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California Law Revision Commission

-- Last revised 7/3/24 --

Landlord-Tenant Terminology - Study H-109

    The California Law Revision Commission has been directed to conduct the following study:

    On or before December 31, 2024, the California Law Revision Commission shall deliver, pursuant to Section 9795 of the Government Code, to the Legislature a study regarding all of the following:

    (1) Establishment of consistent terminology across the California codes to describe the parties to an agreement, lease, or other contract for the rental of residential real property, including in mobilehome parks, that meets all of the following criteria:
    (A) The terminology chosen shall preserve legal distinctions currently recognized in statute, regulation, case law, and contracts, including the distinction between month-to-month rental agreements and leases for agreed-upon periods of time.
    (B) The study addresses whether the continued use of the terms “landlord” and “tenant,” including related terms including “cotenant” and “subtenant,” is useful and appropriate in code provisions that involve the rental of residential real property.
    (C) (i) If continued use of the terms “landlord” and “tenant” is no longer useful and appropriate, then the study suggests replacement terms that are reasonably concise, given the frequency with which these terms are currently used in statute, regulation, litigation, case law, and contracts.
    (ii) Replacement terms suggested under this subparagraph shall not affect the usage of the terms “landlord” and “tenant” elsewhere in real property law, including in the terms “joint tenants” and “tenants in common.”
    (2) Terminology used in the laws of other states.
    (3) The effect of the establishment of terminology under paragraph (1) on case law established under existing terminology.
    (4) The effect of the establishment of terminology under paragraph (1) on contracts made under existing terminology.

    If the California Law Revision Commission determines that adopting a statutory scheme that meets the criteria set forth in paragraph (1) of subdivision (c) is prudent and practicable, the study shall do both of the following:
    (1) Recommend a comprehensive statutory scheme that meets those criteria.
    (2) Identify provisions of the California Code of Regulations involving the hiring of residential real property that may need to be amended in order to conform to the terminology in the comprehensive statutory scheme under paragraph (1).

    2022 Cal. Stat. ch. 462.

    Materials related to the Commission’s work on that topic will be collected on this page.

    If you have questions or comments on this study, send an e-mail to Steve Cohen at

Related Material

Tentative Recommendations and Other Requests for Comment

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Meeting Minutes

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Staff Memoranda

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