Effective January 1 of 2016, the legislature of the State of California provided victims of domestic violence additional help in preventing further abuse.
Civil Code Section 1946.7 provides a tenant may terminate a home-rental agreement if he/she or a household member was a victim of an act of domestic violence.
Often, these victims have to move from their homes to prevent further abuse and victimization, but they can’t afford to move and continue to pay their leases on their old homes. Now, the state will allow them to terminate the lease with the following conditions:
- There is a rental agreement;
- You must notify the landlord in writing that you are terminating your agreement;
- There is a protective order or restraining order, a police report, or a signed document from a certain kind of professional (such as a psychiatrist) on file and available; and
- You need to move because you and/or a family member living in the same household are the victim of sexual assault, stalking, domestic violence, human trafficking, elder abuse and/or dependent adult abuse.
- Further, the protective order can be no older than 180 days and you must give 14 days’ notice of you are terminating the agreement.
Please note, that after providing the written notification to your landlord, you can move out at any time within those 14 days, but you will be responsible for the rent for all those 14 days after giving notice.
For more information on civil code section 1946.7, and the information needed on the written notice to your landlord, see the California Legislative Website: