It has long been perilous for landlords in California to accept rent from persons who are not their tenants, since the transaction has a chance of creating a tenancy that the landlord did not intend. But in a rare move favoring landlords, the legislature enacted Civil Code Section 1947.3 in 2019, which allows landlords to refuse rent payments from non-tenants unless that third party gives a written acknowledgement disclaiming that the payment creates a tenancy.
Section 1947.3(a)(1)(C) provides a helpful form that landlords can use to enforce this new right. The acknowledgement can even state whether it applies to a single payment, or for a series of payments, such as when the actual tenant is unavailable for a long period of time. Landlords should not hesitate to take advantage of this new law in any situation where rent is not received directly from the named tenant(s) on the rental agreement.