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Tenants and Domestic Violence, Stalking and Assault

Posted by attorney Marc Branco

· In California, a tenant may legally terminate their tenancy at any point in their lease if they are a victim of any of the following:

  • Domestic violence
  • Stalking
  • Sexual Assault

Also a tenant who lives with a family member who is a victim of any of the above may terminate a tenancy.

In order to legally terminate a lease under this law, the tenant must give their landlord a thrity (30) day notice of the termination in writing with one of the following attached:

  • A copy of a temporary restraining order that protects the tenant or member of tenant’s household; or
  • a copy of an emergency protective order that protects the tenant or member of tenant’s household; or
  • A copy of a police report alleging that the tenant or member of tenant’s household is a victim of domestic violence, stalking or assault.

The thirty (30) day notice to quit must be given to the landlord within sixty (60) days of the date of the temporary restraining order, emergency protective order, or police report described above.

The tenant is responsible for paying rent for the following thirty (30) days after the notice to terminate tenancy is given. However, if the property is rented to another party before the expiration of the thirty days, the tenant is entitled to a pro-rated refund of rent paid for that period.

This law does not change any existing laws regarding the use and distribution of the tenant’s security deposit.

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