Floodgates

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About the same time that floodgates and emergency spillways were attempting to corral an abundance of water at the Oroville Dam and the Don Pedro Reservoir, the Capitol was inundated with a flood of a different kind—legislative proposals introduced en mass to beat the self-imposed deadline for bill introductions. Imagine, over 850 bills of all different stripes in the last day alone. What a way to celebrate a Presidents’ Day weekend!

Your legislative team has identified for close scrutiny and ongoing monitoring about 150 bills of the roughly 2,600 bills introduced this year. As usual, some of these bills have a direct effect on the ownership and management of residential rental property while others are more inclusive in scope. This column will report from time to time, in brief or in depth, on the more significant bills affecting the apartment industry. We start the discussion here with several of the most outrageous bills noted to date.

AB 1506 (Bloom)
would repeal the Costa-Hawkins Act, a decade-in-the-making measure to place restrictions on local government’s ability to enforce overly restrictive rent control ordinances. The Act was designed to curb the excesses of early Berkeley and Santa Monica styled rent control ordinances, exempted all new construction and single-family homes, among other provisions. Its repeal would devastate the housing industry because it would allow local governments to adopt restrictive and punitive forms of rent control.

AB 1505 (Bloom) would authorize local ordinances to require, as a condition of development of residential rental housing units, that the development include a certain percentage of units affordable to, and occupied by, households that do not exceed the income limits for moderate income, lower income, very low income, or extremely low income households as specified by certain cited sections of the Health and Safety Code.

AB 982 (Bloom) would amend the Ellis Act, regulating the permissible limits on local governments’ authority to regulate the ability of a rental property owner to go out of business, to require a minimum one-year notice to all residents as opposed to seniors and the disabled who must receive a notice at least one year in advance of the landlord going out of business.

AB 1585 (Bloom)
would establish in each local jurisdiction a new layer of regional zoning approval for certain affordable housing projects that meet specified standards relating to local housing needs and fast track a comprehensive permit approval process that includes public hearings and appeal to the State Department of Housing and Community Development.

SB 277 (Bradford), similar to AB 1505 (Bloom), would authorize local governments to require inclusionary housing affordability standards for all new developments. AB 915 (Ting) and AB 932 (Ting) also relate to similar local government housing affordability mandates in all new developments.

AB 199 (Chu) would require all private residential projects built on private property pursuant to an agreement with the State or a political subdivision to meet the requirements of projects that are defined as “public works” under existing law, thus imposing payment of prevailing wages or PLA agreements on these private projects.

AB 1667 (Friedman) would require urban water suppliers to install separate dedicated landscape water meters on all existing service connections for industrial, commercial and residential property, requiring massive retrofit replumbing, with varied completion dates depending upon the nature of the structural improvement on the property and the square footage of irrigated landscapes.

AB 291 (Chiu) contains several separate and detailed provisions relating to various prohibitions in the landlord-tenant relationship regarding the known or perceived immigration or citizenship status of a tenant or occupant. Among other provisions, it would create a tenant’s cause of action for damages in the amount of six times the monthly rent for unauthorized disclosure of such information and provide affirmative defenses in UD cases.

AB 1242 (Grayson)
would require an owner or agent of residential rental property having 16 or more units to reside at the property or within five miles of the property. It also would require written disclosure to every tenant by February 1, 2018, the name, telephone number and email address of the property owner or agent.

Much more about these significant bills of interest will be discussed in greater detail as they progress through the committee process in this legislative session. Turning attention to other bills of interest, we note in passing that our jointly sponsored bill on immigration described in February’s column, AB 299 (Calderon), conflicts in several meaningful ways with AB 291 (Chiu) mentioned above. Some other measures in no particular order of attention include the following.

AB 62 (Wood) would require all public housing agencies to implement a policy by July 30, 2018, to prohibit the smoking of tobacco products in all public housing living units, interior areas, and outdoor areas within 25 feet of the units except in designated smoking areas.

AB 1569 (Caballero) would provide a detailed process to be followed by landlords and tenants for dealing with ADA accommodation of animals on the rental property where the disability or the disability related need for the animal is not apparent. It provides a step-by-step interactive procedure to validate important criteria.

SB 2 (Atkins) would create a separate fund in the State Treasury for support of affordable housing development by imposition of a $75 fee on the recording of every real estate instrument, paper or notice required or permitted to be recorded, not to exceed a total of $225 per single transaction.

SB 3 (Beall) would authorize the issuance of $3 Billion in bonds to be used for financing various existing housing programs as well as infill infrastructure financing and matching grant programs.

ACA 4 (Aguiar-Curry) would lower from 2/3 to 55 percent the vote required to authorize general obligation bonds to fund the con struction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, or replacement of public infrastructure or affordable housing projects, if the proposition proposing that bond includes specified accountability requirements.

Stay tuned for updates on all of these and other bills of interest.

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