Termination of Tenancy Right for Crime Victims Expanded : Landlord/Tenant

This law extends existing provisions of law authorizing a tenant to terminate a tenancy when the tenant or a household member is a victim of domestic violence or elder abuse to also include a crime that caused bodily injury or death, the exhibition, drawing, brandishing, or use of a firearm or other deadly weapon or instrument, or that included the use of force or threat of force against the victim, and expands these provisions to apply if an immediate family member of the tenant is a victim of an eligible crime.

This law extends the existing law as follows:

  1. Adds a crime that caused bodily injury or death, that included the exhibition, drawing, brandishing, or use of a firearm or other deadly weapon or instrument, or that included the use of force against the victim or threat of force against the victim to the existing list of eligible crimes for which a tenant may terminate the lease if the tenant or a household member is a victim.
  2. Authorizes a tenant to terminate a lease if an immediate family member was a victim of an eligible crime.
  3. Authorizes any other form of documentation that reasonably verifies that the eligible crime or act occurred to be given to the landlord.
  4. Adds a victim of violent crime advocate to definition of qualified third party that may sign documentation to be provided to a landlord.
  5. Requires the tenant to provide a specified written statement to the landlord if the tenant is terminating tenancy because an immediate family member is a victim of an eligible crime, the tenant did not live in the same household as the immediate family member at the time of the eligible crime, and no part of the crime occurred within the dwelling unit or within 1,000 feet of the dwelling unit of the tenant.
  6. Requires the notice to terminate the tenancy to be given within 180 days of the date that the newly added eligible crimes occurred.
  7. Prohibits a landlord from requiring a tenant who terminates a lease under these provisions to forfeit any security deposit money or advance rent paid due to that termination. A tenant who terminates a rental agreement under these provisions cannot be considered for any purpose, by reason of the termination, to have breached the lease or rental agreement.
  8. Prohibits an owner or owner’s agent from refusing to rent a dwelling unit to an otherwise qualified prospective tenant or to refuse to continue to rent to an existing tenant solely on the basis that the tenant has previously exercised the tenant’s rights under these provisions.

Senate Bill 1190 is codified as Civi Code Section 1946.7.  Effective January 1, 2021.

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