8:00 a.m. - 11:20 a.m. Thursday, May 3, 2012 Sacramento, CA
Mission Statement: The Housing Committee is a Policy Committee. Its mission is to develop C.A.R.'s housing policy. It has original jurisdiction to evaluate housing legislation and regulation in the following issue areas: Common Interest Developments; Fair Housing/Equal Opportunity; Housing Policy; Manufactured Housing; Multifamily Housing; and Property Management.
Presiding: John Torres, Chair Jay Avirom, Vice Chair
Issue Chairs (ICs): Dona Crowder, Common Interest Development Eva Garcia, Fair Housing/ Equal Opportunity Charlene Singley, Housing Policy Diane Conaway, Manufactured Housing Frank Oti, Multi-Family Housing Mike Fracisco, Property Management
I. Welcome and Opening Remarks – John Torres, Chair
II. Action Items A. State B. Federal Homeownership Visa (See attached IBP)* C. Questions or Motions from Committee Members D. Other
III. Report Items - Issue Area Chairs summary of the subject matter within their respective Issue Areas and any issues of discussion interest from Housing Committee Members, in addition to those listed below.
A. CID - Dona Crowder, IC 1. State AB 805 (Torres) Recodification & Simplification of Davis-Stirling CID Act - Sponsored by the State Law Revision Commission, AB 805 proposes to reorganize and recodify the Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development (CID) Act in order to achieve internal clarity and consistency. It groups related provisions in a logical order within a common part of the Civil Code; divides longer sections into shorter and more readable sections; replaces outdated references to other code sections; and also proposes to standardize terminology and guidelines relating to notices, recorded declarations, and governing documents. It would become operative on January 1, 2014, in order to give ample time for transition from the old law to new. There is no opposition to this bill. Status: Senate Judiciary Committee Position: Favor
AB 806 (Torres) Technical Companion Bill to AB 805 - This bill makes technical and conforming changes to other code sections so that all cross-references to the Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act are consistent with the comprehensive reorganization and recodification of that Act, as proposed by AB 805. It is contingent upon enactment of AB 805. Status: Senate Judiciary Committee Position: Favor
AB 1838 (Calderon) CID Fees for Required Documents - In 2011, C.A.R. sponsored AB 771 (Butler), which clarified exactly which documents sellers of homes in Homeowners Associations (HOAs) are required to provide to the prospective purchasers of a home in the HOAs Common Interest Development (CID). C.A.R.’s bill also requires that ONLY fees for the actual costs of preparing and procuring the required documents can be charged. This restriction is intended to eliminate the bundling of fees for the required documents with fees for other documents which can still be obtained and paid for at close of escrow or as agreed upon by the parties. AB 1838 Is sponsored by Associa, a national CID management company, and is intended to build upon the foundation established last year by CAR's AB 771. It proposes to clarify elements of the process by which units in common interest developments are purchased. It consolidates several procedural requirements in the code section amended by AB 771, requires that fees imposed by management companies requested by an HOA to change its records can only charge a "reasonable" fee for such services, and includes amendments requested by CAR tightening the requirement that only fees for provision of the statutorily required documents can be charged at the time the documents are requested, prohibiting imposition of a cancellation fee by the document provider if the transaction is not consummated, and specifically authorizing a Seller to directly provide to the Prospective Purchaser copies of the current version of any of the required documents if they are in the possession of the Seller. Status: Assembly Judiciary Committee Position: Not Rated File
AB 2273 (Wieckowski) Transfer of Title for CID Units - Sponsored by the Conference of Bar Associations and the Community Associations Institute (CAI), this bill is intended to address the problem of struggling homeowners in CIDs who are unwilling or unable to keep their HOA assessment obligations current. This problem is exacerbated when lenders take back ownership of the property but do not re-sell it in a timely manner, leaving the property vacant and assessments unpaid for extensive periods of time. AB 2273 requires, once a transfer of title has occurred on a unit in a CID, the new owner of the unit must provide the HOA a copy of the deed and notice of the purchaser's mailing address within 30 days of the title being transferred. CAR is working with the sponsors of AB 2273 to clarify language in the bill which is not clear as to the process it is creating and which party to the transaction must comply with the notice requirement. Status: Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee Position: Not Yet Rated
SB 561 (Corbett) Delinquent Assessment Collection - The Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act regulates the way that a Homeowners Association (HOA) can collect delinquent assessments by allowing them to collect reasonable costs and fees but requiring any assessment payments made by a homeowner to first be applied to any assessment balance and requiring an HOA to contact and work with the homeowner prior to enforcing a lien or foreclosing. Third party debt collectors hired by HOAs to collect delinquent assessments on their behalf are not governed by the same requirements and often convince homeowners to enter into contracts that waive their rights under the Davis-Stirling Act. This measure would require a third party to apply any payments made by a homeowner to any outstanding assessments prior to being applied to any other fees. While C.A.R. is supportive of placing regulations on third party debt collectors, it is opposed to this measure unless it is amended because, in its present form, it too severely restricts the ability of HOAs to collect delinquent assessments. Sponsored by the CA Alliance of Retired Americans (CARA), it is supported by the CA Advocates for Nursing Reform, Congresswoman Jackie Spier, Consumer Attorneys of CA, and the Older Women’s League of CA. In addition to CAR, it is opposed by the Community Associations Institute (CAI), California Association of Community Managers (CACM) and the Executive Council of homeowners (ECHO). Status: Assembly Judiciary Committee Position: Oppose Unless Amended
SB 616 (DeSaulnier) Clarification of HOA Meeting Requirements - The Senate Transportation and Housing Committee sponsored SB 563 (Chapter 257, 20011 Statutes) last year to generally prohibit boards of directors of common interest developments from taking actions on items of business outside of an open meeting, but specifically allowed such boards to conduct an electronic meeting in an emergency situation if all of the board members consented in writing to such a meeting. This bill corrects a drafting error in SB 563, clarifying that the written consent of all board members is only required for the board to take actions electronically, but not to hold an emergency meeting generally. Status: In Assembly Position: Favor
SB 1244 (Harman) Foreclosure Efficiency in CIDs - This measure is sponsored by the United Trustees Association to render more efficient the trustee's sale process for foreclosed homes in CIDs. The problem stems from the fact that more courts in California are prohibiting trustee's sales on court property, after the notice of trustee's sale has already been published. Re-publishing is expensive and time-consuming and adds more costs to the process. This bill will permit the change in location to be announced at the place originally designated for the sale. Specifically as to HOAs, the bill permits HOAs to post the property and mail the notice of default to the homeowner after doing its "due diligence" and failing to locate and personally serve the homeowner. Status: Senate Judiciary Committee Position: Support
2. Federal FHA Condo Rules Review In July of 2011, the FHA released Mortgagee Letter 2011-22: Condominium Approval Process for Single Family Housing - Consolidation and Update of Approval Requirements. The Mortgagee Letter was released along with an implementation schedule and the Project Approval and Processing Guide in an effort to clarify, expand, consolidate and update existing guidance.
In the new guidance, FHA made permanent the temporary measures from Mortgagee Letter 2011-03. The concentration limit is 50 percent but Homeownership Centers (HOC) may grant exceptions to go beyond 50 percent. FHA requires that 50 percent of units be owner-occupied but FHA will reduce this to 30 percent for new construction. At least 30 percent of units must be sold prior to endorsement of any mortgage by FHA. This pre-sale requirement is not applicable to existing projects or non-gut rehabilitation projects.
These changes have become a deterrent for condominium complexes to apply for FHA approval or renew their expiring approval. C.A.R. has spoken to the FHA regarding these issues. FHA has recognized there is a decreasing number of condo complexes approved for FHA financing and they are reviewing their requirements for possible adjustments.
B. Fair Housing/Equal Opportunity - Eva Garcia, IC AB 505 (Harkey) Performance Audit of Department of Housing Program Expenditures - In order to insure that the precious, and limited, bond proceeds from earlier propositions, such as IC, are awarded in a timely and effective fashion, this bill requires, on or before January 1, 2013 and every 4 years thereafter, the Bureau of State Audits to conduct a performance audit of special fund and general fund programs administered by the Department of Housing and Community Development. Status: Senate Rules Committee Position: Watch
AB 542 (Allen) Evaluation Process of Land Available for Regional Housing Development - This bill attempts to spur development of housing for lower income house-holds. It allows counties to permit densities less than required by current law for sites in the unincorporated areas of a county, if the site is owned by the county and is set aside for affordable housing. Status: Senate Transportation & Housing Committee Position: Watch
AB 1610 (Wagner) Preconditions to Filing Disabled Persons Access Challenges - This bill proposes to help decrease the number of lawsuits filed under the "ease of access" laws by requiring those intending to file such lawsuits to first notify the property owners of the perceived violation. Property owners would then have 30 days from the date of notice to respond with proposed action to remedy the condition, and 120 days to make the necessary changes or repairs. Status: Assembly Judiciary Committee Position: Support
AB 1878 (Gaines) Notice Requirements for Disability Access Reconstruction Mandates - In an attempt to give some litigation exposure relief to small businesses, this measure requires a 120 day corrective "Grace Period" to be provided before an ADA access lawsuit can be filed. "Micro-business" as referenced in this bill is defined as a business with average annual gross receipts of $2,500,000 or less over the previous 3 years. Status: Assembly Judiciary Committee Position: Support
AB 1892 (Halderman) Homeowners and Construction Defects - Existing law provides a detailed pre-litigation process for homeowners and home builders regarding evaluating potential construction defects before resorting to a lawsuit. It is known as the "SB 800" process and it is exceptionally complex and difficult to understand. This bill would require the Department of Consumer Affairs to post accurate and impartial information regarding construction defects and pre-litigation procedures on its website to help homeowners understand this process. Status: Business Professions & Consumer Protection Committee Position: Watch
AB 1964 (Yamada) Process Revisions to State Fair Employment and Housing Act - This bill is sponsored by the Sikh Coalition and proposes to clarify that "undue hardship" as defined in the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) applies to the "Religious Discrimination" section of FEHA. It also specifies that religious clothing and hairstyles qualify as a religious belief or observance and that segregating an employee from customers or the public is not a reasonable accommodation of an employee's religious beliefs. Status: Assembly Labor & Employment Committee Position: Watch
C. Housing Policy - Charlene Singley, IC 1. State AB 1672 (Torres) Housing-Related Parks (HRP) Program - It is the goal of Assemblywoman Torres, Chair of the Assembly Housing Committee, to improve the effectiveness of the Housing-Related Parks Program of the State Department of Housing and Community Development. Her bill will replace the term "housing starts" with the term "building permits" in order to eliminate some confusion within local governments regarding their eligibility for grants from the HRP. This small change in terminology will ensure that local governments receive awards under HRP for all affordable housing projects that they approve, thus enabling them to receive much-needed funding for parks. Status: Assembly Housing & Community Development Committee Position: Favor
AB 1999 (Brownley) Family Caregiver Discrimination - Proposes to modify the employment provisions of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) to prohibit discrimination based upon the "familial status" of an employee. Familial Status would be defined as including individuals who are assumed to have family caregiving responsibilities. "Family would be defined as a child, domestic partner, grandchild, grandparent, parent, parent-in-law, sibling or spouse. This bill is sponsored by the California Employment Lawyers and Equal Rights Advocates. Status: Assembly Labor & Employment Committee Position: Not Favor
SB 654 (Steinberg) Modification of Dissolved Redevelopment Agencies Funds Transfer Process - In response to the dissolution of the State's redevelopment agencies for Budget reasons, Senator Steinberg, President Pro Tem of the Senate, has introduced this bill to permit a host city or county of a dissolving redevelopment agency to retain the funds on deposit in the agency's housing fund. It expands the types of agency loans made by a host city or county that can be considered enforceable obligations and also permits the local housing authority or the State Department of Housing & Community Development (HCD) to retain these funds if the city or county chooses not to do so. Status: In Assembly Position: Watch
SB 1186 (Dutton) Notice Requirements for ADA Lawsuits - Senator Dutton is attempting to address the issue of frivolous and vexatious Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA lawsuits by providing businesses a 90-day window to address ADA violations without fear of litigation. Senator Dutton believes this legislation is needed in light of the recent increase of lawsuits involving small businesses for non-compliance with ADA requirements, and the efforts by plaintiffs' attorneys to extract financial settlements in order to avoid court appearances. Status: Senate Judiciary Committee Position: Support
SB 1198 (Calderon R.) Required Publication of Veterans Programs by Dept. of Veterans Affairs - In 2010, homeless veterans accounted for 1 in 150 veterans and about 1 in 9 veterans live in poverty. SB 1198 would require the county veterans' service offices to publicize, and give access to, information pertaining to benefits that are available to qualified homeless and disabled veterans. Status: Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs Position: Favor
SB 1388 (DeSaulnier) Prohibition on Using Inoperable Parking Meters - This bill proposes to establish a general rule that a vehicle owner may park without penalty in any parking space for up to the posted time limit if the parking meter or parking payment center is inoperable. It also permits a city or county to adopt a different rule if it provides adequate notice of the rule at parking locations, parking meters, or parking payment centers. This is an effort to create a statewide policy on dealing with broken parking meters as it currently is treated very differently from city to city and county to county. Status: Senate Floor Position: Watch
2. Federal Disposition of Government REO On February 27 the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced a pilot program, to be operated by Fannie Mae to sell nearly 2500 foreclosed properties in six hard hit foreclosure states, for the purpose of providing rental housing. This is the first pilot project to be offered in the Obama Administration’s plan to expedite the disposition of foreclosed properties held by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and FHA. Applications for pre-qualification for investors began on February 1. The latest announcement begins a further round of qualification with potential bidders required to demonstrate financial capacity, management capabilities and other qualifications. Only fully qualified bidders will be allowed to bid on pools ranging from 99 properties in Chicago to more than 600 in the Riverside/San Bernardino/Los Angeles area.
C.A.R. continues to express the opposition of members from around the state about whether this pilot should be conducted at all in areas with diminished REO inventories, making the point that owner occupants and small investors should have more assistance to take advantage of foreclosed properties. The FHFA Announcement and further details are available at: www.fhfa.gov/webfiles/23403/REOPR22712F.pdf.
Lender and State Attorney General Settlement In March, the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers agreed to a landmark $25 billion settlement with a coalition of state attorneys general and federal agencies. The settlement addresses past mortgage loan servicing, foreclosure abuses and fraud, provides substantial financial relief to borrowers harmed by bank fraud, and establishes significant new homeowner protections for the future.The joint state-federal group announced the agreement with the nation's five largest servicers: Bank of America Corporation, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Wells Fargo & Company, Citigroup, Inc., and Ally Financial, Inc. (formerly GMAC). Collectively, the five banks service nearly 60 percent of the nation’s mortgages.
Under the agreement, the five servicers agree to: a) Commit a minimum of $17 billion directly to borrowers through a series of national homeowner relief effort options, including principal reduction. Servicers will likely provide up to an estimated $32 billion in direct homeowner relief. b) Commit $3 billion to an underwater mortgage refinancing program. c) Pay $5 billion to the states and federal government ($4.25 billion to the states and $750 million to the federal government). d) Provide homeowners with comprehensive new protections from new mortgage loan servicing and foreclosure standards.
Additionally, a) An independent monitor will ensure mortgage servicer compliance. b) States can pursue civil claims outside of the agreement including securitization claims as well as criminal cases. c) Borrowers and investors can pursue individual, institutional or class action cases regardless of agreement.
FHA Seller Concessions In March the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (
HUD) announced a
proposed rule on permitted seller concessions for loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). This proposed rule is one of three initiatives HUD is undertaking to contribute to the restoration of the Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund (MMIF). Similar to what was proposed in the President’s budget, the rule limits concessions to 3 percent or $6,000, whichever is greater. It also limits acceptable use of concessions to borrower closing costs, prepaid items, discount points, the FHA Upfront Premium, and interest rate buy-downs. The seller concession cannot exceed the actual closing costs prohibiting cash to the borrower at closing. Comments are due March 26, 2012. When the rule was initially proposed in 2010 HUD was working to reduce permitted concessions from 6 percent to 3 percent with no $6,000 cap.
Housing Relief for Veterans In an effort to ensure U.S. service men and women are not left out of recent efforts to assist and make whole homeowners who have faced difficult times with homeownership, the Government has implemented a number of steps to assist them. Often times U.S. service members and veterans face unique challenges in homeownership. Under a recent agreement between 49 state Attorneys General and five of the nation’s largest servicers, the servicers will: a) Conduct a review of every servicemember foreclosed upon since 2006 and provide any who were wrongly foreclosed upon with compensation equal to a minimum of lost equity, plus interest and $116,785; b) Refund a servicemembers money lost because they were wrongfully denied the opportunity to reduce their mortgage payments through lower interest rates.
D. Manufactured Housing - Diane Conaway, IC AB 317 (Calderon C) Exemption from Local Rent Control for Second Homes - Sponsored by the Western Manufactured Housing Communities Association (WMA), this measure proposes to exempt spaces in a mobile home park or manufactured housing community from a local rent control ordinance if that home is not the sole residence of the home owner (i.e., is a second or third home). The owner must have an ownership interest in another place of residence, other than than a residence solely occupied by the mobile home owner's child, parent, or other member of the owner's immediate family. Status: Senate Judiciary Committee Position: Support
AB 1830 (Perez) Water Service in Mobile Home Parks (MHPs) - Sponsored by the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation (CRLA), this bill intends to provide residents of mobile home parks and manufactured housing communities the same rights and protections as "stick-built" housing residents enjoy when they purchase water services through investor-owned utilities. It clarifies the Public Utilities Code on the matter of "rate relief" for park or community residents in instances where water rates charged by mobile home parks and manufactured housing communities are found to be unjust and/or unreasonable. Such relief could include restitution of funds to residents who have been overcharged. Status: Assembly Utilities & Commerce Committee Position: Watch
AB 1938 (Williams) Required Summary of Charges in MHP Rental Agreements - This bill is sponsored by the Golden State Manufactured Home Owners League in an attempt to clarify leases for homeowners in mobile home parks and manufactured housing communities, as well as improve notice processes for buyers and residents. It requires the long term leases for a space in a park or community to include a Summary Page of rent, utilities, and other charges that are part of the lease. It also clarifies a prospective home owner's rescission rights under such leases. Status: Assembly Housing & Community Development Committee Position: Favor
AB 2150 (Atkins) Notice Regarding MHP Homeowners Bill of Rights - The Mobile Home Residency Law (MRL) requires park owners to provide residents a copy of the MRL annually or provide them a notice as to its availability form park management and they can request a copy at no charge. This bill proposes to add a 'HOMEOWNERS BILL OF RIGHTS" to the MRL which would require management to provide a copy of this document to all homeowners every year. The notice would describe various rights available to homeowners as established by statute and regulations of the State. Status: Assembly Housing & Community Development Committee Position: Not Favor
AB 2272 (Wagner) Management Authority to Regulate Compliance with MHP Rules and Regulations - Sponsored by WMA, the bill attempts to make a slight modification to current law regarding the ability of park owners to assure quiet enjoyment of their residents and prevent disturbances that disrupt their living arrangements. It proposes to authorize the filing of a petition for injunction to the limited jurisdiction of the Superior Court to promote a public policy intended to encourage pursuit of remedies for disruptive behavior without termination of tenancy and eviction. Status: Assembly Judiciary Committee Position: Favor
SB 149 (Correa) Permitting Process for Operation of MHPs - Senator Correa chairs the Senate Select Committee on Manufactured Housing. He introduced this bill to attempt to broaden the public's knowledge of the MRL in as cost-efficient manner as possible. It requires the State Housing & Community Development Department or a local enforcement agency to include, in any invoice it sends to mobile home parks or manufactured housing communities, a notice as to the existence of the MRL. Studies by his Select Committee have revealed that many such parks and communities that are not members of state trade associations have no idea the MRL even exists. Status: Assembly Housing & Community Development Committee Position: Watch
E. Multi-Family Housing - Frank Oti, IC AB 1726 (Allen) Swimming Pool Safety - Sponsored by the National Swimming Pool Foundation (NSF), the stated goal of this legislation is to help prevent drowning, injuries, and the spread of water-related illnesses at public swimming pools and spas by ensuring that all public pools are maintained and operated by well-trained pool operators. As introduced the bill would require the owner of a public swimming pool to ensure that someone on staff is a qualified pool operator by January 1, 2014. To verify qualifications, a pool operator would have to be certified by taking 14 hours of pool safety and sanitation courses. CAR participated in several "stakeholder" meetings with the Author and sponsors of this legislation, raising several concerns about how such an effort could be implemented. The Author has responded to concerns expressed by agreeing to amendments limiting the scope of the bill by defining public pools as only those covered by ADA and exempting lodgings with 15 rooms or fewer. Status: Assembly Health Committee Position: Oppose unless Amended
AB 1978 (Galgiani) Collection Box Requirements for Salvageable Personal Property - Sponsored by Goodwill Industries, this measure is intended to create an enforcement mechanism that protects the public's desire to donate goods for charitable purposes and at the same time protect the rights of property owners that permit collection boxes on their properties. This is in response to the surge of unattended collection boxes placed on rental housing and retail properties without the property owners' consent. AB 1978 would require the express consent of a property owner before a collection box could be placed on his or her property. Status: Assembly Judiciary Committee Position: Favor
AB 2114 (Smyth) Public Swimming Pool Safety - This bill is sponsored by the California Spa and Pool Industry Education Council. It is a "technical bill "and replaces the term "main drains" with "suction outlet". The intention is eliminate references to "drains" or "main drains" to allow new building codes to be updated to reflect the proper terminology. This change is needed because regulations that require public pools to have a main drain are now inconsistent with new Health & Safety Code requirements. The requirement that a pool can be emptied from the main drain can only work if the pool is above ground level. Status: Assembly Business Professions & Consumer Protection Committee Position: Favor
AB 2212 (Block) Human Trafficking and Civil Penalties - This measure clarifies that buildings or locations used for human trafficking can be declared a public nuisance and provides that half of any civil penalties collected from a perpetrator of such crimes shall be directed to fund grants for human trafficking victim services and prevention programs. City Attorney Offices in Los Angeles and San Diego support AB 2212 because they believe it provides prosecutors a new tool in seeking an immediate end to human trafficking operations. The bill authorizes a maximum civil fine of $25,000 for conviction of this crime. Status: Assembly Judiciary Committee Position: Watch
AB 2466 (Blumenfield) Freezing Assets of Human Traffickers - Sponsored by the Alameda County District Attorney's Office, this bill proposes to permit local authorities to impose freezing of assets in human trafficking cases prior to final judgment in the case. Prosecuting agencies, when filing a human trafficking complaint, are permitted to file a petition for protective relief necessary to preserve property or assets that could be used to pay for remedies, fines and/or restitution. Status: Assembly Judiciary Committee Position: Watch
AB 2644 (Butler) Charging Stations for Electric Vehicles - This bill would require the Building Standards Commission, as a part of the next triennial edition of the California Building Standards Code adopted after January 1, 2014, to adopt building standards for the construction, installation, and alteration of electric vehicle charging stations for parking spaces serving single-family residential real property. Status: Assembly Housing & Community Development Committee Position: Watch
SB 1163 (Walters) Special Access Liability Insulation for Small Businesses - Sponsored by a small business in Senator Walters" District, Cummings Meyers, this bill would require plaintiffs in Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) lawsuits involving a small business to issue a notice to the small business before suing. The business would have 120 days to bring the facility in question into ADA compliance. After 120 days, if the condition is improved to meet required standards, the lawsuit would have to be dropped. Status: Senate Judiciary Committee Position: Support
F. Property Management - Mike Fracisco, IC AB 1679 (Bonilla) Disposition of Security Deposits after Termination of Tenancy - This bill is sponsored by the California Apartment Association (CAA) and will permit landlords and tenants to mutually agree to an electronic delivery of a security deposit refund and itemized statement. Status: Senate Transportation & Housing Committee Position: Favor
AB 1699 (Torres) Revisions to HCD Loan Authority for Rental Housing Construction - This measure authorizes the Department of Housing & Community Development (HCD) to extend terms of any existing rental housing development loan and the period of repayment as long as the housing is being operated in a manner consistent with the regulatory agreement it was initially based upon and the extension is necessary in order for the housing facility to continue to operate. The current terms of the loan agreements do not give HCD authority to renegotiate the financing of these projects to allow for additional debt to fund needed improvements. Status: Assembly Housing & Community Development Committee Position: Favor
AB 1918 (Jones) Revision to Unlawful Detainer Procedures Criteria - The Conference of Bar Associations is sponsoring this bill to make all notice provisions in unlawful detainer proceedings consistent. It amends the Code of Civil Procedure to give one who is being deposed in an unlawful detainer action five (5) days, rather than the current thirty (30), to approve or make changes in the deposition transcript before the transcript is deemed approved. Under current law, an answer must be filed within 5 days; notice required for a deposition is 5 days; responses to written discovery are due within 5 days; and discovery motions and motions for summary judgment may be heard on 5 days' notice. AB 1918 proposes to cure this statutory inconsistency. It was opposed in Committee by the Western Center on Law & Poverty and failed passage on its first vote. Reconsideration was granted and it will be heard again at a later date. Status: Assembly Judiciary Committee Position: Favor
AB 1925 (Ma) Temporary Relocation Assistance Guidelines for Rental Housing Rehabilitation - Sponsored by California Apartment Association (CAA), this bill is an attempt to establish a "reasonable" standard for relocation of tenants costs when a landlord is attempting to make repairs and improvements in his or her rental property. It requires rental property owners in rent control communities to pay a tenant household a daily rate of $275 if the owner must temporarily relocate (for a period of 20 days or less) the tenants in order to make the necessary repairs and/or improvements. Property owners must also pay the tenants' actual moving expenses if it is also necessary to move the tenant's possessions. The intent of the bill is to thwart such onerous standards as imposed in San Francisco where the local ordinance requires relocation payments of $5,101 per tenant in each unit, up to $15,304 per unit when temporary relocation is necessary for unit improvements. An additional $3401 must be paid to each tenant who is disabled, 60 years of age or older, or has a child under the age of 18 living in the unit. These requirements apply whether the relocation is temporary or permanent. Status: Assembly Housing & Community Development Committee Position: Support
AB 1953 (Ammiano) Tenant Notices - Sponsored by several tenant groups, this bill would permit tenants to avoid payment of rent if a notice is not provided by a new landlord within a specific time frame as to the change in rental property ownership and the new address for rent payments. Forfeiture of rent lawfully owed by a tenant has no direct relationship to what could be as simple a problem as a new landlord forgetting to update the tenant on a property ownership change. The tenant's only obligation under a rental agreement is to timely send the rent payment to the landlord they have been sending the payment to each month. It would not take long for a new owner to figure out the old owner is receiving the rent payments and a notice to the tenant of the ownership change is necessary immediately. Status: Assembly Committee on Housing & Community Development Position: Oppose
AB 2044 (Wagner) Service of Process on Unlawful Detainer Actions - This bill modifies procedures for service of process in actions for unlawful detainer. It would supplement current law by providing that service of a prejudgment claim of right to possession may be served on any person who is over 18 years of age and apparently left in charge of the premises. It also expands who can provide service of process by including any person who is at least 18 years of age and not a party to the action. Status: Assembly Judiciary Committee Position: Favor
AB 2521 (Blumenfield) Personal Property Left on Premises; Guidelines for Disposal - This bill would modify one of the statements in the notice provided by the landlord after a tenancy has terminated and the premises have been vacated by the tenant, to read: "Because this property is believed to be worth less than $700, it may be kept, sold, or destroyed without further notice if you fail to reclaim it within the time indicated above." This bill also provides that the landlord may retain "abandoned" property for his or her own use or dispose of it in any manner if the landlord reasonably believes that the total resale value of the property not released is less than $700. The current value established by this statute is $300. AB 2521 is sponsored by the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles (AAGLA). Status: Assembly Judiciary Committee Position: Favor
SB 1055 (Lieu) Requirements re Forms of Rent Payments - Sponsored by the Western Center on Law & Poverty, this measure proposes to prohibit a landlord or a landlord's agent from requiring cash as the exclusive method of rent payment or security deposit. (This prohibition already exists in current law.) The bill requires any landlord or landlord's agent that offers the option of payment of rent or deposit of security online to also accept payment of rent or deposit of security by check or money order for any lease or rental agreement that is first effective on or after January 1, 2013. CAR is working with the Author to make clear electronic payments are acceptable and in certain circumstances can be required if rents have been paid with bad checks or other failures to pay when required. Status: Senate Judiciary Committee Position: Oppose Unless Amended
SB 1191 (Simitian) Landlord Disclosures to Prospective Tenants - This bill is the product of an annual "contest" Senator Simitian conducts in his district called "There Oughta Be A Law". The "Winner" of this contest has a bill introduced for the concept by the Senator. SB 1191 is this year's "Winner". It would require every landlord who is in default under a mortgage or deed of trust and who has received a notice of sale from the mortgagee, trustee, or other person authorized to take the property to sale to disclose the notice of sale to any prospective tenant prior to executing a lease agreement for the property that is set to be sold. The bill would also provide that a violation of these provisions would invalidate the lease and entitle the tenant to recovery of all rent paid under the lease. Status: Senate Judiciary Committee Position: Watch
SB 1229 (Pavley) Limitations on Pet Requirements in Rental Units - This measure is sponsored by the Paw Project and the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association. It cites as a problem the landlords around the State requiring potential tenants with pets to have them declawed (cats) or devocalized (dogs) in order to be considered for a tenancy. This bill proposes to make it illegal for a landlord to advertise or require declawing or devocalization of an animal as a condition of tenancy. It establishes a civil fine of $1000 for each instance of this type for which the landlord is found to have so required. Status: Senate Judiciary Committee Position: Not Favor
SB 1394 (Lowenthal) Carbon Monoxide Devices & Smoke Detectors - This legislation is sponsored by the California State Firefighters' Association. It is intended to further refine and update the laws governing installation and maintenance of carbon monoxide devices and smoke detectors. In summary, this bill requires that, after January 1, 2014, the State Fire Marshall cannot approve and list a smoke detector as acceptable for sale unless it displays the date of manufacture, provides a place where date of installation can be written, incorporates "hush" and "end-of-life" features, and if battery operated, must contain a tamper-resistant 10 year battery. Also after January 1, 2014, any owner of a residential dwelling unit seeking a permit for $1000 or more of alterations or repairs to the dwelling must update the smoke detectors in the home to meet new requirements. Owners of rental dwellings are also required, after the "magic" 2014 date, to ensure that smoke detectors are operable at the time a tenant takes possession of the rental home or unit. The bill DOES NOT require property owners to retrofit existing smoke detectors that are operable. The bill does make it illegal, after January 1, 2014, for retailers to sell battery-operated smoke alarms without a 10-year tamper-resistant battery. Status: Senate Transportation & Housing Committee Position: Oppose Unless Amended
SB 1473 (Hancock) & AB 2610 (Skinner) Termination Notice Requirements for Foreclosed Rental Properties - These bills are sponsored by the Attorney General, Kamala D. Harris. They propose to "match" the notice requirements in federal law regarding tenants in foreclosed homes. The "problem" is that the federal 90-day notice requirement to a tenant to vacate the foreclosed unit, absent a lease with a longer duration, has a December 31, 2012 "sunset" date. The provisions in both SB 1473 and AB 2610 extend the 90-day notice requirement permanently in California Law. CAR is opposed to these bills unless they contain a sunset date similar to that in federal law. Status: AB 2610- Assembly Housing & Community Development Committee; SB 1473- Senate Judiciary Committee Position: Oppose Unless Amended
IV. Report from HOA Delinquent Assessments Working Group - Dona Crowder, Chair The problem of delinquent HOA assessments is rampant throughout CIDs in California specifically, and the country generally. HOAs are facing a daunting fiscal burden of providing the services required by the CC&Rs in the face of diminishing operating revenues. Many home owners in CIDs are creating significant budgetary deficiencies for their HOAs when they refuse to, or are incapable of, maintaining a current status on their HOA assessment obligations. Following completion of two conference call meetings, the recommended Options, noted above, are submitted to the Housing Committee for its discussion and consideration. (See attached IBP*)