New Real Estate Laws for 2018 – Part 3 of 3

Our legislators passed 41 bills affecting the real estate business last year. This is part 3 of our 3-part summary of those bills. For the full text of a law visit for California laws – or – for federal laws. A legislative bill may be referenced in more than one section.

OC-Groundwater-BasinLAND USE Authorizes any local agency overlying a groundwater basin to decide to become a groundwater sustainability agency for that basin and specifically consider the interests of farmers, ranchers, and dairy professionals. Assembly Bill 321 codified as Water Code § 10723.2. Effective date January 1, 2018.

MANUFACTURED HOMES This law prohibits an owner from being liable for taxes and fees specified in the Manufactured Housing Act of 1980 that accrue after the compliance date if the owner properly endorses and delivers the certificate of title to the transferee and delivers or mails to the Department of Housing and Community Development the completed notice of sale or transfer form developed by the department. Senate Bill 542 codified as Health and Safety Code § 18107. Effective date is January 1, 2018.

Mobile HomeMANUFACTURED HOMES All state and local programs designed to facilitate home ownership must now include manufactured homes, to the extent feasible. Senate Bill 329 codified as Government Code 65852.35. Effective January 1, 2018.

MANUFACTURED HOMES The Mobilehome Residency Law governs residency in mobilehome parks and requires the management of a mobilehome park to disclose the name, business address, and business telephone number of the park owner upon a homeowner’s request. Assembly Bill 294 codified as Civil Code § 798.28. Effective date is January 1, 2018.

PACE LogoPACE LIENS CONSUMER PROTECTIONS A “solar energy system” disclosure document that provides a consumer with accurate, clear, and concise information regarding the installation of a solar energy system must be provided prior to completion of a sale. The Public Utilities Commission, on or before July 1, 2019, will develop standardized inputs and assumptions to be used in the calculation and presentation of electric utility bill savings to a consumer. Assembly Bill 1070 codified as Business and Professions Code §§ 7169 and 7170, and Public Utilities Code § 2854.6. Its requirements come into force at various times.

PACE LIENS CONSUMER PROTECTIONS Adopts various consumer protections and best practices recommended by the federal Department of Energy in regard to PACE lien financing and improvements by requiring, among other things, a program administrator, before a property owner executes an assessment contract, to make oral confirmation of various consumer rights. Senate Bill 242 codified as Streets and Highways Code § 5900 et. seq. Effective January 1, 2018.

HelicopterTAX The fire prevention fee is suspended beginning with the 2017-2018 fiscal year which runs from July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2018. The provision suspending the fee sunsets at the end of 2030. The fire prevention fee is charged on each habitable structure on a parcel within a state fire responsibility area. The fee was typically paid was approximately $117 and was owed by whoever the owner of the property was on July 1 regardless of subsequent transfer. The actual payment of the fee was typically in March, April or May of the following year. This fee is now suspended. Assembly Bill 398 codified as Health and Safety Code §§ 38501, 38562, 38594, 38505.5, 38590.1, 38591.1, 38591.2, 38591.3, 38592.5, and 38592.6; Public Resources Code 4213.05 and 4229; and Revenue and Taxation Code 6377.1. Effective July 1, 2017.

TAX AB 398 strengthens and extends the state’s cap-and-trade program, which would have expired without legislative action. The program, along with other state carbon reduction measures, is intended to ensure that California will meet its SB 32 target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. Assembly Bill 398 codified as Health and Safety Code §§ 38501, 38562, 38594, 38505.5, 38590.1, 38591.1, 38591.2, 38591.3, 38592.5, and 38592.6; Public Resources Code 4213.05 and 4229; and Revenue and Taxation Code 6377.1. Effective July 26, 2017.

TAX This new law authorizes the board of supervisors of a county to provide that a tax on real or personal property is not a lien against the property assessed or the person being assessed if the amount of the tax assessed against that property or the person is less than an amount set by that ordinance or resolution, up to $200, excluding any interest, penalties, or other fees. Senate Bill 624 codified as Revenue and Taxation Code § 2191.10. Effective January 1, 2018.

TAX Allows stormwater management assessments by a simple majority as opposed to a 2/3 majority as required by Proposition 218. Senate Bill 231 codified as Government Code §§ 53750 and 53751. Effective January 1, 2018.

CDTFTAX Effective July 1, 2017, AB 102 transfers most of the State Board of Equalization’s (SBE) primary administrative, collection and regulatory duties, powers and responsibilities with respect to sales and use taxes and other taxes and fees to a newly formed department – the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (DTFA). Assembly Bill 102 codified as Government Code §§ 12803.2, 15570 et seq., 15670 et seq., 15600, 15601 15605.5, 15618.5, 15623 and 15609.5; and Revenue and Taxation Code § 20. Effective  July 1, 2017.


TAX – RECORDING TAX REVENUES ALLOCATED TO HOUSING FUND A fee of $75 is imposed at the time of recording of every real estate instrument, paper or notice which is required or permitted to be recorded. The fee shall not exceed $225 per transaction. However, the fee does not burden purchase transactions or sales in general based on the two following exemptions. First, the fee is not imposed for any document recorded in connection with a transfer of real property that is a residential dwelling to an owner-occupant. Second, the fee is not imposed whenever a documentary transfer tax (DTT) must be paid which is whenever real property is sold for valuable consideration. The most common circumstances when the fee would be imposed would be on a refinance or reconveyance. Senate Bill 2 codified as Government Code § 27388.1 and Health and Safety Code § 50470 et. seq. Effective January 1, 2018.

Wood Burning StoveWOOD-BURNING STOVES New program to provide incentives for the voluntary replacement of older wood-burning stoves. Senate Bill 563 codified as Health and Safety Code § 39733. Effective January 1, 2018, but there is no deadline for when the program would actually be implemented.


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