Year End Summary Of New Laws

 In Real Estate
1. New Law Curtails Phony Claims of Emotional Support Pets

AB 468 provides new requirements to prove your animal qualifies as an emotional support animal. Designed to stop people from buying fraudulent tags, certificates and vests in order to take animals anywhere they want or to force landlords into accepting the pet!

2. Landlords Allowed to File Small Claims Actions in Excess of $10k

AB 3088 permits landlords to file small claims actions for past due rent in excess of prior jurisdictional limits of $10,000. In fact, a landlord can sue for all past due rent regardless of amount. No attorneys allowed to string things out and run up costs in small claims court. Landlord can also file more than two cases in one year which is also a change in the rule.

3. Arbitration Costs

A party who cannot afford to continue to pay arbitration costs may seek relief from Superior Court to require the other party to pay all arbitration costs or transfer case back to Superior Court for litigation. Weiler v Marcus & Millichap.

4. Grant Deed

Grant Deed to 4-plex having been delivered by Mom to Son with oral instructions not to record it until he obtained financing to purchase the 4-plex in Long Beach from Mom was valid transfer of title at time of delivery. Son’s soon to be ex-wife recorded Deed before Son could obtain financing. Mom files lawsuit and loses. McMillin v Eare, 2 DCA, October 9, 2021.

5. AB 1482 – Rent Control

Exceptions to AB 1482 statewide Rent Control would be condos, town homes, a single-family residence and property built within the past 15 years. Otherwise, if no exception applies rent can be increased by a little over 8% as long as property does not lie in a city that has its own rent control ordinance.

6. Two Court Decisions Good for California

Two court decisions that are good for California, finally!

  1. Sandoval v Qualcomm. Supreme Court rules that a party who fully and effectively delegates work to a contractor owes no tort duty to that contractor’s workers who are injured on the job. 9/4/21.
  2. Yellowstone Women’s First Step v City of Costa Mesa, 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Costa Mesa can regulate sober living homes. Case affirms the authority of cities to regulate for the benefit of citizens and sober living residents.
7. Law Abolishing Single Family Zoning

Newsome signs SB 9 into law, essentially abolishing single family zoning! One to four single family units can now potentially be built on one lot in residential neighborhoods.

SB 10 also signed into law. Allows for rezoning single family to allow up to 10 units in certain areas near transit and in urban centers. Both SB 9 and 10 commence Jan. 1, 2022. Happy New Year!

New laws that would destroy local control of land use decisions passed the Assembly last week. SB 9 and 10 that would make it easier to build duplexes and mother-in-law houses and would bypass state environmental laws allowing up to 10 units in single family zoning now to be voted on in the Senate.

Comment: If asked 46 years ago when I started practicing law would/could this ever happen in California, I would have said never. Boy are things changing for the worse.

8. Win for VRBO

Win for VRBO owners against HOA rental restrictions adopted after owner bought house/condo. Brown v Montage Hills (Aug 20, 2021). Appellate Court found that CC 4740 exempts common interest property owners from rental restrictions not in place at time of property’s purchase.

9. Arbitration Provision Awards

Another Arbitration provision requiring arbitration held unconscionable. Provision requiring arbitration was hidden on back side of money transfer order form in small 6-point print that was difficult to read. Fisher v MoneyGram, July 27, 2021.

About the Author

  • Scott Souders
    Scott Souders Attorney & Author


Scott Souders is a real estate attorney who has practiced real estate law in excess of 43 years in Southern California. The Real Estate Law Update cites cases or statutes which are summarized and should not be relied upon without fully reading the cases or statute in the advance sheets and shepardizing the same and consulting with your own attorney.

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