It pays to do it right. Here are some tips.
The Move-in Checklist (see below) is a big help when you're ready to move into your new rental.
Repairs and Upkeep
A rental unit must be “habitable,” or fit to live in. California laws make landlords and tenants each responsible for certain kinds of repairs, although landlords ultimately are held responsible for ensuring the unit is habitable. The landlord is responsible for making any repairs needed to make the unit habitable.
However, the renter is responsible for any damage caused by the tenant’s neglect or abuse, their guests, or pets. The tenant is also required, by law, to take reasonable care of the unit, including using and operating gas, electrical, and plumbing fixtures properly. The tenant is also responsible for disposing trash, not defacing or damaging the property, and not removing any part of the structure.
Be sure to ask the landlord who is responsible for paying the utilities, including gas, electric, water and trash collection.
Tenant’s Notice to End Tenancy
To end a periodic rental agreement, the tenant must give a landlord proper written notification. For monthly rental agreements, the tenant must give thirty days notice. For weekly rental agreements, the tenant must give seven days. The tenant may give notice and time during the rental period, but must pay full rent during the period covered by the notice.
The security deposit is always refundable if the tenant has fulfilled the obligations of the lease or rental agreement. Under California law, the landlord- within three weeks of vacancy- must furnish the tenant a copy of an itemized statement indicating the basis for and the amount of any security received and the disposition of the security and return and remaining portion.
A landlord may end a month-to-month tenancy by simply giving the tenant 30 days advance written notice. However, a landlord may terminate the residency of a tenant with only three days written notice for any of the following reasons: failure to pay rent, violation of the lease or rental agreement, major damage to the property, causing a nuisance to neighbors, or using the unit for unlawful purposes.