Requiring First & Last Month for Month-to-Month Rental Agreement (CA)

2 Replies

My own current month-to-month rental agreements I propose are pretty simple (KIS is my philosophy when it comes to paperwork, etc) and require minumum 30 days advance notice from either party of vacating unit. Same in my own 6 month agreement I propose, except I do require first and last months rent paid at lease signing.

I've seen lots of area PMs and landlords require both first and last plus a month of deposit, equaling 3X rent down at signing of even 1 and 2 year minimum residential rentals, but have never entertained going that far.. yet. This is a rather upscale city in the county though, and I have noticed these requirements do tend to attract a more financially stable tenant as far as savings at the moment of looking to move, for clients I have been PMing for.

Anyways what I'd like to know is if for a month-to-month agreement in CA (LA county) can I legally also start requiring first and last months rent prepaid? 

Both lawyers' and laypersons' insight would be appreciated, thanks! =D

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Short answer: In CA you can require security deposit of 2X rent for unfurnished, 3X rent for furnished.  Any and all fees other than application fee are considered to be part of the security deposit, no matter what you call them, including "last month's rent."

You can ask for the deposit amount above AND first month's rent, though.

Also, by law, if the tenants have lived in the unit for a year or longer, you have to give them 60 days notice.  They only have to give you 30 days notice.  There are also rules about how much notice you must give if you raise the rent more than 10% in a year, etc.

Thanks again Sue. So, I gather it doesn't matter the rent term but more, the limits. Guess I will join the masses, keep it simple, and for unfurnished, require 2X Security Deposit plus of course the 1st month's rent.

Instead of calling it 'first month, last month, plus deposit' as many leasing agents here in socal do.

Good to know about the 60 days minimum notice from landlord/PM once they've paid rent at the same property for at least a full year.

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