Good afternoon Needsadvice and thank you for your question. Although
it may not be the answer you want, I do have your answer.
I contacted the State of California, Department of Consumer Affairs
(DCA) and spoke to them about your situation. They informed me that
it is up to the terms of the lease and the landlord if you will be
allowed out of the lease agreement prior to the stated end of the
lease. There is no law that allows you a period of time to back out
of a rental lease agreement.
I suggest that you ask your landlord for a copy of the lease to see
exactly what it states. If you do not have a copy of your rental
agreement, your landlord is legally obligated to provide one at your
"The owner of the rental unit or the person who signs the rental
agreement or lease on the owner's behalf must give you a copy of the
document within 15 days after you sign it."
Civil Code Section 1962(a)(4), effective January 1, 2002
Civil Code section 1962 also provides:
A copy of the lease may be requested once every calendar year. The
landlord must provide a copy within 15 days of the date of the request
Source: California Rent Stabilization Board
( http://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/rent/OrdRegs/SB985.html )
The DCA offers a publication pertaining to landlord/tenant issues
entitled "California Tenants, a guide to residential tenants' and
landlords' rights and responsibilities," that may be helpful. You may
access this publication on the DCA's Web site at:
( http://www.dca.ca.gov/legal/landlordbook/catenant.pdf )
If you are not able to find information specific to your needs, I
recommend that you contact a local agency that specializes in
landlord/tenant issues (see "Getting Help from a Third Party," page 52
and "Tenant Information and Assistance Resources," page 58).
I hope this answers your question. If you need any further
clarification before rating, please do not hesitate to ask!