Important New Laws Enacted In 2017
- Cannabis Regulation:
Business and Professions Code §26000-26231.2 is the California Combined Medical and Recreational Cannabis Laws which are one comprehensive piece of legislation. These laws are effective January 1, 2018.
- California Adopts New Policy to Encourage Use of Solar Energy Systems Involving HOAs.
Existing law, Civil Code §714-714.1, declares California’s policy to encourage the use of solar energy systems and to remove obstacles to their use, but allows an HOA to impose reasonable restrictions on solar energy systems installed in common interest developments. The bill clarifies the policy by prohibiting an HOA from:
- Establishing a general policy prohibiting an owner from installing or using a roof top solar energy system for household purposes on the roof of the building in which the owner resides or on an adjacent garage or carport that has been assigned to the owner for exclusive use;
- Requiring the approval, by vote, of other members for such an installation.
- New Laws Protecting Immigrants In Residential Housing.
Civil Code §1940.3 is a new bill that will become effective on January 1, 2018. All public entities in California are prohibited from adopting ordinances, regulations or polices that require landlords to screen tenant households for legal residency status or make it a crime to rent to households with members lacking documentation of legal residency.
Code of Civil Procedure §1161.4(a) prevents a landlord from filing an Unlawful Detainer action against a tenant because of the immigration or citizenship status of the tenant, occupant or other person known to the landlord to be associated with a tenant or occupant.Any tenant who claims to have endured discrimination under Civil Code §1940.3 and CCP §1161.4 specifically for a landlord’s illegal disclosure to any immigration authority, law enforcement agency or federal agency information regarding or relating to the immigration or citizenship status of the tenant or any occupant may obtain enhanced remedies, including damages, injunctive relief and attorneys fees as provided in Civil Code §1940.35.
Finally, under newly amended Civil Code §1942.5(c)(e) reporting, or a threat to report, to immigration authorities information about the tenant or individuals known to the landlord to be associated with the tenant “is a form of retaliatory conduct” that is prohibited under Civil Code §1942.5.
- New Fees Imposed to Record Documents Will Provide Funds for Affordable Housing.
Senate Bill 2 entitled Building Homes and Jobs Act imposes a separate $75.00 recording fee on most recorded documents to create a permanent source of funds for affordable housing development. This $75.00 fee is imposed upon every real estate instrument, paper or notice required or permitted by law to be recorded per each single transaction not to exceed $225.00 per transaction.
Civil Code §714.1(b) also exempts from a super majority member vote requirement of Civil Code §4600 (regarding grants of exclusive use of any portion of a common area to a member) an action to install or use a solar energy system on a common roof of a residence that meets certain requirements.
About the Author
Scott Souders is a real estate attorney who has practiced real estate law in excess of 42 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.