There is nothing more important than a good, safe, secure home.

  —Rosalynn Carter

As You Move In

moldy roof
Unsafe housing condition: Mold

water damage on roof
Unsafe housing condition: Water Damage

moldy bathtub
Unsafe housing condition: Plumbing Problems

Remember to complete your property condition check list and document everything! Also be sure to contact the appropriate utility department if you are responsible for paying your own utilities ahead of time.

If your lease allows pets and you are going to have a pet, the county requires that you register all pets. You can do that by contacting SLO County Animal Services at (805)781-4400.

As a renter in California, the law states that you have up to 21 days after your lease begins to report if anything in the rental needs to be repaired. However, if you have any needs during the duration of your stay, you can contact your landlord.


It is important that you and your roommates reside in a unit that is safe and livable. Here are some things to look out for and report to your landlord right away:

  • Electric – exposed wires, broken face plates on plugs and switches
  • Windows – All windows should open and close; this could be a fire hazard
  • Doors – all doors should be able to open and close
  • Illegal garage conversion – no garage can be lived in. If there is a garage door and/or gas burning appliances such as washer, dryer, water heater, furnace, it is unsafe to live in
  • Plumbing – toilets must flush and sinks must drain
  • Mold – smell test (if it smells moldy or musky)
  • Water damage – if floors are soft due to water damage, this is unsafe
  • Hot and cold water – there should be hot and cold water
  • Heating – there should be some type of heating in the rental unit
  • Lighting - there must be lighting in all common areas
  • Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors - must be present and working; detectors should have a “test” button on them to ensure they are working properly


What you can do to keep your new home safe:

  • Heaters – keep all space heaters away from flammable materials.
  • Extension cords – don’t use old extension cords; a power strip is better.
  • Don’t have indoor furniture outside – It is a fire hazard and you can get fined for it.
  • Don’t convert your garage into another room. Adding carpet to a garage is a fire hazard.
  • Do not store anything around your hot water heater; this can cause a fire.
  • Please stay within occupancy limits. Most single family home rental units do not allow more than five renters without getting a permit from the city.
  • Don’t leave food unattended while cooking. This is the number one cause of home cooking fires.
  • If you use candles at home, use holders that are sturdy, won't flip over easily, are made from a material that can't burn, and are large enough to collect dripping wax.
  • Report gas leaks right away by calling 911! Please follow the instructions they give you. Don't forget to also report it to your landlord.


Next: How to Pay Your Rent

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