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Awaiting the governor’s signature is a bill that would crack down on rental property owners who discriminate against tenants based on immigration status. Gov. Jerry Brown has until Oct. 15 to sign or veto the bill, dubbed the Immigrant Tenant Protection Act. Under AB 291 by Assemblyman David Chiu, D-San Francisco, a landlord could face civil penalties if he or she attempts to influence a tenant to vacate the  dwelling unit or attempts to recover possession of the dwelling unit based on the individual’s immigration status. The legislation offers protections against eviction for tenants whose landlords demand to see Social… Read More

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Question: We rented to three roommates who all moved in at the same time. One moved out a couple of months ago. and the other two moved out last month. All three were on the rental agreement and one is demanding that we give the entire deposit refund to him because he was the one who paid it. What should we do? Answer: Either require the roommate to produce a written, notarized statement from the other two roommates granting their permission and consent, or give him a check with all three names as the payee. Question: I served a three-day… Read More

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The California Apartment Association reacted with skepticism this week to an online poll measuring voter support for rent control. The poll, which comes from the UC Berkeley Institute for Government Studies, found that a majority of California voters support the policy. The survey, however, does not adequately explain the many problems that capping rents can cause. If it had, participants’ responses may have been quite different. Here’s what Matt Buck, CAA’s vice president of public affairs, told the Orange County Register: “Rent control will do more harm than good when it comes to solving our housing shortage,” Buck said. “Rent… Read More

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The Lafayette City Council next week will discuss a proposal to require mediation for rent increases exceeding 10 percent. The council will take up the potential rent-review ordinance when it meets at 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 25, at the Lafayette Library & Learning Center – Community Hall, 3491 Mt. Diablo Blvd. The proposal is modeled after a program recently approved by the city of Concord. Review Concord’s Rent Review Ordinance and staff report on the subject here. Although no formal action will be taken at Monday’s council meeting, rental owners are encouraged to attend and share their comments regarding the… Read More

Tagged: Contra Costa

A bill approved by the state Legislature and awaiting the governor’s signature aims to ensure tenants know about any flood risk to residential property they are considering to rent. Under AB 646 by Assemblyman Ash Kalra, D-San Jose, a landlord with “actual knowledge” that his or her property is in a flood-hazard area would have to disclose this information to prospective tenants. Property owners with actual knowledge include those notified by a government agency, as well as owners required to carry flood insurance for the property. If signed by the governor, the owner would have to make this disclosure in… Read More

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Pacifica voters on Saturday received a thorough education on the flaws and consequences of the rent control proposal appearing on November’s ballot as Measure C. Measure C is modeled closely after rent control and eviction control ballot measures rejected by voters last year in San Mateo and Burlingame. Joshua Howard, senior vice president of the California Apartment Association, took part in Saturday’s panel discussion, as did Pacifica Vice Mayor John Keener and representatives of both No and Yes on Measure C campaigns. The breakfast-time discussion was hosted by the Pacifica-Daly City Democrats Club. Howard told an engaged audience that Measure… Read More

Tagged: Tri-County

Question: Can residents sit outside their front door and drink beer? Other residents are complaining. Answer: If the outside portion where they are drinking beer is part of the common area of the premises, you can restrict that activity as long as it is restricted for all residents. If it is part of their rented space, you cannot, unless they are causing unreasonable disturbances to other residents. Question: I purchased a rental property two years ago, and the security deposits need to be increased. Most of the deposits are $600 and need to be increased to $900. What is the… Read More

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The California Legislature has passed a package of CAA-endorsed and sponsored bills intended to help solve the state’s housing crisis. Gov. Jerry Brown will have until Oct. 15 to sign or veto the bills. The legislative package seeks to remove regulatory hurdles to residential development — a key to fixing the state’s jobs-to-housing imbalance. The package also seeks ongoing funding sources for affordable housing programs, including a bond measure and fee on certain real estate transactions. “Today we took a step toward addressing a housing crisis that has been plaguing California for years,” Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, D-Lakewood, said Thursday,… Read More

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Despite objections from CAA, the Mountain View Rental Housing Committee on Monday declared Dec. 23, 2016, the effective date for the city’s rent control ordinance, even though the law remained on hold until spring of this year. In addition to implementing rent control, Measure V rolled back rents charged after the effective date to levels collected in October 2015. The rent committee’s decision raises the following question:  Will Mountain View landlords be required to issue partial refunds of rent collected while implementation of the ordinance was delayed? To address this question, the California Apartment Association has updated its Measure V… Read More

Tagged: Tri-County

Question: How many protected classes are there in California? Answer: In addition to the seven federal protected classes (race, color, religion, national origin, sex, familial status and disability) California has thirteen protected classes, some of which are unique to California.  They are: marital status, age, ancestry, sexual orientation, source of income, medical condition, gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, citizenship, immigration status and primary language spoken. California also prohibits discrimination based on the perception that someone is from a protected class or is associated with someone from a protected class. Finally, it prohibits discrimination on any arbitrary basis. Question:… Read More

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