Each year, the California legislature provides a host of new rules for California property owners and businesses to digest and abide by. Here is the 2010 real estate landlord-tenant list:
60-Day Notice to Evict Residential Tenants: Back in 2007, the notice required to terminate a residential tenancy in existence for a year or more was extended from 30 to 60 days. The 60-day notice requirement was set to sunset on December 31, 2009. The 60-day notice requirement is now extended indefinitely. To terminate a residential tenancy that has been extant for a year or more a property owner or manager must provide 60-days notice, assuming the property is in a jurisdiction that allows the termination of a residential tenancy. Remember in San Francisco a residential tenancy may only be terminated for one of the very limited reasons (see generally the San Francisco Rent Ordinance) . Last year’s legislation amended California Civil Code Section 1946.1.
New Protections for Tenants in Foreclosed Properties: (PL-111-22) Under this new law (commonly known as the “Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act of 2009” which became effective 5-20-2009, a foreclosing lender or post foreclosure purchaser must give a “bona fide” month-to-month tenant a 90-day notice to vacate the premises, instead of the previously allowed 60-day notice. This law sunsets on December 31, 2012 (unless extended, which is typically what occurs). What is a “bona fide tenant”, you might ask? A “bona fide” tenant is any tenant other than the borrower/owner (or his/her child, parent, or spouse) with a tenancy that is the result of an “arms-length” transaction with a rental rate at or close to fair market rent. If the “bona fide” tenant is on a lease, then the full lease term must be honored, unless the unit is sold to a buyer who intends to occupy the property, in which case a 90-day notice to vacate can be given.
Privacy and Destruction of Confidential Personal Information. Existing law requires California businesses to dispose of confidential information through pre-defined methods, when the records are no longer to be kept by the business. AB 1094 amends Sections 1798.80, 1798.81, 1798.84, 1980, 1983, 1993, and 1993.03 of the California Civil Code, which all relate to the safekeeping and destruction of confidential personal information. The amendments provide a safe harbor to any landlord or property manager who inherits abandoned confidential information, so long as the business ultimately disposes of the information properly. Records that are publicly available through federal, state and local governments are exempt from the destruction requirements.
Residential Utilities; Landlord Default: If a California landlord is responsible for the payment of the utilities of a residential property and is in arrears, the tenant must now be given written notice by the utility company at least 10 days prior to the termination of the utility service. In addition, the utility company must give the tenant the opportunity to take over the payment obligation for future charges under the account. This new law adds Section 1942.2 to the California Civil Code.
Water Conservation Fixture Replacements required by 1-1-2019: SB 407 requires that by January 1, 2014, when an owner has applied for specified building alterations or improvements to multifamily residential real property and commercial real property, as a condition for the issuance of a certificate of final completion and occupancy, or a final permit approval by the local building department , water-conserving plumbing fixtures replace other non-compliant plumbing fixtures must be installed.
In addition, owners will be faced with new disclosure requirements: On and after January 1, 2017, a seller or transferor of a single-family residential real property, a multifamily residential real property, or a commercial real property must disclose in writing to the purchaser or transferee the specified requirements for replacing plumbing fixtures, and whether the real property includes any non-compliant plumbing at the time of sale.
Finally, no later than January 1, 2019, all non-compliant plumbing fixtures in multifamily residential real property and commercial real property, as defined, will have to be replaced with water-conserving plumbing fixtures.
This law provides for specific rights of entry to a rental property for the purpose of installing, repairing, testing, and maintaining water-conserving plumbing fixtures, as specified, and requires, by January 1, 2019, that the water-conserving plumbing fixtures prescribed by this law operate at the manufacturer’s rated water consumption at the time that a tenant takes possession of a rental unit. The new laws add Sections 1102.155 and Article 1.4 (commencing with Section 1101.1) to the California Civil Code.
Swimming Pool Code Modifications: AB 1020 requires an existing “public” swimming pool (which by definition includes pools within apartment communities) to be equipped with anti-entrapment devices or devices meeting ASME/ANSI or ASTM standards. It also requires an existing public swimming pool with a single main drain that is not an unblockable drain to meet at least one of several specified standards. The bill imposes time frames by which its requirements must be met.
For a list of new laws impacting real estate generally, including homeowners, buyers and sellers and investment purchases, see: http://www.bhglaar.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=174:-2010-new-federal-and-state-statutes-&catid=68:admin
If you have questions about how these new laws will impact you as a property owner, let me know your question and I will attempt to respond to it in a future article. You can contact me at Lightner Property Group at [email protected] or at 415-267-2900.
And remember, manage your property, don’t let your property manage you!