11+ California Lease Agreement Free Download [PDF, Word]

California laws govern the way property management occurs. While handling a property, it is essential for the landlord and tenant to enter into a residential lease agreement that is legally binding.

If you are leasing out a property (residential or commercial), you need to know how the government monitors the management of your property. Alternatively, you need to get handy with predefined lease agreement templates that can make your job easier and also effective.

Professional California lease agreement templates

1. General lease agreement

Here is a commonly understandable landlord, tenant lease agreement template that has essential sections related to security deposits, restrictions, and other terms governing the occupancy that a landlord should include.

You can edit clauses based on your property information. Make sure you edit lease value and duration and also go through all statements before you fix the lease rental agreement. This tenant template is highly appropriate if you are entering the contract for the first time and do not know legal aspect of property management, similar to how you should use a  contractor estimate template if you are new to construction of real estate along with a construction change order.

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2. Agreement For prospective tenants

While the agreement has the title with the keyword ‘california rental’, you can use this editable template for landlord, prospective tenants lease purposes. It covers aspects that are meant to manage lease transactions between associated parties.

One of the first things that the landlord must take care of when you enter a legally binding contract is the date at which it is created and the duration till which the clause will hold. Similarly, one should use a general bill of sale form which acts as a contract in case you are selling something.

rental agreement

3. California commercial lease agreement for tenant

Residential lease california rental agreements are easy to access and obtain online or from an attorney along with a rent roll template excel. However, this is not the case with commercial lease. Including base rent, the editable commercial lease agreement template helps you to use it for retail, office, or even industrial properties that you own.

If you need a better understanding of the accessibility of your commercial space, you can also hire a certified access specialist. This individual will be responsible to assess the site based on construction-associated accessibility standards that hold true as per the state law.

Some potential occupants of a commercial space can ask you for disclosures of accessibility standards. This template form gives an answer to such requirements with necessary sections and legally binding keywords.

tenant rental agreement

4. California residential lease agreement with an option to purchase

The advantage with California law is the option to include a clause where the occupant can buy the property at a later stage. This is a fixed term such as one year, contract where the occupant pays the amount as discussed and then lives in the space.

Over a period, the occupant might prefer buying the space for various reasons. Alternatively, the landlord might have the need to sell the property for personal reasons by using a check request excel and pdf forms. Including a clause giving this option shall enable the other party to buy the residence and then adjust financials as stated in the clause.

Note – Never forget to hire an attorney if you are about to include this clause.


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5. California month-to-month lease

We have heard of a year-to-year lease. But, what is it with a month-to-month pay lease? As per section 1946, the landlords/landlord or the tenant has the right to alter period or terminate the same with a notice issued 30 days or 21 days notice in advance.

However, this option will be extended by another month provided the occupant has lived on the space for over one year. The term can change by one month. As we discussed the flexibility of Californian property laws in previous sections, this is one of the key advantages that every one should acknowledge.

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6. California sublease agreement

During the time you have leased your property to a person, the lessee might be in short of funds or have adequate, unoccupied space that may be used by another tenant. In that case, the lessee may use the option of a sublease agreement where the owner is informed about the decision and the landlords must disclose and provide written consent about this arrangement similar to a rent roll template.

One point that you should keep in mind is the landlord, tenant clause relating to damages, repairs, utilities, date and the way monthly financials shall be covered although there is a sub-lessee in the same residential property. Ensure meeting the sub-lessee before you approve this idea as a landlord/landlords.

tenant notice unit within landlords form

7. Lease termination agreement

As stated earlier, you have 2 time periods to give a termination notice to tenant – 30 days and 60 days.

This template form allows you, the landlord to give a 30-day notice. Edit wherever appropriate and give the notice to the other party involved in the legally binding contract/notice.

landlord must rental unit with residential lease months rent

8. Megan’s law disclosure

According to Californian state law, Megan’s law is a notice that needs to be issued to tenant and registered under Megan’s Law website. It has to include details about the landlords and parties involved. This is useful when landlords or tenant parties enter into purchase transactions and notice.

security deposit landlord must rental unit with residential lease months rent

9. Standard residential lease agreement

If you are a landlord or a lessee wanting to create a rental agreement, you may go ahead with the standard format that is approved across the legal system. This covers basic aspects of the property law and also includes certain disclosures and laws appropriate to the property.

This editable form template may save your time and effort as a landlords.

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10. Application to rent

If at all you are a landlord planning to rent out your property instead of leasing it, this editable california rental template for tenant gives you the option to accomplish the same.

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Importance of California lease agreement

Lease agreements are commonly established between the two parties involved in occupying the property. However, laws vary from one state to the other. There may be chances when the landlord does not receive the amount from the other party on time and needs some legal help. This is when any legal expert will take a look at your agreement and advise subsequent steps.

If you feel that developing an agreement is a tough job, every one should have a range of authorized and trustworthy California templates that are meant to simplify your work. Before using them, it is time to understand what Californian state law speaks about the system.

  • California Civil Code 1947 presents a detailed overview of the tenant rules of holding and the ideal time to pay value within the specified due date. According to Californian law, the grace period is not permitted. So, if the occupant fails to pay you on time, you have the right to sue immediately.
  • According to S1954-1 and S1954-2 of Californian law, landlords can access it during emergencies and also make necessary changes to the dwelling unit. As an owner, you may visit your property during business hours if you feel suspicious about the way the tenant is handling the same.
  • S1954-602 is a section introduced for owners to provide necessary details to occupant about bed bugs. If there are flood hazards associated with the property you are leasing out, it is your duty to inform the same to the occupant as per S-AB-646. This will keep the family cautious about the property potential and take a call based on the need.
  • While leasing a property, the landlord should disclose adequate information about the way utility will be charged including late fees. If there are multiple occupants within the same compound, it is the liability of the owner to include a clause about shared utility meter and present an ideal solution to charge individuals rightly. You should also make use of these liability release form pdf in order to be on the safer side.

Points to include in California lease agreements

Before you start using an agreement, there are a few points that you should include and ensure that the form has provisions to include the same.

  1. Include a detailed section about security deposits. This should include the tenant maximum security deposit amount, security deposit interest, security deposit return clause, and applications of the security deposit for property alterations.
  2. Include disclosures relating to demolition, lead-based paint, mold, ordinance, pest control, and smoking policy. Megan’s law is also vital in a residential contract between the lessor and a lessee.
  3. The next section must disclose about limitations. This may include a cap on the headcount or allowance of pets in the space. There may also be restrictions relating to health and safety rules, and parking.

To make things transparent, you should highlight clauses to fulfill when the occupant is planning to end the duration prior. As much as you detail your california agreement as per Californian rules, you can stay safe and ensure a peaceful relationship with the occupant.

On the other hand, if you are an occupant, you need to check if the tenant agreement has mentioned the aforementioned sections. Before entering into a contract, it is advisable to arrange a discussion with the legal expert to take opinion and then add clauses, if needed. While ending the contract, you can follow the same approach of reaching a legal expert and quitting the california rental agreement agreement officially with no backlogs or misunderstandings.

The best part of Californian rules is flexibility. The tenant rules and regulations  are practical and cover several aspects that are influencing the occupancy of a property.

Note – Renting and leasing are not the same. Do not follow the same tenant template to do both functions. It cannot help you legally, whether you are an occupant/tenant or the landlord. Take extra care in improving the strength of your contract to get it legally binding.


With these and other trustworthy templates such as time log spreadsheets I have created, in hand, you are all set to lease out your property to a genuine person and also enter a legally binding contract that adheres to Californian state laws. Happy leasing!

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Sara Beasley

Sara is a mom who loves to share useful stuff on this blog related to homeschooling and other daily use things such as templates.

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