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This guidance is intended for rental properties in cities that do not currently have rent control, tenant eviction protections, or relocation fees. If your rental property is located in a jurisdiction that is currently regulated, please contact your local property owner association to receive guidance on the possible applicability of AB 1482.

‘Rising tide’ of tenants getting 60-day move-out notices in advance of statewide rent cap

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AB 1482 was significantly watered down to accommodate reluctant lawmakers and appease opposing interest groups: The proposed rent cap was raised to 7% plus inflation from 5%, exempts landlords who own fewer than 10 single family homes and would expire in 2023. (iStockphoto)

Loophole that expires Thursday lets landlords raise rents by evicting tenants during the holiday season.

By JEFF COLLINS | JeffCollins@scng.com | Orange County Register

A “rising tide” of California tenants have been getting preemptive, 60-day “notices to vacate” their apartments in advance of AB 1482, the state’s new rent cap law, as landlords take advantage of a window that closes Thursday to raise rents before the law kicks in on Jan. 1, tenants rights groups report.

Even though most tenants are paying their rent and obeying the rules, many have been told they need to move out by Christmas.

“We’re getting people who are long-term tenants, 10 or 11 years, suddenly getting the notice for no apparent reason,” said Dave Levy, programs specialist for the Fair Housing Council of Orange County. “ … That’s a blow around the holidays. Typically, we don’t see landlords handing out such notices at this time of year because it’s not a good time to re-rent those units.”

Nobody knows how many tenants have received such notices.

Daniel Yukelson, CEO of the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles, said his group hasn’t heard of large numbers of landlords issuing such “no-fault evictions.”

But tenant’s rights groups say the number of calls reporting the practice has been mounting. San Francisco-based Tenants Together, a statewide tenant’s rights group, reported a bump of 20% to 30% since last summer when the statewide rent-cap measure was under review.

And prominent eviction attorney Dennis Block said in a recent YouTube video, “We’ve been serving these up like hotcakes.”

The practice is legal until Thursday, Oct. 31, two months before AB 1482’s “just cause eviction” provisions take effect.

Those provisions ban move-out notices for tenants in good standing unless the landlord needs to renovate the unit, move into the unit or take it off the rental market. And even then, the landlord must pay the tenant one month’s rent in relocation assistance.

“We do not condone preemptive evictions in advance of Assembly Bill 1482’s effectiveness…”

Daniel Yukelson, CEO of the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles

Block and others maintain the practice is a legitimate way for landlords charging below-market rents to get around AB 1482’s rent cap of 5% plus inflation, retroactive to March 2019. Once the old tenant is out, landlords can raise rents to market rate before a new tenant moves in, Block said.

But even some landlord leaders have been squeamish about the practice, with California Apartment Association lobbyist Debra Carlton telling the nonprofit news outlet CalMatters, “This is unconscionable.”

“We do not condone preemptive evictions in advance of Assembly Bill 1482’s effectiveness,” Yukelson added.

The cities of Los Angeles and Milpitas voted last week to adopt moratoriums on no-fault evictions until AB 1482 takes effect.

At least six other cities – Anaheim, Burbank and Bell Gardens in Southern California and Santa Cruz, Daly City and Redwood City in the Bay Area – are discussing similar action this week, city records show.

Current law allows landlords to issue move-out notices unilaterally without giving a reason, provided the renter isn’t under a lease and gets at least 60-days notice, 30 days if the tenant has lived in the unit for under a year.

But that option expires Jan. 1. AB 1482 imposes “just cause” eviction controls for tenants of at least a year throughout the state on apartments or corporate-owned rental houses that are at least 15 years old.

Block, who claims to be the nation’s leading eviction attorney, has been advocating for months that landlords take advantage of the closing window. He also has been posting a countdown to Thursday’s deadline on Twitter, urging property owners to “call my office for assistance.”

“Kick them out. Serve a 60-day notice,” Block said during an Apartment Owners Association seminar in mid-October posted on YouTube. “Do you have to feel guilty? … The answer is no. Did we create this problem? No. Did our Legislature create this problem? The answer is, of course, they did.”

But tenants’ rights groups argue landlords should think about the human consequences of preemptive move-out notices.

“Property owners should think about the domino effect of their decisions,” said Lupe Arreola, executive director of Tenants Together. “Just because you want to increase the rent, someone has to (move) further and further out. They may have to switch jobs or their children may have to switch schools. … It affects their entire lives.”

Meanwhile, a statewide emergency declaration issued Oct. 27 in response to California’s wildfires also imposed a 10% cap on rent hikes for all housing in all 58 counties under the state’s long-existing anti-gouging law.

The cap, which will be in effect for 30 days, applies to all homes, affects housing not included in AB 1482, including houses and condos and including new homes and apartments.

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By Eric D. Jarvis, Esq. | Founder of ReassureRent

It’s every landlord’s nightmare: A tenant who can’t, or won’t, pay the rent. You’ve invested in your property.  You are obligate to continue to pay taxes, insurance, a mortgage, and maintenance, and you depend on that income. You provided a home for your tenant and you have a right to expect that tenant to keep their end of the deal.  Now you’re involved in a time consuming and emotionally draining eviction process. In the best situations, you will pay some legal fees and lose some rent.  In the very worst situations, you could spend thousands in legal fees and lose half a year of rent before you get your property back.

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Less than a year after California voters rejected rent control in a statewide ballot proposition, Governor Gavin Newsom has signed legislation imposing it. For rental units 15 years or older, rent increases will be limited to 5 percent annually. The negative consequences of the new law are extensive. Older buildings, likely to require the most maintenance, will fail to recover costs—leading to “shabbification.” New construction, desperately needed in a state with an estimated housing shortage of millions of units, will also dwindle. Developers confront a future with limited returns on investment. And, as always with rent control, incumbent renters—assured cheap housing, regardless of their income—will benefit, while newcomers see only “no vacancy” signs.

The Apartment Buildings Expo Returns to Pasadena Oct. 2

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The Apartment Buildings Conference & Expo on October 2nd is a free educational event featuring guest speakers, seminars, breakout sessions and an exhibit hall for multi-family owners, investors, property managers and service providers. It’s the perfect place to catch up on the latest housing news, trends and to get advice from industry experts. Attendees are invited to pre-register free at www.BuildingsLA.com.

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In this article, I’ll lay out five practices that the best property managers turn into longstanding habits. I’ve returned to them consistently throughout my career, and they apply to the management of all forms of real estate, from retail to residential, office to industrial. When managing, organization is of the utmost importance. You’ll find that principle at the heart of these tips.

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Dear SKY, How Can We Change The Attitude of Landlord vs. Tenant?

The relationship between the landlord and the tenant is a professional and cordial one. The landlord or Housing Provider provides the property, and the tenant pays their rent and hopefully loves their apartment and community in return. The landlord and tenant relationship can be much more complicated than that if one of them does not fulfill their various obligations.  As most of you know many relationships do not always remain steady.  Problems and disputes arise with time, and things can go off track.

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Things change: your perspective, your appetite for risk, and even your investment criteria. Sometimes the best thing you can do is move forward, and that can mean selling an investment property. When this time comes, you will have to pay off any existing liens before transferring title. For many investors, the biggest lien is their commercial mortgage. But just as you would do your research and preparation for the purchase of a property, you must also prepare to sell a property. That starts with organizing the paperwork. Are there any prepayment penalties that could cost you at closing? Do you have operating statements and rent rolls ready? Is the property in a condition fit to finance? Let’s take a closer look at potential hurdles to limit surprises.

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One of the biggest disasters a property manager could face is a fire. According to FEMA, the cooling weather in fall and winter increases the number of fires and related accidents. It is crucial to inspect your properties for fire hazards now, and get acquainted with these tips to help prevent fires and keep residents safe and minimize damage if a fire does occur.