Calif. Business and Professions Code §6103.7; Calif. Civil Code §§1940.05, 1940.2, 1940.3, 1942.5, 1940.35, 3339.10; Calif. Code of Civil Procedure §1161.4
Amended by A.B. 291
Effective date: January 1, 2018

A landlord is prohibited from causing a tenant to involuntarily vacate their rental property by threatening to disclose the immigration or citizenship status of the tenant or other person associated with the tenant.

A tenant may now assert the landlord’s violation of this restriction as a defense in an unlawful detainer (UD) action.

Further, a landlord and their agent are prohibited from:

  • threatening to disclose information about the immigration or citizenship status of a tenant or other person associated with the tenant to compel the tenant to vacate the property;
  • disclosing to any person or entity the immigration or citizenship status of an existing or prospective tenant with the intent of harassment, retaliation or to influence a tenant to vacate the property; and
  • disclosing the immigration or citizenship status of a tenant, occupant or person associated with a tenant or occupant to any immigration authority, law enforcement agency or government agency for the purpose of harassment, retaliation or to compel the tenant or occupant to vacate the property.

When a landlord unlawfully discloses the immigration or citizenship status of a tenant or occupant to an agency under the circumstances stated above, a court is required to:

  • order the landlord pay civil penalties to the tenant in an amount between six and 12 times the monthly rent charged for the tenant’s dwelling;
  • issue an injunctive relief to prevent the landlord from future violations;
  • notify the district attorney of the landlord’s potential violation of extortion laws; and
  • award attorney fees and costs to the prevailing party.

A landlord does not violate these restrictions when they are complying with a(n):

  • federal government program that provides for rent limitations or rental assistance to qualified tenants;
  • subpoena;
  • warrant; or
  • other order issued by a court.

Read the bill text.


Related article:

Landlords may not be compelled to take action against tenants based on citizenship status