Resources for Tenants

Landlord-tenant law is complicated: state law governs many aspects of tenancy but local rent stabilization provides many additional protections for tenants too. We’ve described it as a layer cake baked by the landlord. Where Can a Tenant Turn for Help?

Consult a Tenant Guide

The Department of Consumer Protection has published the California Tenants Guide. It should be your first step when a problem comes up. Last updated in 2012, still it remains the most authoritative single reference we’ve seen about renting in California. We love the footnotes!

Those looking for a deeper-dive on a specific issue should check out the Nolo Press series on landlord-tenant law. That includes the indispensable California Tenants’ Rights (2016) and Renters’ Rights (2015) books. We also look to Nolo’s California Landlord’s Law Book Volume 1: Rights and Responsibilities (2017) and California Landlord’s Law Book Volume 2: Evictions (2017) for answers because they provide the landlord’s perspective. (Check our city library for some of these titles.)

Getting away from legal particulars, we recommend tenant guides for general advice. There are many online but we recommend a few from Los Angeles County including Before You Rent, Living in Your Rental Unit, and Moving Out of Your Rental Unit. The State Department of Consumer Affairs publishes a tutorial on small claims court that comes in handy when the landlord won’t return the security deposit!

Reach Out to the City

We encourage tenants to contact the city’s Rent Stabilization Program. Staff is available to answer questions about the maximum allowed annual rent increase, tenancy terminations, relocation fees and more. Visit the Rent Stabilization Program online or walk-in to City Hall office #200.

The program office can also put tenants in touch with free professional mediation and, if necessary, city-grant-funded housing rights legal services for those who qualify. (Read more about the legal services programs.)

Try a Renters Alliance ‘Explainer’

Online tenant resources and legal guides are helpful yet they don’t touch on the Beverly Hills rent stabilization ordinance. Our local ordinance is arguably as relevant to any household that rents than is any state tenancy law.

Renters Alliance is the only tenant resource that comprehensively addresses the Beverly Hills ordinance. So we have created a series of ‘explainer’ posts to focus on real-world problems facing tenants every day in Beverly Hills. Have a look! We are adding more every week.

Got an idea for an explainer? Get in touch!