Assembly bill would require training for landlords


An Assembly bill proposed this year would mandate that landlords and property managers receive training on fair practices and tenant rights.

AB 2618 by Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D-Oakland, would require the Department of Real Estate to administer a certification program for the training. The department would also be authorized to identify and approve providers of the educational coursework.

Assemlyman Rob Bonta

Under the bill, landlords and property managers would have to be certified every two years, and anyone caught managing property without the certification would face a fine of $1,000.

As written, the bill would provide one year to implement the program. That timetable may be unrealistically aggressive.

“Outreach to these owners and managers – which could easily number in the millions — will be challenging, if not impossible, given the one-year period of time provided in the bill for the development and delivery of classroom or live webinar training,” CAA says in a letter to the author.

Moreover, the bill’s educational requirements may be duplicative.

“While CAA does not object to a requirement for education, and, in fact, encourages it for anyone involved in the operation of rental housing, AB 2618 fails to include specifics for the training program and mandates training for individuals who already have state-mandated education and licenses,” the letter says.


  • Another example of over-regulation in California. It will never end. If I have to have a license as a landlord I hope I can use it as an excuse to increase rents.

  • agreed, the concept is great! There are good and bad folks on both sides of this fence.
    As a good landlord, it can be exhausting getting grouped in with some of these unscrupulous property owners. It takes more than simply owning a property to be a landlord.
    That said, it needs to be implemented with more thought. Perhaps charging a property owner if they DO NOT have a certificate? and there should be some kind of recognition for long time property owners that already know the basics. I am often amazed at some of the questions here in the Q&A section…
    Could there be an effective course on how to treat people fairly and respectfully? What do we do with those that flunk out??

  • Doesn’t our Government have anything to do except harass us the owners and landloards of rental properties. My low rents can no longer be, rent control and ordiances have changed all that. We are forced to raise rents to accomodate all the rules forced on us, just because one of them got a bright idea how to screw us again….

    PS: Pick on Washington not us, we are trying to keep rents down on our own without rules imposed on us…..

  • Does the bill provide for an exemption for someone like me who rents out a small in-law apartment?
    My long-term tenant is like “family” and is treated as such. It would be ludicrous to require I take a course in how to treat him “fairly”.

  • Thank you for your question. From our public affairs staff: As currently written, the bill applies to a property owner who owns more than two units. We are working to convince the author to amend the bill so that it is not onerous to small property owners. We will keep you posted.

  • What if you ALSO have rentals in other states? Does the state of CA only monitor your property management here? The complications of this bill are endless. Hey, what about required training of rental properties for tenants? I could help draft this bill!

  • Politicians like to blame and penalize landlords (a minority) as a way of currying favor and votes from tenants (a majority). Requiring landlords to take classes and obtain certification every two years (or face a thousand-dollar fine), in order to legally rent out units they own, will only discourage people from becoming landlords, thereby exacerbating the housing crisis. This helps professional politicians stay in power as our society suffers.

  • I agree with all that was said in the comments above. I am so tired of this over-reach by government with more regulations. I have been a landlord for 45+ years, was a licensed Realtor until I retired about 8 years ago, and surely don’t want to have to take some more courses to obtain a certificate to do what I have been doing for most my life. There needs to be some exception for landlords who have been in the business for more than say 20 years or so. And renewing a certificate every two years is absurd. For a Realtor is it every 4 years.

  • Make it stop. I’ve been a member for twenty years. Took the courses and stay up with new legislation through CAA. I only have two units.

  • They won’t be happy until they drive every “mom ‘n pop” landlord out of the business. I am ready to exit the residential rental business in California, and my 4 single family rentals will sell to owner/users, as they will not pencil out as rentals at current prices, thereby reducing the hard-pressed Bay Area housing market by 4.
    Good job, politicians – keep the slings ‘n arrows coming….

  • Here’s what will happen with this. It will start out as a “certification” issued by the California Department of Real Estate and we will have to take a training course every 2 years. Real Estate licensees and attorneys will be exempt, of course – I don’t know why but they will be! There is a bundle of money to be made here, which is why I started studying now to give the training. After a couple of years, some politician will get the bright idea that landlords should be “licensed.” And like all licenses there should be an exam. To qualify for the exam, you will have to take and pass 10 college level courses in property management, have a minimum of 2 years of experience under another licensee, and get 3 recommendations – one probably from a tenant. And you will have to post a bond like the contractors do. And that, folks, is how it’s done in California!

  • Its sad to see some landlords are going to get punish with a $1000 fine for not having a certification, along with having bad tenants destroying up to $3000 to $8000 of home repairs and another $1500 to $7000 of eviction cost. Also you have Code Enforcement violations targeting owners due to tenant cause and the landlord are stuck with the fines. This does not sound like a bill more like another Legal State Crime!! This should be a two way street not a one way. They should also have tenants take a mandatory course on how to take accountability of renting a property. Should tenants get fine too?
    I say No to fines and Yes to free education and training!

  • Honestly, this state is getting worse and worse. This state confirms Ronald Reagan’s view of government:
    “Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.” CAA, how can we stop this? Are you going to try?