Ah, having the rent paid on time...there is nothing more blissful as a landlord! In California there are a few specifics to be aware of regarding accepting rent payments from tenants. Let’s review the key points here.
Payment, Prepaid Rent, Charges, And Fees
As tenants begin their tenancy you may ask for prepaid rent. Be aware that you are limited to one month’s prepaid rent in California. Make sure to provide a written receipt of any prepaid rent received.
Tenants will pay their rent with a check or cash, and sometimes a money order. California law requires a landlord to accept a form of rent payment that is neither cash nor electronic transfer. While not a law in California, it’s always a good idea to provide a written receipt for any payments made with cash. If a payment is returned for lack of sufficient funds or a stop payment, the landlord has the right to require that the tenant pay rent in cash for up to three consecutive months, as long as the landlord complies with the notice requirements of Cal.Civ.Code §1947.3. The written notice requirements should include a statement by the landlord that the payment instrument was dishonored and informing the tenant that the tenant shall pay in cash for a period determined by the landlord, not to exceed three months. A copy of the dishonored instrument must also be attached to the notice.
In California, for a rental term that is a fixed term (i.e. not month-to-month) you are required to provide 30 days’ written notice of a rent increase.
When it’s time to increase the monthly rent amount you have to send a notice to your tenant. In California, for a rental term that is a fixed term (i.e. not month-to-month) you are required to provide 30 days’ written notice of a rent increase. Of course, you cannot change the rent during the term of the original lease agreement, but any rent changes occurring after the term is expired required this 30 days’ notice. For a month-to-month tenancy, the notice period depends on the size of the rent increase. For rent increases of up to 10% of the rent charged in the past 12 months the notice period is 30 days; for greater than a 10% increase the notice period is 60 days.