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Legislators recognizing the role deposit alternatives can play in driving housing affordability

Housing affordability is a serious problem across the U.S. Nearly half of renter households are considered cost-burdened (meaning they spend more than 30% of their income on rent), and of those renters, more than half spend over 50% of their incomes on housing.  This means there’s a real need for strategies that reduce the cost burden on renters.  While some municipalities have focused primarily on rent control bills, others are focusing on solutions that are beneficial for both renters and properties. And as new legislation shows, an increasing number of lawmakers are recognizing the role that deposit alternatives can play in offering these win-win solutions.  Legislators focusing on up-front rental costs Several states introduced (and passed) rent control bills in 2019. This legislation focused on monthly rent costs and was designed to make renting more affordable, but was largely opposed by property owners and operators.  Now, legislators are beginning to shift their focus from monthly rent costs to up-front move-in costs, as these can be cost-prohibitive to many renters.  In fact, in our 2019 Renter Sentiment Report, 30% of renters ranked affording up-front costs as more stressful than making monthly payments, and almost 60% of renters said they’d been prevented from moving into a rental home because the up-front costs were too high.  As a result, legislators like Cincinnati’s have chosen to focus on giving renters more affordable alternatives to standard cash security deposits. With their new bill, passed in January, properties have the option to either cut deposits in half, give ......
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Legislative Update: California Showered with Rental Housing Regulations

Legislative Update: California Showered with Rental Housing Regulations
With April showers comes new rental housing legislation. Among bills proposing rent control, additional rental housing development funds, and new eviction procedures, Californian legislators are anxious to reform old rental housing regulations and create new requirements. While the majority of this year's proposed laws are still on the chopping block (for better or worse), if passed, these bills will significantly effect the rental housing industry in California.    IN EFFECT: Water Saving Fixtures (SB 407) Be aware that the deadline to switch your plumbing fixtures to meet California’s water-saving standards is January 1, 2019. This applies to pre-1994 multifamily housing and is a part of SB 407, which was passed October of 2009. PENDING: Accessory Dwelling Units (SB 831) SB 831 eliminates some of the regulations and fees regarding accessory dwelling units (also known as granny flats or in-law units). These include eliminating all local agency, school district, special district and water corporation fees, requiring an accessory dwelling unit application to be automatically approved if a local agency does not act within 120 days, and allow for the creation of an accessory dwelling unit on lots with existing or proposed homes. If this bill passes setbacks will be no greater than 5 feet and create an amnesty program that would ease the permitting process (active until 2026). PENDING: Withholding Transportation Funds until Housing Quota Met (AB 1759) This bill would require each city or county to meet the minimum housing production goal (as is written in their general development plan) in order to be e......
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ALERT: OPPOSE Hiding Eviction Reports / Unlawful Detainer in Tenant Screening (AB 2819)

ALERT: OPPOSE Hiding Eviction Reports / Unlawful Detainer in Tenant Screening (AB 2819)

Under California’s unlawful detainer (UD) “masking” law,” UD court filings are masked, or hidden from public view for 60 days following the initial eviction court filing, and then are automatically unmasked. AB 2819 will permanently mask all UD actions, unless the rental property owner prevails in court, or seeks a default judgment in court. AB 2819 unfairly places the cost, burden, and responsibility for ensuring tenant defaults are made public on the backs of rental property owners.

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States are Changing Their Hiring Laws, are You Affected?

States are Changing Their Hiring Laws, are You Affected?

All across the U.S. there are civil rights activists fighting for employees who are being discriminated against during the hiring process. There are arguments about the use of criminal records and credit history before an applicant has been interviewed, and how much of an impact the information should have on the decision for employment. Some states have already approved new legislation limiting what employers may ask or research before hiring a new employee, while others are in the review process.

In order to protect your business, be sure to keep up with changes your state might be making that will require a change to your employment policy.

Violations of Ban-the-Box law

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CA Legislative Changes for 2015

The New Year is just around the corner and so are the new California laws that are about to take effect. Best business practices dictate you should keep you up-to-date on changes that will directly impact the multifamily housing industry, this year. Here is a list of relevant legislative changes to keep in mind, as 2015 begins. ELECTRONIC SIGNATURES (Assembly Bill No. 2747) Previously, electronic transactions regarding security deposits were not permitted. However, with AB 2747 electronic document signatures for lease and rental agreements are now legally binding. For more information, please visit http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov. SERVERS OF PROCESS (Assembly Bill No. 2256) Upon displaying a current driver’s license or other identification, an individual performing service of process in accordance with the law will be granted access to a gated community for a reasonable period of time for the sole purpose of performing their duty. Servers of process no longer must identify the individual they are going to serve when accessing a gated community. For more information, please visit http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov. WATER SUBMETERS (Assembly Bill No. 2451) For the first time, submeters that measure water usage may be tested in one county and used in another. Additionally, when a submeter is not in proper working condition, it may be marked with the phrase “Out of Order.” AB 2451 provides protection whereby an owner, user or operator of a submeter that has been properly maintained, who commercially submits it for testing, is protected from criminal prosecution and will not be liable for fines or other penal......
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