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2020 QA revisions

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The Rent Cap and Just Cause Eviction Law Q&A has been revised as follows:

The rent cap and just cause eviction law ("AB 1482") has been temporarily superseded by the COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act of 2020 ("AB 3088") and the federal eviction moratorium order issued by the Centers for Disease Control ("CDC Order"). Under AB 3088 all residential properties are now, and through February 1, 2021, subject generally to the just cause eviction rules despite the fact that those properties are formally exempt from AB 1482 generally. This is true even if the tenant has not been in occupancy for more than 12 months. (But vacation rentals are still outside the just cause eviction rules).

Additionally, the CDC Order, which is in effect through December 31, 2020, may provide rights to a tenant to remain in a property even if the landlord would have a right to terminate a tenancy under the "no-fault" eviction rules of AB 1482.

AB 3088 also included clean-up legislation for AB 1482. Ambiguities in calculating the CPI adjustments for rent increases have been largely eliminated. The rent increase chart has been updated to reflect the new figures.

The ambiguity regarding the exemption for certain duplexes has been fixed by eliminating the word “duplex” altogether. The exemption now applies to a  property containing two separate dwelling units within a single structure in which the owner occupied one of the units as the owner’s principal place of residence at the beginning of the tenancy, so long as the owner continues in occupancy, and neither unit is an accessory dwelling unit or a junior accessory dwelling unit.

The Industry Guidance Showings FAQ has been revised as follows:
Question #20 states that agents may hold “non-traditional” Open Houses. An open house sign may be posted but all signs and advertisements must include a rider or express condition indicating that appointments or digital sign-in are required. Additionally, all of the cleaning and social distancing protocols must be adhered to, including cleaning and disinfecting of commonly used surfaces before and after each showing. 

Question #21 states the revised BPPP allows for both the listing agent and the buyer’s agent to be on the property in addition to the buying party. A “buying party” is not limited to just a single individual. As far as a seller or tenant is concerned, they are to be advised, in accordance with their legal rights, that they should not present within a dwelling at the same time as other individuals.

Question #25 states that where possible, do not clean floors by sweeping or other methods that can disperse pathogens into the air. Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter wherever possible.

Question #27 states the agent who shows the property shall follow cleaning and disinfecting protocols and provide sanitation products unless otherwise agreed. Keep in mind that the brokerage whose plan is being implemented (almost always the listing brokerage) must regularly evaluate the plan for compliance and correct deficiencies identified.

Question #35 states that while all visitors must wear face coverings when entering the property, for individuals with disabilities who cannot wear a face covering or face shield, the showing agent will engage in an interactive process with the individual to discuss any available reasonable accommodations.

Question #38 states that the requirement that all disposable covers including masks, gloves or booties are to be discarded has been eliminated. 

The Rent Cap and Just Cause Eviction Law Q&A has been updated.
Question #10, containing a chart for the CPI figures in various counties, has been updated as follows: 

Counties**** April to April CPI until April 2021
 LA, Orange*** .7%*
 Riverside, San Bernardino*** .9% (based on May)**
 San Diego*** .3% (based on May)**
 SF, Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Mateo*** 1.1%*
 All other counties .9%

Question #29 provides further explanation of the exemption for “residential real property that is alienable separate from the title to any other dwelling unit.” While this phrase generally includes single-family properties, it does not always do so. Specifically, it does not include a single-family property where only portions of the property are rented out separately (Owens v. City of Oakland (2020)).  However, such an owner may still qualify for other exemptions from the just cause eviction requirements based on renting out an owner-occupied property.  


The Requirements When Using Consumer Reports or Credit Scores To Screen Tenants Q&A has been revised.  It has been expanded to cover consumer reports in addition to credit reports under Fair Credit Report Act (FCRA) , Consumer Credit Report Agencies Act (CCRAA) and Investigative Consumer Reporting Agencies Act (ICRAA).  Signification revisions were made to the following questions:

  • Q1 has been expanded to discuss consumer reports, credit reports being a subset;
  • Q2 has been expanded to cover requirements for obtaining authorization for consumer report under ICRAA;
  • Q5 has been expanded to include the notice requirements for an adverse action based on a consumer report;
  • Q10 has been expanded to include liability for failing to provide required notices under ICRAA; and
  • Q11 has been added to the address the use of criminal history information as a consumer report.

The Landlord-Tenant Law: Pets and Assistance (Service and Support) Animals Q&A has been significantly revised. It has been updated to incorporate the California fair housing regulations that went into effect January 1, 2020.  Sections III. Support Animals as a Reasonable Accommodation, IV. Service Animals as a Civil Right, Not as a Reasonable Accommodation and V Assistance Animal Rules Applying to both Service and & Support Animals have the most substantive revisions. In particular, please note the changes in the following questions:

  • Q10 regarding the definition of a “support animal”
  • Q12 regarding what information may be sought as related to a support animal
  • Q13 regarding sample written verification
  • Q14 regarding animal vests or online certificates
  • Q15 regarding insufficient written verification
  • Q16 regarding when vicious support animal may be rejected
  • Q17 regarding when service animals are allowed on the premises
  • Q18 regarding definition of a “service animal”
  • Q19 regarding what questions may be asked to verify a service animal
  • Q24 regarding interactive process and undue burden when the homeowner’s policy prohibits an assistance animal
  • Q25 regarding additional rules applicable to assistance animals

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