x
Transaction Center

REALTOR® Secure Transaction

Realtor® Secure Transaction is your place to discover, access and master the essential tools for a modern, efficient and secure transaction.


Transactions - zipForm® Edition

Transaction management and forms software with all the must-have features, including current statewide contracts, local forms, and more.

Transaction Products zipForm® Edition Service Providers Forms Libraries Transactions, zipForm® Edition Support
Forms Advisor™ & Forms Tutor®

Free advice to help you understand the form you're using with Forms Tutor® and identify which form you need for your transaction with Forms Advisor™


Standard Forms

C.A.R. Standard Forms are developed by the C.A.R. Legal Department which gathers input from real estate professionals and attorneys to create user-friendly, comprehensive, and dependable forms.


C.A.R. Home Inspector Certification Program

C.A.R. now offers a list of Certified Home Inspectors for our REALTORS® members.  Participants of this program have completed certain background and education requirements.  Click Here to see the program details and a directory of Certified Home Inspectors.  


Transaction Tips

Advice, Support and materials to improve your transactions.

Transaction Tools Support Register for FREE Training Webinars
C.A.R. Business Products

Your one-stop-source for real estate products, forms, education, high-tech tools and more


Leasing & Property Management Resource Center

Everything you need for a successful property management & leasing business


Member Profitability Hub

A collection of educational and technology resources designed to help you achieve profitability and better prepare for your financial present and future.


Mobile Apps

Download the latest C.A.R. mobile apps, including CARmojis & Stickers, C.A.R., Legal Hotline, CA REALTOR® EXPO, and zipForm Mobile.


California Residential Purchase Agreement (RPA) 2021

This is a resource page for all things RPA 2021. It includes links to the RPA and RPA-related forms, training, legal presentations, and publications.


Legal Q&As and Disclosure Charts

Legal articles, many in question and answer format, are currently available on over 150 subjects in 50-plus categories.


Legal Launchpad

Need help on a legal issue? First, pick one of the topics.


Legal Tools

Quick Guides (1-page articles), PowerPoint presentations, and videos on key legal topics.


Legal Live Webinars

Wish you could catch up on California real estate law without having to read even more documents? Relax and watch a video as C.A.R.’s Legal Live Webinars bring you up-to-date on the hottest topics in real estate law.


Ombudsman Hotline

If you're a member looking to resolve a minor dispute or communication issue with another REALTOR®, a C.A.R. ombudsman may be able to help!


Peer-to-Peer Ethics

C.A.R. REALTOR® volunteers are specifically trained and are available to answer questions from other members about the Code of Ethics, and can provide information and limited counseling concerning its proper interpretation.


Transaction Rescue™

Your lifeline to the lending community formerly known as the Finance Helpline and Mortgage Rescue™. Find contacts and answers to all mortgage related questions, and problems that arise in your real estate transaction. Get assistance today!

Lending Resources
Customer Service

Looking for additional assistance? The Customer Contact Center is looking forward to serving you Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:45 p.m.


Consumer Mediation

The C.A.R. Real Estate Mediation Center for Consumers has mediators available to assist buyers and sellers (as well as other parties to real estate transactions) in resolving their disputes.


C.A.R. Legal Hotline

Did you know that for zero dollars and zero cents, you can speak with an attorney about your transaction? If you don't believe us, check it out yourself.


CLOSE

What is This?
Add a quick link to this page from the Homepage when you are signed in
Share Article

2023 New Laws

 

This chart summarizes new laws passed by the California Legislature that may affect REALTORS® in 2023. For the full text of a law, click onto the legislative number or go to http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/ for California laws. A legislative bill may be referenced in more than one section.

 

Topic

Description

Brokers' licensing:

2-years' experience requirement for broker applicants must be within the five-year period prior to the date of application. Exception for those holding a college degree in real estate

 

Currently, when applying for a broker's license, an applicant must demonstrate two years of general real estate experience (while holding a license as a sales agent), or a college degree with a major or minor in real estate.

This law requires the 2 years’ general real estate experience to be within the 5-year period immediately prior to the date of the application for a broker’s license. In considering a petition for a broker's license, the commissioner may treat a degree from a four-year college or university, which course of study included a major or minor in real estate, as the equivalent of two years’ general real estate experience. The commissioner may consider degrees that were completed before the five-year period immediately prior to the date of the application for a broker’s license.

Assembly Bill 2745 is codified as Business and Professions Code § 10150.6.

Effective January 1, 2023.

 

Escrows: Drug offenses no longer disqualifying

Removes an offense involving controlled substances from the list of offenses that disqualify a person from serving in any capacity as an officer, director, stockholder, trustee, agent, or employee of an escrow agent, or in any position involving any duties with an escrow agent.

 

The Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) licenses and regulates a variety of financial services and professionals, including independent escrow agents. The purpose of California's Escrow Law is to protect members of the public who entrust their money or other assets to independent escrow agents. Escrow Law prohibits a person from receiving an escrow license if that person has committed specified crimes, such as robbery, burglary, theft, forgery, counterfeiting, controlled substance, and extortion.

Many of the specified offenses identified in Escrow Law prohibiting licensure are tied directly to the qualifications or duties of an escrow agent. Because escrow agents play a critical role in effecting high-value transactions, such as the sale of real estate, offenses involving dishonesty and fraud are highly relevant, though it is worth revisiting the specific merits of any listed offense, such as offenses related to controlled substances, in evaluating an applicant's suitability

Which offenses matter to the duties of an escrow agent is more than a theoretical debate. Applicants are routinely denied licensure because of prior records, including for drug offenses. According to data provided by the author's office, DFPI received 2,648 escrow employment applications in 2020-21 and denied 17 due to applicants' prior criminal history. Of those 17 denials, seven applications were denied due to criminal histories related to controlled substances.

According to the Author

"SB 1348 removes offenses involving controlled substances from the list of crimes requiring automatic license denial under escrow laws administered by the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation. These changes balance consumer protection with California's goal to allow former offenders to achieve meaningful employment."

 

Senate Bill 1348 is codified as Financial Code § 17414.1.

Effective January 1, 2023.

 

Homeowner's Associations:
Owner's right to rent a portion of their unit

Bans HOAs from prohibiting the rental or leasing of a portion of a separate interest in situations where the homeowner still lives on site.

 

AB 1410 addresses a number of HOA issues. However, this summary discusses only the part of the law pertaining to rentals.

 

Allowing Rentals in Owner-Occupied Homes: Recently the Legislature passed, and the Governor signed into law AB 3182 (Ting), Chapter 198, Statutes of 2020, which requires CIDs to allow at least 25 percent of owners to rent or lease out their units. However, AB 3182 applies to situations where the entire unit is rented out and does not count owner-occupied units with one or more renters who also reside at the property towards the 25 percent calculation. This law bans HOAs from prohibiting the rental or leasing of a portion of a separate interest in situations where the homeowner still lives on site. Homeowners are permitted to rent out a portion of their house when they also live on site, but HOAs could still place limits or bans on short-term vacation rentals.

 

Assembly Bill 1410 is codified as Civil Code §§ 4515, 4739 and 5875.

Effective January 1, 2023.

 

Housing:

Facilitates the building of ADUs

Clarifies existing law to make it easier to build ADUs including limitations on locality requirements re front set-backs and minimum dwelling heights

Challenges in Implementing ADU Law: It has been five and a half years since the state made Accessory Dwelling Units and Junior Accessory Dwelling Units permitted by right. In that time, a substantial amount of knowledge and expertise has been developed by invested parties, such as ADU developers, financiers, and regulators such as local planning and permitting staff, special districts, and utilities, and the Department of Housing and Community Development. Not surprisingly, these parties have been able to identify areas of the law that could benefit from clarification or where existing law does not facilitate the timely permitting of ADUs and JADUs envisioned by the enabling legislation.

 

Assembly Bill 2221
This law provides multiple measures to address some of the identified friction points. First, it defines "permitting agency" to mean "any entity that is involved in the review a permit for an ADU or JADU and for which there is no substitute, including, but not limited to, applicable planning departments, building departments, utilities, and special districts." In practice, the concept of "permitting agency" has centered on the local agency that receives the ADU building permit, making the local agency responsible for the existing timelines in the law. However, a building permit for an ADU or JADU often needs approval from additional bodies, including special districts and utilities that have separate governance structures and operations from the local agency. These entities are often not held to the same 60-day timeline as local agencies, which can result in delays for ADU and JADU projects and present a challenge for local governments to manage entities beyond their control. By including special districts and utilities in the definition of permitting agency, this law would require that these entities meet the timelines specified in this law.

Next, this law specifies what it means for a permitting agency to "act" on an application. One change is to clarify that an action includes decisions regarding the service of an ADU or JADU with utilities, in addition to decisions regarding whether to grant a permit for its creation. Additionally, this law provides clarity regarding the action itself. Currently, the law says that a permitting agency must act within 60 days but does not specify what it means to act. This law clarifies that to "act," a permitting agency must approve the permit or return a full set of comments to the applicant with a list of items that are defective or deficient and a description of how the application can be remedied by the applicant. This change will help reduce the time spent by all sides reviewing and revising applications.

In addition to these procedural changes, this law attempts to make it easier to build ADUs in two ways. First, it prohibits local governments from imposing front setback standards that make it impossible to build a new ADU. Second, it incorporates the proposed changes to ADU height limits that are proposed in SB 897. This change would facilitate two-story ADUs in certain locations that are amenable to that height, such as near transit, when the ADUs are part of a multi-story multifamily project, or when the ADU is attached to the primary home.

 

Senate Bill 897

1) Adjusts the minimum ADU height limit that a local agency may impose, as follows:

a) For detached ADUs on a lot with an existing or proposed single family, a 16 feet height limitation is allowed.
b) For detached ADUs on a lot with an existing or proposed multifamily dwelling unit, an 18 feet height limitation is allowed.
c) For a detached ADU within one-half of one mile walking distance of a major transit stop or a high-quality transit corridor, an 18 feet height limitation is allowed. Also, requires that a local agency must allow an additional two feet in height to accommodate a roof pitch on an ADU that is aligned with the roof pitch of the primary dwelling unit; and
d) For ADUs attached to the primary dwelling, a height of 25 feet or the height limitation in the local zoning ordinance that applies to the primary dwelling, whichever is lower, is allowed.

 

Assembly Bill 2221 is codified as Government Code § 65852.2. Senate Bill 897 §§ 65852.22 and 65852.23 and Health and Safety Code § 17980.12.

Effective January 1, 2023.

 

Housing: Owner-occupants and non-profits right of "first look" to buy foreclosed properties. No bundled sales.

 

C.A.R. sponsored

 

The law creates a state equivalent of the federal First Look program which gives priority to purchasers of foreclosed properties who are prospective owner-occupants, nonprofits, or public entities. This law also prohibits bundled sales of such residential one to four properties.

 

How this law works:

Application to large holders of foreclosed properties. This law applies only to "institutions" – entities such as mortgage services, lenders (including banks and credit unions), and real estate brokers – that foreclosed on more than 175 residential properties in the preceding year. Residential properties are those containing one to four units.

What are foreclosed properties? Under this law, if an institution acquires a residential property through foreclosure under a mortgage or deed of trust or is acquired at a foreclosure sale, whether by 1) foreclosing on a defaulted loan secured by the property, 2) retaining the property on its books after a foreclosure auction that fails to meet the institution's asking price, or 3) winning a foreclosure auction, the subsequent sale of that property would be subject to this law.

No bundled sales. Institutions are prohibited from conducting bundled sales of two or more such properties. In other words, an institution must sell each such property individually, rather than packaging them for sale. Such sales are banned because the capital and connections required to participate in a purchase of bundled properties significantly disadvantages individual and nonprofit purchasers, to the advantage of investors.

30-day period for eligible bidders. During the first 30 days that an institution offers a foreclosed-on property for sale, it can only accept offers from eligible bidders, defined to include individuals who are prospective owner-occupants, as well as designated nonprofit and public entities. Together with their offer, these eligible bidders would have to submit an affidavit under penalty of perjury that they meet the qualifications to bid.

Institutions must "respond." Institutions must respond in writing to any offer made by an eligible bidder within the 30-day window. Only then could the property be offered for general sale. However, nothing in this law requires an institution to accept an offer during this 30-day period, only respond to such offers.

Assembly Bill 2170 is codified as Civil Code § 2924p. Effective January 1, 2023.

C.A.R. sponsored bill

 

Housing: Residential housing may be built within an office or retail zone by ministerial approval

Assembly Bill 2011 enacts the "Affordable Housing and High Road Jobs Act of 2022" to create a ministerial, streamlined approval process for 100% deed restricted affordable housing projects in commercial zones and for mixed-income housing projects along commercial corridors, as specified. This law also imposes specified labor standards on those projects, including requirements that contractors pay prevailing wages, participate in apprenticeship programs, and make specified healthcare expenditures.

This law allows housing to be built "by right" if it conforms to the provisions below regarding affordability, location, objective standards, and labor. In being by right, it would not be subject to a local government's discretionary approval process and would be exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act. Local governments would be able to apply objective standards and design review processes as long as they do not conflict with the provisions in the bill and do not preclude development of the housing.

Affordability requirements for mixed-income and 100% affordable projects: This law requires that mixed-income rental projects make either 15% of their units affordable to lower-income households or 8% of their units affordable to very-low income households and 5% of the units affordable to extremely low-income households. This law would require that mixed-income, for-sale projects make either 15% of their units affordable to lower-income households or 30% of their units affordable to moderate-income households.

Affordable units would be subject to a recorded deed restriction for a period of 55 years for rental units and 45 years for owner-occupied units. The option for deeply targeted affordable rental units could help people who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness secure stable housing without the need for public subsidy. The option for a for-sale project to direct 30% of its units to moderate-income households could result in a substantial increase in homeownership opportunities for that demographic.

Location requirements: This law facilitates the development of two kinds of housing – 100% affordable housing, and mixed-income housing. To qualify to utilize the by right provisions of this law, both kinds of housing projects must be located in zones where office, retail, or parking are a principally permitted use.

Mixed-income housing projects would be limited to sites that abut a "commercial corridor," which is a local road with a right-of-way of 70 to 150 feet (generally, four to eight lanes). These commercial corridors are typically the location of strip retail centers and parking lots. Directing new development along these existing thoroughfares can facilitate transit use and other non-vehicular modes of transportation.

Affordable housing developments could qualify for by right approval procedures if located in a zone where office, retail or parking are a principally permitted use.

This law includes provisions that would preclude development on environmentally unsafe or sensitive area, per previously established objective standards. It would also require development to occur within infill areas, which would help reduce commutes and, commensurately, greenhouse gas emissions.

 

To protect existing communities, projects would not be allowed to demolish existing housing. Additionally, the development could not lead to the demolition of a historic structure. Small businesses would be paid to help relocate if their lease expired after a development proposal had been placed on their property. Local governments could choose to transfer the applicability of this law to other parcels in their jurisdiction, as long as there was no net loss of overall or affordable housing, and the new sites were not generally located in lower-income communities than the existing sites.

Objective Standards: To utilize the by right provisions of this law, housing projects would need to meet the objective standards specified. All projects would need to be multi-family projects where no more than one-third of the space can be for a non-residential use.

For 100% affordable projects, the residential density would need to meet or exceed the density considered geographically appropriate for affordable housing projects in Housing Element Law. Generally, that density is 30 units per acre in urban areas, 20 units per acre in suburban areas, and 10 units per acre in rural areas. The site must otherwise meet the local government's height limits, objective zoning standards, and objective design review standards.

 

The law does not allow a local government to require parking for mixed-income projects, except that projects must meet requirements around accessible parking for people with disabilities, electric vehicle parking spaces, and bicycle parking. Developers would be allowed to determine the amount of parking needed to meet the demands of the new residents.

Labor Requirements: This law would require compensation consistent with standards in place for public works projects by requiring projects to pay prevailing wages. The prevailing wages are the most common wage found in a region for a construction craft, and are usually based on rates specified in collective bargaining agreements between employers and unions. Prevailing wages are established by the Director of the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR), according to the type of work and location of the project, and published on DIR's website. 16 The prevailing wage encompasses an hourly pay, as well as compensation for other benefits should the employer not provide them, including health care, vacation, and pension.

This law includes an enforcement component by the Labor Commissioner, an underpaid workers, or a joint labor-management cooperation committee established under federal law. These provisions would help bolster enforcement capacity of the labor standards and help ameliorate concerns about wage theft.

This law requires that all contractors on projects of 50 or more units participate in a state-approved apprenticeship program or request the dispatch of apprentices from a program. Construction trades apprenticeships result in the elevation of most participating construction

 

Exceptions:

This law does not apply to the following:

a) Sites where a neighborhood plan does not permit housing, and defines neighborhood plans to include specific plans, areas plans, precise plans, master plans, and urban village plans;
b) Sites that include industrial uses or are identified in local general plans as being for industrial uses;
c) Vacant sites in a very high hazard severity zone; and
d) Housing within 500 feet of a freeway or 3,200 feet of an oil or gas extraction facility or refinery

Assembly Bill 2011 is codified as Government Code §§ 65400 and 65585, and Chapter 4.1 commencing with § 65912.100.

 

Effective July 1, 2023.

 


Housing: Residential housing may be built within office or retail zoning

 

C.A.R. Sponsored

 

 

This law enacts the Middle Class Housing Act of 2022, which establishes housing as an allowable use on any parcel zoned for office or retail uses. In some circumstances ministerial approval of the project is authorized.

This law, the Middle Class Housing Act of 2022, deems a housing development project, an allowable use on a parcel that is within a zone where office, retail, or parking are a principally permitted use, if specified conditions are met, including requirements relating to density, public notice, comment, hearing, or other procedures, site location and size, consistency with sustainable community strategy or alternative plans, prevailing wage, and a skilled and trained workforce and the parcel is not adjacent to a parcel dedicated to industrial use.

However, a developer may submit an application for a multifamily housing development that is subject to a streamlined, ministerial approval process (meaning, the project avoids CEQA requirements), and not subject to a conditional use permit, if the development satisfies the following:

 

  • The proposed project meets the other requirements in SB 6 for a development on the parcel;
  • The site has not been previously developed under SB 35 with a project of 10 units or fewer;
  • Neither the developer of the project or any person acting in concert with the developer has previously proposed a project under SB 35 of 10 units or fewer on the same site or an adjacent site;
  • The proposed project meets all of SB 35’s other requirements; and
  • The site is zoned for office or retail commercial use.

 

Even in this circumstance, the proposed development is also required to be consistent with objective zoning standards, objective subdivision standards, and objective design review standards in effect at the time the development is submitted to the local government.

Senate Bill 6 is codified as Government Code § 65913.4 and 65852.24. Effective July 1, 2023. Sunsets on January 1 2033.

C.A.R. Sponsored

 

Housing: Ballot measure to repeal the local vote requirement for approval of state financed low-rent dwellings

 

C.A.R. sponsored

Article 34 of the California Constitution requires that any development comprised of “low-rent” dwellings, financed in whole or in part by federal, state, or local government, be approved by a vote of the people in the jurisdiction where the project is located. This law seeks to repeal Article 34 in its entirety through a ballot measure which vote is slated for March 5, 2024.

Enacted by voters in 1950, Article 34 of the California Constitution requires that any development comprised of “low-rent” dwellings, financed in whole or in part by federal, state, or local government, be approved by a vote of the people in the jurisdiction where the project is located. Article 34 does not just apply to “public housing”, but also affects mixed income developments which often contain units partially “subsidized” by local government. The article adds significant costs to the production of affordable housing as developers must comply with its provisions for a ballot measure or to pursue alternative means of financing which would avoid the Article’s provisions. C.A.R. is a co-sponsor of SCA 2 which seeks to repeal Article 34 in its entirety.

Background on Article 34: The California Real Estate Association led the effort to add Article 34 to the Constitution after an unsuccessful attempt by residents in Eureka, CA to block a low-income housing project, which the local housing authority planned to build with federal funding.
In 1950 California voters approved Proposition 10 which added Article 34 to the state Constitution. Adopted as part of the backlash to federal investment in low-income public housing, Article 34 requires cities and counties to get voters' approval before any low rent housing development can be built. A recent article in KQED notes, "California is now the only state that has this law, and it applies only to public funding for affordable housing, which is disproportionately used by people of color."

The Secretary of State shows SCA 2 as a qualified ballot measure slated for a vote on March 5, 2024.

Senate Constitutional Amendment 2 was enrolled under Chapter 182, Statutes of 2022.

Housing: 

State budget allocation to ownership housing

 

C.A.R. sponsored

As part of the state budget, homeownership has been prioritized by allocating 45 percent of the funds previously allocated to rental housing programs toward helping to facilitate homeownership opportunities for our states working families in California. Specifically, significant funds have been dedicated to affordable owner-occupied workforce housing development and for down payment assistance programs to help bridge the states wealth and equality gap by assisting in increasing homeownership rates for Californians. In addition to this effort, $50 million in funds have been allocated to assist homeowners with low-cost ADU construction.

 

In part due to C.A.R.'s efforts, this year’s budget process secured an amount equal to 45 percent of what was allocated to rental housing development in 2022-23 state budget process. This amounted to a 66 percent increase over C.A.R.'s initial request. $500 million has been allocated to CalFHA to fund the new equity sharing down payment assistance program entitled the California Dream for All Program ($500 million) along with another $50 million to fund low-cost loans to homeowners seeking to construct ADUs. Additionally, the budget allocated $350 million over two years ($250 million in 2022-23 and $100 million in 2023-24) to CalHOME which funds competitive grants to local public agencies and nonprofit organizations to facilitate the construction of new homes for low-income families (80% and below of the Area Median Income) seeking to realize their dream of homeownership.

The money allocated to the California Dream for All program will provide down payment assistance to first time homebuyers seeking a shared appreciation opportunity for those making no more than 150% AMI. Prospective homeowners under this new program will be able to access a down payment equal to 20% of a home’s purchase price, that will operate as a silent second provided the borrower either at time of sale or refinance agrees repay a contractually defined share of the equity in addition to the loan secured as a second trust deed to the state which will allow the program to offer additional shared equity down payment opportunities future families. Based on preliminary information provided by the state’s housing finance agency, CalHFA, we anticipate that a portion of the down payment assistance will be forgivable, and we expect further clarifying regulations in the coming weeks from the agency. This is only the beginning of a robust and comprehensive new program that will help to facilitate more homeownership opportunities for California. The state’s initial investment in this year budget is just the start. The Legislature hopes to be able to invest a billion dollars annually in future years if this pilot program is a success.

 

Senate Bill 197. Effective June 30, 2022.

C.A.R. sponsored

 

Housing: Limitations on local parking requirements

A public agency, such as a city or county, is prohibited from imposing any minimum automobile parking requirement on any residential, commercial, or other development project that is located within a half mile of major transit stop. Where the development contains 20 units or more, an exception could apply where a locality makes a finding that such prohibitions would have a substantial negative impact on residential or commercial parking within half a mile of the housing project.

This law prohibits a public agency from imposing any minimum automobile parking requirement on any residential, commercial, or other development project, as defined, that is located within half a mile of a major transit stop.

A project shall be considered to be within one-half mile of a major transit stop if all parcels within the project have no more than 25 percent of their area farther than one-half mile from the stop and if not more than 10 percent of the residential units or 100 units, whichever is less, in the project are farther than one-half mile from the stop. (Public Resources Code 21155).

“Housing development project” means a use consisting of any of the following:(A)Residential units only(B)Mixed-use developments consisting of residential and nonresidential uses with at least two-thirds of the square footage designated for residential use C)Transitional housing or supportive housing. (Gov't Code 65589.5)

Exception: There is a significant exception to this prohibition as follows:

A public agency may enforce or impose minimum parking requirements on a housing development project if the public agency makes written findings, within 30 days of the receipt of a completed application, that not imposing or enforcing minimum automobile parking requirements on the development would have a substantially negative impact, supported by a preponderance of the evidence in the record, on the public agency’s ability to meet its share of specified housing needs, or existing residential or commercial parking within half a mile of the housing development.

Exception to the exception: However, this exception does not apply if any of the following are satisfied:

(1)The development dedicates a minimum of 20 percent of the total number of housing units to very low, low-, or moderate-income households, students, the elderly, or persons with disabilities.

(2)The development contains fewer than 20 housing units.

(3)The development is subject to parking reductions based on the provisions of any other applicable law.

Here is Governor Newsom's video on AB 2097 which he explains as expanding housing (and reducing greenhouse gases) "by prohibiting local governments from enforcing parking minimums in new housing near transit. Basically, we're making it easier and cheaper to build new housing near daily destinations like jobs and grocery stores and schools. This means more housing at lower prices closer to walkable neighborhoods and public transit."

https://twitter.com/CAgovernor/status/1573098564976508928

Assembly Bill 2097 is codified as government code §§ 65585 and 65863.2.

Effective January 1, 2023.

 

Housing:

Homeowners may add up to two bedrooms within an existing dwelling unit

 

A city or county shall not adopt or enforce an ordinance requiring a public hearing as a condition of reconfiguring existing space to increase the bedroom count within an existing dwelling unit.

 

Prohibits a city or county legislative body from adopting or enforcing an ordinance requiring a public hearing as a condition of reconfiguring existing space to increase the bedroom count within an existing dwelling unit. This law applies only to a permit application for no more than two additional bedrooms within an existing dwelling unit. This law applies to all cities, including charter cities.

Assembly Bill 916 is codified as Government Code § 65850.02.

Effective January 1, 2023.

Landlord Tenant: Reusable tenant screening reports (RTSRs)

Establishes criteria for the voluntary acceptance of reusable tenant screening reports (RTSRs) by landlords and specifies the applicant information that must be included in RTSRs. A landlord that accepts RTSRs may not charge either a fee for the landlord to access the report or an application screening fee.

According to the Author

In the current rental market, renters often have to apply to multiple rental properties before their application is accepted. If a renter applies to several properties, the various background screening report fees can quickly add up to several hundred dollars. AB 2559 sets a standard for reusable screening reports to be used during the rental application process. By using a reusable screening report, renters only have to pay one time for the report that can be used many times over 30 days, thereby saving the renter many hundreds of dollars, and will allow landlords to expeditiously review verified applicant information.

 

Landlord's use is voluntary but may not charge other fees

 

Use of an RTSR by the landlord under this law is voluntary. However, if a landlord does accept RTSRs, then the landlord may not charge either a fee for accessing the report or an application screening fee. Presently, the maximum application screening fee a landlord may charge is $52.46.

 

The RTSR must prominently state the date through which the information contained in the report is correct. A landlord that elects to accept reusable tenant screening reports may require an applicant to state that there has not been a material change to the information in the reusable screening report.

What information must be included in an RTSR?
A reusable tenant screening report shall include all of the following information regarding an applicant:

(1)Name.

(2)Contact information.

(3)Verification of employment.

(4)Last known address.

(5)Results of an eviction history check in a manner and for a period of time consistent with applicable law related to the consideration of eviction history in housing.

(6)A reusable tenant screening report shall prominently state the date through which the information contained in the report is current.

(7)A landlord may elect to accept reusable tenant screening reports and may require an applicant to state that there has not been a material change to the information in the reusable tenant screening report.

 

Additionally, an RTSR must be:
1) Prepared within the last 30 days by a consumer reporting agency at the request and expense of an applicant.

2) Either provided directly to the landlord or through an agency that regularly furnishes consumer reports.

3) Made available to the landlord at no cost.

 

Assembly Bill 2559 is codified as Civil Code § 1950.1

Effective January 1, 2023.

 

Landlord Tenant: Termination of tenancy protections for victims of domestic violence

 

 

Previously, the law allowed a victim of domestic violence to terminate a tenancy with limited liability to the landlord under the rental agreement. This new law imposes a statutory damage of $100 up to $5,000 (in addition to actual damages) when a landlord or agent ignores a tenant's right to terminate a tenancy based on acts of domestic violence.

 

Additionally, prior law prohibited a landlord from evicting that tenant who was a victim of domestic violence, based on acts taken against the victim. However, if the perpetrator was in residence in the same dwelling unit as the victim, then the law offered no protections. The new law requires a partial eviction order only against the perpetrator of abuse where the perpetrator is in residence in the same dwelling unit as the victim.

This law protects victims of domestic violence in the context of a tenancy. "Domestic violence" includes, among other things, sexual assault, stalking, human trafficking, and elder abuse. The protections extend not only to a tenant but also to a tenant's immediate family member or a tenant's household member where the landlord has received documentation evidencing abuse or violence against these persons.

Prior and current law re the right of a victim of domestic violence to terminate tenancy with limited liability:

Under the prior and current law, a tenant who is a victim of domestic violence, or a tenant’s immediate family member, or a tenant’s household member can inform the landlord that they intend to terminate tenancy. The liability of that tenant for rent is limited to no more than 14 calendar days after having provided notice and must be released without penalty from any further rent or other payment obligation to the landlord under the lease or rental agreement. If the premises are relet to another party prior to the end of the obligation to pay rent, the rent owed must be prorated.

A landlord cannot, due to the termination, require forfeiture of any security deposit money or advance rent paid. A tenant who terminates a rental agreement pursuant to this law cannot be considered for any purpose, by reason of the termination, to have breached the lease or rental agreement. In all other respects, the law governing the security deposit shall apply.

New Law: However, the prior law did not specify the liability of the landlord or agent for violating these protections or impose mandated statutory damages. Under the new law, a landlord or agent is liable to the tenant for actual damages and, with limited exceptions, statutory damages of not less than $100 and not more than $5,000 in a civil action for violation of the above provisions.

Prior law re the right of a tenant not to be evicted based on acts of domestic violence:

Previously a landlord was prohibited against evicting a tenant based on acts against a victim of domestic violence or a household member. However, this protection did NOT apply when the perpetrator was a tenant in the same dwelling unit. In the latter circumstance, the law offered no protection against eviction to a domestic violence victim or household member, and both the victim and the perpetrator could be evicted based on acts taken against the victim.


Perpetrator a tenant in residence in the same dwelling unit. Under the new law, where the perpetrator is tenant in residence in the same dwelling unit as the victim of domestic violence, assuming the court agrees that the defendant was a perpetrator of domestic violence, the court must i
ssue a partial eviction order to immediately remove the perpetrator and bar that person from the dwelling unit. But the court shall not order the tenancy terminated. Additionally, the court must order the landlord to change the locks and to provide the remaining occupants with a new key. The court may also permanently bar the perpetrator of abuse or violence from entering any portion of the residential premises and may order as an express condition of the tenancy that the remaining occupants shall not give permission to or invite the perpetrator of abuse or violence to live in the dwelling unit.

 

Perpetrator not a tenant in residence in the same dwelling unit: Under prior and new law, where the perpetrator is not a tenant in residence of the same dwelling unit, then the landlord could terminate a tenancy based on an act of abuse against a tenant if:

 

1) The perpetrator's words or actions have threatened the physical safety of other tenants, or guests and
2) The landlord had served a 3-day notice requiring the tenant not to voluntarily permit or consent to the presence of the perpetrator on the premises, yet the tenant continues to do so.

This procedure is substantially the same under both the prior and new versions of the law.

Senate Bill 1017 is codified as Civil Code § 1946.7 and Code of Civil Procedure §§ 1161.3 and 1174.27.

Effective January 1, 2023.

Lead Renovation: Certified person must be onsite for any lead renovation, repair or painting work

 

This law requires a "firm" and at least one person onsite and employed by a firm doing renovation, repair, or painting work for compensation in a residential or public building to have a certificate for training in lead-safe work practices. Substantial civil or criminal penalties are now imposed for violating this rule. This law harmonizes federal and state training and certification requirements for lead safe work practices. Effective January 1, 2024.

Background: Since 2010, federal law has required that any person who does lead renovation work be certified and follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination. All firms must be certified renovators (even sole proprietors), and all individuals performing activities that disturb painted surfaces on behalf of a firm must be either certified renovators or have been trained by a certified renovator. Renovation work is broadly defined as any activity that disturbs painted surfaces and includes most repair, remodeling, and maintenance activities. Excluded from activities that "disturbs painted surfaces" are minor repairs and maintenance that disturb 6 square feet or less of paint per room inside, or 20 square feet or less on the exterior of a home or building. Housing built in 1978 or later is also excluded among other types of properties. However, window replacement and projects involving demolition are not excluded.

On and after January 1, 2024, both a "firm," and at least one person onsite and employed by a firm, must have a certificate if doing renovation, repair, or painting work for compensation in a residential or public building that will disturb lead-based paint.

"Firm" means a company, partnership, corporation, sole proprietorship or individual doing business, association, or other business entity; a Federal, State, Tribal, or local government agency; or a nonprofit organization. (Title 40 CFR § 745.83)

 

Penalties for doing renovation, repair, or painting work for compensation in a residential or public building that will disturb lead-based paint in violation of the rules are increased up to $10,000 per violation per day. Penalties for engaging in various types of lead construction work without a certificate have been increased up to $5,000 per violation per day.

 

Harmonization of California and federal law: While California's lead laws and the federal repair and painting rules (RPR) complement each other in many ways, subtle differences and inconsistencies between the two make the regulatory framework on lead in buildings confusing. Renovators and contractors are required to learn and adhere to one set of rules for the RRP and another for California and have to figure out the inconsistencies on their own. Now, California will streamline state and federal requirements to address confusing inconsistencies.

Senate Bill 1076 is codified as Health and Safety Code §§ 105254 and 105250.5.

Effective January 1, 2024.

 

Mobile home parks:

Manager training required

This law requires managers and assistant managers of mobile home and recreational vehicle parks to complete an online training and renew the training every year.

 

This law requires

1) The Department of Housing and Community Development to among other things: a) Adopt regulations to require at least one person employed as or acting in a managerial role on behalf of a mobile home or a RV park to receive appropriate training and

b) Issue a certificate, effective for two years, for people who successfully complete the training or renew their training.

2) Requires the training to be six hours, no more than eight, with an annual online examination. Every two years thereafter there will be follow-up training and coursework of at least two hours, no more than four, and an examination. The training shall be offered in an online format and may be offered in other formats. The training must incorporate

3) Requires the training to include, at minimum: Provisions of the Mobile home Residency Law including the rental agreement, rules and regulations, fees and charges, utilities, homeowner communications and meetings, termination of tenancy, and transfer of mobile home or mobile home park among other rules and regulations; Provisions of the Mobile home Parks Act; Provisions of the Special Occupancy Parks Act

4) Establishes the Mobile home and Recreational Vehicle Park Training Fund in the State Treasury for HCD to carry out the provisions, upon appropriation by the Legislature.

5) Requires management of a mobile home or RV park to post a copy of the certificate in a conspicuous location onsite.

6) Imposes a civil penalty and suspend the management’s permit to operate if deemed out of compliance.

 

Senate Bill 869 is codified as Health and Safety Code 18876 et seq.

Effective January 1, 2023.

 

Partition Actions: Procedure formerly limited to "Heirs Property" is now applicable to all property owned as a tenancy in common

 

Last year in 2021, the Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act was passed. It required that in a partition action a court first mandate an appraisal and grant co-tenants an option to buy. If a sale was ordered, it must be through the open-market by a broker, as opposed to an auction. However, this procedure was limited to "heirs property," meaning, property owned at least in part by related persons.

 

Under Assembly Bill 2245, this law has now been expanded to apply to all property held as tenancy in common however acquired, not merely "heirs property."

 

 

Enacts the Partition of Real Property Act (PRPA) by removing the reference to "heirs property" under the previous Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act (UPHPA), so that the procedures for partition under the UPHPA become applicable to partition of any real property owned by tenants in common, whether related or not.

The procedure grants a first option to buy at an appraised price in a partition action. To determine whether partition will be in kind or by sale, courts are mandated to weigh non-economic factors, such as the consequences of eviction and whether the property has historic value. But if a sale is ordered, it must typically be an open-market sale through a brokerage, as opposed to a court ordered auction.

 

AB 2245 applies to actions for partition of real property filed on or after January 1, 2023.

 

How does an action to partition property proceed?
A court will take the following steps in a partition action:

1) Co-tenancy with no agreement. Determine that the real property is held in tenancy in common where there is no agreement in a record binding all the cotenants which governs the partition of the property. If not, then the UPHPA or PRPA procedures do not apply.

2) Appraisal to determine fair market value. Determine the fair market value of the property generated through a disinterested real estate appraiser.

3) Option to buyout. Provide an opportunity for all cotenants, other than the cotenants requesting sale, to purchase the interests of the cotenants requesting sale, at the established appraised price.

4) Order in kind partition if no buyout. Absent such a purchase, the court must order partition by kind unless the court finds that such a partition would cause "great prejudice" to the cotenants as a group. "Great prejudice" is statutorily defined to require an examination of the totality of the factors and circumstances involved, including how long the property has been held by the cotenant and prior owners, and a cotenant's attachment to the land.

Comment: Even under the terms of the Act, a property whose value lay primarily in its improvements would ordinarily go to an open-market sale, rather than partition in kind.

5) Order open market sale. If the court does not order partition in kind due to a finding of "great prejudice" to the co-tenants as a group, the court shall order partition by open-market sale, unless sealed bids in an auction would be more economically advantageous. Or, if no cotenant requested partition by sale, the court shall dismiss the action.

6) Appointment of broker. If the court orders an open-market sale and the parties, not later than 10 days after the entry of the order, agree on a real estate broker licensed in the State of California to offer the property for sale, the court shall appoint the broker and establish a reasonable commission.
7) When parties do not agree on broker. If the parties do not agree on a broker, the court shall appoint a disinterested real estate broker licensed in the State of California to offer the property for sale and shall establish a reasonable commission.

8) Terms of sale. The broker shall offer the property for sale in a commercially reasonable manner at a price no lower than the determination of value and on the terms and conditions established by the court. Any purchaser entitled to a share of the proceeds is entitled to a credit against the price.

 

What was the previous standard for determining if a property is partitioned in kind or sold? (Or in the event that the PRPA standards do not apply?)

 

Under the previous standard, when one cotenant seeks partition, it is presumed that it is more equitable to divide the property physically and distribute a portion to each cotenant. The burden of proof is on the party who seeks a sale, rather than a physical division, to prove that it would be “more equitable” to sell the property rather than to divide it and distribute portions in kind to the cotenants. In order to compel a sale rather than a physical division, it must be shown that either: (1) a division into subparcels of equal value cannot be made, or (2) a division of the land would substantially diminish the value of each party's interest, such that the portion received by each cotenant would be of substantially less value than the cash received on a sale. (Miller & Starr § 11;17).

Under the new standard, the court must order partition by kind unless the court finds that such a partition would cause "great prejudice" to the cotenants as a group. "Great prejudice" is statutorily defined to require an examination of the totality of the factors and circumstances involved, including how long the property has been held by the cotenant and prior owners, and a cotenant's attachment to the land. (CCP 874.319).

Reasons for the passage of the Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act (passed in 2021)

C.A.R.'s statement in support:

"…. real estate speculators have exploited the land holdings of heirs by acquiring a small share of heir's property and forcing a partition action. The speculator then turns around and is able to acquire the property in a court ordered partition sale for far less than the market value, and, in turn, depletes a family's inherited wealth. Property owners that have both the financial means and the expertise needed to access estate planning attorneys have the ability to avoid the harsh consequences of a partition sale. But low to moderate income and otherwise disadvantaged heirs' property owners are vulnerable to these types of loss. While these exploitive situations have classically occurred with rural landownership, in modern times, urban landowners have also found themselves subject to these losses."

 

Assembly Bill 2245 is codified as Code of Civil Procedure §§ 872.020 and 874.311 through 874.323.

Applies to actions filed on or after January 1, 2023, for partition of real property that is held as tenancy in common with no agreement governing partition.

 

Tax: Defers property taxes for taxpayers claiming Prop 19 benefits when the county has yet to process their exemption.

This law defers property taxes for taxpayers claiming Proposition 19 base year value transfers when the county assessor has not completed its determination of the property’s eligibility for property tax relief under that section. Additionally, the property tax bill must contain information regarding Proposition 19 base year value transfers and potential tax deferment in large counties.

 

Background

Prop 19 came into full effect on April 1, 2021, and extended tax savings based on tax basis portability across the state to those 55 years or older, among others. Yet many homeowners who should have received the tax benefits of Prop 19 have been unable to realize these savings due to bureaucratic delay.

In March of 2022, the Los Angeles Times reported that the Los Angeles County Assessor's Office had not completed 1,271 claims for base year value transfers. As a result, the Los Angeles County Tax Collector issued property tax bills to some taxpayers based on the purchase price of the replacement dwelling that did not account for the transfer even though taxpayers had filed their claim as required by Senate Bill 539 (Prop 19 implementing legislation).

How does this Senate Bill 989 work?

1) Provides that payment of property taxes for a property is deferred, without penalty or interest, if the property owner:

a) Claims a Proposition 19 base year value transfer for the property, but the county assessor has not completed its determination of the property’s eligibility for property tax relief under that section.

b) Requests deferment with the county assessor within one calendar year, but before January 1, 2024, of receiving the first tax bill for the property.

2) Requires payment to be deferred until the county assessor has reassessed the property and the tax collector issues a corrected tax bill to the property owner, or the county assessor determines the property is not eligible for the transfer and has notified the property owner.
3) Provides, if deferred, that taxes are due and payable for the first installment:

a) December 10, or 30 days after the date the bill is mailed or electronically transmitted to the owner, whichever is later, if the property is eligible for the transfer.
b) December 10, or 30 days after the postmark date or date of mailing printed on the county assessor’s notice to the property owner, whichever is later, if the assessor determines that the property is not eligible for the transfer.

4) Provides, if deferred, that taxes are due and payable for the second installment:

a) April 10, or 30 days after the date the bill is mailed or electronically transmitted to the owner, whichever is later, if the property is eligible for the transfer.
b) April 10, or 30 days after the postmark date or date of mailing printed on the county assessor’s notice to the property owner, whichever is later, if the assessor determines that the property is not eligible for the transfer.

5) Provides that taxes unpaid after the above dates become delinquent at 5 p.m., or the close of business, whichever is later, of the due date and subject to delinquency penalties in current law.

6) Requires each tax bill for properties that have been purchased, newly constructed, or changed in ownership in the year preceding the tax bill to include a disclosure with the following information:

a) A brief summary of the availability of the property tax relief under Proposition 19.
b) A brief summary of deferment procedures provided by this bill.

7) Applies both its property tax deferment and property tax bill information requirements in counties with a population of more than four million according to the 2020 census, or those that enact an ordinance implementing this bill’s requirements.

8) SB 989 sunsets on January 1, 2026.

Senate Bill 989 is codified as Revenue and Tax Code § 2610.8.

This act is an urgency statute which takes effect immediately on September 28, 2022.

 

Tax:

SALT cap workaround clean up

Provides that, for purposes of the other state tax credit (OSTC) calculation, the net tax payable under the Personal Income Tax (PIT) Law shall be increased by the amount of the pass-through entity (PTE) tax credit that reduced the net tax in that taxable year.

 

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act: On December 22, 2017, former President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (the "TCJA"), which dramatically restructured the federal tax system for both individuals and businesses. For individuals, the TCJA adjusted tax rates, increased the standard deduction, and eliminated personal exemptions. The TCJA also imposed a new $10,000 cap on the deductibility of state and local tax (SALT) payments. Critics of this provision noted that eliminating the full deductibility of SALT payments "roll[ed] back a basic tenet of federal tax law that has been part of the modern federal income tax since it was created in 1913, more than a century ago." Critics of the $10,000 cap on SALT deductions also noted that this provision would negatively impact millions of California taxpayers previously claiming more than $10,000 in SALT deductions on their federal tax returns.

California offers relief to some negatively impacted taxpayers: On July 16, 2021, Governor Newsom signed into law AB 150 (Budget Committee), Chapter 82, Statutes of 2021. AB 150 offered certain taxpayers relief from the federal SALT cap by establishing a voluntary PTE tax for qualified entities doing business in California. For taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2021, and before January 1, 2026, qualifying PTEs (i.e., entities taxed as a partnership or "S" corporation) may annually elect to pay a 9.3% tax on the entity's qualified net income.

Qualified taxpayers with an interest in an electing PTE (i.e., partners, members, and shareholders) then receive a credit for their share of the entity level tax, reducing their California PIT liability. In this way, certain individual taxpayers with income from PTEs can get around the $10,000 SALT cap by effectively having their state taxes paid at the PTE level. California is by no means alone in establishing an elective PTE tax. Deloitte notes that, as of February 9, 2022, twenty-two states have enacted similar PTE legislation.

So, what is the problem? Since the enactment of AB 150, it has come to light that the elective PTE tax regime is of limited benefit for some taxpayers with income from both inside and outside of California. In such cases, utilization of the regime, and its attendant state PIT credit, can jeopardize a taxpayer's ability to benefit from the OSTC. The OSTC was enacted to relieve taxpayers with income taxed by two different states. This can happen, for example, when a California resident has income from a PTE conducting business in another state.

It has been reported that many taxpayers who claimed the PTE credit for 2021 saw a significant decrease in the amount of OSTC they could claim. This is a function of how the OSTC is calculated on the state's Schedule S. The amount of OSTC is computed as the lesser of

1) California tax liability × (double taxed income ÷ California adjusted gross income); or,

2) Other state tax liability × (double taxed income ÷ Adjusted gross income taxable by other state)

If an individual "eliminates" their California tax liability through application of a PTE tax credit, their California tax liability will be deemed zero. Thus, the product of the calculation set forth in (a) will always be zero and, as a result, the taxpayer will not be entitled to claim any amount as an OSTC. Put another way, when a taxpayer eliminates their PIT liability through the application of credits, under current law there is no "double taxed" income because no taxes have been paid to California.

This result is entirely appropriate in the context of nearly all tax credits, which are generally allowed to taxpayers who engage in behavior the government deems beneficial (e.g., by increasing research expenditures). In the case of the PTE regime, however, taxpayers can reduce their individual California tax liability to zero through the PTE credit but still find themselves being double taxed, albeit indirectly. This is because, in this unique circumstance, the California tax is being paid dollar-for-dollar by the PTE, but the credit for the tax is being claimed by the individual taxpayer.

What would this bill do? This bill would provide that, for purposes of the OSTC, the term "net tax" shall be increased by the amount of PTE credit that reduced net tax in that taxable year. Put simply, this bill would "count" the PTE credit amount as part of the taxpayer's California tax liability for purposes of the OSTC calculation. This, in turn, would place the taxpayer in the same position they would have been in had they paid the PTE taxes directly at the individual level.

 

According to the Author

The author has provided the following statement in support of this bill:

SB 851 clarifies the rules for computing the California Other State Tax Credit (OSTC) when an entity elects to pay the Pass-Through Entity Tax (PTET) and obtains credits. The legislature passed AB 150 last summer to provide a way for California taxpayers to deduct their state and local taxes on their federal tax returns, in a manner that avoided the state and local tax cap of $10,000 in federal law (the SALT Cap). After its passage, a number of accountants and other tax professionals opined that making a PTET election could cause the members of the pass-through entity to lose their OSTCs. The Legislature sought to remedy this problem in SB 113, a trailer bill passed in February 2022. However, in May, the FTB concluded that the changes adopted by SB 113 were inadequate, and a further amendment was necessary. SB 851 contains the technical changes developed in consultation with the Franchise Tax Board, to rectify this problem and is consistent with the intent of the legislature's past actions.

Senate Bill 851 is codified as Revenue and Tax Code §§ 17052.10 and 19904.

Applies for taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2022, and before January 1, 2026.

 

Wage garnishment: The amount that can be collected through wage garnishment is reduced.

This law reduces the amount that may be collected through wage garnishment by modifying the formula for determining what portion of judgment debtor’s wages can be garnished. Beginning September 1, 2023, a judgment creditor may garnish (1) twenty percent of the person’s disposable earnings, or (2) 40 percent by which the person’s weekly disposable earnings exceed 48 times the prevailing minimum hourly wage, whichever is less.

 

Current law and through August 31, 2023. Under current law the maximum amount that can be garnished from the earnings of an individual judgment debtor for any workweek is the lesser of: a) 25 percent of the individual’s disposable earnings for that week; or b) 50 percent of the amount by which the individual’s disposable earnings for that week exceed 40 times the minimum hourly wage in effect at the time the earnings are payable.

(If a judgment debtor works in a locality in which the local minimum wage is higher than the state minimum hourly wage, the local minimum hourly wage shall be used for this calculation. (Code Civ. Proc., § 706.050(a).))

Formula amount is reduced beginning September 1, 2023. Under the new formula the maximum that can be garnished from the earnings of a judgement debtor based on a work week is the lesser of (1) twenty percent of the person’s disposable earnings, or (2) 40 percent by which the person’s weekly disposable earnings exceed 48 times the prevailing minimum hourly wage.

Comment: Although the difference in the formula percentages appears small, the maximum amount that can be garnished can vary greatly as between the current and new formulas. For example, assume, using rough numbers, that a judgment debtor who works 40 hours a week earning $30 an hour has a take home pay of $800 a week. Under the current law, a creditor could garnish approximately $200 a week (assuming a minimum wage of $15 an hour which is the current California statewide minimum wage). Under the new law, that amount would be reduced to $80 a week.

Senate Bill 1477 is codified as Code of Civil Procedure § 706.050.

Effective September 1, 2023.

 

Water: Urban water use objectives tightened

This law changes the standards for indoor residential water use beginning 2025 to 47 gallons per person per day (gppd) and beginning 2030 to 42 gppd. However, state water agencies have discretion to recommend an alternate date on which 2030 standard should take effect.

 

California's current standard for residential indoor water use is 55 gallons per person per day. The rule doesn't apply to customers, meaning regulators don't write tickets to people for using more water than they are allowed. Instead, the state requires water agencies to meet that standard across all of its customers.

This law:

1) Changes the standards for indoor residential water use, to reflect those recommended by Department of Water Resources (DWR) and the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB). Specifically, it would change the indoor residential water use standards beginning January 1, 2025, to be:

Beginning January 1, 2025, until January 1, 2030 – 47 gppd.

Beginning January 1, 2030 – 42 gppd.

2) Allows DWR, in coordination with the SWRCB, to recommend to the Legislature an alternate date on which the 2030 indoor residential use standard should take effect if the two agencies determine that the 2030 indoor residential use standard is likely to unduly impact affordability of water and wastewater services.

Senate Bill 1157 is codified as Water Code §§ 10609.4 and 10609.33.

Effective January 1, 2023.

 

Website accessibility:

Website accessibility information to be provided to the CCDA

Requires information about disability access lawsuits based on the inaccessibility of internet websites to be reported by attorneys to the California Commission on Disability Access (CCDA) and included in CCDA's annual report to the Legislature. Requires the CCDA to develop toolkits or educational modules that focus on website accessibility standards for internet website and construction-related accessibility violations in parking lots and exterior paths of travel, including a checklist for businesses to recognize the most common construction-related accessibility violations in those areas, by January 1, 2024.

 

WCAG Standards, Including Versions and Levels of Compliance. In the absence of a specific standard for website compliance, courts and government entities sometimes rely on private standards developed by technology and accessibility experts, including the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the main international standards organization for the Internet. As part of their Web Accessibility Initiative, W3C has promulgated a series of web accessibility guidelines, including the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). Significantly, the State of California also uses WCAG 2.1 AA as the benchmark for its agencies to comply with accessibility requirements. State law – specifically Government Code Section 11135 – requires that all electronic and information technology developed or purchased by the State of California Government is accessible to people with disabilities. Furthermore, the State specifically requires that all agencies, and any contractors working for them, ensure that their public websites are accessible to the general public and are aligned with WCAG 2.1 Level AA Standards.

 

This law. The law is intended to educate businesses about how to make their websites accessible and helping the Legislature and stakeholders to have more information about website accessibility lawsuits filed in California's state and federal courts. It does this in two ways. First, it requires attorneys to report to the CCDA information – virtually the same data they are required to report now about construction-related accessibility violations--about the website accessibility lawsuits they file in state and federal courts. Second, it requires the CCDA to develop educational materials for businesses about website accessibility compliance, post materials on its website, and report information about website accessibility complaints, along with information about construction-related accessibility claims, to the Legislature in its annual report.

 

Comment: This law was supported by the Consumer Attorneys of California which emphasized the importance of providing information to the CCDA about lawsuits, how common they are, their outcomes and to "evaluate the amount and success of online accessibility compliance litigation." From the perspective of businesses, it sounds ominous.

 

Assembly Bill 2917 is codified as Civil Code § 55.32 and Government Code § 14985.6.

Effective January 1, 2023.


Licensing: Requirement for implicit bias training for obtaining a broker or salesperson license is postponed until 2024.

Last year Implicit bias training was added to the mandatory course work for first time licensing and license renewals which was to take effect on January 1, 2023. This law postpones the requirements when applying for a salesperson or original broker license until January 1, 2024. However, the January 1, 2023, is still the operative date when renewing a license.

The requirement for an applicant for a new broker or salesperson license to take courses on fair housing and implicit bias before sitting for the licensing exam has been postponed until January 1, 2024.

However, for license renewals the requirements have not been postponed. Implicit bias course work is now added to the mandatory requirements. For subsequent renewals, brokers and agents must take a nine-hour survey course (as opposed to an 8-hour course under current law). These rules apply beginning January 1, 2023, meaning, if a license is set to expire on or after that date, then these new continuing education requirements must be met.

Implicit bias training requirements

The course requirements for an applicant for a real estate broker or salesperson license must contain a component on implicit bias, including education regarding the impact of implicit bias, explicit bias, and systemic bias on consumers, the historical and social impacts of those biases, and actionable steps students can take to recognize and address their own implicit biases.

Also required for that applicant is a course on legal aspects of real estate which must contain a component on state and federal fair housing laws. As part of this course there must be an interactive participatory component during which the applicant shall role play as both a consumer and real estate professional.

For license renewals a two-hour implicit bias training course is added to existing requirements. Also, the fair housing course requirement for initial license renewals must include an interactive participatory component.

For subsequent renewals, the length of the survey course is increased to nine hours (from eight). This survey course will incorporate these new mandatory subjects in addition to the existing requirements.

Note on DRE continuing education for Implicit bias training requirements

At present the DRE continuing education page requires implicit bias training for first time renewals. But specifies that for all subsequent renewals, the implicit bias training requirements are operative beginning January 1, 2023. See this link.

Senate Bill 1495 is codified as Business & Professions Code §§ 10151, 10153.2 and 10153.3, among other code sections.

Implicit bias course requirements must be met for applicants obtaining a salesperson license or original broker license date on or after January 1, 2024.


 Landlord/Tenant: Study to consider adopting consistent terminology related to landlord and tenant law
 

This law requires the California Law Revision Commission, by December 31, 2024, to deliver a study to the Legislature examining the establishment of consistent terminology in California law to describe the parties to an agreement, lease, or contract for the rental of residential real estate property, including mobile homes.

The legislative analyst writes the following:

The statutes that govern rental of real property in California date from the initial enactment of the California Codes in 1872. There are currently more than two-dozen different terms used across the Civil Code, Code of Civil Procedure, Government Code, and Health and Safety Code, including "housing owner," "landlord," "lessee," "lessor," "management," "occupant," "owner of residential rental property," "property owner," "renter," "subtenant," and "tenant," to describe the parties to a residential rental agreement. The California Code of Regulations also uses several of these terms. (See, e.g., California Code of Regulations Title 2, Chapter 5, Section 12140 [using the terms "housing owner," "landlord," and "tenant"]; California Code of Regulations Title 2, Chapter 5, Section 12050 [using the term "renters"].)

Some of these differences in terminology are due to substantive differences in the legal relationships being described. For example, a subtenant is a person whose legal existence presupposes and depends upon there having been an original tenant who rented or leased the property; it would make no sense to use identical terms for these parties, as they have somewhat different legal rights and obligations. But other differences seem unnecessary or superfluous and are simply the product of inconsistent drafting over the course of 150 years. For example, it is unclear why Civil Code Section 1940.8 uses the term "landlord of a residential dwelling unit" and the immediately-adjacent Section 1940.8.5 uses the term "owner of residential rental property" – when both provisions deal with pest control in rental housing.

One of the motivations of this bill is to establish consistent vocabulary in this area of law, so that if an identical term is used in different Code provisions, one can reasonably assume that the same legal rights and obligations adhere to the person being described by that term; whereas if different terms are used, one can safely assume that the legal rights and obligations in question differ in one or more respects.

Another motivation for this bill is to consider whether the terms "landlord" and "tenant" are outdated and ought to be replaced. The term "landlord" has its roots in the law of medieval England. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary states that its first known use dates from before the 12th Century. The term "tenant" dates from the 14th Century in English, but its roots go back much further, to the Latin "tenēre" ("to hold"). These terms are tinged with certain class-based connotations.

Assembly Bill 2503. Requires the commission to complete study by December 31, 2024.
 
Disclosures: TDS and related disclosures are set on date of acceptance of purchase agreement


Disclosures required by the TDS law in effect on the date the parties entered into contract shall be the disclosure requirements that apply to that sales contract. Any subsequent changes to the TDS law after the parties enter into the sales contract will not apply to that contract unless the statute specifies otherwise.

The requirement to deliver a Transfer Disclosure Statement or any other disclosure required under the TDS law that is in effect on the date that all of the parties enter into a contract or agreement shall be the requirements that apply to that contract or agreement, regardless of any subsequent change in the TDS law, unless otherwise specified.

This rule will apply to a TDS or any TDS related disclosure. The latter include: the NHD Statement, Mello-Roos and 1915 Bond Act disclosures, questions related to Industrial Use Zoning re manufacturing, commercial and airport uses as indicated on the SPQ, military ordnance, Supplemental Tax Notice, disclosures related to water conserving plumbing fixtures, Home Hardening and Defensible Space disclosures, and the notice regarding unbiased appraisals and compliance process (C.A.R.'s form "Fair Appraisal Act Addendum," Form FAAA).

Assembly Bill 2960 is codified (in relevant part) as Civil Code § 1102.5 

SUPPORT
Top Searches
;