California law prohibits tenants from being evicted because they have reported domestic abuse. The law seeks to protect the rights of the landowner while trying to ensure the safety of domestic-violence victims.
Residents pursuing early termination must have a written report by a police officer stating the tenant is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking. A copy of a temporary restraining order or emergency protective order, issued within the last 180 days, also may be used as grounds to end a lease. Victims of elder abuse or abuse of a dependent adult also are covered by this law.
Tenants are still responsible for paying 30 days' rent following the notice to terminate. If the perpetrator is not a tenant in the same unit, a landlord must change a victim's locks within 24 hours after a victim makes a request and provides a restraining order or police report documenting domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking.
If the victim allows the person against whom the protection has been issued to enter their unit, the notice to terminate is invalidated.
Safe and dependable housing is critical for victims of domestic violence or sexual assault. It's important tenants and landlords understand the law and their options.