The laws regulating professional property management can sometimes be confusing, and they are often changing for Humboldt rentals and those statewide. While some issues come up more frequently than others, such as the 24-hour notice to enter a rental, others are lesser known. Here are five California laws that both you may not be aware of but should know:


  1. Water Conservation — Only properties built before January 1, 1994 are affected by this legislation, which will require single family residences to have water-conserving fixtures in place by 2017. Multi-family residences have until 2019 to comply.
  2. Political Signs — This piece of legislation allows tenants to post or display political signs. These can relate to an election, legislative vote, initiative, referendum, recall or any other issue that is up for a vote. Landlords cannot prohibit tenants from posting such signs, as long as the political sign is no more than 6 square feet in size and does not violate any other local, state or federal laws and limits. Arcata CA rentals therefore can only place political signs 60 days prior to an election and they must be removed 10 days after the campaign is concluded. Eureka property management companies should know political signs can be posted 90 days prior to an election and 10 days afterward, while Fortuna signs have 30 days prior and 10 days afterward.
  3. Carbon Monoxide Detectors — Jan. 1, 2013 was the deadline to have all multi-family properties fixed with carbon monoxide detectors, so if you own Humboldt rentals and haven’t fulfilled this requirement, you need to do so quickly! Single-family properties with appliances, heaters or fireplaces that use fossil fuel need a carbon monoxide detector, or if the property has an attached garage.
  4. Recycling Requirements — Statewide, landlords with properties that have five or more units must provide recycling services, and the residents are required to participate. This is waived if it would cause financial hardship or if such curbside service is not available in the area. Some Humboldt rentals do not have recycling service, but most Eureka and Arcata CA rentals do.
  5. Security Deposits — California law limits the amount for a security deposit to twice the monthly rent, if the rental is unfurnished. Managers are also required to return the deposit in full or fully document any subtractions from the deposit within 21 days of the tenant moving out. If any cleaning or repair cost is over $126, the manager must include copies of the related invoice or receipt. Tenants have four years to dispute the deposit amount returned.

If you have questions about these California laws or other regulations, the property management specialists at Real Property Management can help. If you are managing your own rental but would like some guidance – ask about our legal compliance checklist!