Landlords: new limitations on rent and security deposit payments in store in 2013. Heads up!

Civil Code §1947.3
Amended by S.B. 1055

Effective date: January 1, 2013

A landlord cannot require a tenant to pay rent or security deposits exclusively by electronic funds transfer (EFT) or cash. If a landlord accepts EFT or cash payments, he must also allow an alternative method of payment.

An ETF is defined as any transfer of funds which is performed via:

  • computer;
  • telephone;
  • direct deposit or withdrawal;
  • automated clearinghouse; or
  • other electronic means.

This does not include transfers initiated by checks or other paper documents.

Editor’s note — Many low-income households and seniors experienced difficulty accessing online payment systems. Thus, the birth of this new law. Observe, though, that landlords may still “go green” with electronic payment options. They just can’t do so to the exclusion of checks or other payment methods.