New Laws That Will Affect California Landlords in 2019

In the ever changing world of property management, it is of utmost importance to keep up to date with the latest news about laws that could affect your business. Staying ahead of the curve is not only crucial for you in the business sense, but also legal.

New Laws That Will Affect California Landlords in 2019

We’ve gathered some of the more important changes to the law that should concern you as a landlord.

The city of San Diego has passed an ordinance that requires landlords & property management companies to accept section 8 vouchers. You are no longer allowed to openly state you do not participate in the voucher program. Doing so may result in charges for discriminating against source of income and could end up being fined. Fines are to be imposed as of August 1st, 2019.

The bill AB 1919 clarifies an existing law that makes it a misdemeanor to raise rent more than 10% after a state emergency is declared. This clarifies the confusion over how and when California’s existing ban on price gouging is to be applied.

The bill would extend the prohibition with regards to housing for any period that the proclamation or declaration is extended. The bill would additionally make it a misdemeanor for a person, business, or entity to evict a housing tenant after the proclamation of a state of emergency and then rent or offer to rent to another person at a rental price higher than the evicted tenant could be charged.

Bill SB 721 now requires the inspection of decks, balconies and elevated walkways of more than 6 feet above ground level in a building containing 3 or more multifamily units by a licensed person to perform these inspections by the Department of Consumer Affairs. All of these inspections and any necessary testing are required to be completed by January 1st, 2025.

AB 1796 would allow tenants in rent control jurisdictions to work with the property owner to install an electric vehicle charging station. Tenants would be required to abide by the current law applicable to non-rent control cities. Current law prohibits a property owner from denying a tenant the ability to install a charging station if the tenant is willing to pay for all expenses related to the installation and operation of the station and comply with other provisions under the law.

As introduced, AB 2219 would have prohibited a landlord from refusing to accept a rental payment from a third party for a tenant’s rent. As amended, a landlord or landlord’s agent is not required to accept a rent payment tendered by a third party unless the third party has provided to the landlord or landlord’s agent a signed acknowledgment stating that they are not currently a tenant of the premises for which the rent payment is being made and that acceptance of the rent payment does not create a new tenancy with the third party. The bill makes it clear that property owners are not required to enter into a Section 8 contract. It also makes clear that the law does not require an owner to take a payment after the due date.

The bill AB 2164 would have allowed local governments to impose a fine or penalty on a property owner if the tenant is involved in the illegal cultivation of cannabis at the property even if the property owner has no knowledge of the activity; the bill removed the right (currently allowed under existing law) for a property owner to appeal that fine.

As requested by CAA, the bill was amended to provide that if a local government adopts an ordinance that provides for the immediate Imposition of administrative fines or penalties, that ordinance must provide for a reasonable period of time for the correction or remedy of the violation prior to the imposition of administrative fines or penalties if there is a tenant in possession of the unit; if the owner had no actual knowledge that the tenant was cultivating cannabis; and if the owner has a lease agreement that prohibits the illegal activity.

As introduced, AB 2343 would have, among other things, extended the notice requirements for 3-day notices (to 10 days for nonpayment of rent and to 5 days for a nuisance) and extended the time for a tenant to respond to an unlawful detainer complaint from 5 days to 28 days.

As amended, the only language that will remain in the bill is a requirement that the three-day notice and the five-day summons response excludes Saturdays and Sundays and other judicial holidays.

We will continue to work to gather more important information on the previously mentioned bills and any new ordinances that can and will affect you as a landlord.