Pasadena Rental Laws Image


Pasadena Rental Laws Have Three Major Components:

1. The Tenant Protection Ordinance (TPO) that went in effect November 1, 2004

2. The Pasadena Fair And Equitable Housing Charter Amendment, also known as Measure H, that went into effect December 22, 2022. It supersedes some but not all of the Tenant Protection Ordinance and created the Pasadena Rental Housing Board

3. The Pasadena Rental Housing Board Regulations that are continuously updated by way of Resolutions. The Board passed 20 Resolutions in 2023 and 5 Resolutions in 2024 as of the writing of this article.

Rent Control

By September 1 each year, the Pasadena Rental Housing Board publishes the amount you can legally increase rent starting October 1 of the same year. This rent increase limit is called the “Annual General Adjustment” (AGA). 

The “Annual General Adjustment” corresponds to 75% of the change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) over the last 12 months ending in March. In other words, the AGA is simply the Pasadena Rental Housing Board doing the math for you. If the CPI doesn’t increase, the rent increase limit will be zero, meaning you can’t raise the rent. Currently the rent increase limit is 2.75% until September 30, 2024.

The rent increase limit that the Pasadena Rental Housing Board publishes by September 1 is on a “use it or lose it” basis. You have one year, from October 1 to September 30, to raise the rent. If you don’t raise rent within this timeframe, you cannot carry over the rent increase to the following year. 

Additional Rent Control Considerations

You’re limited to one rent increase per rental unit within any twelve-month period.

Any rent increase can only take effect no less than 30 days after giving your tenant THIS written notice; see the “General Notice to Tenants” document. Whether you use the linked notice or your own, it must contain two pieces of information:

  1. It should state that the rent adjustment complies with the Pasadena Fair And Equitable Housing Charter Amendment, which is Article XIII of the Pasadena City Charter.
  2. It must remind tenants of their right to contest any increase that exceeds the Annual General Adjustment unless it’s based on a previously approved petition.

Importantly, no rent hike is enforceable unless all conditions of the Pasadena Fair And Equitable Housing Charter Amendment (Measure H) are met. Specifically:

  1. If you have not fully complied with the Pasadena Fair And Equitable Housing Charter Amendment and any additional rules from the Pasadena Rental Housing Board, you cannot increase the rent.
  2. If your rental property is in a condition that is considered untenantable, substandard, or has a lead hazard, you are not permitted to raise the rent.
  3. If you have not completed repairs as directed by a hearing officer, the Rental Housing Board, or the City of Pasadena, rent increases are not allowable.


Rent control does not apply to single family homes. It also does not apply to multi-family properties with a certificate of occupancy issued after February 1, 1995. This is due to the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act. However, even though some properties are exempt from rent control, they are not exempt from relocation payment requirements. See the following section of this article for more information.

Relocation Assistance vs Relocation Allowance

Pasadena Fair And Equitable Housing Charter Amendment (Measure H) requires landlords to pay tenants “Relocation Assistance,” whereas the Tenant Protection Ordinance (TPO) requires landlords to pay tenants a “Relocation Allowance.” The amounts, requirements, and circumstances under which each apply are different. 

The following rules regarding relocation payment amounts often reference Fair Market Rent. Note the Fair Market Rent calculation for the Tenant Protection Ordinance is different from the Fair Market Rents calculation for the Pasadena Fair And Equitable Housing Charter Amendment. The Tenant Protection Ordinance (TPO) uses HUD Metro Area Fair Market Rents whereas the Pasadena Fair And Equitable Housing Charter Amendment (Measure H) uses the average HUD Small Area Fair Market Rents for zip codes 91101, 91102, 91103, 91104, 91105, 91106, and 91107.

Relocation Assistance per the Pasadena Fair And Equitable Housing Charter Amendment (Measure H)

Relocation Assistance is required when a tenant has to move for the following 5 no-fault reasons:

1. Necessary Repairs Requiring Temporary Vacancy: Landlords are required to provide relocation assistance when tenants need to temporarily vacate for substantial repairs that render a unit uninhabitable. However, if a tenant chooses to move into another comparable unit you offer at the same or a lower rent, they do not qualify for relocation benefits.

2. Owner Move-In: If you, as a landlord or immediate family member, plan to move into a rental unit, you are obligated to provide relocation assistance to the displaced tenant.

3. Withdrawal from the Rental Market: Should you decide to permanently remove a rental unit from the market, you are required to provide relocation assistance to the affected tenants.

4. Government Order: If a government order necessitates that a tenant vacates a unit, relocation assistance must be provided.

5. Inability to Pay Rent Increases: Tenants who are unable to afford a rent increase exceeding 5% plus the Annual General Adjustment—calculated as 75% of the change in the Consumer Price Index over the last 12 months ending in March—must inform you of their financial hardship. In these cases, landlords are required to provide relocation assistance, provided the tenant has communicated their inability to pay within the stipulated time frame.

Relocation Assistance Payment Amounts

You are required to provide all the following relocation assistance:

Base Relocation Payment

This payment varies based on tenancy duration and is determined annually by the Rental Housing Board according to the following schedule:

  • 0-3 Years of Tenancy: Equivalent to 3 months’ Fair Market Rent.
  • 3-10 Years of Tenancy: Equivalent to 4 months’ Fair Market Rent.
  • Over 10 Years of Tenancy: Equivalent to 5 months’ Fair Market Rent.

Security Deposit Refund

You must return the full security deposit to the tenant upon move-out, minus any deductions for damages beyond ordinary wear and tear, within legally specified timelines.

Subscription Service Access

Provide tenants with unlimited access to a rental agency subscription service until they secure alternative housing or their tenancy ends.

Relocation Advisory Services

Offer personalized housing assistance through a Relocation Agency or another chosen specialist. Services include:

  • Personalized advice based on the tenant’s housing preferences and budget.
  • Up to five rounds of rental referrals, including contacts with property management companies and information on affordable housing options.

Our company can provide these relocation advisory services. Contact us for more information.

Moving Expense Allowance

An additional allowance is required for households with “Special Circumstances.”

A household qualifies as having “Special Circumstances” if it includes:

  • An individual aged 60 or older.
  • A disabled member.
  • A terminally ill member, as certified by a physician.
  • A dependent minor child (19 years of age or under).

Additional Cash Payment

For Special Circumstances Households, an extra payment equivalent to three times the Fair Market Rent is mandated.

Click HERE and see the “Tenant Relocation Assistance” document for current relocation dollar amounts.

Notice of Intent to Terminate Tenancy Filing Requirements

When you, as a landlord, decide to terminate a tenancy for a no-fault reason, you must first complete the following steps:

Step 1: Notice of Intent

 File a ‘Notice of Intent to Terminate Tenancy’ using the form provided by the Pasadena Rental Housing Board. This must be done at least 30 days before you intend to serve the termination notice to your tenant(s). Click HERE and see the “Notice of Intent to Terminate with No Fault,” which is the required form.

Step 2:  Notice of Rights 

Inform tenants about their rights under the ordinance at the time you serve the notice to quit. Click HERE for the “Tenant Relocation Fact Sheet.”

Step 3: Notification by the Board

After you file the notice, the Pasadena Rental Housing Board, or through the Relocation Agency, will mail a copy of your Notice of Intent along with a Tenant Claim Form to the tenant. This will occur within 15 calendar days of your filing. Click HERE for the Tenant Relocation Claim Form.

Tenant’s Response

The Board encourages tenants to respond by filling out the Tenant Claim Form, which includes:

  • Contact Information: Tenant should provide their contact details.
  • Security Deposit: Disclosure of any security deposit paid and its amount.
  • Special Circumstances: Indication if they belong to a “Special Circumstances Household.”
  • Availability for Interview: Tenant should state their availability for an initial interview with the Relocation Agency, for arranging relocation advisory services.

If the tenants fail to complete the form, they do not forfeit their right to Relocation Assistance. The Board encourages tenants to fill out the Tenant Claim Form to ensure they receive the correct amount of assistance. For landlords, encouraging tenants to complete this form can facilitate a smoother transition and compliance with Pasadena’s laws.

Disbursement of Relocation Assistance

Initial Payment

You are required to provide at least 50% of the total Relocation Assistance to the tenant within 10 calendar days after serving the notice of termination of tenancy. 

Options for Remaining Balance

As a landlord, you have several options regarding the disbursement of the remaining balance of Relocation Assistance:

Option 1: Escrow Account Payment:

  • You may choose to deposit the remaining balance into an escrow account no later than 28 calendar days before the expiration of the notice of termination. The funds will then be released to the tenant upon certification of the unit’s vacation.

Option 2: Direct Payment to Tenant:

  • Alternatively, you can pay the remaining balance directly to the tenant, also due no later than 28 days before the termination notice expires.

Comprehensive Escrow Option

You also have the option to proactively manage the entire Relocation Assistance through an escrow account maintained by the Relocation Agency:

  • Deposit: You may deposit the total Relocation Assistance amount into an escrow account before serving the written notice of termination.
  • Disbursement Schedule: 50% of the assistance is disbursed to the tenant within 10 days after the notice of termination is served.
  • Remaining Balance: The rest can be disbursed in parts or in full prior to the vacation of the unit, depending on the tenant’s demonstrated relocation expenses.
  • Final Balance: Any remaining funds are released upon the tenant’s certification of vacating the unit.

Relocation Assistance For Rent Increases

Notice of Inability to Pay Rent Increase

If a tenant is unable to afford a rent increase exceeding 5% plus the Annual General Adjustment—calculated as 75% of the change in the Consumer Price Index over the last 12 months ending in March—they must:

  • Notify their landlord within 30 days of receiving the rent increase notice using a form provided by the Pasadena Rental Housing Board.
  • File a copy of the “Notice of Inability to Pay Rent Increase” with the Pasadena Rental Housing Board within 5 days after notifying the landlord.

Processing Tenant Claims

Upon receiving the tenant’s notice:

The Pasadena Rental Housing Board, or through the Relocation Agency, will send a Tenant Claim Form to the tenant within 15 days.

The Tenant Claim Form must include:

  • Contact information.
  • Details of any security deposit paid.
  • Whether the tenant is a Special Circumstances Household.
  • Availability for an initial interview with the Relocation Agency.
  • Disbursement of Relocation Assistance

As a landlord, you are required to:

  • Provide at least 50% of the total Relocation Assistance within 10 days after being notified by the Rental Housing Board of the amount due to the tenant.
  • Pay the remaining balance of the Relocation Assistance:
  • Directly to the tenant on or before the date they vacate the rental unit, or
  • Into an escrow account at least 28 days before the expiration of the notice of termination, to be disbursed upon the tenant’s vacation of the unit.

Tenant’s Obligation to Vacate

A tenant who files a Notice of Inability to Pay Rent Increase and claims Relocation Assistance must vacate the rental unit within 90 days of the effective date of the rent increase. If the tenant fails to vacate within this period, they must:

  • Forfeit the remaining balance of Relocation Assistance.
  • Repay 50% of the first payment of Relocation Assistance received.

Failure to comply with Relocation Assistance obligations constitutes a complete defense in any unlawful detainer action (i.e., eviction) or other legal action you undertake to regain possession of the rental unit.

Relocation Allowance per the Tenant Protection Ordinance (TPO)

Relocation Allowance per the TPO is required under the following conditions:

  1. If you’re planning to demolish a rental unit.
  2. If within 18 months after a property changes hands, the tenant is evicted, their tenancy ends, or they face a rent increase exceeding the cost of living increase plus 5%.

Tenants earning up to 140% of the median income, who are in good standing, are eligible for a relocation allowance. Click HERE and see “Tenant Protection Administrative Regulations” for additional information on income calculation. 

Relocation allowance is 2.5 months of fair market rent plus a moving expense allowance. These figures are adjusted annually for inflation. 

Click HERE and see the “Tenant Protection Fact Sheet” for current relocation allowance amounts.

Long-term tenants of over 10 years are entitled to increased relocation allowances, which grow by 10% annually beyond the 10th year, up to a maximum of 200% after 20 years.

To determine eligibility for these allowances, tenants may be asked to provide:

  1. Certification of household members and income.
  2. Proof of income such as pay stubs or benefit statements.
  3. Any additional documentation requested by you, the city, or its consultants.

As a landlord, you’re required to distribute a one-page, city-prepared, multilingual information sheet outlining the ordinance’s provisions to all tenants. HERE is the current “Tenant Protection Fact Sheet.” Note, though, it is neither multilingual nor anywhere to be found on Pasadena’s Notices, Forms, and Resources page. It is, however, on Pasadena’s Department of Housing page.

Please note that these provisions do not apply when:

  • A tenancy is terminated due to a violation of rental agreement terms.
  • The rental unit becomes uninhabitable due to an earthquake.
  • The tenant’s actions have caused such severe damage that the unit is uninhabitable.
  •  The ordinance covers multi-family rental units but does not apply to single-family residences and condominiums.

Just Cause for Evictions Protections

Here is a comprehensive list of valid just causes for eviction to assist you in managing your rental units with confidence.

1. Rent Default

You can terminate a tenancy if the tenant fails to pay rent after a formal written notice. This does not apply to unpaid fees that are separate from the rent.

2. Lease Violations 

Repeated substantial violations of the rental agreement terms, after a written warning, allow you to seek possession, assuming these terms are lawful, reasonable, and explicitly agreed upon by the tenant. For any new terms added after the tenancy begins, you must inform tenants that they have the option not to accept these new terms.

3. Subleasing Rules

You cannot end a tenancy based on subleasing if:

  • The tenant still lives in the unit.
  • The subleasing is in place of an equal number of departing tenants.
  • You have not provided a justified refusal to a sublease request. Note that a lack of response within 14 days to a tenant’s written sublease request will be deemed as approval.
  • Your refusal must not be based on the potential subtenant’s creditworthiness, provided they’re not legally responsible for the rent. You may refuse based on maximum occupancy standards “as determined by Section 503(b) of the Uniform Housing Code.” The only problem is that no  such section exists.

4. Addition of Occupants

You’re not permitted to evict based on the addition of immediate family members, a tenant’s spouse or domestic partner, or one additional adult, as long as the unit does not become overcrowded by exceeding the allowed occupancy limits.

5. Nuisance or Damage

If a tenant, even after being directed to cease such conduct, continues to cause significant disturbances, damage the property, or infringe upon the quiet enjoyment of other residents or neighboring properties, eviction proceedings may be justified.

6. Illegal Use

Utilization of the rental unit or nearby areas for illegal activities (except for certain housing code violations) can be grounds for eviction.

7. Lease Renewal Non-Compliance

 Tenants who refuse to sign a lease renewal on the same or similar terms after receiving a written request can be subject to eviction.

8. Refusal of Access for Repairs/Inspections

 If a tenant does not allow reasonable access for necessary maintenance, inspections, or viewings, you may have cause for eviction, provided you’ve complied with all regulations, given proper notice, and scheduled the work appropriately. Tenants must also be informed of their rights to request accommodation for disabilities.

9. Unapproved Subtenants at Lease End

You can take back possession of a unit from subtenants who are not approved by you at the end of the original lease term.

10. Necessary and Substantial Repairs Requiring Temporary Vacancy

For essential health and safety repairs that require the unit to be vacant for over 30 days (confirmed by the city), you may ask the tenant to vacate, giving advance notice and informing them of their rights to return to the unit or to relocate to a comparable one, as well as their relocation assistance eligibility.

11. Owner Move-In

You have the right to evict a tenant if you plan to use the unit as a primary residence for yourself, your spouse, domestic partner, children, grandchildren, parents, or grandparents.

Ownership and Occupancy Conditions: 

  • You must be a natural person with at least a 50% ownership interest in the property
  • Eviction is not an option if a qualified relative already resides in a unit or if another unit is vacant.
  • Should a comparable unit become vacant, you must retract the eviction notice.
  • Notices must detail the intended occupant’s name, address, and relationship to you, and explain the tenant’s rights if the move-in doesn’t occur as planned.

Occupancy Timeline and Commitment: 

  • The intended resident must move into the unit within 60 days of the tenant leaving and stay for at least 36 consecutive months.

Reoccupation and Expenses: 

  •  If the intended occupant doesn’t move in or doesn’t stay for the full 36 months, you must offer the unit back to the evicted tenant at the same rent and cover all reasonable moving expenses.

Protected Tenants: 

  • Tenants over 60, those with disabilities, or those who are terminally ill (and have resided in the unit for five years or more) cannot be evicted under OMI unless the person moving in meets these same criteria and no other units are available. 

Disability Accommodations: 

  • You may request adjustments to facilitate the disability needs of the intended new occupant.

12. Withdrawal from the Rental Market

You may reclaim units if you’re removing them from the rental market, following required steps and giving proper notice, especially to senior or disabled tenants. Senior or disabled tenants must be given at least a 1-year notice.

13. Compliance with Government Orders

 If you need to reclaim a rental unit to adhere to any official directive—such as orders to vacate, comply, abate, or other legal mandates necessitating the building’s vacancy due to code violations—you’re acting within your rights as a landlord.

Termination Requirements:

Requirements for All Termination Notices:

Eviction Notice Specificity

Eviction notices must detail the precise reasons for the action.

Filing the Termination Notice

Whenever you serve a termination notice or a Written Notice to Cease, you must file a copy with the Pasadena Rental Board within three days. 

Summary of Tenant Protections

Alongside the notice, you’re required to provide a summary of the tenant’s protections under the Charter Amendment. The Rental Board prepares this form, and it’s designed to outline the rights afforded to tenants.

Specific Reasons for Termination 

Detail the grounds for the termination thoroughly. This should include the specifics that will allow for the identification of the time, location, witnesses, and context of the reasons leading to the termination.

Charter Amendment Coverage 

Clearly state that the rental unit falls under the regulations of the Charter Amendment.

Resources for the Tenant 

Inform the tenant that they have the right to seek guidance from the Rental Housing Board housing counselors. Be sure to include the contact information for the Board, such as a phone number and email address, if available.

Additional Requirements Specific to Lease Breach or Nuisance

You must include the Written Notice to Cease you’ve previously served to the tenant alongside the eviction notice.

A Written Notice to Cease serves as a formal document that allows the tenant to address and rectify the cited issue before you initiate eviction proceedings. This notice should:

  1. Grant the tenant a reasonable timeframe to remedy the issue.
  2. Clearly indicate that failing to resolve the problem could lead to eviction proceedings.
  3. Advise the tenant of their right to request reasonable accommodations, particularly if they have disabilities.
  4. Provide contact information for the Rental Board, offering additional support to the tenant.
  5. Detail the reasons for the notice with enough specificity to outline the nature of the violation, including the time, location, and involved parties.
  6. Specify which lease terms have been violated and what actions the tenant needs to take to correct the breach.

Additional Requirements Specific to Temporarily Vacating for Necessary Repairs or Due to a Government Mandate

You must inform them in advance of their rights, including:

Right of First Refusal

Option to Relocate Temporarily: Tenants have the right to move to another one of your rental units, assuming it’s available, comparable or superior to their current unit, and offered at the same or a lower rent. For a unit to be considered comparable, it must:

  • Have the same number of bedrooms and bathrooms.
  • Be within a 15% size variance of the original unit.
  • Be located within Pasadena or not more than 10 miles from the original unit.
  • Be in similar or better physical condition.
  • Accommodate any special needs related to disabilities that the current unit addresses.
  • Optionally, for families with children, be within the same public school district, even if other criteria are slightly adjusted.

No Relocation Assistance: If a tenant chooses to relocate to one of these comparable units, they forfeit eligibility for relocation assistance.

Right of Return

Return to Original Unit: Tenants have the right to return to their original unit under the same rental terms once repairs are completed or compliance issues resolved.

  • If tenants opt for this right without the first refusal of another unit, they must keep you updated on their contact information.
  • You are required to notify tenants at least 45 days before the unit is ready for reoccupation to allow sufficient time for them to plan their return.

Notification Requirements and Timelines

Initial Notification: You must inform tenants of their rights to either the right of first refusal or the right to return:

  • Upon applying for necessary permits, or
  • At least 30 days before issuing a termination notice.

Short Notice Situations: If a government order necessitates faster evacuation, you must provide this information concurrently with the eviction notice.

Tenant Response: Tenants have 30 days from receiving your notification to declare their intentions in writing.

Landlord Responsibilities

Informing Tenants: It’s your responsibility to ensure tenants are fully aware of their options well in advance.

Handling Tenant Elections: Be prepared to process and respect the tenant’s decisions regarding these rights promptly and courteously.

Additional Requirements Specific to Eviction for Owner or Qualifying Relative Occupancy

You may evict a tenant if you, or a qualifying relative (spouse, domestic partner, child, grandchild, parent, or grandparent), intend to occupy the rental unit as a primary residence.

Restrictions on Evicting Tenants

Existing Occupancy: If you are currently living in one of the units on the property, you cannot evict another tenant on the same property for your own occupancy.

Qualifying Relative Occupancy: If a qualifying relative is already living in a unit on the property, you cannot evict another tenant on their behalf to occupy a different unit on the same property.

Vacant Units: If there is an available unit with the same number of bedrooms and bathrooms as the one from which the tenant is being displaced, you must offer that unit instead of proceeding with the eviction.

Multiple Evictions: You are generally restricted from recovering possession of more than one rental unit on the same property, except in cases where you have evicted a tenant from a primary or accessory dwelling unit and seek to do so again for another tenant on the same property.

Reasonable Accommodation for Disabilities

You may evict a tenant to accommodate your own or a qualifying relative’s disability needs if no suitable units are available on the property.

Rescinding Eviction Notices

If a suitable unit becomes available after issuing an eviction notice but before recovering possession, you must rescind the eviction notice and halt any related legal actions.

Protection for Long-Term Tenants:

Tenants who are at least 60 years old, disabled, or certified as terminally ill by a physician, and have resided in the rental unit for at least five years, are protected against eviction unless you or your qualifying relative also meets these conditions and no other units are available.

Detailed Occupant Information 

Each notice must clearly state the name, address, and relationship of the individual who plans to occupy the unit, whether it’s yourself or a qualifying relative (spouse, domestic partner, child, grandchild, parent, or grandparent).

Exemption Criteria 

If you or your qualifying relative meets specific exemptions, such as age, disability, or health condition, this must be included in the notice. Notably, you cannot evict a tenant who:

  • Has lived in the unit for at least five years,
  • Is at least 60 years old, disabled, or certified as terminally ill, unless no other units are available and the intended occupant qualifies under the same criteria.

Documentation Requirements 

Include a copy of the form provided by the Rental Housing Board, detailing the tenant’s rights. If the property is owned through a family trust or a corporate entity like an LLC or partnership, you must also attach documentation proving your status as a settlor, beneficiary, or holder of an equity interest.

Additional Documentation for Owner Move-In

Owner Move-In Affidavit: Attach an affidavit provided by the Rental Housing Board. This affidavit must be completed under penalty of perjury, affirming your or your qualifying relative’s intention to:

  • Move into the unit within 60 days of the tenant vacating,
  • Reside there as a primary residence for at least 36 consecutive months.

Tenant’s Right to Re-Rent

Future Rental Interest: The Rental Housing Board’s form will also include a section for the tenant to express interest in re-renting the unit at the same rate if it becomes available again. Tenants are required to notify both the landlord and the Rental Housing Board in writing if they wish to return to the unit.

Responsibilities After Tenant Vacates

Notification of Vacancy

Notify the Rental Housing Board within 30 days after the tenant vacates. This involves submitting a certificate indicating the tenant’s last rent amount.

Contact Information Updates

Maintain up-to-date contact information for the tenant to facilitate re-offering the unit if they qualify for the right of first refusal.

Re-Offering the Rental Unit

If the unit becomes available again, you must:

  • Inform the Rental Housing Board of your intention to re-rent.
  • Send a written offer to re-rent to the tenant at the same rent, and provide this documentation to the Rental Housing Board within five days of sending it.

Tenant Response

The tenant has 30 days to respond in writing to your re-rental offer. A lack of response within this timeframe extinguishes their right of first refusal.

Ensuring Compliance with Good Faith Occupancy Requirements

Occupancy Timeline and Intent

If you or your qualifying relative (such as a spouse, domestic partner, or direct descendant/ancestor) plan to occupy a rental unit, you must move into the unit within 60 days after the tenant vacates and reside there for at least 36 consecutive months. Failure to comply requires you to:

  • Offer the rental unit back to the original tenant at the same rent.
  • Compensate the tenant for all reasonable moving expenses to and from the unit.

Certificate of Primary Residence

Within 30 days of moving in, you must submit a Certificate of Primary Residence to the Rental Housing Board. This form confirms your occupancy and must be accompanied by evidence such as government IDs, utility bills, or insurance policies.

Annual Compliance

Annually for three years, submit a Certificate of Primary Residence, affirming ongoing occupancy. This is crucial to ensure transparency and adherence to the terms of your initial claim.

Tenant Buyout Notification Requirements

The Tenant Buyout Notification Program oversees buyout agreements. As a landlord, before proposing a buyout, you’re required to:

  1. Inform your tenants of their rights under the Pasadena Fair And Equitable Housing Charter Amendment. This initial notice must be:
  • In the tenant’s primary language.
  • On an official form from the Rental Board. HERE is the official form in English. See “Notice of Tenant Buyout Rights” document.
  • Dated and signed by both you and your tenants.
  1. When drafting a buyout agreement, it must be:
  • In the tenant’s primary language.
  • Clearly state above the signature line, in at least 12-point bold type: “You, (Tenant name), may cancel this Buyout Agreement any time up to 45 days after all parties have signed this Agreement without any obligation or penalty.”
  1. The agreement must also clearly inform the tenant they have the right to:
  • Decline the buyout offer.
  • Seek legal advice or consult the Rental Board before agreeing.
  • Cancel the agreement within 45 days after signing, penalty-free.

Both landlord and tenant must sign and date the buyout agreement. Tenants must receive a copy of the fully executed agreement.

A tenant can rescind the buyout agreement for any reason within 45 days post-signing, without any financial penalty. If the agreement or initial notice fails to meet these requirements, the tenant retains the right to cancel.

Landlords must file copies of both the signed notice and the buyout agreement with the Pasadena Rental Housing Board within 60 days after the agreement is signed.

Should there be a dispute, tenants can cite any violations of these regulations in their defense. Moreover, tenants have the right to sue landlords who don’t follow these rules, potentially receiving damages and a $1,000 penalty.

Miscellaneous Rules

Information Posting

Post a notice about the Housing Charter Amendment in visible areas on the property, as prepared by the Rental Housing Board.

Security Deposit Interest

You must pay annual interest on security deposits held for a year or more, at rates set by the Rental Housing Board.The interest rate for 2024 is 0.41%. This payment must be made annually by January 31st of the following year. 

You have the flexibility to choose how to pay this interest:

  • By Check: Direct payment to the tenant.
  • As Rent Credit: Applied directly to the tenant’s rent, which can be beneficial for both parties simplifying transaction processes.

When paying the interest, whether by check or as a rent credit, you must include:

Notice Detailing Interest Calculations: A statement that clearly outlines the interest rate used and how the interest amount was calculated, ensuring transparency and trust in your financial dealings with tenants.

Procedures for Vacating Tenants

If a tenant vacates their rental unit before the annual interest payment is made, you must:

  • Pay Unpaid Interest: Include any accrued interest from either the date the tenant paid the security deposit or from the date of the last interest payment. This payment should be made within the legal timeframe required for the return of security deposits.
  •  Include Detailed Statement: Provide an itemized statement along with the interest payment that details the interest rate applied and the calculation of the interest amount owed.

Anti-Retaliation Protection

Any attempt to evict a tenant as retaliation for exercising their rights, including association with tenant advocacy groups, is prohibited and can be used as a defense by the tenant.

Harassment Protection

You cannot engage in actions intended to displace a tenant unlawfully or to increase rent beyond allowable limits. Protection against harassment extends to tenants involved in tenant organizations.

Rent Registry

You are required to register your rental units but the Pasadena Rental Housing Board has not created the Rent Registry yet. Check HERE for updates.

Pasadena landlords, we understand following all these rules can be daunting. We are here to help! Contact us today with your questions and request for services. 


The information on this webpage is not meant to be legal advice and is intended for educational purposes only. The laws change frequently and this webpage may not be updated to reflect current rules. Do not rely on the information on this webpage when making legal decisions. Consult with legal counsel regarding your particular case before taking any action.