Fair Housing Frequently Asked Questions, Rental & Lease Agreements

Can my Landlord change the terms of a rental agreement?

Yes, with proper notice, usually 30-days but never less than 7-days. A landlord may change any of the terms of the agreement including: rent increase, increase of security deposit, add or remove services or amenities and termination of tenancy.

Can my Landlord change the terms of a lease?

Not typically. A lease is a contract for a fixed period of time. A change in terms would only be allowed if both the landlord and tenant agreed on the changes. Some leases contain a clause that allows a landlord to change the terms of the lease. If there is such a clause either party may change the terms by giving notice.

Once the lease expires, can the landlord change the terms?

 Yes, as long as the parties have not entered into a new lease. If the parties do not enter into a new agreement the old Lease becomes a month-to-month rental agreement, which can be altered with proper notice. (See question one)

What is a Lease Agreement?

 It is a binding contract giving both landlord and tenant specific rights for a fixed period of time. Neither party can terminate the lease without just cause. It is intended to protect the landlord by guaranteeing that the rent of the unit will be paid during the lease period. It protects the tenant by guaranteeing a set rent, which cannot be increased during the term of the agreement unless otherwise stated in the agreement.

Measles makes in appearance in Orange County

The Orange County Register reported that the forth case of the measles in Orange County has been confirmed. So far there have been 21 reported cases in California and 54 reported cases nation wide.

Measles is extremely contagious as it can be transmitted through the air and does not require direct contact with an infected person.

The symptoms usually start between 10-12 days after a person is exposed to the virus but on rare occasions can appear up to 3 weeks later. Symptoms usually present themselves with an incredibly high fever, typically around 105 degrease, feelings of discomfort or weakness, runny nose and pink eye.  A few days later a rash will develop, typically around the ears and hairline. It often spreads to the face and arms.

If you believe you have the measles call your doctor ahead of time and let them know you are coming in, OR instruct the ER nurse right away so they can keep you away from the other patients.

As always, it is suggested that you get vaccinated. According to doctors getting the vaccine will prevent contracting the disease 99% of the time.

Water, Conserve it, Save Money and California

Last year Californians weathered the driest year on record and the drought conditions are continuing. Orange County has done an amazing job in the last decade at conserving our states water supply. Our population has continued to grow but our water consumption has not grown at an equal rate. This shows our determination for stewardship. Here are some helpful tips to keep up the good work.

  1. Install water conserving hardware i.e. aerators in your faucets, high-pressure showers and ultra low flush toilets. These improvements can save 70,000 gallons of water a year per household. This reflects a yearly savings on your water bill of around $200.
  2. Water your lawn early in the morning or late at night to avoid evaporation.
  3. Install drip irrigation for trees, shrubs and flower beds.
  4. Integrate native plants into your landscaping; many of them need less water.
  5. Reduce your shower time by 5 minutes & turn off the water while brushing your teeth.
  6. Only wash full loads of laundry and/or dishes
  7. Fill the sink to rinse dishes rather than running the water.
  8. Install an instant water heater on sinks and showers far from the main water heater. This keeps you from running the water while waiting for it to get hot.
  9. Wash your car with a bucket of water rather than leaving the hose running.
  10. Sweep your driveway with a broom rather than hosing it off.

For more tips on how to conserve water visit www.wateraware.org

Paying with your Credit Card at the Pump could result in Information theft.

13 people have been indicted for using skimmers, a Bluetooth-enabled technology that reads and transmits your credit card data, to steal over $2 million in a one-year period. Although all of these were found in gas stations in: Texas, Georgia and South Carolina we now know that the technology is out there and it could happen here.

What can you do to protect yourself? Although it is nearly impossible to tell if a skimmer has been installed we recommend wiggling the card reader if it is loose use another pump. Another option is to always pay inside and not at the pump.  We also recommend that you monitor your bank accounts if you are using a debit card or your credit card statements closely. This way you can report any suspicious activity as soon as it happens.

Rain Gutters

With winter rainstorms upon us now is the time to check your rain gutters and roofs. If your gutters are clogged with leaves or other debris, eroding, or falling off they are not doing their job of draining water from your roof. When rain sits on your roof it can cause leaks, which can damage not only your home but also your personal items. It can also result in costly mold damage. Check your gutters today and keep your home safe from water damage.

If your home does not have rain gutters it is highly recommended that you get them installed. This is a fairly inexpensive way to help protect your home from rain damage.