Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

Tenant's Rights

Tenant Rights

California Fair Employment and Housing Act

All tenants have basic legal rights under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act. These rights are in effect regardless of anything stated in the lease. If you feel your rights have been violated, email the Office of Student Services, so that we can direct you to the appropriate agency. Some of these rights are included in the following information. To find more information on all your rights as a tenant, visit the California Department of Fair Housing and Employment website.

The California Fair Employment and Housing Act states:

It shall be unlawful for the owner of any housing accommodation to discriminate against or harass any person because of the race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, ancestry, familial status, source of income, or disability of that person.

California tenant rights include:

  • Limits on the amount of the security deposit that the landlord can require you to pay.
  • Limits on the landlord’s right to enter the rental unit, including giving the tenant 24 hours advance notice before entering the unit.
  • The right to a refund of the security deposit, or a written account of how it was used, after you move.
  • The right to sue the landlord for violations of the law and your rental agreement or lease.
  • The right to repair serious defects in the rental unit and to deduct certain repair costs from the rent, under appropriate circumstances.
  • The right to withhold rent under appropriate circumstances.
  • Rights under the warranty of habitability.
  • Protection against retaliatory eviction.

Refer to the California Tenants Guide or the Tenant's Guide to Renting for more specific information on your rights as a tenant.

Tenant Responsibilities

In addition to particular rights, you have certain responsibilities as a tenant as well. While these responsibilities are fairly self-explanatory, it is important to keep them in mind during your tenancy.

Your first responsibility as a tenant includes taking reasonable care of the property. You are responsible for repairing any damage caused by you, your guests, and your pets, as well as any damage that results from neglect or abuse. In addition, it is of course your responsibility to pay rent, in full, on the date it is due. Rent is generally due on the first of each month, but may be due on another date, as specified in the lease. If you have a month-to-month lease, it is also your responsibility to give the landlord written notice when you wish to leave the lease.

If you have any questions about your or your landlord’s responsibilities regarding the property, please feel free to contact the Office of Student Services with your questions.