SUMMARY OF 2013 LANDLORD AND TENANT STATE LEGISLATION

  1. For information on the most important recent changes to both State and local laws affecting rental properties in Berkeley please visit the Rent Board's New Laws & Regulations page.
  1. The 2013 State Legislative Report (PDF) by Christine Minnehan & Associates contains a full 25 page review of all 2013 landlord and tenant State legislation. See below for a summary of only the legislation that was enacted. The enacted bills will take effect on January 1st of 2014.

SUMMARY OF CALIFORNIA LANDLORD-TENANT BILLS: ENACTED

AB 1220 (Skinner), Credit reports.
AB 1220 expands existing law by making it unlawful not only to prohibit credit report users (e.g., landlords) from providing copies of the report to adversely affected consumers or tenants, but also for a consumer credit reporting agency to dissuade or attempt to dissuade a user from furnishing a copy of the report upon a consumer’s or tenant's request, when the user takes adverse action based upon the report. 

SB 43 (Wolk), Voluntary on-bill payment for green energy.
SB 43 will allow customers of investor-owned electric utilities (such as PG&E), including tenants, to participate in local renewable energy facilities that are not located on the property, and have their electric bills adjusted accordingly. It is envisioned that facilities could be erected at schools and nonresidential areas; tenants and others would pay for a portion of the facility. There would be a charge on the utility bill for the facility, and a reduction in the bill representing the amount of renewable energy put into the grid on behalf of the tenant or other participant from the off-site source. The bill was sponsored by the City of Davis and supported by Western Center, CRLA Foundation, and the California Apartment Association. The bill was opposed the PG&E and others, who argued that the bill shifts costs to non-participants and that the bill conflicts with federal law as well as other state laws. 

SB 196 (Cannella), Master meter rates.
This bill will allow a landlord or mobilehome park to post the website address where the master-meter and submeter rate schedules are available, along with a notice stating that the schedules themselves are available from the park manager or landlord for free upon request. Current law requires the schedules themselves to be posted. Although current law and this bill apply to rental housing, submeters (especially gas) are far more prevalent in mobilehome parks.

SB 269 (Hill), Prepaid rental listing services.
SB 269 makes several changes to laws governing prepaid rental listing services. The bill: (1) authorizes consumers harmed by listing services to seek compensation from the Consumer Recovery Account; (2) requires listing services to provide prospective clients with a written notice of the tenant's rights; and (3) expands the enforcement powers of the Bureau of Real Estate over the listing services. The bill was much modified during the last week of the session to address concerns raised by the Governor's Office concerning licensing matters.

SB 488 (Hueso), Infestations.
This bill will explicitly allow code enforcement officers, as well as public health officers, to cite for vermin or insect infestations. Technically, current law only permits health officers to cite for infestations. The bill has a special provision, requested by LA County, that provides that city code officers cannot make these citations if the city has an agreement with the county health department whereby the county does in fact perform inspections. 

SB 612 (Leno), Domestic violence lease terminations.
Under current law, a domestic survivor may terminate a fixed-term lease on 30 days' notice by providing the landlord with a copy of a police report or TRO demonstrating the violence. SB 612 expands current law by also allowing a report from a licensed health care professional or counselor, and extends protection to human trafficking victims. The California Apartment Association supported the bill, but other apartment associations remained opposed to the end and pressed for amendments to allow landlords to easily evict an alleged perpetrator who lived in the unit with the survivor, with no showing of nuisance or illegal activity. The bill passed the Senate 29-0 and passed the Assembly 72-0. It was sponsored by the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence, National Housing Law Project, and Western Center on Law & Poverty and supported by the Rent Board.