TENANTS LEGAL CENTER
OF SAN DIEGO

NEW LAWS FOR 2013

  
 

 

 


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SOME HIGHLIGHTS OF THE FOLLOWING NEW LAWS FOR 2013
(This page will be updated from time to time with new information or analysis.) 

NEW PROTECTION FOR ANIMALS OF RENTERS
Landlord cannot require declawing or devocalizing

Civil Code section 1942.7 was added to the landlord tenant codes which prohibits a landlord from doing the following:

Advertise, through any means, the availability of real property for occupancy in a manner designed to discourage application for occupancy of that real property because an applicant’s animal has not been declawed or devocalized or  Refuse to allow the occupancy of any real property, refuse to negotiate the occupancy of any real property, or otherwise make unavailable or deny to any other person the occupancy of any real property because of that person’s refusal to declaw or devocalize any animal or Require any tenant or occupant of real property to declaw or devocalize any animal allowed on the premises.  “Animal” means any mammal, bird, reptile, or amphibian and there are penalties allowed including up to $1,000 per violation.


EVICTION PROTECTION WHEN NEW OWNER FAILS TO GIVE NOTICE ON RENT PAYMENT
This new law prohibits a new owner, whether by sale or foreclosure, from
 " ...evicting a tenant for nonpayment of rent that accrued during the period of noncompliance by a successor owner or manager with the above-described information requirements."  Those requirements include the obligation to notify a tenant within 15 days of that change in ownership as to whom or how rent is to be paid This is to stop landlords or banks from surprising tenants with weeks or months of claimed back rent owed  when the tenants had no idea of where or how they could pay the rent.  Although an eviction is prohibited for non-payment of rent for a violation of this law, the new law  ".. would not relieve the tenant of any liability for unpaid rent."

POST FORECLOSURE PROTECTIONS
California has enacted its own version of the Federal Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act.

After a foreclosure, this new law generally protects the tenant's existing lease unless any of these apply:
(1) The purchaser or successor in interest will occupy the housing unit as a primary residence.
(2) The lessee is the mortgagor or the child, spouse, or parent of the mortgagor. (3) The lease
was not the result of an arms' length transaction.  (4) The lease requires the receipt of rent that is substantially
less than fair market rent (except subsidized housing)

It also provides that under certain circumstances, a new owner may either give the tenant  a new lease or rental agreement,  or provide the tenant with a 90-day eviction notice.  An affected tenant may object to a judgment if not named in an eviction case.  
A month to month tenant would still be entitled to a 90 day notice. This law is set to expire on December 31, 2019.

SPECIAL NOTICES TO TENANTS AFTER FORECLOSURE EXTENDED
Portions of SB1149 for 2011 was extended by SB825 which did the following:  Existing law from SB 1149 originally set to expire on January 1, 2013, required that any notice to quit regarding a housing unit served within one year after a foreclosure sale include a separate cover sheet that contains an additional notice to renters. It required that content of this notice provided the tenant with specified information regarding tenants’ rights. Existing law provided that, under certain circumstances, the cover sheet need not be served, as specified. The bill would extend the operation of these provisions until December 31, 2019. and require the addition of the resource  (www.lawhelpca.org) to the notice

RESIDENTIAL SECURITY DEPOSITS
 
This new law provides that after either the landlord or the tenant provides notice to terminate the
tenancy, a landlord and tenant may mutually agree to have the landlord deposit any remaining portion of the
security deposit electronically to a bank account or other financial institution designated by the tenant.
Further, after either the landlord or the tenant provides notice to terminate the tenancy,  the landlord and the tenant may agree to have the landlord provide a copy of the itemized statement along with the copies of documents showing charges incurred and deducted by the landlord to repair or clean the premises to an email account provided by the tenant.

ABANDONED PERSONAL PROPERTY
This new law allows a landlord to dispose of abandoned personal property after an eviction believed worth less than  $700.00 (old law was $300.00)  Also, notices to the tenant may be served by email and the storage costs are less if the property is reclaimed right away.

LANDLORDS CANNOT DEMAND PAYMENTS BY ONLY ELECTRONIC MEANS
Civil Code  1947.3  requires that "...a landlord or a landlord's agent  shall allow a tenant to pay rent and deposit of security by at least one form of payment that is  neither cash nor electronic funds transfer"  (Cash may still be required if a tenant pays with a
dishonored check under certain conditions and with notice..)  The parties
can still voluntarily agree in a
lease to have an electronic payment method.

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California law for San Diego is applied in these pages. This is not represented to be a full and complete list of all laws that may or may not affect tenants or occupants in properties  Such laws may or may not be applicable in other jurisdictions.  The information provided herein is of a general nature and is not intended to be taken as specific legal advice. Legal summaries are only the opinion of the Tenants Legal Center and are not intended nor should they be relied upon as any specific representation of any law.  For legal advice in a particular situation, promptly consult with an appropriate attorney.