The California Civil Code, Chapter 2, Section 1945 and 1945.5 addresses what happens after a term of tenancy expires and how the law governs lease agreements that are written to auto-renew.
Accepting Rent After Expiration
If a lessee of real property remains in possession thereof after the expiration of the hiring, and the lessor accepts rent from him, the parties are presumed to have renewed the hiring on the same terms and for the same time, not exceeding one month when the rent is payable monthly, nor in any case one year.
Auto Renewal Provisions
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any term of a lease which provides for the automatic renewal or extension of the lease for all or part of the full term of the lease if the lessee remains in possession after the expiration of the lease or fails to give notice of his intent not to renew or extend before the expiration of the lease shall be voidable by the party who did not prepare the lease unless such renewal or extension provision appears in at least eight-point boldface type, if the contract is printed, in the body of the lease agreement and a recital of the fact that such provision is contained in the body of the agreement appears in at least eight-point boldface type, if the contract is printed, immediately prior to the place where the lessee executes the agreement.
Note: Any waiver of the provisions of this section is void as against public policy, so if the auto renewal provision is voided, the subsection Accepting Rent After Expiration applies.
Amended by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1107.
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