Model Lease

For decades, Puente has been frequently contacted by local farmworkers whose security to housing is tied to their employment and various situations that arise pertinent their tenants’ rights, such as rent increase, eviction notice, property damage amounting to inhabitability issues, and how much rent can be deducted from their paycheck, etc.

Furthermore, we have also heard from a farm operator – landlord who did not understand differences in his/her responsibilities as a landlord when he is also an employer of his tenant(s) and if different laws apply, etc. As a matter of fact, a Puente staff was provided with an outdated made-up lease by one of the farm operators in confidence. He shared that he knew the lease did not cover all the basic responsibilities of both a tenant and a landlord.

This is what gave birth to Puente’s Model Lease project in collaboration with a team of attorneys at Centro Legal de la Raza. Creating a lease template that is uniquely designed to be used both by an employer-landlord and an employee-tenant with provisions that are negotiable within the parameter set by the California, so both parties’ rights can be protected with an objective of providing additional security to underprivileged and vulnerable low-income farmworker-tenants. 

The Model Lease project was funded by San Mateo County’s Equity Innovation Fund (EIF). The lease was drafted in collaboration with the housing rights attorneys at Centro Legal De La Raza and the lease content was reviewed by the Lead County Attorney of San Mateo County. We appreciate all of our partners’ work on this important project.

If you have any questions about the Model Lease template, please contact Hyun-mi Kim, the Director of Community Engagement and Public Policy. You can email Hyun-mi at