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A bill that would likely offer a tax rebate to hundreds of thousands of low-income Californians renters survived its first committee hearing this week. “It’s essential for people who are low-income and disabled to take care of a lot of their basic needs at a time when costs are raising and rents are raising,” said Mira Ingram. The San Francisco resident, who uses a wheelchair and is on a fixed income, is quoted in this KCBS story about the bill. AB 2175, or the Renter’s Tax Assistance Act, would provide tax refunds to financially struggling renters. “Homeowners get state tax… Read More

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A bill that would make employees liable for filing “bad faith” lawsuits passed the Assembly Labor and Employment Committee on Wednesday. AB 2095 by Assemblyman Donald Wagner, R-Irvine, targets frivolous litigation by awarding an employer attorneys’ fees when the defendant can prove the worker filed suit in bad faith. It would discourage litigation regarding technical violations on itemized wage statements that don’t harm the employee but end up costing employers thousands of dollars to defend in court. The state’s labor code says eight categories of information that must appear in an itemized  wage statement provided to the employee. The purpose… Read More

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An anti-Ellis Act bill is dead after its author refused to eliminate wording that would have encouraged tenants to wage court battles as a tactic to stay in rent-controlled apartments already removed from the market. The California Apartment Association on Tuesday derailed AB 2405 by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco. The bill received four votes but needed six to survive its hearing in the Judiciary Committee. Last week, after CAA persuaded lawmakers to gut the most problematic aspects of the bill, AB 2405 advanced from the Assembly Committee on Local Government. On Tuesday, however, Ammiano would not agree to remove… Read More

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Before throngs of rental housing professionals headed to the state Capitol, the Capitol’s top elected official headed to them. For more than 30 minutes Tuesday, Gov. Jerry Brown captivated a crowd at the Sacramento Convention Center, telling stories about his wide-ranging political history, offering observations about current challenges in California government and looking ahead to a possible fourth term as governor. Brown served as keynote speaker at the California Apartment Association’s annual Legislative Conference. He and Assemblyman Tom Daly, D-Anaheim, delivered talks that primed the crowd for an afternoon of meetings with legislators on bills important to the rental housing… Read More

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A bill that would re-establish a tax-assistance program for California renters goes before its first committee hearing this month. AB 2175, or the Renter’s Tax Assistance Act, would provide tax rebates to low-income tenants. The bill, sponsored by the California Apartment Association and co-authored by Assemblymen Tom Daly and Phil Ting, heads to the Assembly Committee on Revenue and Taxation on Monday, April 28. The amounts of assistance under AB 2175 would vary based on household income, beginning with $250 per year and capping at $348 per year. For many low-income tenant households, these sums would equate to one or… Read More

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Thanks to CAA, Riverside County supervisors aren’t about to create a new development impact fee to put new beds in the county jail. The California Apartment Association’s Inland Empire Division, with assistance from the Riverside Building Industry Association and Inland Empire Commercial Real Estate Development Association, persuaded the Board of Supervisors to postpone a vote whether to approve a new “Criminal Justice Public Facilities” impact fee of $1,200 per unit. The staff-recommended fee hike was on the board’s April 22 agenda. “We informed the supervisors that county staff didn’t tell us about the proposed amendments to Ordinance 659, and we… Read More

Tagged: Greater Inland Empire

The cities of Redlands and Moreno Valley have recently warned local businesses to be watchful for fraudulent fire inspectors. Opportunists are always present, but never so much as when the economy is struggling. Fire departments throughout  the Inland Empire and the rest of California have indicated an increase of both individuals and fire protection companies posing in official-looking clothing and performing questionable “inspections” in local businesses. These fraudulent individuals will disguise themselves as fire department representatives and request to perform a fire protection inspection. After these false inspections, businesses typically receive an invoice for services that are allegedly performed. The… Read More

Tagged: Greater Inland Empire

Strong opposition led by RHA Sacramento Valley persuaded the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District to put its proposed property tax assessment on hold. This action spared rental property owners from a new annual assessment of $14 to $30 per unit. The Fire District had been seeking a special vote-by-mail election to gain approval of a new “Fire Suppression Benefit Assessment.” If approved, the assessment would have raised $12 million annually to reopen five engine companies closed during the recession. RHA – a chapter of the California Apartment Association — was the first business group to oppose the assessment and others quickly… Read More

Tagged: Sacramento Valley

The California Apartment Association has written a letter to Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, detailing several defects in his anti-Ellis Act bill before he presents it to an Assembly committee next week. Passed by the state Legislature in 1985, California’s Ellis Act says no local government can require that a rental property owner continue to offer his or her housing for rent. Ammiano’s bill, which would gut the act, goes before the Assembly Committee on Local Government on Wednesday, April 23. At its core, Assembly Bill 2405 would keep contested Ellis Act evictions stuck in the court system for years on end… Read More

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Under California law, tenants can find rather simple ways to postpone evictions and keep living rent-free. In many cases, unscrupulous attorneys advertise online, offering to help tenants drag out the eviction process for months — and even years. Tenants are coached by these attorneys to check boxes on the Unlawful Detainer Answer, claiming the unit is substandard or uninhabitable. They provide no background to substantiate their claim. This very practice gives tenants an easy 30 to 60 days extra time to live in the unit rent free. They may never have to prove anything in court. Often a tenant’s answer… Read More

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