By Becky Bower
From new laws that will affect California’s tenant background check to Seattle, Washington’s “first come, first served” renter law, 2017 has brought an onslaught of new rental housing legislation. Here are some passed and pending bills you should look out for this year.
PENDING: HUD’s Smoke-Free Public Housing (view rule)
The department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has proposed a rule that requires each public housing authority (PHA) to implement a smoke-free policy. This smoke-free policy applies to all public housing living units, indoor common areas, PHA administrative buildings, and in outdoor areas extending up to 25 feet from both the public housing and office buildings. This rule is currently up for comment until January 19th, 2017. Once this rule is published with the Federal Register and the effective date is established, all PHAs must implement the smoke-free policy within 18 months.
The National Consumer Assistance Plan (read our full article)
Announced in September of 2016, the three major credit bureaus will be enacting the National Consumer Assistance Plan to new and existing public record data on July 1, 2017. Experian® anticipates that the new standards will likely affect about 96% of civil judgement data, making getting a tenant screening service that includes eviction data even more imperative.
Landlord/Tenant Unlawful Detainer Proceedings (AB 2819)
There will be no public access to unlawful detainer (eviction) records, unless the plaintiff/landlord prevails within 60 days of filing. The previous law had the defendant/tenant required to prevail within 60 days to bar public access. This goes into effect, January 1, 2017.
Pesticide Application in Common Interest Developments (AB 2362)
Homeowner associations in common interest developments must now provide tenants advance written notice when over-the-counter pesticides are applied to separate interest dwellings or common areas. Notice must be provided at least 48 hours before application, however, if the pests pose a high and immediate threat, notification can be posted one hour before pesticides are applied.
Landlord/Tenant Bedbugs Disclosure (AB 551)
This amendment requires landlords to give information about bed bugs (as specified) to new tenants starting July 1, 2017 and for existing tenants starting January 1, 2018. Notice must also be given to tenants of units inspected by a pest control operator and provide the findings within 2 business days. This bill also prohibits landlords from showing, renting, or leasing a vacancy that the landlord knows has a bed bug infestation. By law, tenants must cooperate with bed bug inspections, permitting entry into the unit by the pest control operator.
Landlord/Tenant Commercial Leasing Disclosure (AB 2093)
Requires property owner(s) or lessor to state on every lease form on or after January 1, 2017 whether or not the premises have been inspected by a Certified Access Specialist (CASp). The landlord must provide tenants with a current disability access inspection certificate or report, or a copy of the CASp inspection report if the report indicates that they meet applicable disability standards. If the property does not have a disability access inspection certificate, then the lease form or rental agreement must state that, on the request of the tenant, a CASp inspection may be performed (as specified). Landlords are responsible for making repairs or modifications to correct violations of construction-related accessibility standards.
Effective as of January 1, 2017, these two bills revise the zoning restrictions on second dwellings, allowing the creation of 2nd units in single-family and multifamily residential zones (with specified provisions regarding where the 2nd unit may be located, standards, etc.). In addition to changing the term from “second unit” to “accessory dwelling units”, AB 2299, in particular, revises parking requirements for accessory dwellings. The previous law requires second units to not exceed one parking space per unit or bedroom, with additional authorization for more than one parking space. The amendment removes the need for additional authorization for accessory dwelling parking.
Junior Accessory Dwellings (AB 2406)
Local governments can now establish laws for the creation of junior accessory dwellings in single-family residential zones. Local governments are prohibited from requiring additional parking as a condition of granting a permit.
Removes Certain Disclosures for Transfer of Residential Property (AB 73)
This bill revises the requirements of certain disclosures that are to be made when transferring residential property. Now, the property owner, their agent, or the agent of the transferee of the property are no longer required to disclose the occurrence or manner of death of an occupant (as specified). The bill also no longer requires the disclosure that an occupant of the property was living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or died from AIDS related complications.
Landscape Irrigation Equipment (AB 1928)
This bill requires new performance standards and labeling requirements for landscape irrigation equipment and would postpone the date by which the commission is to adopt the performance standards and labeling requirements to January 1, 2019, and would prohibit the sale or the offer for sale of that equipment manufactured on or after the effective date.
Water Conservation in Landscaping Act (AB 2515)
On or before January 1, 2020, and every 3 years thereafter, the Department of Water Resources are required to update the model water-efficient landscaping ordinance or find another means to improve water efficiency. This means landscaping requirements might change in the future, and continue to change every 3 years.
|Becky Bower is a writer for the ApplyConnect® Blog and the communications executive at ApplyConnect®, a consumer initiated tenant screening company. She has also spent several years in compliance and auditing. Becky holds a degree in English with a focus in creative writing from CSU Channel Islands and is a published writer.