Get the View on Some California Laws Coming Into Play for 2017 (or late 2016)

  • Death of Occupant in a Property - there is already a law concerning this disclosure, but a new law effective September 25, 2016 clarifies it further by stating that the owner, his/her agent, or the buyer's agent,  is not required to disclose the death of an occupant of real property prior to three years before the offer to purchase or rent.  Also, no disclosure is required when an occupant was living with or died from AIDS-related complications.  
  • Effective November 27, 2016, FHA’s minimum owner-occupancy ratio for condo associations is reduced from the current 50 percent to 35 percent. FHA is ordered to streamline the entire recertification process for condo associations and make compliance “substantially less burdensome.”  Many condo owners and their Boards of Directors have not been aware that an FHA approval does not last indefinitely, and several years ago, required renewal every two years.  FHA has been criticized for certain requirements, because of many associations slipping out of certification seemingly unnoticed.  This cuts out a lot of selling opportunity for buyers and sellers of condos.  FHA is also required to make the recertification process "less burdensome" in order to attract more associations into the process.  Overall, this is good news.
  • Effective January 1, 2018, water submeters must be installed on all new multifamily units and mixed residential/commercial multifamily units, so a tenant may know how their water usage amount. This law does not apply to existing multifamily units.
  • Effective January 1, 2017, participation in a PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) lien program requires disclosures showing, among other things, that the property owner may not be able to sell or refinance without first paying off the PACE obligation.  There is also a 3-day right of rescission.  So know before you enroll in a PACE or HERO program which places a lien on your property.
  • However, FHA permits properties with a Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) obligation to be eligible for FHA-insured mortgage financing, whether for new purchases or refinancing, under certain circumstances. If the PACE lien is to remain, then property sales contract must include all terms and conditions of the PACE obligation by closing. Effective September 17, 2016.
For more information on other laws not mentioned here, or for additional information, please contact me and I will be happy to give to you.

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