As a residential landlord can I limit my liability under the lease to insurance proceeds only?
1 Answer from Attorneys
For some things, yes; for other liabilities, no. The law does not allow a party to a contract (including a lease) to exculpate itself for fraud or willful injury, or for violation of the law. See Civil Code section 1668. Section 1670.5 regarding unenforceability of unconscionable provisions in contracts might also apply in certain cases. There are scattered other clauses in various statutes that may prevent a landlord from thus limiting its liability to a tenant, such as Civil Code section 1983(b). Finally, I recommend reading Chapter 12 ("The Landlord's Liability for Dangerous Conditions, Criminal Acts and Environmental Health Hazards") of the Nolo Press paperback book for California landlords entitled "The California Landlord's Law Book: Rights and Responsibilities."