News: Compliance

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The California Apartment Association is reminding its members that it’s against California law to include “No Section 8” or similar verbiage in apartment advertisements.   As of Jan. 1, Senate Bill 329 prohibits landlords from rejecting a prospective tenant solely based on the applicant’s use of a Section 8 federal housing voucher. The law also bans advertisements that say voucher-holders won’t be considered for tenancy.   The California Apartment Association has been educating the rental housing industry about SB 329 for months. Efforts have included publishing articles about the legislation at caanet.org and in its newsletter, creating an Industry Insight compliance paper on the new law, and explaining SB 329’s new anti-discrimination policies… Read More

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Question: When we have called attention to a violation of the lease or community rules, tenants frequently will say we are “picking” on them. How can we protect ourselves?

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To help members comply with AB 1482 and other new laws taking effect this year, the California Apartment Association has created a set of new forms and has updated all existing forms and instruction sheets. In light of these updates, members should not use forms from previous years. For a list of forms that underwent substantial changes, see CAA’s Forms Change Chart for 2020. Many of the major revisions to CAA forms came in preparation for AB 1482, California’s new statewide rent cap and just-cause for eviction law. For example, CAA has completely revamped its rental agreements. These documents incorporate… Read More

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Regulations interpreting the reasonable accommodation and disparate impact discrimination provisions of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act take effect at the beginning of the new year.   The “disparate impact” impact regulations specifically address how a plaintiff would make a disparate impact claim based on the discriminatory use of criminal background checks.  The approach of the regulations is similar to the “Office of General Counsel Guidance on Application of Fair Housing Act Standards to the Use of Criminal Records by Providers of Housing and Real Estate-Related Transactions” issued by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in 2016. 

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With the spread of “just cause” eviction requirements throughout the state, it has become increasingly important for landlords to develop and consistently apply appropriate screening criteria to potential tenants. Those screening criteria commonly include income requirements, rental history, and credit requirements, among other things. Landlords typically obtain much of that information through reports provided by third-party screening companies. However, a complex web of federal and state laws imposes detailed requirements on the collection and use of that information. One such state law is the Investigative Consumer Reporting Agencies Act, or ICRAA, which was first enacted in 1975 and has been… Read More

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Question: One of our tenants is complaining about the carpet and says it is California law that the carpeting must be changed every seven years. Have you heard of any law on this subject?

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Question: One of the recent applicants to our apartment community claims he is paid “under the table.”  How do I verify his income?

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High winds and resulting fires and evacuations prompted the governor this past weekend to declare a statewide emergency, a move that’s triggered protections against price gouging, including rent increases over 10% anywhere in California. The cap applies to both existing and prospective tenancies, meaning a landlord cannot raise the rent on a vacant unit beyond the 10% mark. Further, an owner cannot terminate at tenancy in order to charge a new renter more than the cap would allow for the evicted renter. The rent-gouging protections apply to all housing types, including vacant units. The state of emergency is slated to… Read More

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Question: I rented an apartment to a young man; he signed a one-year lease and paid the deposit and first month’s rent in full. He moved in today, and less than 24 hours later, he is requesting to get out of his lease because another apartment that he prefers became available. Is there any kind of buyer’s remorse on signing a lease?

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Question: Our tenant owes us back rent and is stating that he is probably going to file bankruptcy. We’ve been trying to work with him but are getting nervous now. Do we lose all the back rent if he files bankruptcy?

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