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1972 – 50 years of service to the commercial industrial retail real estate industry – 2022.


April 12, 2019

As you know from past eWeeklys there are over 200 bills trying to address the “housing” crisis.  We think the best way to address the shortage of housing in California is to build more housing by reforming laws that make homebuilding so difficult and expensive.

However, many legislators have some other unique and interesting ideas, many of which would roll back some of your rights as a property owner.  Here are some of the worst of the worst.  Ranging from bills that would implement rent control – even after voters resoundingly defeated it at the polls in November – to bills that would make it very difficult to evict problem tenants.

Although many of these bills are currently focused on residential properties, they would also apply to mixed-use projects, and would have a deleterious effect on commercial leasing as many statutes do not distinguish between commercial/residential leasing and/or the bills will eventually bleed over into commercial leasing:

AB 36 (Bloom D) Residential tenancies: rent control. Proposes amendments to the State’s Costa Hawkins Rental Housing Act that would establish a form of statewide a rent control.  Would modify existing law to authorize an owner of residential real property to establish the initial and all subsequent rental rates for a dwelling or unit that has been issued its first certificate of occupancy within 10 years of the date upon which the owner seeks to establish the initial or subsequent rental rate, or for a dwelling or unit that is alienable separate from the title to any other dwelling unit or is a subdivided interest in a subdivision and the owner is a natural person who owns 2 or more residential units within the same jurisdiction as the dwelling or unit for which the owner seeks to establish the initial or subsequent rental rate, subject to certain exceptions.  POSITION:  OPPOSE.

AB 53 (Jones-Sawyer D) Rental housing discrimination: applications: criminal records. This bill makes it unlawful for the owner of any rental housing accommodation to deny the rental or lease of a housing accommodation without first satisfying specified requirements relating to the application process. The bill would prohibit the owner of a rental housing accommodation from inquiring about or requiring an applicant for rental housing accommodation to disclose, a criminal record during the initial application assessment phase, as defined, unless otherwise required by state or federal law. POSITION:  OPPOSE.

AB 724 (Wicks D) Rental property data registry. This bill requires the Department of Housing and Community Development to create a rental registry online portal, which would be designed to receive specified information from landlords regarding their residential tenancies and to disseminate this information to the public. The bill would require landlords who own or operate property that includes more than 15 dwelling units to register within 90 days and annually thereafter. POSITION:  OPPOSE.

AB 1110 (Friedman D) Rent increases: noticing.  This bill would require 90 days’ notice if a landlord of a residential dwelling with a month-to-month tenancy increases the rent by more than 10%, but no more than 15%, of the amount of the rent charged to a tenant annually. This bill would require 120 days’ notice if a landlord of a residential dwelling with a month-to-month tenancy increases the rent by more than 15% of the amount of the rent charged to a tenant annually. POSITION:  OPPOSE.

AB 1188 (Gabriel D) Dwelling units: persons at risk of homelessness.  This bill authorizes a tenant to temporarily permit the occupancy of their dwelling unit by a person who is at risk of homelessness, regardless of the terms of the lease, without negative repercussions from the owner or landlord of the property. POSITION:  OPPOSE.

AB 1399 (Bloom D) Residential real property: rent control: withdrawal of accommodations. A public entity acting pursuant to the Ellis Act to require an owner who offers accommodations against for rent or lease within a period not exceeding 10 years from the date on which they were withdrawn, as specified, to first offer the unit to the tenant or lessee displaced from that unit by the withdrawal, subject to certain requirements. If the owner fails to comply with this requirement, the owner is liable to a displaced tenant or lessee for punitive damages not to exceed 6 months’ rent. This bill would prohibit a payment of the above-described punitive damages from being construed to extinguish the owner’s obligation to offer the accommodations to a prior tenant or lessee, as described above. POSITION:  OPPOSE.

AB 1481 (Bonta D) Tenancy termination: just cause.  This bill prohibits a lessor of residential property from terminating the lease without just cause stated in the written notice to terminate. This bill would require, for curable violations, that the lessor give a notice of violation and an opportunity to cure the violation prior to issuing the notice of termination, unless the notice to terminate states just because that is related to specific illegal conduct that creates the potential for harm to other tenants. POSITION:  OPPOSE.

AB 1482 (Chiu D) Tenancy: rent caps.  This bill prohibits an owner of residential real property from increasing the rental rate for that property in an amount that is greater than an unspecified percent more than the rental rate in effect for the immediately preceding year.  The bill would prohibit a landlord from terminating a tenancy for the purposes of avoiding these provisions and would create a rebuttable presumption that the termination of a tenancy is for the purposes of avoiding these provisions in the absence of a written statement showing cause for the termination. POSITION:  OPPOSE.

AB 1697 (Grayson D) Housing: tenancy termination: just cause. This bill would prohibit a lessor of residential property in which the tenant has occupied the property for 12 months or more, from terminating the lease without just cause, stated in the written notice to terminate. POSITION:  OPPOSE.

AB 1795 (Kamlager-Dove D) Civil actions: unlawful detainer: court records.  This bill would prohibit the access to the records of certain unlawful detainer actions. POSITION:  OPPOSE.

SB 529 (Durazo D) Tenant associations: eviction for cause: withholding payment of rent. This bill would declare that tenants have the right to form, join, and participate in the activities of a tenant association, and withhold rent for any purpose they deem needed regardless of lease documents.  POSITION:  OPPOSE.

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