04 May 2007
Section 1953 provides:
(a) Any provision of a lease or rental agreement of a dwelling by which the lessee agrees to modify or waive any of the following rights shall be void as contrary to public policy:
(1) His rights or remedies under Section 1950.5 or 1954.
(2) His right to assert a cause of action against the lessor which may arise in the future.
(3) His right to a notice or hearing required by law.
(4) His procedural rights in litigation in any action involving his rights and obligations as a tenant.
(5) His right to have the landlord exercise a duty of care to prevent personal injury or personal property damage where that duty is imposed by law.
(b) Any provision of a lease or rental agreement of dwelling by which the lessee agrees to modify or waive a statutory right, where the modification or waiver is not void under subdivision (a) or under Section 1942.1,
1942.5, or 1954, shall be void as contrary to public policy unless the lease or rental agreement is presented to the lessee before he takes actual possession of the premises. This subdivision does not apply to any provisions modifying or waiving a statutory right in agreements renewing leases or
rental agreements where the same provision was also contained in the lease or rental agreement which is being renewed.
(c) This section shall apply only to leases and rental agreements executed on or after January 1, 1976.
Editor’s Note: This question and answer section was prepared in response to frequently asked questions by members and students in our various educational programs. All language is taken directly from the California Civil Code. The outline format differs from formal English grammar outline because the Code mirrors annual changes in the law with numerous additions and deletions written by various state senators and assemblymembers. Additional legal resources are listed at the end of this