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Recent Changes in the Law

Stay up to date with new laws and changes to existing laws affecting real property and housing at the state and local level. 


AB-12 Tenancy: Security Deposits

For many years residential landlords could not demand or receive a security deposit in excess of an amount equal to 2 months’ rent, for unfurnished units, and an amount equal to 3 months’ rent, for furnished units. A new law will limit deposits to an amount equal to one month’s rent, regardless of whether the residential property is unfurnished or furnished - effective July 2024

SB-71: Small Claims and Limited Civil Cases

California litigants will be able to sue for up to $12,500.00 in small claims court and $35,000 in limited civil cases. These changes to dollar caps are the first of their kind in over ten years, reflecting negotiations with legal and consumer groups -- effective January 2024

Code of Civil Procedure Sec. 367.75

This law sets forth procedures for how courts may conduct hearings, conferences, and trials by using “remote technology” - effective January 2022

SB-567 Adds New Restrictions to State Eviction Control

Amends AB 1482 to add new restrictions and consequences for landlords. The amendments are numerous and affect requirements for certain “no fault” evictions - effective April 2024

AB 1620 Amends Costa-Hawkins to Benefit Disabled Renters

AB 1620 amends the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act to permit local jurisdictions to adopt regulations that ensure individuals with mobility-related disabilities can secure appropriate housing without paying additional rental costs. Under the new law, tenants in rent-controlled units who have permanent physical disabilities related to mobility must be allowed to relocate to an available, accessible unit at the same rental rate and terms. The law only applies to properties with five or more rental units. -effective January 2024 

California Rules of Court, Rule 3.672

Rules used by civil courts to implement procedures for remote proceedings - effective January 2022

SB-267 Credit history of persons receiving government rent subsidies

Under a new State law effective on January 1, 2024, landlords can’t rely only on credit reports for assessing an applicant’s eligibility in meeting financial or income standards. Applicants for vacant units must be permitted to submit lawful, verifiable alternative evidence of the applicant’s reasonable ability to pay via a government rent subsidy - effective January 2024

SB-712 Tenancy: Personal Micromobility Devices

In an effort to boost the use of e-bikes and scooters, the State Legislature has passed a law requiring residential landlords to permit the storage and charging of “micromobility” devices inside of dwelling units. The devices must meet certain safety standards and have the appropriate insurance policy covering storage. Alternatively, the landlord may provide secure, long-term storage for the devices -effective January 2024

Code of Civil Procedure Sec. 871.11

 Limits the amount of attorney’s fees recoverable to a prevailing party in an action for the recovery of Covid-19 residential rental debt. Only applicable to “ordinary circumstances” as determined by the court - effective January 2022


Changes to the Moratorium on Rent Increases

On March 15, 2022, the Alameda City Council  passed a new ordinance, allowing landlords to begin noticing rent increases, but these increases may not exceed the AGA. Any “banked” rent increases will not be available for landlords to use until 60 days after the City Council rescinds its Declaration of Local Emergency, which currently remains in effect


Ord No. 13677

Amendment of the Oakland planning code to revise regulations for accessory dwelling units (ADUs) and junior accessory dwelling units (JADUs) to comply with state law – effective January 2022

Ord No. 13668

Amendment of the Rent Adjustment Ordinance to include vehicular residential facilities as covered units – effective November 2021

Ord No. 13663

Prohibits real property owners from interfering with  choice of communication services and provides requirements for providers to obtain access to buildings and remedies for violations – effective October 2021


Berkeley Fair Chance Ordinance

In 2020, the City of Berkeley passed the Fair Chance Access to Housing Ordinance, which generally restricts the use of criminal background checks for rental housing applications, or other housing decisions, by most landlords. The ordinance also requires landlords to include a statutory disclosure in their rental housing applications, and to make the disclosure accessible at their leasing offices or leasing websites (if any.) This disclosure form was recently published by the City, finally permitting landlords to come into full compliance with the Ordinance. More information about the Ordinance can be found here at the city of Berkeley website.

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