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  • Archive for April 10th, 2013

    Apr 10


    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    Another new state requirement you should be aware of:  The Nonresidential Building Energy Use Disclosure Program kicks in this summer.  This is the mandatory Energy Star disclosure law we have been working on for over five years now. The present effective date of the regulations is July 1, 2013 for large buildings (more than 50,000 square feet); January 1, 2014 for medium buildings (more than 10,000, and up to 50,000 square feet); and July 1, 2014 for small buildings (5,000 up to 10,000 square feet).

    Basically, anytime you finance, sell, or lease a whole building, you are required to run the Energy Star numbers and provide that information to the other party in the transaction as well as the Energy Commission.

    The Energy Commission staff is working to provide online resources to help you comply with this new law. Here are several items you can find already online:

    Final AB 1103 Regulations

    The Energy Commission is also working on a “Frequently Asked Questions” document and would like our input. If, after reading through the materials, you are unclear on how to comply with the law, or if there are lingering questions, please let us know and we will pass along to the CEC.

    We want to thank staff at the Energy Commission for working with our industry to address issues and resolve concerns throughout this process.  We will continue to work with them as they move forward and are implemented.

    Apr 10


    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    As part of this overall historic reform, a lease language requirement was signed into law which requires property owner and lessor to notify the tenant in the lease form or rental agreement executed on or after July 1, 2013, whether the property being leased or rented has undergone inspection by a CASp, and if so, whether the property has been or has not been determined to meet all applicable construction-related accessibility standards.

    Here is the actual statutory language:

    SEC. 12. Section 1938 is added to the Civil Code, to read:

    1938. A commercial property owner or lessor shall state on every lease form or rental agreement executed on or after July 1, 2013, whether the property being leased or rented has undergone inspection by a Certified

    Access Specialist (CASp), and, if so, whether the property has or has not been determined to meet all applicable construction-related accessibility standards pursuant to Section 55.53.

    Several commercial real estate law firms have already sent out client advisories on how to comply with this section of law.  We strongly suggest you consult with an attorney or those responsible for drafting leases in your company to assure that you are ready to be in compliance with the law when it kicks in later this Summer.

    Click here to read the full bill.

    Apr 10


    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    (Note: this information has appeared in the weekly in the past. We are re-running because this is a huge accomplishment in terms of ADA reform, but also because there is some required lease language that you need to know about).

    California has 40 percent of the nation’s ADA lawsuits but only 12 percent of the country’s disabled population.  So last year Governor Brown signed SB 1186 (Steinberg/Dutton), which will curb lawsuit abuse regarding the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) while promoting increased compliance with disabled accessibility building codes.

    The effort is the culmination of a multi-year, bipartisan effort, that included leadership from state level elected officials Senate pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) and Senator Bob Dutton (R-Rancho Cucamonga), with federal support coming from Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).

    This measure is hailed as the most comprehensive and significant reform to California’s ADA Law. It passed the Legislature by a two-thirds vote, garnering support from both parties.

    Among other things, this measure: prohibits pre-litigation “demands for money” by attorneys; puts into place new provisions to prevent “stacking” of multiple claims to increase statutory damages; reduces statutory damages and provides litigation protections for defendants who correct violations; and establishes priorities for the California Commission on Disabled Accessibility that promote and facilitate disability access compliance. Here are some more specifics on the main provisions of the bill:

    1. Reduced statutory damages and litigation protections for defendants who correct violations

    2. New provisions to prevent stacking of multiple claims to increase statutory damages

    3. Ban on demands for money and new rules for demand letters

    4. New pleading with specificity requirement for demand letters and complaints

    5. State Bar review of demand letters; violation of demand letter and demand for money provisions would be grounds for attorney discipline

    6. Mandatory evaluation conference at option of either defendant of plaintiff

    7. Mandatory notice to property tenant of CASp status of the property

    8. California Commission on Disability Access (CCDA) to receive copies of complaints and demand letters and tabulate data on top ten types of violations alleged

    9. CCDA to promote and facilitate accessibility compliance

    10. Required information regarding disability access compliance to businesses upon renewal of business license

    11. New add-on fee of $1 to business license fee to strengthen CASp program and develop educational and training resources at state and local level to promote compliance

    This bill could not have passed were it not for efforts from many of you and partners that we have worked with over the past year in Sacramento.  The CalChamber and CBIA were right there with us helping with the heavy lifting on this bill, as well as several others. We want to thank Governor Brown for signing SB 1186, and everyone who helped get it to his Desk!

    Apr 10


    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    The Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee will hold an informational hearing this Monday, April 8 to discuss issues related to Proposition 13, Change of Ownership, Property Tax Vote Thresholds, and Parcel Tax Issues.  There are currently nine bills in the Legislature that are targeting Proposition 13 and this hearing will be an opportunity to engage new and returning legislators about how important the law is to both residential and commercial property owners and tenants.

    The Committee is chaired by Assemblymember Raul Bocanegra (D-Los Angeles) and the Vice Chair is Assemblymember Brian Dahle (R-Bieber).  The committee has a total of six Democrats and three Republicans.  If you have a relationship with any of the committee members, we hope you can speak with them and explain why eliminating your Prop 13 protections would be a bad idea.  Click here for the committee membership.

    The hearing begins at 1:30 p.m. on April 8.  You can hear an audio feed of the hearing by clicking here.

    Several representatives of commercial real estate will be at the hearing and ready to testify.  Rob Cord, Managing Director of Real Estate Management Services, Voit Real Estate Services, a former BOMA California President, former NAIOP of California Board Member, ICSC member, and current CBPA Board Member, has been invited to provide formal testimony to the committee with regards to how a split roll property tax would impact commercial real estate.

    The committee will hear an “Overview of Local Government Tax Authority” from the Legislative Analyst’s Office.  Then a panel which includes several college professors, a representative from the League of Cities, and the CA Executive Director of NFIB, will discuss the impacts of “General Taxes, Special Taxes, and the Supermajority Vote Requirement.”

    Prior to closing the hearing with public comments, the committee will hear from a panel that will discuss the “Policy Implications and Proposals for Reform.”

    This should be a very informative hearing.