2019 Laws Affecting Real Estate

New Response Time to Eviction Lawsuits / 3 Day Notices: Effective September 1, 2019, when counting the 3 day period for notices to pay rent or quit, or the 3 day period for notices to perform covenant or quit, or the 5-day deadline to respond to an Unlawful Detainer (eviction) lawsuit, exclude weekends and holidays.

Landlord Required to Accept Rent from Third Parties: Landlords must allow a tenant to pay rent through a third party providing the third party signs an acknowledgment that he/she is not currently a tenant of the premises and that acceptance of the rent payment does not create a new tenancy with the third party.

Inspection of Decks, Balconies, Stairways, and Walkways: Decks, balconies, stairways, and walkways (in buildings with 3 or more dwelling units) must be inspected by a properly licensed professional by 2025; subsequent inspections are required every 6 years; and the owner must perform any necessary repairs.

Commercial Property Abandonment: A commercial landlord may serve, by overnight courier, a Notice of Belief of Abandonment after the rent is unpaid for three days (or more, depending on the lease).

Commercial Property – Disposal of Tenant’s Personal Property: This new law increases the threshold calculation (to determine whether a public sale of a tenant’s personal property is required) of the estimated value of items left behind after a commercial tenant vacates to the greater of $2,500 or one month’s rent.

Electric Vehicle Charging Stations: This new law eliminates the rent control exemption to the requirement that a landlord permit (subject to the landlord’s procedural approval process) installation of an Electric Vehicle Charging Station (EVCS) at a parking space allotted for the tenant.

Law Enforcement and Emergency Assistance: This new law expands protections for victims of domestic violence, and other types of abuse, against eviction, fines, or penalties for contacting law enforcement or seeking 9-1-1 emergency assistance to respond to incidents of domestic violence or abuse.

Price Gouging and Eviction During a Declared Emergency: This new law retains the 10% maximum rent increase during declared state of emergencies (such as major fires), and makes it illegal to evict a tenant during a declared state of emergency or any extension (except for specific just causes), and bars a landlord from offering to rent to another person at a higher price.

HOAs: Financial Review on a Monthly Basis and Anti-Fraud Precautions: This new law requires HOA Boards to review on a monthly basis the Association’s accounts and reserves; requires maintenance of fidelity bond coverage for directors, officers, and employees equal to three months’ reserves; and requires a manager to obtain written Board approval before transferring Association funds of $10,000 or more.

New Real Estate Agency Terminology: Real estate agency terminology will be simplified: (1) The “Listing Agent” will be called “Seller’s Agent,” and (2) the “Selling Agent” will be called “Buyer’s Agent.”