In the fourth quarter of 2019, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law a package of housing-related legislation that included 18 individual bills. Within this package, there were a significant number of important changes aimed at addressing the statewide housing crisis through a variety of measures, including, among others mechanisms, upzoning, approval streamlining and tenant protections.1
In the rental housing market, one of the more noteworthy bills from Governor Newsom's recent signing spree is Assembly Bill 1482 – The Tenant Protection Act of 2019 ("AB 1482").2 AB 1482 creates a number of additional restrictions with which landlords must comply. Most importantly, it: (1) enacts a statewide rent increase cap; (2) greatly expands the number of tenants who can only be evicted strictly for "just cause;" and (3) heightens certain tenant noticing requirements. AB 1482, effective January 1, 2020, will expire January 1, 2030 unless extended.3
For a general discussion of AB 1482's rent increase cap and just cause eviction requirements see prior link here.
Below is a compliance guide for the major provisions of AB 1482, addressing: (1) applicable exemptions; (2) application of the rent increase cap and just cause provisions; (3) noticing requirements; and (4) other laws that could impact implementation of AB 1482.
It is important to note the current version of AB 1482 leaves a considerable number of terms undefined and several provisions remain vague. Consequentially, it is unclear exactly how AB 1482 will be implemented, and it will be important for property owners4 and tenants alike to stay apprised of any regulatory changes or subsequent clarifications.
1. DETERMINE IF YOUR PROPERTY IS SUBJECT TO AB 1482
AB 1482 contains exemptions from the both rent increase cap and just cause eviction provisions, as are generally identified in the following chart.5, 6
2 AB 1482 is an act to add and repeal Sections 1946.2, 1947.12, and 1947.13 of the Civil Code, relating to tenancy.
3 Litigation has recently been initiated which seeks an order to permanently enjoin and prohibit Governor Newsom from enforcing AB 1482. Better Housing for Long Beach et al. v. City of Long Beach et al. (U.S.D.C. – Central District, Case No. 2:19-CV-08861) alleges AB 1482 violates the following provisions of the United States Constitution: (1) the takings clause of the Fifth Amendment; (2) the seizure clause of the Fourth Amendment; and (3) the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
4 The terms "property owner" and "landlord" shall be used interchangeably herein and shall mean the individual or entity responsible for the rental of a residential dwelling unit.
5 Please note that these exemptions are simplified for ease of reference. However, many are nuanced, and some are slightly different between the rent cap and just cause provisions. For example, the "dormitories" exemption for the rent increase cap provides for "[d]ormitories constructed and maintained in connection with any higher education institution within the state for use and occupancy by students in attendance at the institution," whereas the just cause corollary states "[d]ormitories owned and operated by an institution of higher education or a kindergarten and grades 1 to 12, inclusive, school."
6 To make the final determination as to whether a property is exempt from either or both of the rent increase cap and eviction requirements for reasons listed in the chart, reviewing the text of AB 1482 will be required.
7 "Determination on a rolling basis" means that any units which were issued final COOs on, or prior to, January 1, 2005 will be subject to AB 1482 immediately. Units issued COOs after January 1, 2005 will become subject to the law 15 years after issuance of the COO. For example, units issued COOs on July 15, 2012 will be subject to AB 1482 on July 15, 2027. Units issued COOs after January 1, 2015 will not be subject to AB 1482, unless it is extended beyond January 1, 2030. The conservative approach, recommended by the National Apartment Association ("NAA") is to include an addendum in all current and future leases which specify to the day when the final COO was issued and when the property will be subject to AB 1482.
Click for the full article: Tenant Protection Act AB 1482 Compliance Guide
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.