6 New California Real Estate Laws for 2019

There are two types of people in this world. Those that make New Year’s resolutions, and those that don’t. Some people are making resolutions to lose weight by going to the gym every day. Others could care less about New Year’s resolutions because they know that 80% of them will fail by February. If you happen to fall into the second category, don’t worry. The California legislators have made resolutions for you! Here is the Mesa recap of all the new laws and regulations that landlords need to be aware of in 2019.

Mandatory Balcony Inspection

This new law dates back to 2015 when 13 college students were standing on a balcony when it collapsed onto the street below. This devastating accident left 6 of the people dead and the rest were severely injured. SB 721 states:

“An inspection of exterior elevated elements and associated waterproofing elements, as defined, including decks and balconies, for buildings with 3 or more multifamily dwelling units by a licensed architect, licensed civil or structural engineer, a building contractor holding specified licenses, or an individual certified as a building inspector or building official, as specified.” (SB 721)

This law only applies to buildings that have 3 or more residences with “exterior elevated elements.” An exterior elevated element is defined as one that sits more than 6 feet off the ground and derives most of its structural integrity from wood based materials. Mandated inspection only applies to “elements” designated for human occupation. That is an all-inclusive statement that incorporates everything from stairways and balconies to elevated walkways.

The inspection must be done by a licensed civil engineer or by a licensed city inspector. All inspections must be completed by 2025, and redone every 6 years after that. This law also gives a compulsory timeline to complete any necessary repair work.

Landlords, and property managers by association, have an obligatory duty to maintain their properties in order to keep their tenants safe. Consequently, it is always a good practice to make sure that your property is safe, even if there is no law that is directly applicable to your situation.

Illegal to Penalize Emergency Calls

Assembly Bill 2413 makes it illegal for a landlord to take or threaten to take any type of retaliatory action against tenants when the tenant makes an emergency 9-1-1 call. The law specifically says that the call can be about themselves, or others that they believe are in harms way. The new law specifically says:

“A landlord shall not impose, or threaten to impose, penalties on a tenant or resident who exercises the tenant’s or resident’s right to summon law enforcement assistance or emergency assistance as, or on behalf of, a victim of abuse, a victim of crime, or an individual in an emergency, based on the person’s belief that the assistance is necessary.” (AB 2413)

There are certain somewhat legitimate reasons that a landlord would want to prevent the tenant from calling the police. For example, in many cities a rental can be labeled a “nuisance” if the police are called a certain number of times. Once this label is applied to a property, the landlord can incur significant fines each time the police are called.

This law is specifically designed to protect victims of domestic abuse. In the past, there have been landlords that have or have attempted to take retaliatory action against tenants that are repeatedly calling the police. The landlords are simply tired of dealing with the police and the crimes that are bringing the police. This law aims to prevent the victims of domestic abuse from being punished for the abuse.

Price Gouging During a State of Emergency

This law is a direct response to the recent wildfires that have plagued California. Existing California law makes it illegal to price gouge certain goods and services more than 10% during a state of emergency as declared by the Governor or President of the United States. This law specifically makes it illegal to inflate rent prices more than 10% during a state of emergency.

“This bill would additionally, upon the proclamation or declaration of an emergency as described above, make it a misdemeanor for a person, business, or other entity to increase the rental price, as defined, advertised, offered, or charged for housing to an existing or prospective tenant by more than 10% … The bill would additionally make it a misdemeanor for a person, business, or entity to evict a housing tenant after the proclamation of a state of emergency and then rent or offer to rent to another person at a rental price higher than the evicted tenant could be charged.” (AB 1919)

AB 1919 goes onto clarify that the new restrictions are not just for wildfires, but any state of emergency including but not limited to floods, riots, droughts, and disease.

The California State Legislatures made violating this law a crime Punishable by imprisonment for up to a year. There is also a fine associated with breaking this law of up to $10,000. Ultimately, this law is relatively straight forward, and provides good protections for tenants living in disaster areas.

New 3 Day Notice Procedure

Assembly Bill No. 2343 slightly changes the procedure and timing for posting the notorious 3-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit. Also, the 3-Day Notice to Perform Covenant (Cure) or Quit. is affected by this legislation. The law explicitly states:

“This bill would change the notice period to exclude judicial holidays, including Saturday and Sunday.” (AB 2343)

This law is designed to protect tenants from getting unfairly evicted. However, it is slightly controversial because it enables bad tenants to game the system and take advantage of landlords in certain circumstances. For an in-depth analysis of this new 3-day law, and the implications that go along with it, see this article.

It is essential for landlords and property managers to understand this new law in depth because 3-day notices must be served with the proper timing. If a landlord blunders the timing, a judge will merely throw out the eviction lawsuit and the landlord must start from square one with the eviction process.

If you have any questions about this new law and the timing that goes along with it, feel free to give us a call or contact us at any time.

Landlords Must Accept Third Party Payments

This piece of legislation requires landlords to accept third party payments under certain circumstances. However, the good news is that a third party payment does not establish tenancy. The assembly bill states:

“A landlord or landlord’s agent is not required to accept the rent payment tendered by a third party unless the third party has provided to the landlord or landlord’s agent a signed acknowledgment stating that they are not currently a tenant of the premises for which the rent payment is being made and that acceptance of the rent payment does not create a new tenancy with the third party.” (AB 2219)

This is a crucial part of the bill that landlords need to be aware of. Under current California law, paying rent establishes tenancy. Once someone has established tenancy, they are a legal tenant of the home with tenant rights. Many landlords have fallen into the trap of accepting rent from an individual that is not on the lease. Once the rent is accepted, that individual is now a tenant. To get that tenant out requires a full and expensive eviction.

This law outlines an acknowledgement to be used by landlords with third parties to avoid this predicament. The acknowledgment is simple and needs to contain the following:

I, [Third party], state as follows: I am not currently a tenant of the premises located at [rental address]. I acknowledge that acceptance of the rent payment I am offering for the premises does not create a new tenancy.

Be sure to make the third party sign and date the above acknowledgment to avoid that third party from establishing tenancy.

Do not fear, Section 8 and other housing assistance programs do not qualify as third parties that must be accepted under this law. This law in no way forces landlords to accept Section 8.

Additional Protection for Service Members

Existing California law allows the brave men and women serving in our armed forces to break their lease when they get new orders. This is designed to protect these heroic men and women from having to pay rent somewhere they are not stationed. For example, why should a Marine have to pay rent in California when he is currently risking his life to protect his country in Afghanistan?

Assembly Bill 3212 takes this one step further. If the landlord thinks that the armed service member’s request is illegitimate, it gives landlords 30 days to challenge the request to break the lease.

“The bill would provide that if the person fails to make such a response in the time frame above, the person waives any objection to the request, and the service member shall be entitled to the relief requested.” (AB 3212)

Landlords need to be aware of this new bill. Although it is rare, certain members of the armed forces have attempted to get out of their lease by claiming that they are being deployed when in fact they are not. California landlords and property managers must be aware of this 30 day window. If landlords do not make an objection within the allotted time frame, the service member is granted his request regardless of whether he is being deployed or not.

The law keeps getting more complicated

Every single year California Legislators make new laws that affect landlord tenant relationships. Every single year the law gets more complex and harder to interpret. Sometimes it seems as though Sacramento is doing its best to build a labyrinth of assembly bills, ordinances, and penalties to trap landlords.

Sometimes a minor change, such as the updated 3-Day notice law, can act as a landmine to uninformed landlords. If a landlord tries to serve a 3-Day Pay Rent or Quit Notice under the 2018 standard, the eviction could be thrown out in court, which would cost thousands of dollars in lost rent.

Both the price gouging and emergency call laws have the potential to put a landlord in court if the landlord is unfamiliar with the law.

If you have any questions for us, we are happy to talk to you about how we can effectively deal with your tenants and the extensive California law that governs tenant-landlord relationships.

Meghan Miller

Accounting

Meghan is one of the newest members of our Mesa Properties Inc. Team and works in our accounting department. She studied accounting at Chaffey College. Prior to joining Mesa Properties Inc., Meghan was a bookkeeper for 6 years at a CPA firm that primarily worked with dairy farms. She enjoys working for Mesa Properties Inc. because she is able to use her accounting experience in whole new ways and also enjoys the friendly office environment that has been established here. Meghan resides in Rancho Cucamonga with her husband and two sons.

Rebecca Anthony

Administrative Assistant

Rebecca is one of our administrative assistants and is one of the warm and friendly voices you will hear when you call our office. She has a strong customer experience background from her past role with Sprint and loves assisting our owners and tenants. When she isn’t working, Rebecca loves to bake and spend time with her son and family.

Steve Shwetz

Managing Broker

Steve, the Managing Broker and Founder of Mesa Properties Inc. & Mesa Real Estate, began his real estate career buying, fixing and reselling distressed properties in Southern California. Seeing the long-term opportunity in a buy and hold strategy, Steve began acquiring residential real estate to build his own real estate rental portfolio. As a 10 year owner of an international service franchise, Steve saw an opportunity to take his experience in customer service and developing systems and processes and apply that experience to the world of property management and real estate. Prior to starting his own businesses Steve held various senior and advisory level sales positions with IBM Corp., B. Braun Medical, Insight Direct & Reach Local. Steve is a licensed real estate broker and holds a Bachelors in Business from the University of Southern California.

DRE: 01881471

Sheryl Shwetz

General Manager, Administration

Sheryl helped to establish Mesa Properties Inc. with Steve. Today, she serves as the backbone of all things administrative for the company. Sheryl oversees all the details of running a property management company including on-boarding new owners, converting applicants to tenants, and paying all vendors. After earning her B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix, Sheryl worked for a software development company running the support and training department and writing user documentation. Sheryl also gained experience at an advertising agency servicing non-profit organizations where she drafted vendor instructions for merging customer data with various fundraising campaigns. Sheryl has 3 sons and home-schooled them through various stages of their K-8 education. Each one is now thriving in adulthood.

Sam Shwetz

Business Development Manager

Sam is the Business Development Manager at Mesa Properties Inc. focusing on engaging both new and existing owners of residential and commercial properties.  Sam is a U.S. Navy veteran having served in the Nuclear Field on the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier.

After his military service , Sam worked for a lighting control company as a field service engineer on various projects including extensive work on Apple’s new corporate headquarters in Cupertino California.

Sam and his wife Sydney are homeowners in Ontario, CA where they live with their golden retriever.

DRE: 02069937

Verenice Guardado Alvarado

Lead Office Administrator

Verenice is the office administrator to our Mesa Properties Inc. Team. She is also licensed and manages properties in the high desert. She earned her Associate’s Degree in Business Administration from San Joaquin Valley College and used her skills working in customer service. Previously, Verenice worked 4 years with Target where she trained sales associates and developed strong communication and teamwork skills. Through her position at Mesa Properties Inc., Verenice strives to find the right tenant for each owner and the right home for each tenant.

DRE: 02036438

Mark Parmenter

Property Manager

Prior to joining Mesa Properties Inc., Mark worked in the construction industry as a member of the carpenters union. He holds an Associates degree in Business, he is a licensed agent, certified in property management and enjoys the unique challenges of property management. Mark is a homeowner himself and experienced with on site multi-unit management. He understands the delicate balance of working with tenants as a landlord, owner and neighbor.

DRE: 01981906

Joshua Long

Property Manager

Joshua is a property manager to the Mesa Properties Inc. team. With a background in sales, Joshua gained the strong communication skills necessary to be an effective problem solver when handling any situation he is faced with. Growing up, Joshua watched his mother work as an apartment manager for over 20 years. Now, as a property manager, Joshua focuses on addressing the needs of both renters and homeowners. He is a focused hard-worker who ambitiously seeks to become better in his position and to gain more knowledge at whatever task is at hand. Joshua is an Upland area native and is a licensed real estate agent. He currently holds 2 Associate’s Degrees and is working towards gaining his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from CSUSB.

DRE: 01998522

Bridget O'Gorman

Assistant Property Manager

Bridget is now a property manager to the Mesa Properties Inc. team. She currently resides in Victorville with her daughter. In 2014, Bridget obtained her Associate’s Degree in Business Administration from San Joaquin Valley College with a 4.0 GPA. Prior to working for Mesa Properties Inc., she has held various customer service jobs, where she gained better understanding of how to handle different situations and how to work with each person on an individual level. In addition, Bridget worked as a safety manager and recruiting assistant for a transportation company, giving her experience in processing applications and completing safety inspections. Bridget enjoys working for a company where she is able to assist others and to work in a changing environment, which is always giving her a chance for a new experience.

DRE: 02040663

Julia Morrison

Property Manager

Julia is a property manager to the Mesa Properties Inc. Team! Julia currently holds an Associates degree in Criminal Justice. She is currently enrolled at CSUSB with plans of going to law school after. Having worked 4 years in a customer service field, Julia has gained much experience in working with difficult situations and learned how to be a team leader. Prior to working in customer service, Julia worked for an HOA, where she gained computer & phone skills and learned how to handle an overflowing stack of paperwork! She enjoys working with people and assisting them in finding a home that they love. Julia became a homeowner in 2016 and currently resides in Upland with her fiance.

DRE: 02040250

Autumn Janda

Tenant Screening

Autumn gained her real estate license in 2011, but has been in the property management field since 2005. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from CSUSB in 2009. Prior to joining Mesa Properties Inc., Autumn gained much of her experience being an assistant property manager for commercial properties for six years! She also spent five years working in a company that worked with commercial, industrial, and apartment properties. Autumn enjoys working for Mesa Properties Inc. because she gets to work with new tasks everyday and likes meeting new people. She is currently a homeowner in Arizona, where she resides with her husband and daughter.

DRE: 01765918

Donna Pulver

Receptionist

Donna is the receptionist to our Mesa Properties Inc. Team since November of 2016! Her tasks include answering calls, scheduling showing appointments, processing adverse action letters, assisting with applications, and assisting customers in the front desk. Having worked over 25 years for a real estate appraisal company located in Covina, Donna has gained much experience in providing great customer service. Donna currently lives in Victorville.

Carmen Franco

Administrative Assistant

Carmen is one of the newest members to the Mesa Properties Inc. Team! Her tasks include showing available rental properties, assisting with phone calls, and completing inspections. Carmen graduated from University Preparatory High School in 2011. She has earned her certificate in Business Administration from San Joaquin Valley College with a 4.0 GPA. Getting to know the team at Mesa Properties Inc., Carmen has been inspired to pursue a career in property management. She is eager to learn more about property management and prides herself in bringing a positive and caring attitude to everyone and everything she does. Carmen resides in Apple Valley with her husband and 2 children.

Amairani Palacios

Transaction Coordinator

Amairani is the transaction coordinator to the Mesa Properties Inc. Team! Her main role is coordinating real estate transactions for the real estate agents. Her other tasks include assisting the property managers with inspections, calls, and emails. Having been a member in the AFJROTC program for Victor Valley High School for 3 years, Amairani has gained experience in coordinating tasks and working with other team members as a Team Leader. Amairani has completed the needed real estate courses and is working on obtaining her real estate license.

DRE 02049281

Michael Melendez

Real Estate Agent

Mike has been practicing real estate in Southern California since 2006. His family and friends have always been involved in home loans, new construction, and rehabilitation projects, deepening his knowledge of all aspects of the industry. As a Realtor, Mike’s service’s consist of helping buyers and sellers obtain property that best suits their interests. Finding his clients great deals, maximizing their proceeds and finding them the right home is what he does best. Mike understands that real estate is one of the biggest purchases and sales that can be made, and choosing the right agent is an important decision. He has both the experience and technology to help his clients meet their goals.

DRE: 01781635

Sonya Dod

Real Estate Agent

Sonya Dod has been a licensed real estate agent since 1989, Sonya is an agent who facilitates successful transactions for buyers as well as sellers, boasting a solid reputation for making deals with honesty and integrity. Since Sonya was raised on a Texas farm, she isn’t afraid of hard work and long hours. After her parents moved to California 40 years ago, they started buying investment properties. So she grew familiar and comfortable with the process of finding, fixing up and selling properties at an early age. Having served as an underwriter, processor and loan officer, Sonya has the knowledge and experience necessary to help sellers and buyers avoid wasting time opening meaningless transactions. What’s more, sellers are protected by her expertise as she requires buyers to provide written permission to speak directly to lenders. This unique approach fosters quickly closed deals and eliminates false representation.

DRE: 01055445

Raymond Palacios

Administrative Assistant

Raymond is an administrative assistant to the Mesa Properties Inc. Team! His tasks include performing inspections, showing properties, serving documents, and assisting with phone calls. Raymond holds a Bachelors in Business Management from California State University of San Bernardino. Having worked 4 years at a customer service field, Raymond has gained much experience in assisting and providing great quality customer service. Prior to working in customer service, Raymond volunteered and worked 6 years for a food distribution center where he gained the experience in efficiently coordinating important tasks within a company.