The real estate market in the South Bay was off to a decent start in January with the sales volume of all residential real estate increasing by 28% on a year-over-year basis. Volume decreased by 24% as compared to December, which may seem significant at first glance, but is consistent with seasonal trends, as noted in the chart below. Inventory levels are at 1.8 months, which is lower than 2.1 months last January and is lower than it has been in the past few years.
I thought it would be helpful to highlight a few of the California laws that took effect in 2017 which may affect homeowners and renters alike. First, just a quick reminder that as of July 1, 2014, all smoke detectors must either be hard-wired or have batteries that are rated to last for 10 years. Existing smoke detectors are not required to be replaced immediately, but make sure to inspect them regularly to make sure they are functioning properly. There is also the requirement for carbon monoxide detectors outside every sleeping area and on every level of a home that has uses natural gas and/or has an attached garage.
In 1992, the California Legislature passed SB–1224, which imposed water conservation standards on toilets and urinals installed in all single family residential homes, multi–family residential properties, and commercial properties. Subsequently in 2009, with California’s on–going drought, the Legislature passed SB–407, extending the toilet and urinal standards to all properties and further added shower and faucet standards. Those standards are:
- Toilets – no more than 1.6 gal/flush
- Urinals – no more than 1.0 gal/flush
- Showers – no more than 2.5 gal/min
- Internal Faucets – no more than 2.2 gal/min
By January 1, 2017, all single-family residences must be in compliance; and
By January 1, 2019, all multi–family and commercial properties must be in compliance.
The law requires that any Seller must disclose to any Buyer whether or not the property is compliant with the water conservation law. There is no state-wide penalty for non-compliance at this time, nor is there a requirement that this be taken care of prior to a transfer or sale, but non–disclosing Sellers would reasonably be liable to Buyers for the costs of compliance. This is something to keep in mind, whether buying or selling a home, or even if you own a home and are not planning to sell in the near future.
Additional units on property (AB2406)
This authorizes a city or county to provide by ordinance for the creation of “junior accessory dwelling units” in an existing dwelling within single-family residential zones. It requires the ordinance to include, among other things, standards for the creation of a junior accessory dwelling unit, required deed restrictions, and occupancy requirements. It prohibits an ordinance from requiring additional parking requirements as a condition of granting a permit for a junior accessory dwelling unit.
Landlord/Tenant Bedbugs Disclosure (AB551)
There is a new requirement regarding bed bugs. Effective July 1, 2017, landlords are required to provide a specific notice about bed bugs (how to identify them, how to prevent and treat them, etc.) with any new leases. They are also prohibited from showing or renting properties that are known to have a current bed bug infestation, although they are not required to inspect for bed bugs if there is no evidence of infestation. Landlords are required to provide copies of reports to tenants whose units have been inspected, but the law doesn’t specify who is responsible for treatment since there is the possibility that a resident may have brought in the bed bugs.