Top bills for apartment biz that reached Gov. Brown’s desk


A number of positive bills for the rental housing industry await Gov. Jerry Brown’s approval after the 2014 legislative session came to a close this past weekend.

The California Apartment Association helped push a variety of sensible legislation to the governor’s desk, such as a bill that clarifies that leases can be signed electronically, one that streamlines the approval process for water submeters and another that expedites the removal of squatters.

Here’s a sampling of CAA’s successes in advancing positive bills:

AB 2451 (Daly, D-Anaheim) – Water Submeters: This bill, co-sponsored by the CAA and the Utility Management and Conservation Association, is a  response to the challenges rental property owners face in California when it comes to obtaining water submeters for their property.   AB 2451 does the following:

  • Allow submeters to be tested in one county and used in another county.
  • Allow approved submeters to be stockpiled for a period of time, so installed when needed.
  • Assure that testing fees are allocated to the county where they submeters are tested.
  • Clarify that submeters are “placed in service” when they are installed and operating.
  • Determine the proper disposal and use of submeters that fail county testing; destruction by county officials is the current practice.

CAA letter to governor

AB 2747 (Assembly Judiciary Omnibus) – Electronic Signatures: As a response to various inconsistent interpretations of the electronic signature law, CAA sponsored provisions of this omnibus bill to ensure that rental property owners and tenants can continue to electronically sign leases and rental agreements. The debate surrounded existing statute that implied any references to security deposits within the lease or rental agreement made that contract ineligible for electronic signatures. The amendments in AB 2747 deleted references to security deposit law and makes clear the contract can be signed electronically. CAA letter to governor

AB 2494 (Cooley, D-Rancho Cordova) – Frivolous Lawsuits: This bill aims to deter costly and unnecessary legal actions by giving authority to judges to make awards of attorney’s fees when litigants employ bad-faith tactics in litigation.

SB 674 (Corbett, D-Hayward) – Infill Building Projects: This bill increases the square footage requirements under existing law so that more new proposed buildings can avoid the cumbersome paperwork and review process required under California’s Environmental Quality Act. Now buildings as tall as four stories will be exempt under CEQA. CAA letter to governor

AB 2256 (Garcia, D-Bell Gardens) – Legal Service of Documents: This bill clarifies that a deputy sheriff or process server is allowed access to a gated community to serve documents such as an unlawful detainer complaint and a writ. A guard at the gate cannot deny them access. CAA letter to governor

AB 2109 (Daly, D-Anaheim) – Parcel Taxes: This bill requires the state to compile a report on local parcel taxes that have been levied, to report how much revenue has been generated by those taxes, and to indicate what programs have benefited from the revenue. The intent of AB 2109 is to help California lawmakers and voters make more informed decisions about the need for more parcel taxes, to improve accountability and oversight of those funds and to ensure that funds are spend effectively and in the manner approved by the voters. CAA letter to governor

AB 1513 (Fox, D-Palmdale) –  Squatters: This pilot project creates an expedited process to move squatters out of properties of one to four units in the cities of Palmdale and Lancaster in Los Angeles County and the city of Ukiah in Mendocino County. CAA letter to governor