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Frequently Asked Questions About Renter/Tenant Rights

Is my landlord required to make my place accessible?

No. Your landlord is not required to put in a ramp, a visual doorbell, or any other modifications. BUT your landlord does have to allow YOU to make changes, as long as you agree to change things back when you move out. 

How much can a landlord legally raise the rent?

In California, there is no maximum amount for rent increases. But if you sign a lease for more than 30 days (such as a 1-year lease), your rent cannot be increased during the term of the lease.  

What happens if I can’t pay the rent?

Before you move in to a place, make sure that you will be able to pay the rent on time every month. If something happens, like you lose your job and can’t pay the rent, call your local independent living center or local fair housing agency to see if you can get one-time assistance, and make a plan to get the rent paid the next month. If you don’t pay your rent, your landlord can evict you – kick you out. You don’t want an eviction on your record, because it can make it harder for you to rent another apartment. 

What if my landlord won’t make repairs?

Your landlord is required to keep the basics working: hot and cold running water, heat, electricity, and adequate trash. If you request a repair and nothing happens, write a letter to your landlord, and keep a copy for yourself. If still nothing happens, go to your local fair housing agency or independent living center. They can show you what actions to take to get your apartment fixed. 

If you believe you have been discriminated against, contact your local fair housing or legal services agency. Check this website to find an agency close to you:   

For a comprehensive guide on California renters’/tenants’ rights and responsibilities, go to: or call the California Department of Consumer Affairs at 800-952-5210. 

Additional Housing Resources

Tips on getting assistance to pay for energy bills:
If you have special heating or cooling needs related to your medical condition, energy companies often may provide a discount on your bill.  Check with your energy provider to see if they offer a medical discount.

LIHEAP (Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program):  


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