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New Laws for LA Landlords

Are you a rental property owner in Westside or South Bay Los Angeles? Well, if so there are a few new laws that you should be aware of.  Below are the most recent changes to existing laws.

Backyard Plants

According to AB2561, landlords are required to permit a tenant to do “personal agriculture” in their outdoor backyard using portable containers you have approved. Tenants are only allowed to do ground level planting for fruits and vegetables and strictly NO marijuana is allowed for personal use.

Electronic Vehicles

According to AB2565, landlords should allow the installation of electric vehicle charging stations by tenants as long as they meet the stations set standards. This law applies to any lease executed, renewed or extended on or after 1st July 2015. However, this law exempts properties with less than five parking spaces or properties with subject to rent control. The tenant is required by the law to maintain a $1,000,000 lessee’s general liability insurance policy.; and it is also their responsibility to pay for all expenses prior to installation and costs that may arise from damage, maintenance, repair, removal and replacement of the charging stations.

Evictions for Los Angeles and Long Beach

This law became effective 1st Sept 2014. It states that the city attorney can demand that a landlord evicts a tenant for unlawful possession of weapons or ammunition. In cases where safety issues arise, the law also allows the city attorney to take the necessary action on behalf of the city. Prior to filing the action, the law requires the attorney to give the landlord a thirty day notice requiring them to evict the tenant. The basis for the eviction would be an arrest or warrant by a law enforcement agency for illegal possession of weapons or on reporting an offense at the property.

Security Deposits and Electronic Communications 

According to AB2747, a landlord and a tenant can agree to use electronic communications regarding general security deposit issues. The law allows the landlord to use email for some of the requirements of a security deposit, including the right to inspect the property prior to termination of tenancy. However, a security deposit itemization is not included in this provision. Delivery of the itemization MUST be by personal service or First Class Mail.

Driver Licence Attaining to Rental Applications 

According to assembly bill No.60, the department of motor vehicles will issue driver licenses to individuals who do not provide a social security number on application, but provide a proof that their presence in the U.S. is authorized by the federal law. Further more, the DMV may also issue a license to an individual if they are unable to show proof of legal residence. The applicant may sign an affidavit attesting they are ineligible for an SSN and unable to show proof of legal residence. This applies to all landlords and they should NOT use the new license to deny a prospective tenant an apartment during the screening process.

Smoke Alarms

This law became effective 1st July 2014. According to senate bill No.745, all smoke alarms sold in California starting 1st July 2014 will have a non-replaceable, non-removable battery and capable of powering the smoke alarm for at least 10 years. The amendment does not apply to smoke alarms that have been ordered by, in inventory of an owner, managing agent, Contractor, wholesaler, or retailer on or before 1st July 2014 until 1st July 2015.

Starting 1st January 2015, all smoke alarms must display date of manufacture on the device, provide a place on the device where the date of installation can be written and incorporate a hush feature to be approved and listed by State fire Marshal. Landlords of all residential rental units are required to change the smoke alarms to conform to senate bill No.745.

Terminating Lease Agreement

According to senate bill No.612, a tenant may notify the landlord that he/she, or a household member was a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, human trafficking, abuse of an elder or dependent adult and intends to terminate the tenancy. To terminate the lease, the notification must be in written form and have one of the following attached to the notice:

  • A copy of the restraining order
  • Emergency protective order or protective order from the courts.
  • A copy of police report
  • A documentation from a qualified third party such as a doctor.

Wage Increase 

According to assembly bill No.10, the minimum wage increased to $9/hour as of 1st July 2014; and will be increased to $10/hour on 1st January 2016. Landlords are required to pay onsite managers the prevailing minimum wage.

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