NorCal Rental Property Association

EFFECTIVE 2013-NEW LANDLORD/TENANT LAWS


NorCalRPA was very involved influencing the outcome of every landlord and tenant bill that the California Legislature considered this past year. The following description of bills should assist members:

• To understand the terms of the new laws.

• The position of the Association.

• The effective date.

• How to comply with the new law.

Please click here for full descriptions of each bill, compliance dates and requirements.


2012 BILLS SIGNED INTO LAW BY GOVERNOR BROWN


SB 1055 (Lieu) Rent and Security Deposit Payment Methods

AB 1679 (Bonilla) Returning the Lawful and Remaining Security Deposit

AB 2521 (Blumenfield) Abandoned Property and New Notice Requirements

SB 1394 (Lowenthal) Smoke Detectors-Retrofit Requirements

SB 1229 (Pavley) Pet Requirements: Declawing and Debarking
SB 1191 (Simitian) Mandatory Notice to Prospective Tenants of Pending Foreclosure

SB 825 (Corbett) Post Foreclosure Notice to Quit

AB 2610 (Skinner) Tenant Protections Post-Foreclosure

AB 1953 (Ammiano) Post-Foreclosure Notice of New Ownership Must be Made Promptly

AB 2314 (Carter) Maintenance of Vacant Foreclosed Residential Property

AB 1865 (Alejo) Unlawful Detainer Notice to Include Additional Lawyer Referral Services

AB 1925 (Ma) Compensation for Temporarily Displaced Tenants; Rent Control

AB 2114 (Smyth) Swimming Pool Safety Act Changes

SB 1186 (Steinberg) New Disability Access (ADA) Regulations

AB 1964 (Yamada) Employment Discrimination

AB 1928 (Cook) Locating Foster Homes: Capacity

ABOUT RON KINGSTON;

Mr. Kingston advocates for rental property owners and is the legislative advocate for NorCal Rental Property Association.  He teleconferences regularly with our legislative committee in order for rental property owners and managers to be effectively represented and influential. Participation from managers and rental property owners may be requested and needed.

Contact Information

2375 W. March Lane
Stockton, CA 95207
T: 209-476-0320
E: info@norcalrpa.org
W: www.norcalrpa.org

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SB 1055 (Lieu) Rent and Security Deposit Payment Methods

Description: Existing law provides that a landlord or a landlord's agent may not demand or require cash as the exclusive form of payment of rent or deposit of security, except as specified. This bill would provide that, except as specified, a landlord or landlord's agent shall allow a tenant to pay rent and deposit of security by at least one form of payment that is neither cash nor electronic funds transfer. Association’s Position: As introduced we were “Opposed unless amended”. Subsequently, our amendments were taken, at which point out positions changed to “Watch”. Result: Bill signed into law with our amendments. Effective: January 1, 2013.
Date: January 01, 2013

AB 1679 (Bonilla) Returning the Lawful and Remaining Security Deposit

Description: The bill permits the landlord (or manager) and the tenant to mutually agree to have the security deposit returned to the former tenant by electronic funds transfer and to have the statement that itemizes the deductions along with the copies of the documents verifying the deductions to be sent to the tenant by electronic means. Association’s Position: Favor. Result: Signed into Law. Effective: January 1, 2013.
Date: January 01, 2013

AB 2521 (Blumenfield) Abandoned Property and New Notice Requirements

Description: The bill addresses problems associated with property left behind when a tenant vacates a dwelling. Under current law and practice, when the property of a former tenant is abandoned, both landlords and tenants are burdened with additional labor and costs. AB 2521 changes existing law in the following ways: 1) it expands notice requirements prior to lease termination, requiring written notice to all tenants explaining the process used to deal with abandoned property; 2) it allows landlords to discard all abandoned property valued at under $700 if unclaimed after 15 days provided landlords and managers comply with existing legal notice requirements, and; 3) it allows former tenants who have vacated a unit to claim property left in a dwelling within two days of vacating the unit at no cost, but only if the property physically remained in the vacated dwelling. Association’s Position: Support. Result: Signed into law. Effective: January 1, 2013.
Date: January 01, 2013

SB 1394 (Lowenthal) Smoke Detectors-Retrofit Requirements

Description: Over 20 years ago, the legislature passed a retrofit bill requiring all property owners to install one smoke alarm in single and multi-family dwellings. Now, under SB 1394, all rental property owners are required to add smoke alarms (formerly referred to as “smoke detectors) if the dwelling was built prior to 1994 or was not upgraded to include a detector in each bedroom, and to upgrade any exiting permanently inoperable devices to tamper-proof alarms with a ten-year battery life. Association’s Position: Opposed unless amended. Result: Bill signed into law with our amendments. Effective: January 1, 2016
Date: January 01, 2013

SB 1229 (Pavley) Pet Requirements: Declawing and Debarking

Description: Existing law regulates the terms and conditions of residential tenancies and governs the obligations of tenants and landlords under a lease or tenancy. This bill would prohibit a landlord, who allows a tenant to have an animal on the premises, from advertising or establishing rental policies in a manner that requires a tenant or a potential tenant with an animal to have that animal declawed or devocalized as a condition of occupancy. The bill would authorize specified law enforcement prosecutorial entities to seek declaratory or injunctive relief for a violation of these prohibitions. The bill would impose a civil penalty, not to exceed $1,000, for each violation of these provisions, to be paid to the law enforcement prosecutorial entity that brings the action Association’s Position: Watch Result: Signed into law. Effective: January 1, 2013.
Date: November 30, 2012

SB 1191 (Simitian) Mandatory Notice to Prospective Tenants of Pending Foreclosure

Description: The bill only applies to owners of single-family and one-to-four unit rental properties who fail to give notice to prospective tenants that the owner received a notice of default (NOD) on their mortgage. Failure to provide this notice gives the prospective tenant who becomes a tenant the right to void the lease at any time. Should the tenant void the lease, the tenant may collect one month’s free rent or twice the actual damages, which ever is greater. A tenant who chooses not to void the lease has an absolute right to collect one month’s free rent. Association’s Position: Opposed unless amended. Result: Signed into law with some but not all requested amendments. Effective: January 1, 2013.
Date: November 30, 2012

AB 2610 (Skinner) Tenant Protections Post-Foreclosure

Description: The bill, part of the Attorney General’s “Homeowner Bill of Rights,” extends current tenant protections established under federal law until December 2019. Protections include the requirement that successors in interest to foreclosed properties honor existing leases until the end of the lease term. For month-to-month tenancies, periodic tenancies, and owner move-in’s, successor owners must give the tenant 90 days to move out. Association’s Position: Initially, our position was “Opposed unless amended.” The bill was later amended during Legislative deliberations, at which point our position changed to “Watch.” Result: Bill amended; signed into law. Effective: March 1, 2013.
Date: November 30, 2012

SB 825 (Corbett) Post Foreclosure Notice to Quit

Description: Existing law, until January 1, 2013, requires that any notice to quit regarding a rental unit served within one year after a foreclosure sale include a separate cover sheet that contains an additional notice to renters. Existing law sets forth the content of this notice, which provides the tenant with specified information regarding tenants' rights. Existing law provides that, under certain circumstances, the cover sheet need not be served, as specified. The bill would extend the operation of these provisions until December 31, 2019. Association’s Position: Watch Result: Signed into law. Effective: January 1, 2013.
Date: November 30, 2012

AB 1953 (Ammiano) Post-Foreclosure Notice of New Ownership Must be Made Promptly

Description: Current law requires successor owners and managers of rental property to notify current tenants of the name, telephone number and address of the person or entity to which rental payments shall be made within 15 days of change in ownership or management. The bill prohibits a successor owner or manager from evicting a tenant for nonpayment of rent that accrued during the period of noncompliance by a successor owner or manager with the above-described information requirements. Tenants, however, are not relieved of any liability for unpaid rent. Association’s Position: Opposed unless amended. Result: The bill was signed into law with our amendments. Effective January 1, 2013.
Date: November 30, 2012

AB 1865 (Alejo) Unlawful Detainer Notice to Include Additional Lawyer Referral Services

Description: Existing law requires the clerk to mail a specified notice upon the filing of an unlawful detainer action to each defendant named in the action and requires the notice to contain the name and telephone number of the county bar association as well as other legal services organizations that provide service to low-income persons. This bill would require that the notice described above contain, as an alternative to the county bar association, the name and telephone number of any lawyer referral service certified by the State Bar Association and maintains a panel of attorneys qualified to practice landlord-tenant law. Association’s Position: Initially, we “Opposed the bill unless it was amended.” We successfully proposed amendments to the author, which were taken. As a result of the inclusion of our amendments to the bill, we removed our opposition and adopted a “Watch” position. Result: Amended; signed into law. Effective: January 1, 2013
Date: November 30, 2012

AB 1925 (Ma) Compensation for Temporarily Displaced Tenants; Rent Control

Description: Existing law requires, in any city, county, or city and county that has rent control, This bill would limit, notwithstanding any local law to the contrary, for those units governed by the local rent stabilization ordinance in the City and County of San Francisco, levels of compensation for the temporary displacement of a tenant household for less than 20 days to temporary housing and living expenses, of $275 per day per tenant household, and actual moving expenses, as specified. Association’s Position: Watch Result: Signed into law. Effective: January 1, 2013
Date: November 30, 2012

AB 2114 (Smyth) Swimming Pool Safety Act Changes

Description: Current law generally requires, whenever a building permit is issued for the construction of a new swimming pool or spa, the pool or spa to be equipped with specified safety features, including that the swimming pool or spa have at least 2 circulation drains per pump that are hydraulically balanced, and symmetrically plumbed through one or more "T" fittings, and that are separated by a distance of at least 3 feet in any dimension between the drains. The law also requires a public wading pool to have at least 2 circulation drains per pump, as specified, that are separated by a distance of at least 3 feet in any dimension between the drains. This bill would instead, require a swimming pool, spa, or public wading pool that is subject to the above safety provisions to have at least 2 circulation suction outlets, as defined, per pump, and be separated by a distance of at least 3 feet in any dimension between the suction outlets, or be designed to use alternatives to suction outlets, including, but not limited to, skimmers or perimeter overflow systems to conduct water to the recirculation pump. The bill would also require the circulation system to have the capacity to provide a complete turnover of pool water, as specified. Association’s Position: Watch Result: Signed into law. Effective: January 1, 2013
Date: November 30, 2012

AB 2314 (Carter) Maintenance of Vacant Foreclosed Residential Property

Description: Existing state law requires, until January 1, 2013 owners to maintain vacant residential property purchased or acquired at a foreclosure sale. The same law authorizes a governmental entity to impose civil fines and penalties for failure to maintain that property of up to $1,000 per day for a violation subject to that local government giving notice of the claimed violation and providing the owner an opportunity to correct the violation at least 14 days prior to imposing the fine and penalty. Owners may request a hearing if they want to contest the validity of the fines and penalties. This bill would delete the “sunset clause” of January 1, 2013 and make these provisions in law operate indefinitely. Association’s Position: Watch Result: Signed into law. Effective: January 1, 2013
Date: November 30, 2012

SB 1186 (Steinberg) New Disability Access (ADA) Regulations

Description: The following constitutes the most important aspects of SB 1186: 1) Prohibits attorneys from the pre-litigation tactic of demanding money or discussing potential liability amounts. 2) Requires pre-litigation “demand letters” to state facts sufficient to allow a reasonable person to identify the basis of the claim, and to contain the attorney’s bar number. 3) Requires attorneys to submit copies of any demand letters they lodge against a defendant to the State Bar and to the California Commission on Disability Access (Commission). 4) Complaints must state sufficient facts, and must be verified by the plaintiff. A copy of the complaint must also be sent to the Commission. 5) Provides for attorney discipline for violating any of the above. 6) Expands list of those defendants who may request a stay of (legal) proceedings and early evaluation to, among others, those that fit the definition of “small business” (defined as having 25 or fewer employees and no more than $3.5 million in gross receipts). 7) Allows either party to request a “mandatory evaluation” conducted by the court to assist in resolving the case at an early stage. 8) Allows the court, in assessing liability in any action alleging multiple claims for the same construction-related accessibility violation on different particular occasions, to consider the reasonableness of the plaintiff's conduct in light of the plaintiff's obligation, if any, to mitigate damages. 9) Reduces a defendant’s minimum liability for statutory damages from $4,000 to as low as $1,000 if a violation is quickly remedied after being served a complaint and the defendant had previously hired a CASp inspector and attempted to meet applicable compliance standards. 10) The bill similarly reduces the minimum damage liability to $2000 for any “small business” owner who corrects the alleged construction related accessibility violation within 30 days of being sued. 11) Requires a commercial property owner to state on a lease form or rental agreement executed on or after July 1, 2013, if the property being leased or rented has undergone inspection by a certified access specialist (CASp). 12) Imposes, on and after January 1, 2013, and until December 31, 2018, an additional state fee of $1 on any applicant for a local business license or renewal thereof, for educating the business community concerning ADA compliance. Association’s Position: Support Result: Signed into law. Effective: January 1, 2013
Date: November 30, 2012

AB 1964 (Yamada) Employment Discrimination

Description: Under existing employment discrimination law, discrimination is prohibited on the basis of race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical and mental disability, medical condition, marital status, sex, age or sexual orientation. The law provides that “religious creed,” religion, “religious observance,” “religious belief,” and “creed” include all aspects of religious belief, observance and practice, This bill ADDS to an individual’s religious dress practice and religious grooming practice to the list of religious considerations on which basis a person may not be discriminated against in employment. This includes wearing or carrying religious clothing, head or face coverings, jewelry, and other forms of an individual’s religious creed. The definition of “mental retardation” is now been reworded as “intellectual disability.” Association’s Position: Watch Effective Date: January 1, 2013
Date: November 30, 2012

AB 1928 (Cook) Locating Foster Homes: Capacity

Description: As introduced, the bill would have permitted foster day care homes and small day care homes of 6 or fewer, to exclude biological and adoptive children, children in guardianship who reside in the home from the capacity limits. Association’s Position: As introduced, “Oppose unless amended.” As amended, “Watch” (the bill was amended to become a technical correction measure). Result: Bill signed into law.
Date: November 30, 2012

AB 1679 (Bonilla)

This bill, which would allow security-deposit balances to be remitted to departing residents by way of electronic transfer, passed the Assembly and awaits action in the Senate.
Date: July 06, 2012

AB 1726 (Allen)

(Waiting on amendments to exempt rental housing). This bill, which would require owners of swimming pools accessible to the public to meet new state health and safety requirements, was defeated in the Assembly and is dead for the year.
Date: July 06, 2012

AB 1740 (M Perez)

This bill, which would require employers to make ambiguously defined accommodations to employees reported to be victims of domestic violence, was defeated in the Assembly.
Date: July 06, 2012

AB 1865 (Alejo)

This bill, which expands the universe of entities notified of landlord/tenant court actions to county bar associations, passed the Assembly and awaits action in the Senate.
Date: July 06, 2012

AB 1925 (Ma)

This bill, which would cap the relocation payments by owners to temporarily displaced renters in San Francisco County, passed the Assembly and awaits action in the Senate.
Date: July 06, 2012

AB 1953 (Ammiano)

The bill, which passed the Assembly and awaits action in the Senate, now prevents owners acquiring property through foreclosures from filing unlawful detainers for non-payment of rent for the period of time the owners fail to properly notify residents where and to whom to send rent payments.
Date: July 06, 2012

AB 2014 (Ammiano)

This bill, which wouldcreate a task force to explore how commercial property owners could be forced to pay more in property taxes than already required by Proposition 13, was defeated in the Assembly.
Date: July 06, 2012

AB 2521 (Blumenfield)

This bill, which would reform the state process for the disposal of abandoned personal property by rental property owners, passed the Assembly and awaits action in the Senate.
Date: July 06, 2012

*AB 2557 (Feuer)

This bill, which would create a pilot program for LA County only, to grant private third parties authority to seek injunctive relief against rental property owners who fail to maintain their properties, failed in the Assembly and is dead for 2012.
Date: July 06, 2012

AB 2610 (Skinner)

This bill, which after significant amendments, seeks to conform state law to federal law that provides protections for renters whose residences are foreclosed upon and sold, passed the Assembly and awaits action in the Senate.
Date: July 06, 2012

*SB 1055 (Lieu)

This bill, which would prohibit property owners from demanding that electronic transfers be the only means of making rent payments, passed the Senate and awaits action in the Assembly.
Date: July 06, 2012

*SB 1186 (Steinberg/Dutton)

This bill, aimed at curbing frivolous lawsuits filed against commercial property owners under the fenderal Americans with Disabilities Act, passed the senate and awaits action in the Assembly.
Date: July 06, 2012

SB 1191 (Simitian)

This bill, which would require a property owner in receipt of a Notice of Default to notify prospective renters and pay hefty fines if they fail to do so, passed the Senate and awaits action in the Assembly.
Date: July 06, 2012

SB 1220 (DeSaulnier)

This bill, which would authorize a document recording fee to capitalize a state trust fund to finance the development of affordable housing, failed in the Senate and is likely dead for the year.
Date: July 06, 2012

SB 1384 (Simitian)

This bill, which would allow individuals to put a freeze on "consumer specialty reports"-including those providing an individual's rental history-failed in the Senate and is dead for the year.
Date: July 06, 2012

SB 1473 (Hancock)

Intended to be identical to AB 2610, the bill, which seeks to conform state law to federal law providing protections for renters whose residences are forclosed upon and sold, passed the Senate and awaits action-and necessary amendment, similar to those in AB 2610-in the Assembly.
Date: July 06, 2012

AB 1925 (Ma)

AB 1925 (Ma) Mandatory Payments to Tenants: Relocation Assistance. The Assembly Member is carrying this bill at the request of the California Apartment Association. When amended, it will permit cities and counties to require landlords to pay tenants temporary relocation costs if the landlord wants to recover possession from the tenant for less than 30 days to make repairs and improvements to the rented unit. Landlords would pay the tenants: moving costs (including packing and unpacking, insurance, storage, utility connection fees and if necessary, special needs costs), temporary lodging, meals and costs for pets. Costs could not exceed $225 per day per tenant! The only alternative would be for the landlord to pay for replacement housing during the term of repairs or improvements.
Date: March 23, 2012

SB 1191 (Simitian)

SB 1191 (Simitian) Foreclosure: Free Rent. Any landlord must provide a copy of the notice of (foreclosure) sale to prospective tenants. If the landlord fails to do so, the lease shall be invalidated and that person who becomes a tenant shall recover ALL rent paid.
Date: March 23, 2012

SB 249 (Yee)

SB 249 (Yee) As amended, it will permit landlords to terminate the tenancy or refuse to renew a tenancy of an aggressor if a victim of domestic violence sexual assault or violence documents to the landlord that a temporary restraining order or a police report was issued within the last 180 days against that aggressor.
Date: March 23, 2012

SB 184 (Leno)-UPDATE

SB 184 (Leno) died on the Senate floor on January 31st, This bill would have allowed every city to require newly constructed ownership and rental housing to be subject to permanent price controls. NorCalRPA was strongly opposed to the measure and is pleased to provide this good news to our members.
Date: January 31, 2012

ALERT- ACTION NEEDED

To NorCalRPA Members: The State Senate is expected to vote on a bill by January 31st, 2012 which would permit all cities and counties to set permanent price controls (the worst form of rent control) on newly constructed rental and ownership housing. Please call YOUR state Senator now and ask for a NO vote when Senator Leno moves the SB 184 to the Senate for a vote. The ENTIRE Senate voted the bill down last year and Senator Leno is entitled to bring the bill up one more time. THE BILL MUST BE STOPPED. We are asking you to immediately call our Senators to vote NO on this remarkably bad bill. Our state Senators are: Lois Wolk (916) 651.4005 She voted for the bill last year, but should be asked to reconsider her vote and vote NO. Anthony Cannella (916) 651.4012 He voted against the bill last year and should be asked to continue to OPPOSE the bill. Tom Berryhill (916) 651.4014 He voted against the bill last year and should be asked to continue to OPPOSE the bill. You must act NOW and call your State Senator. First tell them you are a constituent, second tell the staff or the Senator that you are strongly opposed to the bill and urge them to vote NO should Senator Leno bring the bill up for a vote. Please ACT NOW. Please Call. Thank you.
Date: January 20, 2012

AB 19 (Fong)

AB 19 (Fong) a bill that we successfully opposed last year relating to water meters is DEAD. Last year it would have prohibited landlords from evicting a tenant for the failure to pay his or her own water bill. The bill is DEAD.
Date: January 11, 2012

AB 265 (Ammiano)

AB 265 (Ammiano) is ALIVE and we will have to take this bill on full tilt on the Assembly floor. We should send out an email next week on all of our members urging our Assembly members to vote NO. The bill would permit a tenant to demand to regain possession of his or her rental unit if back rent was paid and nominal attorneys fees were paid. I will write a BRIEF message for our members to call their Assembly member, which we will list, and urge the legislator to vote NO.
Date: January 11, 2012

AB 934 (Feuer)

AB 934 (Feuer) is DEAD. We strongly opposed the bill last year and killed it on the Assembly floor. It would have permitted cities to adopt burdensome ordinances regulating terminations and evictions. It would have made it extremely easy for a tenant to sue a landlord.
Date: January 11, 2012

SB 184 (Leno)

SB 184 (Leno) is ALIVE. The author intends to take it up on the Senate floor by the end of the month. CAA is not opposed to the bill. In one sentence: the bill authorizes cities to adopt rent control on newly constructed housing. And if you are not in the development business, every member of ours should actively oppose the bill because it will be the beginning of the end of the Costa Hawkins Act. . . a bill that protects landlords from terrible forms of rent control. I will write a short piece on this measure and we will ask our members to call our Senators and OPPOSE the bill.
Date: January 11, 2012

AB 448 (Ammiano)

AB 448 (Ammiano) a bill that would require all commercial property to be reassessed by the county assessor every time there is a change in ownership (including adjustments in limited partnerships) is DEAD.
Date: January 06, 2012

JANUARY UPDATE

With the new year comes change. Here are some of those changes: - With the passing of SB332, Landlords are now authorized to prohibit the smoking of tobacco products on the rental property, incuding inside the rental unit. The lease must contain specific information as to locations that smoking is prohibited. - The passing of SB337, allows residents to post political signs in their rental units, as long as they do not violate local, state or federal laws. The size of the sign must also not be more than 6 square feet
Date: January 04, 2012

Cities and Government Web Sites

County of San Joaquin

City of Stockton
City of Escalon
City of Lathrop
City of Lodi
City of Manteca
City of Ripon
City of Tracy

County of Stanislaus

City of Modesto
City of Ceres
City of Hughson
City of Newman
City of Oakdale
City of Patterson
City of Riverbank
City of Turlock
City of Waterford

County of Tuolumne

City of Sonora
City of Cedar Ridge
City of Chinese Camp
City of Cold Springs
City of Columbia
City of East Sonora

Cities and Government Web Sites (cont'd)

County of Calaveras

City of Angels Camp
City of Arnold
City of Avery
City of Copperopolis
City of Dorrington
City of Forest Meadows
City of Glencoe
City of Mokelumne Hill
City of Mountain Ranch
City of Murphys
City of Rail Road Flat
City of Rancho Calaveras
City of San Andreas
City of Sheep Ranch
City of Vallecito
City of Valley Springs
City of Wallace
City of West Point

Superior Court
California State Assembly
California State Senate
State of California

Cities and Government Web Sites (cont'd)

County of Mariposa

City of Bear Valley
City of Bootjack
City of Buck Meadows
City of Catheys Valley
City of Coulterville
City of El Portal
City of Greeley Hill
City of Hornitos
City of Mariposa
City of Midpines
City of Wawona
City of Yosemite Valley
City of Groveland
City of Jamestown
City of Long Barn
City of Mi-Wuk Village
City of Mono Vista
City of Phoenix Lake
City of Pine Mountain Lake
City of Sierra Village
City of Soulsbyville
City of Strawberry
City of Tuolumne City
City of Tuttletown
City of Twain Harte