Portola Plaza Hotel, Redwood Room I/II Monterey, California January 18, 2007 7:00am – 9:00amPresiding: Cynthia Wood, Chair Ilse Cordoni, Vice Chair Ruth Hayles, Vice Chair Frank Nelson, Committee LiaisonStaff: Ron Kingston Natalie CardenasI. Opening CommentsII. Proposed 2007 LegislationA. Removal of Illegally Parked Cars –Last session, the Governor signed AB 2210 (Goldberg), which substantially altered the process for removal of illegally parked cars in residential rental property. While C.A.R secured several amendments to the bill, one amendment was placed into itduring the final days of session which are excessively burdensome and unfair to landlords and property managers. For example, if specific written information about the towed vehicle is not delivered to the tow truck company in a proscribed manner, alandlord will be guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to a fine of $1,000 and penalty of $1,500, even if the failure to make the disclosure was caused by tenant in-action or error. C.A.R. will seek amendments to the new law to remove these provisions.B. Condominium conversions – Assembly Member Lori Saldana introduced two bills last session to effectively stop condominium conversions statewide. This session, Assembly Member Saldana is the new chair of the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee and has stated she will introduce legislation similar to her condominium conversion bills from last year. Also in 2006, Senator Denise Ducheny introduced a condominium conversion bill that if signed into law, would have created statewide rent control and just cause eviction for residential rental properties during the last 6 months prior to conversion as well as amend the tenant notification requirements for conversions. C.A.R. defeated these measures last year. A similar bill may be introduced this year.
C. Megan’s Law – The California Apartment Association (CAA) and the California Housing Council (CHC) sponsored separate Megan’s Law legislation in 2006 to address the issue of landlord liability as it applies to registered sex offenders living in or applying for tenancy in rental property. CAA’s two Megan’s Law bills were defeated in the Assembly last year. CHC’s legislation was passed by the Legislature but vetoed by the Governor. C.A.A. has indicated it will sponsor legislation in 2007 on Megan’s Law, similar to the bill introduced last year. In October, the C.A.R. Property Management Committee formed a working group to explore theissues surrounding Megan’s Law and landlord liability and potentially develop a new recommended position for C.A.R. The Megan’s Law working group is scheduled to meet on Wednesday, January 17, 2006 from 10:30am to 12:00pm in the Los Angeles Room at the Marriott Hotel, Monterey.D. Mandatory Fires Sprinklers in Residential Care Facilities – In 2006, Assembly member Betty Karnette authored legislation to require the installation of fire sprinklers in residential care facilities for seniors. C.A.R. successfully secured amendments to the bill to ensure facilities that operate in rental properties to cover all costs of construction, housing relocation, and other installation expenses to the landlord upfront. The bill was ultimately passed by the Legislature but vetoed by the Governor. However, a highly publicized tragedy occurred over Thanksgiving weekend in Sacramento County, where two elderly women residents of a senior residential care facility were killed in a fire. Firefighters observed that the victims would have survived had there been operable fire sprinklers in the facility. It can be anticipated that another bill will be introduced to require fire sprinkler installation in senior residential care facilities.E. Security deposit guarantee program in residential real property – Since 1996, more than a million tenants in forty states have voluntarily opted to purchase a surety bond rather than pay their landlord a security deposit in connection with the rental of residential property. SureDeposit is expected to sponsor legislation next year that will authorize landlords to offer and tenants to voluntarily accept the purchase of a surety bond in lieu of a security deposit. A few years ago, the same company sponsored a bill which died in the house of origin.F. Fair Credit Reporting Act and Investigative Consumer Reporting Act – The Investigative Consumer Reporting Act (ICRA) was amended in 1998 in a manner that the author and proponents did not anticipate (i.e. how it would apply to unlawful detainer cases that do not go to judgment). It is being argued before the court that reporting agencies and landlords are violating ICRA when they request specific information about a prospective tenant and as such, litigants are seeking substantial damages. A company is considering whether to sponsor a bill to amend the law concerning reports on unlawful detainer cases and reports by landlords that are collected concerning tenants that pay rent late. Should a bill be introduced, it should be regarded as highly controversial.G. Air conditioner requirements in residential real property – Due to this summer’s heat wave and the resulting deaths of low-income renters in non-air conditioned units, particularly in Single Room Occupancy (SROs) units, there is potential that new legislation could be introduced to mandate air conditioning in certain types of rental housing.H. Law revision commission on time limits in unlawful detainer actions – The law provides for the expeditious processing of an unlawful detainer (UD) case so landlords can recover possession when a tenant wrongfully refuses to vacate. The law that establishes a special time limit for UD cases is mixed in with the laws for other types of civil litigation. The Law Revision Commission is recommending amendments to existing law that would provide for separate code sections stating the special time limits for UD cases. The proposal would also amend existing law to state that the 20-day requirement for deposition involving the production of records would apply to UD cases. This may delay processing UD cases. Finally, the Commission is recommending a new law which would establish a shortened five day notice requirement for discovery motion in an UD case or other summary proceeding for possession of real property. The Property Management Committee will review the recommendations and may consider how it wants to respond to the proposals.I. ResidentialUtility Billing Services (RUBS) – The California Apartment Association (CAA) will sponsor legislation in 2007 to create statewide regulations regarding Residential Utility Billing Services (RUBS). Tenants groups are expected to oppose this measure.J. Tenant Mailboxes – Tenants groups may sponsor legislation next year to mandate the installation of locked mailboxes in residential rental properties.K. Unlawful Detainer Notice – Tenant groups are expected to sponsor legislation in 2007 to limit the days of the week that a landlord may use to serve a curable unlawful detainer. L. Handicap Accessibility in Residential Rental Housing – In 2006, the Sacramento Bee ran a series of stories on handicap accessibility for the disabled. C.A.R anticipates legislation to be introduced in 2007 to address the rights of alleged aggrieved persons to bring lawsuits against businesses, including residential rental properties, for violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act. M. Ellis Act – Tenant groups may sponsor legislation in 2007 to amend the Ellis Act to address an issue that was recently considered by the Los Angeles City Council. In Los Angeles, residential rental propertieswere demolished and cleared. Within 5 years of the demolition of the original rental units, replacement rental units were constructed. The City Council sought to impose price controls pursuant to the Ellis Act on these newly constructed rentalunits provided that the replacement units be available for rent within the first 5 years of when the property owner went out of business. III. Report from the C.A.R. Megan’s Law Working Group – In October 2006, the C.A.R. PropertyManagement Committee formed a Megan’s Law Working Group to explore the issues surrounding Megan’s Law and landlord liability to determine whether C.A.R. should support or sponsor legislation. The committee will hear a report from the Megan’s Law Working Group.IV. OtherV. Adjournment