Property Management Blog

New Rental Housing Laws for 2013

System - Monday, October 22, 2012

California Apartment Association has released information regarding new bills signed in by Governor Jerry Brown. Below are summations of the bills and CAA's position on each bill. Please feel free to leave a comment and tell us what you think!

Rental Housing Bills to Become Law in 2013

The California Legislature has closed its 2011-2012 session and sent hundreds of bills to the Governor’s Desk. On September 30, 2012, the Governor finished his review of all bills. Here is a look at those rental housing bills that he signed and will become law beginning January 2013.

Security Deposits - AB 1679 (Bonilla, D-Concord) – CAA Position – Support - This is CAA’s sponsored legislation that allows property owners to deposit any remaining portion of a tenant’s security deposit directly to a bank account designated by the tenant and allows property owners to provide a copy of the itemized security deposit statement along with supporting documents to an e-mail account provided by the tenant. Current law only allows the return of the money and the supporting documents by first class mail.

Tenant Relocation San Francisco: Rent Control AB 1925 (Ma and Yee, D-San Francisco) – CAA Position - Support. This bill, sponsored by the California Apartment Association, provides that in San Francisco, a landlord cannot be forced to pay more than $275 per day plus actual moving expenses (if it is necessary for the landlord to move the possessions of the tenant household) for temporary relocation. The landlord will have the option to provide a comparable dwelling unit and pay any actual moving expenses, in lieu of the daily rate. The tenant shall remain responsible for the payment of rent.

Animals at Rental Property – SB 1229 (Pavley, D-Agoura Hills) – CAA Position – Support - This bill prohibits a landlord who allows a tenant to have an animal on the premises, from advertising or establishing rental policies that requires a tenant or a potential tenant with an animal to have that animal declawed or devocalized as a condition of occupancy.

Rental Payments Electronic Funds – SB 1055 (Lieu, D-Torrance) – CAA Position - Support. SB 1055 prohibits a landlord from requiring electronic funds transfer (EFT) as the only form of rental payment or security deposit.

Animals at Rental Property – SB 1229 (Pavley, D-Agoura Hills) – CAA Position – Support - This bill prohibits a landlord who allows a tenant to have an animal on the premises, from advertising or establishing rental policies that requires a tenant or a potential tenant with an animal to have that animal declawed or devocalized as a condition of occupancy.

Tenant Notice – Owners in Default - SB 1191 (Simitian, D-Palo Alto) – CAA Position – Support - This bill requires a property owner (1 to 4 units) who has received a Notice of Default on the payment of the mortgage from the mortgagee, trustee, or other person authorized to take the home to foreclosure sale to inform any new prospective tenant that a Notice of Default has been filed against the property.

Tenant Disclosure – New Owner - AB 1953 (Ammiano, D-San Francisco) – CAA Position: Neutral - AB 1953 would prohibit a property owner from proceeding with an eviction during the time a new owner is out of compliance with the notice provisions required under the law. Those notice provisions require a new property owner to provide the tenant with the owner’s name and the location where rent is to be paid. The tenant, however, is not relieved from the liability to pay rent for an owner’s failure to provide this notice timely.

Tenant Abandoned Personal Property - AB 2521 (Blumenfield, D-Van Nuys) – CAA Position: Support - This bill increases from $300 to $700 the value of a departing tenant’s abandoned personal property, a threshold that requires an owner to take added steps before disposing of the personal property (storage or public sale). If the value of the property is less than $700, the landlord may dispose of the property in any manner or retain it for his/her own use.

Building Accessibility for the Disabled - SB 1186 (Steinberg (D-Sacramento) and Dutton (R-Inland Empire)) – CAA Position: Support - This bill prohibits an attorney or a person from issuing a demand for money to a building owner or from receiving any payment, settlement, compensation involving a claim that the building is not accessible to individuals with disabilities.

Foreclosures – Termination Notice to Tenants - AB 2610 (Skinner, D-Berkeley) – CAA Position: Support - AB 2610 is sponsored by the California Attorney General. Just like Federal law, the bill will provide protections to tenants who are in place at the time of a foreclosure. Among other things, this bill will do the following:

  • Require the property owner to provide at least 90 days’ notice of termination to a month-to-month tenant.
  • Honor the lease of a tenant until the end of the lease term, unless the property is sold to a buyer who will occupy the premises as his or her primary residence. In that case, the tenant is entitled to 90 days’ notice.

These notice provisions do not apply to:

  • Tenancies where the tenant is the child, spouse, or parent of the mortgagor;
  • The lease or tenancy was not the result of an arms-length transaction; or
  • The rent is substantially less than fair market rent for the property.

Smoke Detectors - SB 1394 (Lowenthal, D-Long Beach) – CAA Position: Neutral - This bill requires that on or before January 1, 2016, an owner must ensure that smoke alarms are located in each bedroom. Those smoke alarms may be battery operated.


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