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Family Day Care in a California Rental Unit

Prepared By: Melissa C. Marsh, Los Angeles Landlord-Tenant Attorney
Written: March 2009 - Last Updated: May 2016

Under California law, ALL single family residences, including rental apartments and condominiums, can be used as a day care facility because such is NOT considered a "business use of the property." California Health & Safety Code Section 1597.43(a). This right cannot be restricted by a condominium HOA or a landlord. In fact, any lease provision prohibiting the operation of a day care facility is void as against public policy, but that does not mean the landlord doesn't have any rights.

A residential landlord who learns that a tenant is operating a family day care facility in their rental unit is permitted to require the tenant to pay an increased security deposit, but the requested security deposit still cannot exceed the maximum permitted by existing law (2 month's rent).

The landlord may also request proof that the operation is properly licensed. To operate a family day care facility out of a rental unit the tenant must inform the landlord of his or her intent to do so and acquire a license from the California Department of Social Services, who as a condition of issuing the permit will inspect the premises for code compliance and require the day care operator to receive 15 hours of training. Once approved, the operator will be permitted to provide day care for up to 6 children under age 10, and if the owner consents an additional 2 school aged children.

A day care facility operator must also either: (1) carry general liability insurance of $100,000 per occurrence and $300,000 aggregate; or (2) inform and have each parent acknowledge in writing that the day care facility is not insured, and that any liability insurance held by the landlord may not cover any claims or losses relating to the operation of the family day care facility. However, if the landlord otherwise requires each of its residents to carry renter's insurance, that requirement will still apply to the rental unit within which a family day care services are provided.

A family day care service provider operating out of a rental unit should also be aware that a landlord and the adjacent residents are not required to tolerate excessive noise that disrupts the peaceful and quiet enjoyment of the other tenants, or other conduct that causes excessive damage to the property. Day care service providers should inform parents to be respectful of the neighbors when dropping off and picking up their children and should plan relatively quiet activities that respect the needs of the other tenants (coloring, painting, home work help, etc.). Landlords, on the other hand, should exercise caution before sending a written warning and/or notice of eviction as such may be deemed to be a discriminatory act. Landlords would be wise to inform their other tenants to document the disturbance and send a written complaint letter so the landlord will have evidence to substantiate his actions.

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Disclaimer: The information presented on this web site was prepared by Melissa C. Marsh for general informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. The information provided in my articles and alerts should not be relied upon, or used as a substitute for professional legal advice from an attorney you retain to advise or represent you. Your use of this Internet site does not create an attorney- client relationship. Transmission of this article is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. All uses of the contents of this site, other than personal uses, are prohibited. You may print or email a copy of any information posted on this web site for your own personal, non-commercial, use, but you may not publish any of the articles or posts on this web site without the Express Written Permission of Melissa C. Marsh.

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Located in Los Angeles, California, the Law Office of Melissa C. Marsh handles business law and corporation law matters as a lawyer for clients throughout Los Angeles including Burbank, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Valley Village, North Hollywood, Woodland Hills, Hollywood, West LA as well as Riverside County, San Fernando, Ventura County, and Santa Clarita. Attorney Melissa C. Marsh has considerable experience handling business matters both nationally and internationally. We routinely assist our clients with incorporation, forming a California corporation, forming a California llc, partnership, annual minutes, shareholder meetings, director meetings, getting a taxpayer ID number (EIN), buying a business, selling a business, commercial lease review, employee disputes, independent contractors, construction, and personal matters such as preparing a will, living trust, power of attorney, health care directive, and more.