Recent Landlord and Tenant Bills


We have made the difference on the outcome of many landlord and tenant bills over the past month.

Let’s take a look at the progress and outcome of certain key bills.

1. Electric vehicle charging stations. There is little question that AB 2565 (Muratsuchi) will be sent to the Governor for his signature. The bill reflects all of the amendments that we wrote. In pertinent part, tenants will be able to request an EV charging station in rental developments of five units or more as long as certain conditions are met. The most important condition: they will pay for all of the improvements, insurance, cost of electricity, etc. This is a presidential issue for us.

Should the Governor sign the bill, which we expect he will do, state law will require a tenant to pay and maintain an improvement to our property. There are over 24 amendments to the bill that we wrote. We are planning on an extensive report on the significance of this measure on many levels if AB 2565 becomes law. The bill will not apply in rent control communities . . . the issues are simply too complex.

2. Edible fruit and vegetable planting. Here is another bill where we wrote all of the significant amendments in the measure, AB 2561 (Bradford). The bill started out granting a new rental property right to residential tenants.

They could have been authorized to plant any number of plants that would bear fruit and vegetables inside and outside a rental unit. Because of the damage that could result and many other adverse factors, we opposed this bill and lobbied against it on Legislative Day last April. After multiple meetings with the author and his staff, he agreed to all of our significant amendments which include: limiting the bill to single-family rentals, backyard areas, and first floor locations; landlords determine the placement, location and number of plants. This bill does not change the law regarding marijuana cultivation.

3. Anti-Ellis Act. Finally, SB 1403 (Leno), died last month. This was a top priority bill for us to oppose. The bill proposed to require rental property owners to constantly remain in business for at least five years unless they had owned another rental property where, at any time in the past, they had gone out of business. If a rental property owner had gone out of business in the past, the rental property owner would have been forced to remain in business for the duration of ownership. Even though the bill only applied to San Francisco, it would not take too long for other cities to seek statutory authorization to follow suit. The author has promised to re-introduce the bill next year.

4. Inspections. SB 1167 (Hueso) was signed into law last month. In pertinent part, a local government enforcement agency will be able to require abatement of the conditions that caused an infestation. The wording in this bill was critical to us. We were very involved in this bill to make sure local government enforcement officials could not go on fishing expeditions in rental property; they could not pre-determine if there was going to be a problem sometime in the future and most important they would have to confine their deter mina tion based on what caused the infestation being investigated.

5. Water sub meters. No, we are not out of the woods yet. Two bills are at issue:

a. We resolved our differences regarding AB 2451 (Daly) with the water sub meter companies. We will NOT be held criminally liable for inoperable water sub meters if those meters were submitted to a county sealer for inspection, the county sealed the devices that were not physically tested, and we complied with maintenance standards. We worked very closely with the sealers to craft the actual language in the bill. We believe the bill will be sent to the Governor during August.

b. The son of SB 750 (Wolk) may rise from the ashes this month. We were strongly opposed to the bill and lead the opposition before the Assembly Water Committee last year. The sponsors continue to report to us that they will try to resurrect it this month during the last month of session. The bill and issue were more about punishing landlords than the stated goal that was asserted by the sponsors: water conservation.

6. AB 2310 (Ridley-Thomas) and AB 2485 (Dickinson) would authorize the city attorney or county DAs of Los Angeles, Long Beach, Sacramento and Alameda to extend the UD provisions under current law and just subsetted. The law authorized the City Attorney or DA, as the case may be, to provide notice to a landlord and suspected drug dealing tenant or tenant that was suspected of illegal ammunition sales. It would permit the landlord to seek a UD within 30 days of the notice from the city or county or permit the city or county to pursue the UD on the behalf of the landlord. We asked for and received ONE essential amendment. If we paid the city or county to proceed with the UD the statutorily proscribed fee of $600, we wanted to make sure the UD was filed. If the city or county failed to proceed with the UD, we would not pay the fee. The Legislature returned from a month-long summer recess on August 4. It will have a month to conclude its normal business for the year.

Ron Kingston can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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