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California Tenant Right to Grow Plants

The California Civil Code, Chapter 2, Section 1940.10 states that a landlord shall permit a tenant to participate in personal agriculture in the tenant’s private area if the following conditions are met:

Maintenance and Weed Removal

The tenant regularly removes any dead plant material and weeds, with the exception of straw, mulch, compost, and any other organic materials intended to encourage vegetation and retention of moisture in soil, unless the landlord and tenant have a preexisting or separate agreement regarding garden maintenance where the tenant is not responsible for removing or maintaining plant crop and weeds.


  • The plant crop will not interfere with the maintenance of the rental property.
  • The type of portable containers used have been approved by the landlord.
  • The placement of the portable containers does not interfere with any tenant’s parking spot.
  • The placement and location of the portable containers may be determined by the landlord. The portable containers may not create a health and safety hazard, block doorways, or interfere with walkways or utility services or equipment.

Synthetic Chemical Products

A landlord may prohibit the use of synthetic chemical herbicides, pesticides, fungicides, rodenticides, insecticides, or any other synthetic chemical product commonly used in the growing of plant crops.

Excess Water and Waste Collection

A landlord may require the tenant to enter into a written agreement regarding the payment of any excess water and waste collection bills arising from the tenant’s personal agriculture activities.


Subject to the notice required by Section 1954, a landlord has a right to periodically inspect any area where the tenant is engaging in personal agriculture to ensure compliance with this section.

Note: This section shall only apply to residential real property that is improved with, or consisting of, a building containing not more than two units that are intended for human habitation.

Added by Stats. 2014, Ch. 584, Sec. 2. (AB 2561) Effective January 1, 2015.

Return to California Landlord-Tenant Laws.