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5 California Laws for 2020 That Affect Your Rental Property

2020 brings new California laws that affect your rental property. While these laws aren’t as talked about, they are just as important to your success as a landlord.

There are a lot of new laws going into effect this year that affect rental properties. You may have heard about the big ones, such as AB 1482 (rent control) and AB 2343 (3-day notice changes), but there are a handful of lesser known laws that many property owners aren’t aware of. We reviewed all of these new bills and selected the five that you may not have heard of, but need to know to effectively manage your rental.

AB 827

This law requires that businesses and multifamily properties consisting of 5 or more units provide recycling services and bins on the premises. One of the following actions must be taken:

  1. Separate the recyclable items from waste items and subscribe to a basic recycling service that includes collection and self-hauling.
  2. Subscribe to a recycling service that partakes in source separation (waste from recyclables).

If you are subject to this new law (5+ unit multifamilies and businesses), by July 1, 2020, you must do the following:

  1. Provide a bin for recycling
  2. Bin must be near the bin for waste
  3. Be visible and accessible
  4. Clearly marked with educational signage illustrating what is acceptable to put in a recycling bin

AB 2370

While this law was passed in 2018, it is more pertinent now because of its relation to SB 234 (passed this year). AB 2370 focuses on health and safety in respect to licensed childcare centers. The section that we will focus on is regarding lead exposure, which goes into effect in 2020.

AB 2370 requires that one person at a licensed childcare facility receive 15 hours of training on health and safety. On and after July 1, 2020, this must include training on risks and effects of lead exposure.It also requires that parents be provided with written information (from the Department of Public Health) regarding risks and effects of lead exposure as well as blood lead testing recommendations and requirements.

The reason that this is important for you, a landlord/property owner, is because SB 234 provides protection to small (8 children or less) and large daycares (up to 14 children). Zoning permits and business licenses are no longer required to operate a home daycare, small or large. Family child care homes are allowed in single family homes, apartments, condos, townhouses, duplexes, and other multifamily units. You cannot deny or evict a tenant just because they plan to run a daycare in the home. Additionally, there cannot be special rules that only apply to child care homes.

SB 638

This bill states that for any lease executed, extended, or renewed on and after July 1, 2015, the tenant must be allowed to install an electric car charging station if they so desire. It also states that they no longer need a general liability insurance policy, but instead need personal liability coverage. This amount should not exceed 10x the annual rent for the unit.

This bill does not apply to properties where:

  • Electric vehicle charging stations already exist for tenants in a ratio that is equal to or greater than 10% of the designated parking spaces.
  • Parking is not provided as part of the lease agreement
  • There are fewer than five parking spaces
  • The dwelling is subject to a residential rent control ordinance. This paragraph shall not apply to a lease executed, extended, or renewed on and after January 1, 2019.
  • The dwelling is subject to both a residential rent control ordinance and an ordinance, adopted on or before January 1, 2018, that requires the landlord to approve a tenant’s written request to install an electric vehicle charging station at a parking space allotted to the tenant

Additionally, landlords will not be required to provide an additional parking space to accommodate the charging station.

AB 1399

This law closes a loophole left by the Ellis Act. This act, instated in 1985, allows landlords to evict tenants from the rental property to leave the rental business. However, a problem began to occur where landlords would use this as an excuse to evict all of their tenants just so they could significantly raise the rent. AB 1399 closes that loophole and places more restrictions on landlords so they cannot do this.

The bill states that landlords cannot pick and choose which units they want to withdraw from the rental market. If they want to take one unit off, all units must be withdrawn simultaneously. The law also clarifies that the payment of punitive damages to a former tenant does not extinguish an owner’s obligation to offer the tenant the right to re-rent the unit if the unit is returned to the rental market within 10 years of its withdrawal.

Landlords are also required to notify tenants 120 days prior to withdrawing a unit. If the tenant is disabled or older than 62, a longer one year notification is required.

AB 74

The Budget Act of 2019 includes a section that provides $20,000,000 to tenant defense and tenant-landlord disputes. This can cover pre-eviction and eviction legal services, counseling, advice and consultation, mediation, training, renter education, and representation, and legal services to improve habitability. This means that if a landlord takes a tenant to court (or vice versa), the tenant will likely be provided with counsel that is more prepared for these kinds of disputes.

**Disclaimer** Good Life Property Management does not give legal advice. If you think your property might be affected by any of these laws, we encourage you to speak with your attorney.

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Hi guys, Adam Manley here Business Development Manager at Good Life Property Management. 2020 is such an exciting year both here at Good Life and throughout the greater property management industry. But one very important new thing are all of the new pieces of legislation that are coming into effect here in 2020. And we really think that you guys should know about some of them. So we compiled a short list for five of the laws that you probably didn’t know that are going into effect in 2020. I want to kind of give you guys a brief overview of some of them here. The first is AB 827, which specifically addresses the issue of recycling bins for apartment buildings with five or more units. So if you’re a landlord who’s involved in the multi-family industry, if you have a large building, you probably already have a recycling bin there. But for some of these smaller buildings, you will need to provide this moving forward. The recycling bin needs to be clearly labeled near where the residents currently use the trash bin. So it needs to be in the same area. And it also needs to have a small diagram showing them what items are able to be placed inside of the recycling bin. So once again, that’s AB 827 and that affects recycling bins at properties with five or more units. So the second really important law that has come into effect this year, and while it was passed back in 2018, some of the testing requirements are now coming to light here starting in January of 2020. And that is AB 2370. It’s specifically geared around landlords who rent properties to tenants who run a daycare facility. And one of the biggest changes about this law is starting in 2020, you as the landlord are now responsible to get the water tested inside of the property for any potential lead exposure or contamination. So you need to do that now and every five years moving forward, specifically if you’re a landlord who rents to tenants who use the property as a child daycare facility. This is a little bit of a complex bill that was passed. So we’ll include a lot more information on this particular one below. And again, that’s AB 2370. The third bill we wanted to highlight is specifically around electrical vehicle charging stations and that is SB 638. So if you have a tenant who has signed an executed lease, renewed or extended after July 1 of 2015, you as the landlord now have to allow your tenant to install an electrical vehicle charging station at your property. This can still be done at the tenants expense, but if you have a property with at least executed after that date, you now have to allow the tenant to install that at your particular property. The next law we really wanted to highlight is AB 1399. And that is more specifically geared towards multi-family landlords and investors. And this particular bill is addressing a loophole in the LS Act. So the LS Act came into existence back in 1985 and it was put into place so landlords who needed to withdraw a unit from the rental market could evict a tenant living in one of the units and then just withdraw that particular unit from the rental market altogether. So AB 1399 addresses this loophole and closes it. So now if a landlord wanted to remove just one unit from the rental market, he would actually need to remove the entire building or all of the units in the building from the rental market altogether. So it’s a pretty substantial change within the law itself. There are also additional requirements for the notices that you need to serve the tenant if you are going to be withdrawing a unit from the rental market. It now extends the notice period to 120 days and there are also additional restrictions that the unit is occupied by it, elderly person or by someone who is disabled. And once again, that’s AB 1399. Now the last bill we wanted to highlight in this video but certainly not the last piece of legislation that’s coming into play in 2020 is AB 74. And what AB 74 does, it’s part of the budget act of 2019 and it’s essentially going to set aside $20 million for tenants to use and landlord tenant disputes. So this can be used for pre-eviction cases, counseling, mediation, attorney’s fees. So that’s something really big that’s going to be changing this year. So if you’re a landlord who’s taking a tenant to landlord tenant court or involved in a landlord tenant lawsuit, most likely these tenants are going to be better prepared and becoming with legal counsel. So again, another really big change in 2020. So those are some of the five laws that we felt you guys really needed to know to stay on top of your business here in 2020. We’re going to have a lot more information about each one in the blog below the video here and stay tuned for more about new laws and content coming out in 2020. Thank you.