Another tenant status permitting a residential lease to be terminated on 30-day notice.

Civil Code §1946.7; Code of Civil Procedure §1161.3
Amended and Added by S.B. No. 612
Effective date: January 1, 2014

Under existing law, victims of domestic abuse, sexual abuse, stalking, or abuse of an elder or dependent adult may terminate a residential lease by delivering to their landlord a written 30-day notice to vacate. Landlords may not terminate or fail to renew a tenancy based on the tenant’s status as a victim of these abuses. [See first tuesday Form 572]

Victims of human trafficking are now added to the list of tenants protected under this law.

A victim of human trafficking is any person whose personal liberty has been violated by another with the intent to obtain forced labor or services. [Calif. Penal Code §236.1]

The tenant’s 30-day notice to vacate must be accompanied by written documentation confirming the abuse. In lieu of a police report, documentation from one of the following qualified professionals may be used to confirm the abuse:

  • a sexual assault counselor;
  • a domestic violence counselor;
  • a human trafficking caseworker;
  • a doctor or nurse;
  • a psychologist or therapist; or
  • a clinical social worker or counselor.

The documentation is to display the letterhead of their employing agency or organization, and contain the following:

Tenant Statement and Qualified Third Party Statement

under Civil Code Section 1946.7

Part I. Statement By Tenant

I, [insert name of tenant], state as follows:

I, or a member of my household, have been a victim of:

[insert one or more of the following: domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, human trafficking, elder abuse, or dependent adult abuse.]

The most recent incident(s) happened on or about:

[insert date or dates.]

The incident(s) was/were committed by the following person(s), with these physical description(s), if known and safe to provide:

[if known and safe to provide, insert name(s) and physical description(s).]

__________________ _______________

(signature of tenant) (date)


Part II. Qualified Third Party Statement

I, [insert name of qualified third party], state as follows:

My business address and phone number are:

[insert business address and phone number.]

Check and complete one of the following:

___I meet the requirements for a sexual assault counselor provided in Section 1035.2 of the Evidence Code and I am either engaged in an office, hospital, institution, or center commonly known as a rape crisis center described in that section or employed by an organization providing the programs specified in Section 13835.2 of the Penal Code.

___I meet the requirements for a domestic violence counselor provided in Section 1037.1 of the Evidence Code and I am employed, whether financially compensated or not, by a domestic violence victim service organization, as defined in that section.

___I meet the requirements for a human trafficking caseworker provided in Section 1038.2 of the Evidence Code and I am employed, whether financially compensated or not, by an organization that provides programs specified in Section 18294 of the Welfare and Institutions Code or in Section 13835.2 of the Penal Code.

___I am licensed by the State of California as a:

[insert one of the following: physician and surgeon, osteopathic physician and surgeon, registered nurse, psychiatrist, psychologist, licensed clinical social worker, licensed marriage and family therapist, or licensed professional clinical counselor.] and I am licensed by, and my license number is:

[insert name of state licensing entity and license number.]

The person who signed the Statement By Tenant above stated to me that he or she, or a member of his or her household, is a victim of:

[insert one or more of the following: domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, human trafficking, elder abuse, or dependent adult abuse.]

The person further stated to me the incident(s) occurred on or about the date(s) stated above.

I understand that the person who made the Statement By Tenant may use this document as a basis for terminating a lease with the person’s landlord.

__________________________ _______________

(signature of qualified third party) (date)

Landlords may confirm the contents of the documentation with the qualified professional. However, landlords are prohibited from disclosing information about the victim’s abuse to any other party unless:

  • the victim consents to the disclosure in writing; or
  • a court orders the disclosure.

A tenant’s ability to use documentation other than a police report to confirm abuse will sunset on January 1, 2016.

Editor’s Note – Lawmakers have recognized the potential for tenants to abuse the relaxed documentation requirements in order to prematurely terminate their lease agreements. This temporary implementation is a test period.

The Judicial Council must create or amend a form for tenants protected under this rule to use as a defense to an unlawful detainer action. The deadline for the creation of this form has been extended from January 1, 2014, to July 1, 2014.

Related articles:

More tenant protections for abused elders and dependent adults

Tenant May Terminate a Lease due to Sexual Assault, Stalking, or Domestic Violence

Landlord’s responsibility to tenants who are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking

Tenant subjected to domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking has 180 days to serve notice to vacate