3 bills that are bad for the apartment biz, expected to pass (CA)

California Apartment Association Newsletter printed the below article on Tuesday April 30, 2013. The most important concept to keep in mind is that the more rules a regulations not to mention fines placed on apartment owners, the more likely the rents will need to go up to cover these costs.

These bills although in concept are well intentioned, are an additional expense to the property owners, whether requiring additional bank accounts set up for deposits or making meter improvements to a property for utilities or forcing jury evictions in cases where the tenant stopped paying rent and claims a repair was needed.

As a property owner I can see where these changes would add to overhead and less money in their pockets now that the owners are finally getting rents and occupancy rates to dig out from the recession.

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Here is the CAA article:

Three bills that could hurt the rental housing industry will likely advance out of their respective judiciary committees in the Assembly and Senate next week.

Because of the political leanings of the judiciary committees in each house of the state Legislature, they tend to approve bills not necessarily friendly to business, including those that CAA believes have major flaws.

Three bills that go before the judiciary committees Tuesday, May 7  --and have detrimental provisions for the rental housing industry -- include:

  • SB 603 (Leno-D), which would require that landlords pay interest on security deposits while dramatically increasing penalties, even for honest mistakes.
  • SB 750 (Wolk-D), which would  mandate the installation of submeters on all new multifamily units and -- as currently written -- ban ratio utility billing systems, or RUBS.
  • AB 969 (Ammiano-D), which would encourage jury trials for eviction cases when a tenant claims he or she withheld rent because a landlord failed to make repairs to an apartment. The bill implies landlords are at fault, and by encouraging trial by jury, would greatly delay evictions.

The California Apartment Association is watching these bills closely. We anticipate they will move out of both committees and will go to the floor of each respective house by mid-May. Should they reach the floor without major improvements, we'll request that you write letters of opposition.

 

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