California Tenant Screening
Required Disclosures (by Landlords)
Sex Offenders: Landlords must include the following language in their rental agreements: “Notice: Pursuant to Section 290.46 of the Penal Code, information about specified registered sex offenders is made available to the public via an Internet Web site maintained by the Department of Justice at www.meganslaw.ca.gov. Depending on an offender’s criminal history, this information will include either the address at which the offender resides or the community of residence and ZIP Code in which he or she resides.” (Cal. Civ. Code § 2079.10a)
Tenant Paying for Others’ Utilities: Prior to signing a rental agreement, landlord must disclose whether gas or electric service to tenant’s unit also serves other areas, and must disclose the manner by which costs will be fairly allocated. (Cal. Civ. Code §1940.9)
Ordnance Locations: Prior to signing a lease, landlord must disclose known locations of former federal or state ordnance in the neighborhood (within one mile of rental). (Cal. Civ. Code § 1940.7)
Toxic Mold: Prior to signing a rental agreement, landlord must provide written disclosure when landlord knows, or has reason to know, that mold exceeds permissible exposure limits or poses a health threat. Landlords must distribute a consumer handbook, developed by the State Department of Health Services, describing the potential health risks from mold. (Cal. Health & Safety Code §§ 26147, 26148)
Pest Control: When the rental agreement is signed, landlord must provide tenant with any pest control company disclosure landlord has received, which describes the pest to be controlled, pesticides used and their active ingredients, a warning that pesticides are toxic, and the frequency of treatment under any contract for periodic service. (Cal. Civ. Code § 1940.8, Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 8538)
Intention to Demolish Rental Unit. Landlords or their agents who have applied for a permit to demolish a rental unit must give written notice of this fact to prospective tenants, before accepting any deposits or screening fees. (Cal. Civ. Code § 1940.6)
No Smoking Policy: For leases and rental agreements signed after January 1, 2012 – If the landlord prohibits or limits the smoking of tobacco products on the rental property, the lease or rental agreement must include a clause describing the areas where smoking is limited or prohibited (does not apply if the tenant has previously occupied the dwelling unit). For leases and rental agreements signed before January 1, 2012 – A newly adopted policy limiting or prohibiting smoking is a change in the terms of the tenancy (will not apply to lease holding tenants until they renew their leases; tenants renting month-to-month must be given 30 days’ written notice). Does not preempt any local ordinances prohibiting smoking in effect on January 1, 2012. (Cal. Civ. Code § 1947.5)
Notice of Default: Lessors of single-family homes and multifamily properties of four units or less, who have received a notice of default for the rental property that has not been rescinded, must disclose this fact to potential renters before they sign a lease. The notice must be in English or in Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, or Korean (if the lease was negotiated in one of these languages), and must follow the language specified in Cal. Civil Code § 2924.85(d).
Background Check Coverage for California Tenant Screening:
- Criminal & Sex Offender Records – A statewide search includes Butte Superior Court, Contra Costa Courts, Department Of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Fresno Superior Court, Glenn County Superior Court, Los Angeles Superior Court, Nevada County Superior Court, Orange Superior Court, Riverside Superior Court, Sacramento Superior Court, San Bernardino Superior Court, San Diego Superior Court, San Luis Obispo Superior Court, San Mateo County Superior Court, Santa Barbara Courts, Santa Barbara Minor Criminal And Traffic, CA Sex Offender Registry, Shasta Superior Court, Stanislaus Superior Court, Tehama County Superior Court and Ventura Superior Court.
- Eviction Records – The following counties are included Alameda, Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Contra Costa, Del Norte, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Humboldt, Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Lake, Lassen, Los Angeles, Madera, Marin, Mariposa, Mendocino, Mercid, Modoc, Mono, Monterey, Napa, Nevada, Orange, Placer, Plumas, Riverside, Sacramento, San Benito, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Tulare, Tuolumne. Ventura, Yolo and Yuba.
- Bankruptcies, Liens & Judgments – Counties often report to credit bureaus: Alameda, Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Contra Costa, Del Norte, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Humboldt, Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Lake, Lassen, Los Angeles, Madera, Marin, Mariposa, Mendocino, Merced, Modoc, Mono, Monterey, Napa, Nevada, Orange, Placer, Plumas, Riverside, Sacramento, San Benito, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Tulare, Tuolumne, Ventura, Yolo and Yuba.