evictions include:
- Refusing to pay rent
- Violating the lease agreement
- Engaging in criminal activity
- Refusing to allow the landlord to enter the property
For no-fault evictions, tenants may be eligible to receive relocation benefits from the landlord. Additionally, if the property becomes available to rent, the landlord must first offer the unit to the displaced tenant within 30 days. Then, the tenant has 10 days to accept or reject the offer.
Tenant Relocation Assistance Ordinance
For no-fault evictions, landlords in Long Beach must provide eligible tenants with relocation assistance. Under this ordinance, property owners with 4 units or more must offer relocation payments ranging from $2,706 to $4,500. Tenants may be eligible for relocation payments if they:
- Received notice of a rent increase that is 10% or greater within a 12-month period.
- Received a notice to vacate due to the landlord’s rehabilitation of the unit.
- Were in good standing when they received a non-renewal notice or notice to vacate.
The ordinance also states that landlords are exempt from relocation assistance requirements if they fall under one of the following categories:
- Landlords who only own one building with exactly four units
- Landlords who occupy a unit in the building as their primary residence in a multi-family building of any size
- Landlords who have issued a notice to vacate for either the landlord or an immediate family member to move into the unit
- Landlords who are complying with a government order to vacate due to a natural disaster
- The unit to be vacated is an affordable housing unit restricted by deed or covenant to be affordable to lower-income households
- Landlords who own affordable housing units or units that were built after February 1, 1995
Senior and Disabled Security Deposit Program
Long Beach City Council established a program to assist tenants with disabilities and low-income senior tenants with their security deposits. The program will provide a one-time grant of up to $3,000 to help cover costs related to security deposit payments.
Tenant Right to Counsel Program
Long Beach has partnered with Stay Housed LA to support the Right to Counsel Program. This program helps provide low-income tenants with counseling resources and additional services offered by the county.
Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA)
The purpose of HOPWA is to create safe and supportive housing opportunities for people with AIDS. Long Beach has partnered with the Alliance for Housing and Healing to bring housing support to eligible tenants living with AIDS.
Optional Lease Agreement Disclosures and Addendums in Long Beach
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.