(a) The owner of a residential dwelling unit or the owner’s agent who applies to any public agency for a permit to demolish that residential dwelling unit shall give written notice of that fact to:
(1) A prospective tenant prior to the occurrence of any of the following actions by the owner or the owner’s agent:
(A) Entering into a rental agreement with a prospective tenant.
(B) Requiring or accepting payment from the prospective tenant for an application screening fee, as provided in Section 1950.6.
(C) Requiring or accepting any other fees from a prospective tenant.
(D) Requiring or accepting any writings that would initiate a tenancy.
(2) A current tenant, including a tenant who has entered into a rental agreement but has not yet taken possession of the dwelling unit, prior to applying to the public agency for the permit to demolish that residential dwelling unit.
(b) The notice shall include the earliest possible approximate date on which the owner expects the demolition to occur and the approximate date on which the owner will terminate the tenancy. However, in no case may the demolition for which the owner or the owner’s agent has applied occur prior to the earliest possible approximate date noticed.
(c) If a landlord fails to comply with subdivision (a) or (b), a tenant may bring an action in a court of competent jurisdiction. The remedies the court may order shall include, but are not limited to, the following:
(1) In the case of a prospective tenant who moved into a residential dwelling unit and was not informed as required by subdivision (a) or (b), the actual damages suffered, moving expenses, and a civil penalty not to exceed two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) to be paid by the landlord to the tenant.
(2) In the case of a current tenant who was not informed as required by subdivision (a) or (b), the actual damages suffered, and a civil penalty not to exceed two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) to be paid by the landlord to the tenant.
(3) In any action brought pursuant to this section, the prevailing party shall be entitled to reasonable attorney’s fees.
(d) The remedies available under this section are cumulative to other remedies available under law.
(e) This section shall not be construed to preempt other laws regarding landlord obligations or disclosures, including, but not limited to, those arising pursuant to Chapter 12.75 (commencing with Section 7060) of Division 7 of Title 1 of the Government Code.
(f) For purposes of this section:
(1) “Residential dwelling unit” has the same meaning as that contained in Section 1940.
(2) “Public agency” has the same meaning as that contained in Section 21063 of the Public Resources Code.
(Added by Stats. 2002, Ch. 285, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2003.)
Last modified: October 25, 2018