New California Laws for 2016

ADVERTISING  “Hosting Platforms” (such as Airbnb) Must Provide Warning. SB 761 requires a “hosting platform” to warn a tenant that subletting the tenant’s residence may violate his/her lease and could result in eviction.

 AUCTIONS  Credit Bid Exception Eliminated. SB 474 eliminates the exception for credit bids on behalf of the lien holder from the “no-shill” bidding law. C.A.R. sponsored legislation.

BROKER AND AGENT PRACTICE  Team Names. Revision to SB 146. Clarified issues as follows:

  • Team Names are not fictitious names (DBAs) and need not be filed at a county recorder.
  • Only one member of the team need include their CalBRE license number and name in advertising materials.
  • Broker identity means the name that the broker generally uses.
  • The broker license number must appear in any team name (or agent-owned DBA) advertising.

BROKER AND AGENT PRACTICE  Threshold Brokers. SB 647 makes various changes to the rules governing threshold brokers including:

  • Adding a category of properties they are permitted to solicit.
  • Changing the timing of delivery of the investor questionnaire.
  • Exempting threshold brokers from having to update annual questionnaires.
  • Removing certain reporting requirements to the Department of Business Oversight for those relying on specified securities qualification exemptions.

BROKER AND AGENT PRACTICE  Trust Fund Withdrawals. AB 607 permits a deductible of up to 5% on required fidelity bond coverage for an unlicensed employee who is authorized to withdraw funds from a trust fund account. The employing broker must additionally maintain evidence of “financial responsibility” by either a separate fidelity bond or a cash deposit adequate to cover the amount of the deductible.

COMMON INTEREST DEVELOPMENTS  Clotheslines or Drying Racks. AB 1448 permits owners in a homeowners association (HOA) to use clotheslines and drying racks. (A separate provision of this law applies to tenants.Clothesline See landlord/tenant section below.)

 

FHA_homeownership_logoCOMMON INTEREST DEVELOPMENTS  FHA or VA Approval. AB 596 requires a homeowners association to disclose in the annual budget report whether it is an approved condominium project under Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) guidelines.

COMMON INTEREST DEVELOPMENTS  Water Use. AB 349 makes void and unenforceable CID prohibitions against the use of artificial grass.

CONSUMER PROTECTION  Information Security Procedures. AB 1541 adds health insurance information to a list of personal information for which businesses must maintain reasonable security procedures when the information is not encrypted or redacted.

CONSUMER PROTECTION  Information Security Breach Notification. SB 570 requires that notification for a computer security breach be titled “Notice of Data Breach.” It prescribes a model form for a business to disclose a breach of computer security where unencrypted personal information was compromised.

DISCLOSURES Repeals Energy Use Disclosures for Commercial Property. This law repeals the requirement of the Energy Use Disclosure for nonresidential buildings.

lawsuitDISCRIMINATION  Construction Related Accessibility Lawsuits. AB 152 requires an attorney who is sending a demand letter or complaint alleging a construction-related accessibility claim to provide additional information along with a new judicial counsel answer form. This additional information and legal resources are to be provided to small business owners who may not realize how to minimize their liability for Americans with Disabilities Act violations or respond to a lawsuit filed against them.

DISCRIMINATION  Protections against Discrimination Based upon Citizenship, Primary Language or Immigration Status. SB 600 extends the protections of the Unruh Civil Rights Act against discrimination based upon citizenship, primary language, or immigration status. However such protections do not require the provision of services or documents in a language other than English unless required by law.

EMPLOYMENT  Discrimination Based upon Disability and Religious Belief. AB 987 prohibits an employer from retaliating against a person for having requested a reasonable accommodation based on his or her disability or religious beliefs.

EMPLOYMENT  Discrimination Based upon Gender, Equal Pay for Substantially Similar Work. SB 358 bars employers from paying employees less than other employees of the opposite sex for substantially similar work regardless of their job titles or the location where they work.

EMPLOYMENT  Paid Sick Leave Clean-Up Legislation. AB 304 clarifies various issues pertaining to the “Healthy Families Act of 2014.”

EMPLOYMENT  Use of Paid Sick Leave. SB 579 broadens the rights of an employee to use paid sick leave by substituting in the coverage described in the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014.

ESCROWS  Bonding and Business Location Rules for Underwritten Title Companies. AB 704 adopts escrow rules governing underwritten title companies (UTCs) more consistent with rules that currently govern independent escrow companies.

FINANCING  Homebuyer’s Down payment Assistance Program. AB 1516 aligns state law with federal law by allowing a Home Purchase Assistance (HPA) down payment assistance loan to be recorded in a junior lien position, and updates the HPA statute to ensure it meets all of the qualifications of federal laws and regulations, thereby allowing it to be used with a Federal Housing Authority-insured loan product.

home-insuranceINSURANCE   Earthquake Premiums. SB 335 requires any additional premium charged because of a failure to comply with building requirements to be prorated and refunded back to the owner once the dwelling is brought into compliance with those requirements.

LANDLORD/TENANT  Clotheslines or Drying Racks. AB 1448 requires a landlord to permit a tenant to utilize a clothesline or drying rack approved by the landlord in the tenant’s private area. (A separate provision of this law applies to common interest developments. See previous section.)

LANDLORD/TENANT  Insurer may not discriminate on basis on the renter’s source of income or receipt of public assistance. AB 447 generally prohibits discrimination based upon renters’ level or source of income, or receipt of “Section 8” vouchers or state or federal public rent subsidies in the application for or issuance of insurance policies covering real property and mobile homes used for residential purposes.

LANDLORD/TENANT  Mold, Habitability Standards. SB 655 maintains a landlord is not obligated to repair dilapidations relating to mold 1) until he or she has notice of it or 2) if the tenant fails to keep the property clean and sanitary and thereby substantially contributes to the existence of the mold.

For a building, or portion thereof, to be declared a substandard building by virtue of mold it must be visible mold growth, as determined by a health officer or a code enforcement officer, which endangers the health of the occupants. If the presence of mold is minor and found on surfaces that can accumulate moisture as part of their proper and intended use, a substandard condition would not be deemed to exist.

pesticidesLANDLORD/TENANT  Notice of Pesticide Use. SB 328 states without a licensed pest control operator, a Landlord or the Landlord’s agent must post a statutory notice of pesticide use.

LANDLORD/TENANT  Price Gouging During a Declared State of Emergency. Based upon existing law price gouging by businesses during a declared state of emergency is illegal within specified counties and applies to hotels, motels, and  “housing,” which is defined as any rental housing leased on a month-to-month bases. Such a state of emergency for wildfires was declared in September, 2015 for various counties.

LANDLORD/TENANT  Victim’s Right to Terminate Tenancy. AB 418 extends current law indefinitely to allow a tenant to terminate a tenancy if he or she is a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault. Reduces termination notice period from 30 to 14 days.

LICENSING  Continuing Education. AB 345 requires a broker, as part of the broker’s 45 hours of continuing education, to successfully complete a 3-hour course in the management of offices and supervision of licensed activities when renewing his or her license for the first time. C.A.R. sponsored legislation

 LICENSING  Personal Information. SB 560 1) requires a licensing board, including the Bureau of Real Estate, to provide personal information regarding licensees upon request to the Employment Development Department (EDD), which administers the unemployment compensation program.

2) Additionally, this law authorizes the enforcement division of the Contractors’ State License Board (CSLB) to enforce the workers compensation laws against unlicensed contractors.

MARIJUANA REGULATION  Structure to License, Tax and Regulate. AB 266 / SB 643 / AB 243. The Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (MMRSA) comprises three separate bills which together create the structure to license, tax and regulate medical marijuana, along with mechanisms to fund its implementation.

For Sale SignMOBILE HOMES  Criteria for Park Approval of Purchaser; For Sale Signs. SB 419 requires mobile home park management to provide in writing, after a written request from the seller or buyer in writing of the information management will require and the standards that will be utilized in determining if the prospective homeowner will be acceptable as a homeowner in the park. It allows management to withhold approval based upon fraud, deceit, or concealment of material facts by the prospective purchaser. It allows management to require use of a “Step-in L-frame” sign. Otherwise the display of L-frame, A-frame, H-frame or yard arm type signs is permitted.

Mobile HomeMOBILE HOMES  Disposal of Abandoned Mobile Homes. AB 999 allows park management to dispose of a mobile home after obtaining a judicial declaration of abandonment when it is no longer habitable and without having to pay outstanding taxes or vehicle licensing fees. This law also permits disposing of a mobile home when enforcing a warehousemen’s lien against a mobile home when it is no longer habitable and without having to pay outstanding taxes or vehicle licensing fees. In both cases the management is authorized to dispose of the mobile home rather than sell it.

MOBILE HOMES  Restraining Orders in Limited Civil Cases. SB 244 extends existing law indefinitely to allow use of limited civil cases by the management of a mobile home park for obtaining an injunction such as a temporary or “permanent” restraining order when someone breaks the park rules, rather than having to file an “unlimited” civil case or even an unlawful detainer.

PROBATE AVOIDANCE  Transfer on Death Deed with Named Beneficiary. AB 139 creates the revocable transfer on death (TOD) deed which allows a homeowner to transfer to a named  beneficiary 1-4 residential real property upon the owner’s death without a probate proceeding.

TAX  Exemption from Additional Recording Fee. AB 661 clarifies an exemption from a  $10 additional recording fee that counties may impose. The fee is used to help investigate and prosecute real estate fraud crimes.

TAX  Fire Prevention Fee. AB 301 allows a seller of real property and a buyer to negotiate and apportion the payment of the fire prevention fee as a term of sale.

TAX  Private Transfer Fees. AB 807 expands the current Private Transfer Fee (PFT) recordation requirement to include PFT’s whose payment does not occur upon a change of ownership or that are not based on sales price. C.A.R. sponsored legislation.

UTILITIES  Liens on Real Property Imposed by Municipal Utility Districts. SB 188 extends existing law that allows a Municipal Utility District (MUD) to place liens on a property for unpaid water or sewer utility services provided to a tenant. However, a MUD cannot collect delinquent charges or penalties from a property owner accrued by a residential tenant in a nonmaster-metered building. This law does not apply to delinquent charges for electrical service.

LandscapeWATER USE  Artificial Lawns AB 1164 prohibits cities and counties from enacting or enforcing any ordinance or regulation that prohibits the installation of drought tolerant landscaping, synthetic grass or artificial turf on residential property.

Michael Korte Laura WhitneyWATER USE  Lawn Appearance. AB 2100 prohibits a city or county from imposing a fine for a failure to water a lawn or having a brown lawn during a declared drought emergency.