Civil Code 827 (“CC 827”)is the underlying California law used by landlords who wish to raise the rent on their month-to-month tenant. The full text of Civil Code 827 reads:
(a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), in all leases of lands or tenements, or of any interest therein, from week to week, month to month, or other period less than a month, the landlord may, upon giving notice in writing to the tenant, in the manner prescribed by Section 1162 of the Code of Civil Procedure, change the terms of the lease to take effect, as to tenancies for less than one month, upon the expiration of a period at least as long as the term of the hiring itself, and, as to tenancies from month to month, to take effect at the expiration of not less than 30 days, but if that change takes effect within a rental term, the rent accruing from the first day of the term to the date of that change shall be computed at the rental rate obtained immediately prior to that change; provided, however, that it shall be competent for the parties to provide by an agreement in writing that a notice changing the terms thereof may be given at any time not less than seven days before the expiration of a term, to be effective upon the expiration of the term.
The notice, when served upon the tenant, shall in and of itself operate and be effectual to create and establish, as a part of the lease, the terms, rents, and conditions specified in the notice, if the tenant shall continue to hold the premises after the notice takes effect.
(b) (1) In all leases of a residential dwelling, or of any interest therein, from week to week, month to month, or other period less than a month, the landlord may increase the rent provided in the lease or rental agreement, upon giving written notice to the tenant, as follows, by either of the following procedures:
(A) By delivering a copy to the tenant personally.
(B) By serving a copy by mail under the procedures prescribed in Section 1013 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
(2) If the proposed rent increase for that tenant is 10 percent or less of the rental amount charged to that tenant at any time during the 12 months prior to the effective date of the increase, either in and of itself or when combined with any other rent increases for the 12 months prior to the effective date of the increase, the notice shall be delivered at least 30 days prior to the effective date of the increase, and subject to Section 1013 of the Code of Civil Procedure if served by mail.
(3) For an increase in rent greater than the amount described in paragraph (2), the minimum notice period required pursuant to that paragraph shall be increased by an additional 30 days, and subject to Section 1013 of the Code of Civil Procedure if served by mail. This paragraph does not apply to an increase in rent caused by a change in a tenant’s income or family composition as determined by a recertification required by statute or regulation.
(c) If a state or federal statute, state or federal regulation, recorded regulatory agreement, or contract provides for a longer period of notice regarding a rent increase than that provided in subdivision (a) or (b), the personal service or mailing of the notice shall be in accordance with the longer period.
For purposes of this article, we will focus on rent increases only. Let me narrow it down and make it easier to understand:
If a landlord wishes to increase the rent on a tenant and the tenant is on a month-to-month agreement, the landlord needs to first determine how much of a rent increase to give the tenant. Will the rent increases during the past 12 months total 10% of less, or more than 10%? If the increase in rent is going to equal 10% or less, then 30 days’ advance written notice is required. If the rent increase is going to be more than 10%, then 60 days’ advance written notice is required. *See update below.
Update: This law has been changed. Now, if the proposed rent increase for the tenant is greater than 10 percent of the rental amount charged to that tenant at any time during the 12 months before the effective date of the increase, either in and of itself or when combined with any other rent increases for the 12 months before the effective date of the increase, the notice shall be delivered at least 90 days before the effective date of the increase, and subject to Section 1013 of the Code of Civil Procedure if served by mail.
Civil Code 827 says that all rent increase notices must be in writing. The landlord can give the notice to the tenant in person, or by mail.
If mailing the notice to the tenant, the landlord must add five (5) calendar days from the date of mailing. A Civil Code 827 rent increase notice that is mailed to the tenant must be placed in a sealed envelope, postage prepaid, addressed to the person on whom it is to be served, at the premises address. Service is complete at the time of mailing, but you must add 5 calendar days to the 30/60 day notice period.
Landlords may only raise the rent under CC 827 if the tenant is not on a fixed-term lease. If the tenant was originally on a fixed-term lease but is currently on a month-to-month, then the landlord can use Civil Code 827 to increase the rent. I must also mention that rent increases are severally limited in many rent control areas.
You can read additional information on this topic here: Notice of Rent Increase for California Residential Lease. We also offer landlords with a Civil Code 827 Rent Increase Template.
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