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San Diego Tenant Daycare Rights

Child care is a huge concern in California. State law allows renters to operate a family day care business from their rental home, even if the lease prohibits the property from being used as a business, under certain circumstances. Because so many home childcare providers and property owners do not understand the law, the San Diego City Council passed a new ordinance that requires lease agreements to include notice to tenants about their rights to operate a childcare business. Here’s what you should know about California law and operating a childcare business in a rental home and about San Diego’s new ordinance. 

Tenant’s Rights to Operate a Home Child Care Business

In 2019, California enhanced legislation that allowed tenants to operate a home daycare in their rental home. SB 234, aka the Family Daycare Homes law, gave renters protection under the Fair Employment and Housing Act if they were treated unfairly by their landlords. Landlords cannot evict nor be denied rental housing for operating a childcare business out of their home. Landlords do not have to give permission for operating a childcare business out of a rental unit. In addition, landlords cannot regulate the operating hours of the business.

Tenant’s Responsibilities When Operating a Home Child Care Business

With the right of operating a home day care business, tenants also have a responsibility to follow the law as it pertains to home child care businesses.

  • Renters must give landlords or property managers 30-day advance notice before operating their home childcare business.
  • Renters must apply for a license to watch children through the California Child Care Licensing Program.
  • Renters should demonstrate financial responsibility by obtaining liability insurance or securing a bond of $300,000. Homeowners’ insurance will not meet this requirement.
  • Renters should also take care to minimize damage to the property and be conscientious of disrupting neighbors.
  • Tenants must abide by all health and safety standards required by their license.
  • Renters also need to inform the landlord of their intent to continue operating a childcare business at the time of a lease renewal.

Landlords Rights and Responsibilities

Although landlords cannot deny tenants the opportunity to operate a childcare business, they can charge a higher security deposit, up to the maximum allowed by California law. Landlords can also request licensing information if it is not provided to them with the advance notice. Landlords can limit the number of children that a home childcare business can care for. Small family child care providers are allowed to care for up to 8 children in the home when certain conditions are met. In rentals, caring for more than 6 children requires landlord approval and additional licensing.  

Landlords cannot discriminate nor evict tenants who legally operate a home child care business, but they can evict tenants for cause, such as not paying rent or noise violations. Landlords are not allowed to charge higher rent for operating a home daycare business, but they can increase rent for legitimate reasons.

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