California Landowners & Managers: 7 New Laws in Effect January 1st
Whether you own private or commercial rental property, serve as a member of a housing association, are a California realtor, or just have an interest in buying, selling or leasing property, take note:
With the New Year come new rules regarding your real estate.
Hopefully you are already in compliance with the new laws Governor Jerry Brown signed this past legislative season. If not, there are some important property ownership and management laws you should be ready for on January 1st.
2013 Common Interest Development & HOA Laws
Assembly Bill 1838 amends the Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act, which regulates common interest developments like apartments, condos, townhouse developments and stock cooperatives.
1. Cancellation Fees: HOAs won’t be able to collect cancellation fees for HOA sales disclosure documents under AB 1838 if the cancellation is requested in writing, and if the work on the order has not yet been fulfilled, or if the HOA has already been compensated for that work.
2. Davis-Stirling Simplified: The Act has also been reorganized. Assembly Bill 805 (the bill relocates the Act to a different part of CA Civil Code) doesn’t go into effect until January 1, 2014, so HOAs won’t have to change governing documents to reflect the move until the end of 2013.
New Laws for Landlords & Property Managers
If you own or manage apartments, townhouses or space in an RV park, these new California landlord tenant laws apply to you:
3. Notice of Default: Landlords must disclose written notice of default under any mortgages or deeds of trust on rental properties to any prospective tenants, if renting properties containing one to four residential units, before signing a lease agreement. Under Senate Bill 1191, the tenant may void the lease and recover either one month’s rent or twice the amount of damages and all prepaid rent should a landlord fail to provide notice.
4. Foreclosure Notice: Month-to-month tenants must be given a written 90 Day Notice to Terminate a rental unit when a property is foreclosed. If a tenant still has a fixed-term lease, generally the tenant can remain until the end of the term, under Assembly Bill 2610.
5. Mobile Home Owner Rights: Per Assembly Bill 2150, managers or owners of mobile home parks must provide a specified notice in the rental agreement for space, before February 1st of each year, starting in 2013. The notice sets forth rights and responsibilities of the mobile home owner, including a 90 day notice of a rent increase.
6. Abandoned Property: When a tenant quits the premises and leaves behind personal property, the landlord must sell the abandoned property at public auction if it is worth $700 (formerly $300) or more, per Assembly Bill 2521.
7. Animal Control: Landlords who allow tenants to keep pets cannot require tenants to have their pets declawed or devocalized as a condition of occupancy, per SB 1229.
These are just some of the California real estate laws affecting landlord-tenant relations and home owner associations in 2013. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions regarding real estate or construction law. A better understanding of the law can prevent problems and litigation.
Paul C. Bauducco is the Chair of our Business Litigation Practice Group. You may reach him via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.