Law 101


Landlord-tenant law involves renting or leasing residential and commercial properties. This includes the rights of both the owner and renter, and often involves evictions, also known as unlawful detainers, as well as habitability issues. California law provides a number of protections and requirements for both landlords and tenants in their dealings with each other.

Lawsuits related to security deposits are often brought in small claims court. See our Small Claims Law 101 page for more information.


Community Resources

Moving truck Eviction
Unlawful Detainer Advisory Clinic, Sacramento Legal Services of Northern California
Document review. Fair Housing
Department of Fair Employment and Housing Sacramento Self-Help Housing (Renter’s Helpline)


The Judicial Council creates many of the forms needed for unlawful detainers and related litigation.  For other situations, you may need to create your own forms.

Form Resources

Legal forms Judicial Council Forms
Law Library Public Computer File Online: Sacramento UD
Keyboard Request for Return of Security Deposit
Sample Letters for Tenants (External site) Document your complaints with letters to your landlord.


The Law Librarians created these pamphlets in response to frequently asked questions on subjects not appropriate for more substantive guides.


Free online videos on landlord-tenant-related topics from a variety of reliable sources.

Resolving Eviction video Unlawful Detainer (Eviction) Provides information about the options for resolving landlord-tenant disputes.