5 Important Changes in California Real Estate Laws in 2019

5 Important Changes in California Real Estate Laws in 2019

  • David Passman
  • 10/30/19

What You Need to Know Before Buying, Renting, or Investing in the State of California

Being in the know is exciting, and when it comes to your own property, it’s crucial. Rules and regulations can get overwhelming, so we’re here to break down a few of the most recent laws passed in the state of California regarding Los Angeles real estate—and in a way that’s easy to understand. 

Rent Increase Capped at 5% Per Year

What it means: A landlord cannot raise the price of rent more than 5% (plus inflation) annually. This law will last for the next decade. You can read more about it here.

What you need to know: Properties of owners with 10 or fewer single-family residences, properties built within the last 10 years, and properties already under rent control aren’t included in this law.

Official name of the bill: Assembly Bill 1482

Three-day Eviction Notices Don’t Include Judicial Holidays

What it means: Tenants might have more time to pay up or move out, depending on when the notice is given. Judicial holidays (when California courts have the day off) don’t count as one of the three days. Saturdays and Sundays are also excluded from the three-day notice.

What you need to know:

  • Landlords are not required to send tenants notice the day after their rent is late or their grace period has ended, but some do as a courtesy.
  • A judge can cancel the eviction lawsuit if a landlord fails to issue notice within the correct time frame. If this happens, the eviction process must be started again.
Official name of the bill: Assembly Bill 2343 

Rent Doesn’t Need to Be Paid by a Tenant

What it means: Someone doesn’t have to be a tenant of the property to pay rent, and paying rent doesn’t make that person a tenant of the property. Basically, third-party payments are accepted with proper documentation.

What you need to know:

  • Landlords must ensure the third-party signs and dates an acknowledgment stating they are not currently a tenant of the premises and that the payment does not create tenancy.
  • Section 8 and other housing assistance programs aren’t counted as third parties.
  • Landlords still do not have to accept Section 8.
Official name of the bill: Assembly Bill 2219

Landlords Can’t Hike Up Prices During a State of Emergency

What it means: Like goods and services, it is now against the law to raise rent prices more than 10% during any state of emergency declared by the President or Governor of California.

What you need to know:

  • Additionally, the bill makes it illegal to evict a tenant during this time and offer to rent to someone else at a higher price.
  • If a landlord or property manager does this, it is classified as a misdemeanor that can result in a fine up to $10,000 or jail time.
Official name of the bill: Assembly Bill 1919

Building Permit Expirations Have Been Extended

What it means: California landlords and property managers have up to 12 months to begin working on changes in building codes before their permit is no longer acceptable. Essentially, a building permit still remains valid for a year after any new building requirements are issued. 

What you need to know:

  • Building officials can grant one or more extensions for up to 180 days per extension.
  • The request must be in writing, and landlords must have a justifiable cause for the request.
Official name of the bill: Assembly Bill 2913

Still Wondering About These Changes?

Although we tried to simplify what can be complex and confusing legislations, we’re sure you still have more questions! The Passman Group is happy to help you navigate the intricacies of Los Angeles realty laws. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions or concerns. 

Be sure to stay up-to-date on all things Los Angeles luxury real estate on our blog, and feel free to continue exploring other laws here


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