California Legislature laws for realtors

Foreclosure: Right of First Refusal Following Trustee's Sale of One to Four Single Family Property

Foreclosure: Tenant's, prospective owner-occupants and non-profit's right of first refusal following trustee's sale of one to four single family property. No bundling of such properties at a trustee's sale.

First, this law grants tenants, prospective owner-occupants, nonprofit affordable housing providers, community land trusts, limited-equity housing cooperatives, and public entities a 45-day window to purchase residential property through foreclosure if they can match (in the case of tenants) or exceed (in the case of other purchasers) the last and highest bid made on residential one to four single-family homes at the foreclosure auction.  Second, this law prohibits sales of bundled properties at foreclusure auctions. Third, it increases local govenments' authority to assess fines on owners of blighted propeerties acquired at foreclosure sales.

C.A.R opposed this law as it creates a complicated and lengthy bidding and foreclosure sale process, causing uncertainty within the foreclosure transaction process.

This Law:

1) Forbids a foreclosure trustee from bundling properties for sale at a foreclosure auction, instead requiring that each property be bid on separately.

2) Provides an eligible bidder 45 days after a home foreclosure auction to make an offer for the home that exceeds the highest bid.  Defines "eligible bidder" to include: a) A tenant in the home, a prospective owner-occupant, or a nonprofit in which a propective owner-occupant or eligible tenant is a voting member or director. b) An eligible nonprofit based in California whose primary activity is developing and preserving affordable rental housing, a limited partnership for which an eligible nonprofit is the managing general partner; or a limited liability company in which eligible nonprofit corporation is the managing member. c) A community land trust or a limited-equity housing cooperative. d) The state, the University of California, a county, city,...

Community Water System Exemption - Senate Bill 974

Water: Community Water System Exemption

Senate Bill 974: California Environmental Quality Act: Small Disadvantaged Community Water System: Exemption - This measure will help impacted communities gain access to clean and safe drinking water.  This bill offers a modest but important exemption to very limited community water supply projects that will help certain residents obtain clean and reliable water. C.A.R. supported this measure as it will provide an exemption in CEQA to help expedite small community water projects.

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Exemption from Reassessment Retained for Rebuilt Property Destroyed by Disaster up to 120% of Value of Original

In a Governor-declared disaster an exemption from reassessment will be retained for reconstructed improvements which are comparable to the improvement replaced if similar in size, utility, and function and within 120% of value of original property.

This law allows owners of property substantially damaged or destroyed in a Governor-declared disaster to reconstruct comparable improvements onsite with a return to the former improvement's base year value.  While existing law effectively allows this in a form of a new construction exclusion, this law adds a new provision specific to post-disaster reconstruction following a Governor-recognized event and allows a more generous comparability definition.  Specifically, it defines the term "comparable" using the same 120% definistion used when a victim of a major disaster decides to reconstruct replacement property on site of the damaged property.  Under this definition, reconstructed improvements will be found comparable to the improvement replaced if similar in size, utility, and function and withing 120% of value.  This law applies to real property damaged or destroyed by misfortune or calamity on or after January 1, 2017.

Assembly Bill 2013 is codified as Tax and Revenue Section 70.5. Effective January 1, 2021.

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Price Gouging: Increases the Scope of What Constitutes Price Gouging in the Sale of Goods or Services.

crime of price gougingThis law amends the crime of price gouging to 1) include where a person, contractor, business, or
other entity to charge a price that is more than 50% greater than either the amount the seller paid for the goods or the seller’s costs in selling or providing the goods or services; and 2) provide that the protections against price gouging may also apply to a timeframe prior to a date as set in the proclamation or declaration. It does not affect provisions of Penal Code 396 pertaining to the price of rental housing.

This law expands the crime for price gouging to also include selling or offering to sell those goods or services for a price 10% greater than the price charged immediately prior to a date set by the proclamation or declaration of emergency.  It makes it a crime for a person, contractor, busines, or other entity who did not charge a price for the goods or services immediately prior to the proclamation or declaration of emergency to charge a price that is more than 50% greater than the seller's existing costs, as specified.  It authorizes the Governor or the Legislature to extend the duration of these prohibitions for periods greater than 30 days, and during the extension, authorize specified price increases that exceed the otherwise permissible amount, as specified.

Senate Bill 1196 is codified as Penal Code 396.  Effective January 1, 2021.

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Prop 19 - Allows to Move Your Tax Base Without Penalty to Other Counties in California

TAX SAVINGS FOR OLDER HOMEOWNERS

Thanks to Prop 19, seniors, retirees, and all homeowners aged 55+ can move closer to family, medical care, or to a home that better meets their needs anywhere in California without a
tax penalty.

 Prop 19 removed unfair location and price restrictions, allowing older homeowners to transfer the tax base of their home to a new home.*

SAVINGS FOR HOMEOWNERS WITH SEVERE DISABILITIES

Prop 19 also removed unfair restrictions on Californians with severe disabilities, allowing homeowners to move to a replacement home anywhere in California without
a tax penalty.*

 Under Prop 19, homeowners with severe disabilities can transfer the tax base of their existing home to a replacement home up to three times.

HOUSING RELIEF FOR VICTIMS OF WILDFIRE AND NATURAL DISASTER

After wildfires destroyed more than 24,000 family homes in the past few years, wildfire victims have faced massive property tax hikes when relocating to another home.

 Prop 19 allows ...

Mobilehomes: Exemptions from Rent Control Disallowed Until 2025

The exemption from local mobilehome rent control laws for leases of 12 months or more is disallowed temporarily until January 1, 2025.

Previously, the law exempted a rental agreement in a mobilehome park that is in excess of 12 months’ duration, and that meets other specified requirements, from local rent control ordinances.

This new law prohibits the above-described exemption from rent control in mobilehome parks for rental agreements from applying to a rental agreement entered into on or after February 13, 2020. These provisions are repealed on January 1, 2025.

Assembly Bill 2782 is codified as Civil Code Sections 798.17 and 798.56, and Government Code Sections 65863.7 and 66427.4.  Effective January 1, 2021.

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COVID-19 Rent Moratorium Rules Extended Statewide | Mobilehomes

The COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act is applied to mobilehomes in mobilehome parks.

Applies all of the protections of the COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act of 2020 to persons who rent space in a mobilehome park. See the summary of this law above in under the heading Landlord/Tenant: "COVID-19 Tenant Protection Act of 2020"

The COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act of 2020 extends tenant rental relief protections to the Mobile Home Residency law by defining "landlord" to include an owner of a mobilehome park and an owner of a mobilehome park space or lot, and requiring that any notice to pay rent or quit for a mobilehome renting space in a mobile home park comply with all of the notice rules, including provision of a 15-day notice, statutory advisories and a blank declaration per the Tenant Relief Act. The UD process would adhere to the all of the same procedures under the Tenant Relief Actc with exceptions that are specific to mobilehome eviction such as, for example, that a UD may not be filed for at least 60 days after service of a notice to pay rent or quit.

These provisions were part of a larger bill Assembly Bill 3088 and are codified as Civil Code Section 798.56 and Code of Civil Procdure Sections 1179.01 through 1179.07.  Effective immediately on August 31, 2020, as urgency legislation.

Read more laws here

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Termination of Tenancy Right for Crime Victims Expanded : Landlord/Tenant

This law extends existing provisions of law authorizing a tenant to terminate a tenancy when the tenant or a household member is a victim of domestic violence or elder abuse to also include a crime that caused bodily injury or death, the exhibition, drawing, brandishing, or use of a firearm or other deadly weapon or instrument, or that included the use of force or threat of force against the victim, and expands these provisions to apply if an immediate family member of the tenant is a victim of an eligible crime.

This law extends the existing law as follows:

  1. Adds a crime that caused bodily injury or death, that included the exhibition, drawing, brandishing, or use of a firearm or other deadly weapon or instrument, or that included the use of force against the victim or threat of force against the victim to the existing list of eligible crimes for which a tenant may terminate the lease if the tenant or a household member is a victim.
  2. Authorizes a tenant to terminate a lease if an immediate family member was a victim of an eligible crime.
  3. Authorizes any other form of documentation that reasonably verifies that the eligible crime or act occurred to be given to the landlord.
  4. Adds a victim of violent crime advocate to definition of qualified third party that may sign documentation to be provided to a landlord.
  5. Requires the tenant to provide a specified written statement to the landlord if the tenant is terminating tenancy because an immediate family member is a victim of an eligible crime, the tenant did not live in the same household as the immediate family member at the time of the eligible crime, and no part of the crime occurred within the dwelling unit or within 1,000 feet of the dwelling unit of the tenant.
  6. Requires the notice to terminate the tenancy to be given within 180 days of the date that the newly added eligible crimes occurred.
  7. Prohibits a landlord from requiring...

Unlawful Detainer (UD) Shielding : Landlord / Tenant

In part urgency legislation that took effect immediately on August 31, 2020.  Two laws: One extends UD Shielding for UD actions based on COVID rental debt and the other further expands UD shielding in general.

Until February 1, 2021 for any UD action based on COVID rental debt (owing from March 4, 2020 to January 31, 2021) public access generally to UD filing is foreclosed even when the plaintiff prevails in an action within 60 days of filing.

Beginning January 1, 2021, public access to UD fillings is permitted when a judgment against all defendants has been entered within 60 days.

In 2017, a law came into effect which restricted the general public access to unlawful detainer filings to the circumstance where the landlord prevailed within 60 days of filing.  The effect of shielding public access to UD filings was to impair the usefulness of credit reports in spotting a tenant with a history of being evicted through the unlawful detainer process.

This new law expands this public access limitation even further by eliminating public access even in those limited circumstances when the unlawful detainer action was filed between March 4, 2020, and January 31, 2021, and is based on the nonpayment of rent. It does, however, contain a special exception for the news media to pull unlawful detainer data for the purpose of gathering "newsworthy facts" by a reporter or other persons in the press.

Additionally, existing law allows access to case records filed in an unlawful detainer action to any person 60 days after the complaint has been filed if the plaintiff prevails in the action within 60 days of the filing of the complaint.

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Rent Cap and Just Cause Eviction : Landlord/Tenant

Urgency legislation that took effect immediately on August 31, 2020.  Clarifies permissible rent increases under statewide rent cap law.  Clarifies the exemptions for a duplex.

Eliminates ambiguities under the Tenant Protection Act of 2019 as to exactly how to calculate the consumer price index for the applicable area -- giving the owner greater assurance that a given rent increase is legally permissible.  Clarifies that the exemption for a duplex applies to a single structure containing two separate dwelling units.

Under the Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (commonly referred to as the statewide rent cap and just cause eviction law or "AB 1482"), a landlord is permitted to raise rent by 5% plus inflation as indicated by the applicable Consumer Price Index.  But AB 1482 is ambiguous in describing precisely which Consumer Price Index ("CPI") measurement can be used.  These ambiguities are as follows:

1)  As passed AB 1482 did not specify which CPI measure is applicable such as the CPI-U for all Urban Consumers or some other measure such as the CPI-E or CPI-W.

2)  AB 1482 required that the CPI numbers for specified metropolitan areas rely on the CPI from April.

However, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics ("USBLS") does not include April numbers for San Diego, Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

3)  AB 1482 prescribed the use of the CPI for the "region" where the property is located as published by the USBLS.

However, the only "regional" number it publishes is for the "West Region" which covers the 13 westernmost states.

4)  AB 1482 is ambigous as to whether the CPI for a given metropolitan area covers every property within the county described.

5)  AB 1482 was silent on rounding up or down the CPI

6)  Any rent increase...

Foreclosure and Forbearance Protections: Small Landlords and Homeowners

Urgency legislation that took effect immediately on August 31, 2020.  Requires servicers to comply with applicable federal guidance regarding COVID-19 forbearance.  Servicer must comply with special notice and information requirements if a forbearance is denied.

A mortgage servicer shall comply with applicable federal guidance regarding borrower options following a COVID-19 related forbearance as provided by the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae), the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac), the Federal Housing Administration of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, or the Riral Development division of the United States Department of Agriculture.

With respect to a nonfederally backed loan, a mortgage servicer is required to review a customer for a solution that is consistent with the guidance to servicers as provided by the above entities. However, It is the intent of the Legislature that a mortgage servicer offer a borrower a post forbearance loss mitigation option that is consistent with the mortgage servicer's contractual or other authority.

A borrower who is harmed by a material violation of this law may bring an action to obtain injunctive relief, damages, restitution, and any other remedy to redress the violation and reasonable attorney’s fees and costs to the prevailing party.

If the mortgage servicer denies a forbearance request, they are required to explain why if the request was made before April 1, 2021. The servicer must specifically identify any curable defect in the written notice; Provide 21 days from the mailing date of the written notice for the borrower to cure any identified defect; Accept receipt of the borrower's revised request for forbearance before the aforementioned 21-day period lapses and; Respond to the borrower's revised request withing five business days of receipt of the revised request.

This law...

Housing: Residential Entitlements Extended

Requires cities and counties to evaluate the impact of government actions on the cost of housing and associated impacts to minority communities and extends by 18 months, the time frame for the expiration, effectuation, or utilization of a housing entitlement for any housing entitlement that was issued prior to, and was in effect on, March 4, 2020, and will expire prior to December 31, 2021.

The California Building Industry Association writes in support, "This important measure has two critical components. First, it encourages local governments to consider the impacts their zoning decisions have on communities of color, and second, extends the expiration date of building permits or other entitlements necessary for, or pertaining to, a housing development project. This proposed legislation recognizes the extreme health and financial devastation due to this pandemic-induced recession has had on Californians and proposes a measured and time-limited response.

This law extends by 18 months any applicable time frame for any “housing entitlement.” This extension applies to any such entitlement issued prior to and effective on March 4, 2020, and that will expire prior to December 31, 2021.

“Housing entitlement” is defined in the statute to include:

  • A building permit, including extension of any applicable time frame within which an applicant must request issuance of a building permit;
  • “A legislative, adjudicative, administrative, or any other kind of approval, permit, or other entitlement necessary for, or pertaining to, a housing development project issued by a state agency”;
  • “An approval, permit, or other entitlement issued by a local agency for a housing development project that is subject to [the Permit Streamlining Act]”;
  • “A ministerial approval, permit, or entitlement by a local agency required as a prerequisite to issuance of a building permit for a housing...

Residential Property Insurance. Fire Insurance - Consumer Protections

Assembly Bill 2756 Residential Property Insurance - This measure seeks to provide greater information to consumers on their homeowner policies. Additionally, it includes provisions which mandate 10% building code upgrade coverage for replacement cost coverage policies which will work to ensure more homes are rebuilt and existing housing stock is maintained when disaster strikes.

C.A.R. supported this measure as it provides more transparency to homeowners on information related to their home insurance policy.

Assembly Bill 3012 Residential Property Insurance -  This measure among other provisions, provides that certain information be included in a notice of nonrenewal of a homeowners insurance policy, clarifies that a policyholder shall receive the full amount of what would have been recoverable if the home were to be rebuilt at the original location, clarifies that policies which include additional living expenses (ALE) shall not limit claims if the home is uninhabitable, but not destroyed.  Additionally, the bill states that a policyholder is entitled to a payment of 30% (up to $250,000) of the stated policy limit for contents coverage in the event of a total loss without itemization and directs the FAIR plan to create a clearinghouse of policy information that should be made available to admitted insurers to encourage them to offer policies to FAIR plan customers.

C.A.R. supported this measure as it will help to alleviate the home insurance crisis that many Californians in wildfire prone areas face.

Senate Bill 872 ...

Fire: Defensible Space: Creation of Ember-Resistant Zone within Five Feet of a Structure

Establishes, upon appropriation, an ember-resistant zone within five feet of a structure as part of the defensible space requirements for structures located in specified high fire hazard areas.  Requires removal of material from the ember-resistant zone based on the probability that vegetation and fuel will lead to ignition of the structure by ember.  

However, CAL Fire will NOT changer defensible space inspection practices and forms or enforcement to to implement the requirement for an ember-resistant zone until the director makes a written finding that the legislature has approrpriated sufficient resources to do so, which the director will post on CAL Fire's website, that the Legislature has appropriated sufficient resources to do so.  Moreover, this law is to be "based on regulations" by CAL Fire, and the promulgation of these regulations is "contingent upon an appropriation by the Legislature in the annual Budget Act of another stature for this purpose."

Current law requires a person who owns, leases, controls, operates, or maintains an occupied dwelling or structure to maintain a defensible space of 100 feet from each side of the structure.  This bill would require more instense fuel reductions between 5 and 30 feet around the structure and create an ember-resistant zone within 5 feet of the structure to help reduce ember ignitions.

1)  An ember-resistant zone shall include any attached deck.

2)  Required the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) to not change defensible space inspeciton...

Deeds: Extended Revocable Transfer on Death Deed Law

Law authorizing simple procedure for transfer of property upon death is extended for one year.

The California Law Revision Commission issued its report on the Revocable Transfer on Death Deed (RTDD) in November 2019, recommending that a number of changes be made to the RTDD process,
but that overall the RTDD should be extended for another 10 years and that the CLRC do a further
study prior to that 10-year sunset. (CLRC, Revocable Transfer on Death Deed: Follow-Up Study (Nov. 2019).) However, given the COVID-19 pandemic, the Legislature’s focus has been on the health emergency and its very difficult economic onsequences.

It has not been on other less urgent matters, including the future of the RTDD and the CLRC report. To ensure that the RTDD can continue until the Legislature can fully review the CLRC report and recommendations, this law extends the January 1, 2021 sunset for one additional year, until January 1, 2022.

Senate Bill 1305 is codified as Probate Code; Section 5600 et seq.

More readings about Laws Affecting Realtors

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Disclosure and Point-of-Sale Compliance - Wildfire Defensible Space and Vegetation Management Laws, and Home Hardening

Disclosure: Disclosure and point-of-sale compliance re wildfire defensible space and vegetation
management laws, and home hardening.

This is a not a 2021 new law. It was passed last year. However, we are including it here because its most signicant provisions become effective January 1, 2021.

Requires delivery of a statutory disclosure re home hardening for homes in designated high fire areas built before 2010, and that seller list specied retrofits.

wild fire areasRequires seller of property located in designated high fire areas to provide buyer with documentation stating that the property is in compliance with local law pertaining to defensible spaces or local vegetation management laws. If there is no such local law, the seller shall provide documentation of compliance with state law, assuming the seller obtained such documentation within six months prior to entering into the transaction. But if neither of the above,the seller and the buyer must enter into a written agreement in which the buyer agrees to obtain documentation of compliance with defensible
space or a local vegetation management ordinance after close.

These disclosure requirements will apply to any property in which the Transfer Disclosure Statement is required to be delivered. TDS exemptions and cancellation rights apply.

Disclosures re Home Hardening Beginning January 1, 2020, if a seller, after completion of construction, has obtained a nal inspection report regarding compliance with, among other things,
home hardening laws (Gov’t...

Simplified California Proposition 19: Break Down of Some Key Aspects

Proposition 19, Simplified:

proposition_19_voting_resultCalifornia Proposition 19 saw victory at the ballot box last November, and the new property tax breaks for some — and increases for others — will start affecting Californians in the coming months. Follow along as we break down some of the key aspects of this complex proposition. And for more in-depth information, check out the full Legal Q&A at on.car.org/prop19qa.

First off, who can take advantage of the tax portability benefits from Prop. 19?

All Californians who:

• Are over 55 years of age;

• Are severely disabled; or

• Own a home that has been substantially damaged due to wildfire or natural disaster.

For people in these groups, Prop. 19 made three significant changes to the way property taxes are calculated when they sell a principal residence and move into a new primary residence. What are those changes?

Sellers in these groups can now transfer the tax basis of their primary residence to a replacement property anywhere in the State of California. Previously, inter-county transfers were done on a limited basis.

Sellers in these groups can now transfer the tax basis of their sold property to their replacement property regardless of value. Previously, transfers had to be only to properties of equal or lesser value. (Some adjustments will be made if the property is of greater value.) Sellers and these groups may take advantage of this benefit up to three times — and victims of wildfires and other natural disasters have no limitations. Previously, sellers could only make use of this transfer...

Consumer Protection and Landlord Tenant: Utility Billing to Sub-metered Customers

Requires billing of sub-metered customers at the actual rate of the utilities generating the electricity for entities acting within the territory of an electric corporation.

Current Law:
Currently, a master-meter customer is required to charge each user at the same rate that would be applicable if the user were receiving gas or electricity directly from the gas or electrical corporations.

master-meter_customer_submeterIf a master-meter customer receives a rebate for electrical or gas service, it is required to distribute the rebate to, or credit the rebate to the account of, current users served by the master-meter customer.

These rules relate to the responsibilities of a gas or electrical corporations and master-meter customers when gas or electrical service is provided by a mastermeter customer to users who are tenants of a mobile home park, apartment building, or similar residential complex. (Public Utilities Code §739.5)

New Law:
This law extends these existing protections for submetered customers of electrical corporations to all sub-metered customers, even where the entity providing the electricity is an electric load-serving entity operating with the territory of the electric corporation.

Senate Bill 1117 is codified as Public Utilities Code Section 739.5. Effective January 1, 2021.

More readings

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Consumer Protection: Translated Copy of Contracts Expands Requirements to Include Co-Signers or Any Person Signing the Contract

The requirement of providing a translated copy of a contract negotiated primarily in Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, or Korean, orally or in writing, is expanded to include any person signing the contract, not just the parties to the contract.

translated contractsCurrent law requires that any person engaged in a trade or business who negotiates primarily in Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, or Korean, orally or in writing, in the course of entering into specified contracts, deliver to the other party to the contract or agreement, prior to the execution thereof, a translation of the contract or agreement in the language in which the contract or agreement was negotiated that includes a translation of every term and condition in that contract or agreement.

A lease, sublease, rental contract or agreement, or other term of tenancy contract or agreement, for a period of longer than one month, covering a dwelling, apartment, mobile home, or other dwelling unit normally occupied as a residence are included in the types of contracts to which the translation requirement applies.

However, currently there is no requirement to provide translated versions of the contract or agreement to co-signers or other nonparties to the contract who are nevertheless signing the contract.

This new law expands the translation requirement...

Consumer Protection: Right of Senior Citizens to Cancel Contracts Expanded

Extends, from three to five business days, the right to cancel certain consumer contracts for persons 65 years of age or older, including the right to cancel a PACE lien contract.

The major provisions of this law include:

1) Defines a senior citizen as an individual who is 65 years of age or older.

2) Extends the buyer's right to cancel a home improvement contract to five business days if the buyer is a senior citizen. Prescribes the form and content of a notice of this right to cancel.

senior_citizens_553) Extends the buyer's right to cancel a service and repair contract to five business days if the buyer is a senior citizen, unless specied emergency conditions exist. Prescribes the form and content of a notice of this right to cancel.

4) Extends the buyer's right to cancel a home solicitation contract to midnight of the fifth business day after the contract or oer is signed if the buyer is a senior citizen. Prescribes the form and content of a notice of this right to cancel.

5) Extends the buyer's right to cancel a seminar sales solicitation contract or offer to midnight of the fifth business day after the contract or oer is signed if the buyer is a senior citizen. Prescribes the form and content of a...

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