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California

Sacramento

Tips For California Tenants

Here is the law, protect your rights when looking for a place to live...

You can offer the landlord or agent your own copy of your credit report, but they don't have to accept it.

"civil code 1950.6(a)... A landlord or his or her agent may, but is not required to, accept and rely upon a consumer credit report presented by an applicant."

Furthermore...

"civil code 1950.6(b) The amount of the application screening fee shall not be greater than the actual out-of-pocket costs of gathering information concerning the applicant, including, but not limited to, the cost of using a tenant screening service or a consumer credit reporting service, and the reasonable value of time spent by the landlord or his or her agent in obtaining information on the applicant. In no case shall the amount of the application screening fee charged by the landlord or his or her agent be greater than thirty dollars ($30) per applicant."

They can't take your application fee and not have a unit for you to rent...

"civil code 1950.6(c) Unless the applicant agrees in writing, a landlord or his or her agent may not charge an applicant an application screening fee when he or she knows or should have known that no rental unit is available at that time or will be available within a reasonable period of time."

You are entitled to an itemized receipt for your credit check, don't accept just a CASH receipt...

"civil code 1950.6(d) The landlord or his or her agent shall provide, personally, or by mail, the applicant with a receipt for the fee paid by the applicant, which receipt shall itemize the out-of-pocket expenses and time spent by the landlord or his or her agent to obtain and process the information about the applicant."

If they do not supply you with an itemized receipt or the credtit report they must refund your money...

"civil code 1950.6(e) If the landlord or his or her agent does not perform a personal reference check or does not obtain a consumer credit report, the landlord or his or her agent shall return any amount of the screening fee that is not used for the purposes authorized by this section to the applicant."

You are entitled to have a copy of the credit report they charge you for...

"civil code 1950.6(f) If an application screening fee has been paid by the applicant and if requested by the applicant, the landlord or his or her agent shall provide a copy of the consumer credit report to the applicant who is the subject of that report."

Be aware of what they are charging you for exactly...

"civil code 1950.6(j) The application screening fee shall not be considered an "advance fee" as that term is used in Section 10026 of the Business and Professions Code, and shall not be considered "security" as that term is used in Section 1950.5."

I urge you to read the whole document "civil code 1940-1954.1" so you know where you stand...
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