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New State Laws Regarding Single-Family Rentals in California

State Laws Regarding Single Family Rental PropertiesThere are new laws taking effect in 2019 that will have implications for the rental housing industry. Here at Real Property Management Fairmate, we’ve rounded up the most pertinent laws for single-family rentals so you can be prepared.

Automatic Garage Doors:

View of a Garage Door from the InsideStarting July 1, 2019, you can longer install automatic garage doors in your rental property unless it has a backup battery that can function during electrical outages. This will allow residents to safely exit their homes in the event of power outage emergencies, such as the Santa Rosa fires. You don’t have to swap out your current installations, but any replacement garage doors will have to include a backup battery. Any rental units failing to comply will face a $1,000 fine.

See SB 969 for details.

Third Party Payments:

If a third party, such as a social service agency, nonprofit, or family member, offers payment for your property, you as the landlord can request a written document acknowledging that the third party has no claim over the property or any right to residency. This ensures that collecting the payment does not imply the third party’s possession.

See AB 2219 for details.

Cannabis Growth:

Cannabis OilCities can now fine and penalize residencies for illegal marijuana cultivation that violates local laws. However, marijuana growers can no longer avoid penalty or transfer responsibility for their actions to their landlord by moving. Rental property owners can now appeal liability for their tenant’s illegal marijuana activity. As a rental property owner, you must demonstrate that your tenant had residency during the violation, that you as the property owner had no knowledge of the violation, and that your lease clearly indicates that the marijuana activity violated your terms.

See AB 2164 for details.

Electric Vehicle Charging Stations:

As a property owner, you must immediately allow your tenant to install an electric vehicle charging station in their parking space. The tenant must pay for the installation and operation and ensure it is up to code. This includes any properties in jurisdictions that formerly required written approval or were under rent control.

See AB 1796 for details.

States of Emergency:

Property owners are banned from “price gouging,” or raising the rent more than 10% after a state of emergency is declared. This is in effect for at least 30 days after a disaster, with potential for extension. Price gouging is now classified as a misdemeanor after the victims of the fires in Southern California were forced to find new homes.

See AB 1919 for details.

Summoning Authorities:

As a public safety measure, you as a property owner may not evict or otherwise penalize residents for calling the police to report domestic abuse or suspected crimes such as stalking, sexual assault, elder abuse, etc. at your rental property on behalf of themselves or others.

See AB 2413 for details.

Water Conservation:

Going Green with Water Conservation TacticsAll single-family residential properties must replace or install plumbing fixtures in accordance with these limits.

  • Toilets: 1.6 gallons per flush
  • Showerheads: 2.5 gallons per minute
  • Interior faucets: 2.2 gallons per minute

See SB 745 for details.

Evictions:

Tenants now have an extension of 3 court days to respond to an eviction lawsuit for failure to pay rent or perform covenants. This also includes an extension of five days to file a retaliation.

See AB 2343 for details.

Based on your jurisdiction, you may also request that a city attorney begin the eviction process for tenants with illegal possession of guns, ammo, or drugs.

See AB 2930 for details.

Conclusion

For more on landlord-tenant laws in California, read a state legislation overview or check a full list of California tenant laws to research codes specific to your area. You can also read a full review of the new laws impacting California landlords in 2019. To ensure your compliance with California renters’ laws or for help screening or evicting tenants, contact us today.

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.