Posts Tagged ‘real estate law’

Check your Lease before Listing a Short-term Rental

February 18, 2016 Leave a comment

A new law in effect for 2016, requires short-term vacation rental websites such as Airbnb to provide disclosures to tenants.  While subletting is often not allowed in rental agreements, and can even lead to eviction, many tenants don’t know this or even review their own rental agreements before trying it.  A tenant should always review their lease first, to see what is and is not allowed, for any new planned activity.  SB 761 places the burden on operators of home-sharing websites — such as Airbnb, HomeAway, Flipkey and others — to remind renters to check their leases or ask their property managers before engaging in subletting.  The hosting platforms will do this by posting an online notice that customers must acknowledge having read before listing a rental. Prohibitions on subletting exist for good reasons. Tenants who sublet often give out security codes and keys without tracking them, and vacationers who rent the units often use the common areas, such as swimming pools or parking, at disproportionate levels.  Noise complaints are also a common occurrence.  SB 761 is now law as new Sections 22590 to 22594 in the California Business & Professions Code.

– All Rights Reserved © 2016 by Michael L. Mau, Esq. and The Mau Law Firm



HOA’s Should Not Fine for Water Conservation!

September 26, 2014 Leave a comment

In another year of severe drought, California faces a historic water shortage and wildfire danger. Matters are expected to worsen, as California’s rainfall and water supply has been dwindling. In response Governor Brown signed an Emergency Drought Proclamation in January 2014 declaring a state of emergency and calling upon all Californians to voluntarily reduce their water usage by 20 percent. Some residents of homeowners associations (“HOAs”) began responding to the Governor’s plea by reducing their irrigation, only to find themselves subject to HOA fines for failure to maintain their yards.

In partial response, in April Governor Jerry Brown signed an Executive Order which effectively prohibits HOAs from fining, or threatening to fine, homeowners “who comply with water conservation measures.” The Order further provides that “any provision of the governing document, architectural or landscaping guidelines, or policies of a common interest development will be void and unenforceable to the extent it has the effect of prohibiting compliance with the water-saving measures contained in this directive.” One of these water-saving measures is to limit outdoor watering to no more than twice per week. The California Legislature has also considered various bills to address the drought conditions and HOAs, and we will report on each of these bills in future law blog updates. For now, AB 2100 (Campos) would prohibit HOAs from imposing a fine or assessment against a member for reducing or eliminating watering of vegetation or lawns during a Governor-declared state of emergency, or a local government-declared emergency, due to drought.  AB 2100 was approved by the Governor on July 21, 2014 and is effective immediately, and has amended Civil Code Section 4735 accordingly.  If you are involved in an HOA and have a legal issue, please feel free to contact us for a consultation.

– All Rights Reserved © 2014 by Michael L. Mau, Esq. and The Mau Law Firm

Smoke Detector Compliance Law Change

January 30, 2014 Leave a comment

Commencing July 1, 2014 under SB-745, all smoke alarms including combination smoke alarms, that are solely battery powered shall contain a nonreplaceable, nonremovable battery that is capable of powering the smoke alarm for at least 10 years. This is a slight extension as this change was going to be effective on January 1, 2014. There are also EXCEPTIONS: This section shall not apply to any smoke alarm or combination smoke alarm that has been ordered by, or are in the inventory of, an owner, managing agent, contractor, wholesaler, or retailer on or before July 1, 2014, until July 1, 2015. The amended law is in Health and Safety Code Section 13114.

– All Rights Reserved © 2014 by Michael L. Mau, Esq. and The Mau Law Firm

Landlord May Dispose of Abandoned Personal Property if Less than $700

February 4, 2013 Leave a comment

Effective January 1, 2013, the value of personal property left behind after the termination of a residential tenant’s tenancy that the landlord must sell at a public auction (as opposed to otherwise disposing of), has increased from $300 to $700.  C.C. Section 1988.  Landlords will be prohibited from assessing any storage cost if the tenant reclaims personal property within two days of vacating the premises.   C.C. Sections 1987 and 1990.  As such, the statutory notices of Right to Reclaim Abandoned Property has been revised to reflect these changes, as shown in C.C. Sections 1984 and 1985.   While the increase from $300 to $700 is a welcome one that will allow landlords to dispose of slightly more value-less property then before, arguably the increase should be higher and/or adjusted annually for inflation.

 All Rights Reserved © 2013 by Michael L. Mau, Esq. & The Mau Law Firm

AB 341 Requires Landlords with 5+ Units to Arrange for Recycling Services

AB 341 was recently signed into law, and it added a new Section 42649.2 to the Public Resource Code.  This new law requires landlords for a building with five or more residential units, to arrange for recycling services for its tenants.  The full text of Section 42649.2 is:

(a) On and after July 1, 2012, a business that generates more than four cubic yards of commercial solid waste per week or is a multifamily residential dwelling of five units or more shall arrange for recycling services, consistent with state or local laws or requirements, including a local ordinance or agreement, applicable to the collection, handling, or recycling of solid waste, to the extent that these services are offered and reasonably available from a local service provider.
(b) A commercial waste generator shall take at least one of the following actions:
(1) Source separate recyclable materials from solid waste and subscribe to a basic level of recycling service that includes collection, self-hauling, or other arrangements for the pickup of the recyclable materials.
(2) Subscribe to a recycling service that may include mixed waste processing that yields diversion results comparable to source separation.
(c) A property owner of a multifamily residential dwelling may require tenants to source separate their recyclable materials to aid in compliance with this section.

This section was part of the larger AB 341 Bill, designed to increase waste diversion and recycling in general throughout the State of California.

All Rights Reserved © 2012 by Michael L. Mau, Esq. & The Mau Law Firm

Residential Sellers must Disclose Water-Conserving Plumbing Fixtures

The mandatory transfer disclosure statement has been revised to include a checkbox in Section IIA for a seller of residential real property to disclose whether the property has water-conserving plumbing fixtures (low-flow toilets, shower heads, and faucets, etc.). This amendment is codified under Civil Code Section 1102.6, and became effective on January 1, 2012.

All Rights Reserved © 2012 by Michael L. Mau, Esq. & The Mau Law Firm

Tenants Allowed to Post Political Signs under New Law

Effective January 1, 2012, SB 337 became California Civil Code Section 1940.4.  In summary, a Landlord cannot prohibit a tenant from posting or displaying a political signs.   The law goes into some detail, as a landlord cannot prohibit a tenant from posting or displaying political signs relating to an election, legislative vote, initiative, referendum, recall process, or issues before a public commission, public board, or elected local body for a vote. For multifamily dwellings, political signs may be posted or displayed in the window or on the door. For single-family dwellings, the signs may be posted on the yard, window, door, balcony, or outside wall of the home.

There are some limitations on the sign including:

  • The size is limited to six square feet in size.
  • It cannot violate a local, state, or federal law.
  • It cannot violate a lawful provision in a common interest development regarding signs made of lights, roofing, siding, paving materials, flora, or balloons, or any other similar building, landscaping, or decorative component, including the painting of architectural surfaces.

A tenant must also post and remove political signs in compliance with the time limits set by a city or county ordinance. The tenant (not the landlord) is solely responsible for any violation of a local ordinance. If there is no local ordinance limiting the time for posting and removing political signs, then the landlord may establish a reasonable time period. The time period established by the landlord cannot be less than 90 days prior to the date of the election or end less than 15 days following the date of the election.

All Rights Reserved © 2012 by Michael L. Mau, Esq. & The Mau Law Firm