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California Landlord Unlawful Disclosure of Tenant Immigration Status

The California Civil Code, Chapter 2, Section 1940.35 states that it is unlawful for a landlord to disclose a tenant’s immigration or citizenship status for the following reasons:

Harassment, Intimidation, and Retaliation

It is unlawful for a landlord to disclose to any immigration authority, law enforcement agency, or local, state, or federal agency information regarding or relating to the immigration or citizenship status of any tenant, occupant, or other person known to the landlord to be associated with a tenant or occupant, for the purpose of, or with the intent of, harassing or intimidating a tenant or occupant, retaliating against a tenant or occupant for the exercise of his or her rights, influencing a tenant or occupant to vacate a dwelling, or recovering possession of the dwelling, irrespective of whether the tenant or occupant currently resides in the dwelling.

Damages and Injunctive Relief

If a court of applicable jurisdiction finds a violation of this section in a proceeding initiated by a party or upon a motion of the court, the court shall do all of the following:

  • For each person whose status was so disclosed, order the landlord to pay statutory damages in an amount to be determined in the court’s discretion that is between 6 and 12 times the monthly rent charged for the dwelling in which the tenant or occupant resides or resided.
  • Issue injunctive relief to prevent the landlord from engaging in similar conduct with respect to other tenants, occupants, and persons known to the landlord to be associated with the tenants or occupants.
  • Notify the district attorney of the county in which the real property for hire is located of a potential violation of Section 519 of the Penal Code (extortion/fear).


A landlord is not in violation of this section if he or she is complying with any legal obligation under federal law, or subpoena, warrant, or order issued by a court.

Note: A court shall award to the prevailing party in an action under this section attorney’s fees and costs.

Added by Stats. 2017, Ch. 489, Sec. 5. (AB 291) Effective January 1, 2018.

Return to California Landlord-Tenant Laws.