New California Real Estate Laws for 2015

The following are some of the new real estate laws taking effect in the future in California.

California brokers are required to keep transaction records for at least 3 years. These records used to include text messages, instant messages and tweets, but per AB 2136, as of January 1, 2015, such electronic "ephemeral" records are not now required to be kept.  If you wish to maintain a good permanent record of communication with your agent, faxed documents and/or e-mail messages are a better way to go.

Many HOA associations use the services of a property manager who commonly carries out the forwarding of HOA documents to the buyer during escrow.  The fees charged by them for the gathering, production and delivery of such documents has been the subject of controversy and regulation in the past, all the more so since electronic documents do not incur the expense of actual copying and messengering to an escrow office that once was common.  To eliminate the practice engaged in by some companies where non-requested documents were included with requested documents--and charged for--document bundling is now prohibited. It is the now the responsibility for the seller to pay HOA document fees, and the fees must be itemized for mandated disclosures, i.e., CCRs, Minutes, By-laws, special assessments, financial/budget statements, rental reports, operating rules, etc.  The HOA must estimate the cost of such mandated documents prior to production, and if the seller possesses them electronically, they must be provided free of charge.  It is the responsibility of the seller to pay the HOA for any charges which the HOA is allowed to incur. The California purchase agreements have been revised to reflect this change in the law. So if you own a condominium and you are selling it, be aware that you are now legally required to pay for the mandated documents which are to be sent to the buyer, and that these documents can no longer be ordered by escrow using the buyer's deposit funds (a common practice until now).  These and other requirements are detailed in  AB 2430.

There are several other new HOA-related laws concerning exclusive use maintenance, use of recycled water, use of low water-using plants, judicially enforceable dispute resolutions, allowance of personal agriculture in a back yard.  For specific information on these, please contact me.
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If you see one in your front or back yard, the California red frog is now the state amphibian.

On July 15, the California state water board adopted emergency regulations restricting water use for outdoor landscapes. The regulations prohibit using potable water outdoors, such as watering your lawn, that results in runoff water on sidewalks, driveways, roadways and your neighbor’s property; washing a car with a hose unless the hose is fitted with a shut-off nozzle; watering down your driveway and sidewalk; and using water in a decorative fountain unless it recirculates. Violation of the regulations is an infraction and may result in a fine of up to $500 for each day the violation occurs.  Various cities, such as Long Beach and Los Angeles, also have water regulations, i.e., watering on certain days and times. Try checking with their web sites.

AB 2310 allows the city attorney in certain California cities, including Long Beach, to demand that a landlord evict a tenant, after following certain procedures, for unlawful possession of weapons or ammunition or for other illegal conduct with controlled substances, or this action may be carried out by the City.

Seniors or disabled citizens may file for a postponement of their property taxes if household income does not exceed $35,500. This program does not include mobile homes, and takes effect July 1, 2016.  Claims are filed with the State Controller and any sums approved and paid by the state will become a lien on the property.

Please contact me for more detailed summary on some of these laws, I am happy to be of assistance.

1 comment:

Dave Lindahl Scam Tips in RealEstate said...

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