3 Big Lies Your Landlord May Tell You

There are landlords that take advantage of unwitting residents the world-round, and we that live in Los Angeles apartments are no exception! It seems that these days most people have a first-hand horror story about a terrible landlord situation where the landlord tried to take advantage of them either because they didn’t know the law or they just didn’t care.

Here are 3 of the most common lies your landlord (or potential landlord) may tell renters or residents in Los Angeles and the truths behind them*.

“Non-Refundable Security Deposit”

Ever sign a lease or see a rental advertisement that states there is a non-refundable deposit? This isn’t legal.  According to the California Department of Consumer Affairs, a security deposit is only to be used in the instance of a landlord recuperating their losses due to damages in the rental.  At no time can any portion of the deposit, even if it specifies it in your lease agreement, be deemed automatically non-refundable. Reference: California Civil Code 1950.5

“No Children Allowed”

Amateur landlords may think they can get away with advertising apartments or other Los Angeles rentals with a rule that children are not allowed.  Landlords “in-the-know” of California state laws will tell you that this is illegal and against Fair Housing laws.  According to the website for Los Angeles Housing and Community, Familial Status, which includes having children, is a protected class when it comes to renting.  The Housing Rights Center also states that charging a resident or applicant an additional deposit or rental fee for having children in the unit is also illegal.

“Surprise! Your rent is being increased!”

Once you’ve been in your Los Angeles rental long enough, the landlord may feel entitled to announce a rental increase.  While increasing ones rent is not illegal, the landlord must follow legal guidelines in order to do so.  The California Department of Consumer Affairs addresses rental increases in an article found HERE.

If you are in a month-to-month lease, your lease has expired, or the date of new rent coincides with the first day after your current lease has ended, a landlord must give you a 30 day written notice if rent will increase by an amount of less than 10% of your current rent, or by a 60 day written notice if the rent will be increased by more than 10% of the current rent.

*This article was written based on the legal facts presented via the websites and/or agencies referenced in the links above.  NMS Properties does not claim to be legal council.