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A bill signed by the governor this past week will undercut eviction-delay tactics by unscrupulous tenant attorneys who claim mold as a substandard housing condition. On Friday, Oct. 9, Gov. Jerry Brown approved SB 655 by Sen. Holly Mitchell, D-Los Angeles. What does this mean for the rental housing industry? While the new law does add “visible mold” to the list of conditions that can make a property substandard or untenantable, SB 655 offers property owners a number of protections from bogus claims of mold contamination: Visibility: The mold growth must be visible.  No more air tests that tenants and… Read More

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A bill that will undercut eviction-delay tactics used by tenant attorneys who claim mold as a substandard housing problem advanced Wednesday from the Assembly Floor. SB 655 by Sen. Holly Mitchell, D-Los Angeles, specifically provides that a property owner has no obligation to repair a mold problem unless the owner has been notified of the problem. It also makes clear that the owner can enter the unit to repair any identified mold issue. While the bill provides that mold is a substandard housing condition, it will only rise to that level if a health officer or code enforcement officer has… Read More

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As in past years, Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Davis, introduced legislation in 2015 that would mandate the installation of water submeters in units of new multi-family housing. SB 7 would impose this mandate effective Jan. 1, 2017, and include provisions to clarify how multifamily property owners can charge tenants for water use. A submeter gauges water use in an individual apartment. This gives the tenant a financial incentive to conserve water because it keeps the renter’s bill down. This is good for both the tenant – and California’s water supply, especially during California’s worsening drought. Many property owners already have voluntarily… Read More

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For years, tenants facing eviction have delayed the process by making unmeritorious claims regarding the presence of mold. A California bill, however, would undercut this delay tactic by clarifying when mold constitutes a substandard housing condition. While SB 655 by Sen. Holly Mitchell, D-Los Angeles, provides that mold is a substandard housing condition, it will only rise to that level if a health officer or code enforcement officer has determined that it is extensive enough to endanger health or damage property. The bill specifically provides that  a property owner has no obligation to repair a mold problem unless the owner… Read More

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The state Senate this week passed a bill that would designate housing as substandard when mold is visible, however, the author says she will amend the legislation to address landlords’ concerns. “We’ve worked with the (California) Apartment Association on amendments to this bill, which, if this bill moves forward, we will take in the first assembly policy committee that will create protections for landlords by creating a process for which the tenant must notify landlord if mold issues have arisen in their unit,” Sen. Holly Mitchell, D-Los Angeles, told her fellow senators before the vote. “Amendments also will allow for… Read More

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