Can my landlord make me get liability insurance even though I am only renting?

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Can my landlord make me get liability insurance even though I am only renting?

Asked on September 28, 2011 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

A landlord is not obligated to rent to anyone--that is, like other businesses, it's voluntary for  the landlord to be in business, to make homes or apartments available to rent, etc. That means that the landlord can put almost any conditions on rental that it likes--no pets, no smoking, no home business, maximum occupancy, or, as here, that the tenant acquire and maintain certain insurance (so as to protect the landlord in the event of an incident or occurence). If a tenant or prospective tenant doesn't like the terms of the rental, he or she can live elsewhere.

The restriction is, the landlord cannot require something new, that's not in a lease, in the middle of a lease term; for as long as a lease is in effect, only the terms or requirements in it apply. When a tenant is starting out renting, on lease renewal, or, for a month to month tenant, on 30 days notice, that's when the landlord can require insurance.


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