Can your rental property become a daycare?

Salvatore J. Friscia
Salvatore J. Friscia | 2 min. read
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Published on February 23, 2012

In a recent notice received by our legal counsel addressing this very issue, apparently if you own rental property in California the scary answer is yes! The great state of California is widely known as a pro-tenant state when it comes to tenant-landlord related issues. Many cities such as San Francisco and Los Angeles are saddled with pockets of rent controlled areas making investment opportunities less attractive. They also have unfavorable statewide eviction laws that allow deadbeat tenants to continue residing in properties months after defaulting on rental payments.

So this should come as no surprise that according to state law if the tenant is licensed by the California State Department of Social Services (DSS) it only takes a thirty day written notice of their intent to legally start and operate a daycare center without the permission of the landlord if the total number of children under care, including the children of the tenant, is limited to six. In fact, permission from the landlord is only necessary if the tenant chooses to increase the total number of children under care to eight. The licensed provider does need to have adequate insurance or be bonded. They must simply provide each parent, in writing, a notice that states the landlord’s insurance will not cover any issues should they arise – how reassuring. In fact, the landlord’s only recourse is that they can require the tenant to increase the security deposit to the maximum allowed by law. This is two times the rental rate if unfurnished and three times if furnished. The landlord is unfairly burdened with extra cost including, but not limited to, increased fees in liability coverage, out of pocket expenses for extra precautions to limit potential dangerous issues, and increased potential for additional wear and tear on the subject property. Most strikingly, the landlord loses control of determining if they approve or disapprove of this type of rental relationship. If they act by refusing to renew the rental agreement they run the risk of inviting a retaliation lawsuit from the tenant! This brings me to ponder a couple of questions, has the state overreached in providing this tenant right and does that seem like a fair exchange for the landlords?

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Salvatore J. Friscia

Salvatore J. Friscia is the Managing Broker at San Diego Premier Property Management in California.

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