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Is a landlord of your apartment allowed to discuss your rental status/financial state with anyone other than the tenant?

Ontario, CA |

We were a couple months late on rent. We were in contact with our landlord. He knew my husband got laid off at work. He kept telling us that there was no problem and to pay as much as we can when we can.
The next thing I know, my aunt, who was on my previous rental agreement, until my husband and I took over the lease ourselves, is calling me telling me that my landlord called her to say we were 3 months behimd in rent and that he was about to slap us with a pay or quit order. My aunt paid the back rent, but I am angry that rather than coming to talm to us about it, he ratted on me to my aunt, who is no longer on the lease.
It seems to me that a lease should be kept confidentially between a landord & tenant. What is the law and actual calif. Penal code in reference to this? Thank you!

Attorney Answers 2


  1. Yes. There is nothing in the California Civil Code or the California Penal Code which prevents your landlord from asking your aunt to pay the rent that you haven't paid, especially since your aunt was previously a co-tenant or guarantor.

    Frank W. Chen is licensed to practice law in the State of California. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, consult your own attorney.


  2. You may be lucky that the landlord was generous enough to allow your aunt to pay the rent. From what you have written it sounds like the landlord may have been entitled to evict you and request damages for the back rent. It sounds like you and your aunt would have been liable for the back rent. Even though it may seem like what your landlord did was wrong, from a legal perspective it seems like he was trying to be helpful and understanding to your situation.

    The information contained herein is general information only; is not legal advice; and should not be relied upon. If you have a pending legal matter you are advised to contact an Attorney in your particular jurisdiction for representation. The above information does not create any attorney client relationship with Phillip B. Rose or PBR LEGAL.

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