This short-term rental contract allows property owners to rent out a unit to a tenant who is financially unable to pay annual charges or is seeking a temporary agreement.

Like other states, California considers oral agreements to be legal. However, landlords are always encouraged to set all the conditions, duties, and obligations of both parties in a written document. It's more secure and helps you avoid legal problems.

Month-to-month Lease Agreement

A California month-to-month rental agreement allows property owners and tenants to enter into a lease under state landlord-tenant laws. Therefore, both parties must uphold the contract's terms.

With this type of agreement, either the landlord or the tenant can terminate the lease at any time or for any reason.

Legal Disclosures

A California month-to-month lease agreement is legally binding. Therefore, it must include both parties' information, such as their names, the date it becomes effective, the rent and security deposit amount, when tenants must pay rent, and more.

In addition, this document must include the following disclosures:

  • Bedbug Disclosure: Property owners must inform tenants about bed bug prevention and management.
  • AB 1482 Just Cause Addendum: Landlords must give this information to the lessee if the rental unit is exempt from rent increase laws and the just cause.
  • Demolition: Before signing the lease, tenants should know if the landlord has requested permission to demolish the property.
  • Death on Premises: Property owners are required to inform potential tenants about any death that occurred on the premises unless it happened three years before or was HIV-related.
  • Just Cause: Landlords must provide the notice indicated in Section 1947.12 of the Civil Code to tenants unless the rental property meets the requirements of § 1946.2(f)(3) of the Civil Code.
  • Flood: A property owner should always inform tenants if the unit is in a flood-risk area.
  • Lead-based Paint Disclosure: Landlords must inform tenants about the presence of this toxic paint on the property.
  • Megan's Law: This contract must also include a notice about specified registered sex offenders' information, pursuant to Section 290.46 of the Penal Code.
  • Ordnance Locations: Tenants must be informed if the property is in a neighborhood that was used as a federal or state ordnance location.
  • Methamphetamine Contamination: Landlords must provide tenants with a copy of the remediation order if the property was contaminated with methamphetamine and was subject to this process.
  • Shared Utilities: Tenants should be informed about utility costs and how they will be divided if the unit has shared gas or electrical meters.
  • Pest Control: Lessees should receive a notice from a pest control company if the property requires these services periodically.
  • Smoking Policy: The document must state if smoking is prohibited on the property.
  • Water Submeter Addendum: Landlords must fill out the California Association of Realtors (CAR) Form WSM and attach it to the lease to inform tenants about water submeters' use, if applicable.
  • Toxic Mold: Landlords must provide written notice if they believe there may be mold exceeding the permissible limits on the unit.

When Can Landlords End the Lease?

Under California law, either party can terminate a month-to-month lease agreement. However, when the tenant has been in the property for less than a year, they're required to give at least a 30 days' notice.

If lessees have lived in the unit for more than one year, tenants and landlords must provide the other party with a 60 days' notice before ending the lease.

In California, a property owner can serve a termination notice in the middle of the month, but it must be written.

Eviction Process

This state allows property owners to evict tenants after giving a proper termination notice.

If the period ends and the tenant remains in the property, landlords can start the eviction process by filing a complaint with an applicable county court. It's usually completed in 5-8 weeks.

Free California Rental Forms

If you want to save time and make the rental process easier, check out the free forms Doorloop offers for free!

Customize Your Own

You can also try this paid service if you want to customize your month-to-month lease agreement.



How Much Notice Should I Give to Raise the Rent?

California state laws that landlords must provide a thirty days notice if they increase the rent by less than 10% or a 90 days' notice if the new amount is 10% higher.

Do I Have to Meet Delivery Requirements in California?

In California, landlords must send the notice via certified or registered mail, deliver a copy personally, leave it with a person of suitable age at their business place, or affix it to a conspicuous area in the unit.

Do Tenants Have The Same Obligations If We Agree To A Month-to-month Lease?

Yes! Month-to-month tenants have the same rights and must comply with the same obligations.

Can I customize my own form or agreement?

Yes, you always can, however if you want to be 100% sure you are protected, you should consult an attorney in your local area.

Free Downloads

David is the co-founder & CMO of DoorLoop, a best-selling author, legal CLE speaker, and real estate investor. When he's not hanging with his three children, he's writing articles here!