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New State Laws Affect Both Renters And Landlords

California State Capitol

Some new California state laws, which became effective Jan. 1, affect renters and multifamily landlords. Nearly 400 real estate professionals gathered Tuesday at the Town & Country Resort and Convention Center to learn the details, explained by attorney Gov Hutchinson, California Association of Realtors (CAR) assistant general council, according to the San Diego Union Tribune.

  • SB655 made mold a factor in declaring a rental unit unfit for human habitation, and landlords who do not eliminate this problem could face misdemeanor criminal charges. A health officer has to declare a property uninhabitable before a tenant can successfully sue a landlord, and landlords don’t have to do anything until they are officially made aware of the problem. The law does not hold the landlord responsible if mold is the result of a tenant’s poor housekeeping practices.
  • AB1448 gives renters the right to erect clotheslines or drying racks. However, renters much get permission from landlords or homeowner's associations to attach a clothesline to a building.
  • SB328 bans “do-it-yourself” pest control by landlords and requires landlords to give tenants at least 24 hours advance notice before spraying pesticides, and reveal the type of pesticide and its toxicity warnings.
  • AB1103 eliminates the requirement for owners to inform prospective tenants how much energy a space of 10k SF or more used in electricity the previous year, and how their building compares to similar buildings in the area for energy usage.[SDUT]