(a) For the purposes of this section, the following definitions shall apply:
(1) “Private area” means an outdoor backyard area that is on the ground level of the rental unit.
(2) “Personal agriculture” means a use of land where an individual cultivates edible plant crops for personal use or donation.
(3) “Plant crop” means any crop in its raw or natural state, which comes from a plant that will bear edible fruits or vegetables. It shall not include marijuana or any unlawful crops or substances.
(b) A landlord shall permit a tenant to participate in personal agriculture in portable containers approved by the landlord in the tenant’s private area if the following conditions are met:
(1) The tenant regularly removes any dead plant material and weeds, with the exception of straw, mulch, compost, and any other organic materials intended to encourage vegetation and retention of moisture in soil, unless the landlord and tenant have a preexisting or separate agreement regarding garden maintenance where the tenant is not responsible for removing or maintaining plant crop and weeds.
(2) The plant crop will not interfere with the maintenance of the rental property.
(3) The placement of the portable containers does not interfere with any tenant’s parking spot.
(4) The placement and location of the portable containers may be determined by the landlord. The portable containers may not create a health and safety hazard, block doorways, or interfere with walkways or utility services or equipment.
(c) The cultivation of plant crops on the rental property other than that which is contained in portable containers shall be subject to approval from the landlord.
(d) A landlord may prohibit the use of synthetic chemical herbicides, pesticides, fungicides, rodenticides, insecticides, or any other synthetic chemical product commonly used in the growing of plant crops.
(e) A landlord may require the tenant to enter into a written agreement regarding the payment of any excess water and waste collection bills arising from the tenant’s personal agriculture activities.
(f) Subject to the notice required by Section 1954, a landlord has a right to periodically inspect any area where the tenant is engaging in personal agriculture to ensure compliance with this section.
(g) This section shall only apply to residential real property that is improved with, or consisting of, a building containing not more than two units that are intended for human habitation.
(Added by Stats. 2014, Ch. 584, Sec. 2. (AB 2561) Effective January 1, 2015.)
Last modified: October 25, 2018