SOME HIGHLIGHTS OF THE FOLLOWING NEW LAWS FOR 2010
(This page will be updated from time to time with new information or analysis.)
RULES FOR WATER SUBMETERING
An ordinance provides certain rights and protections to tenants in the City of San Diego who pay a water bill when their unit has a submeter installed. A submeter is a water meter installed by the Landlord, not the Water Department, to measure the tenant's specific water use. As of June 1, 2010, leases must inform tenants about the submeter rules including any late or administrative fees and the name of the landlord or agent who will be doing the billing. The submeter water bill presented to the tenant must also contain certain information. See the full text of the law.
TENANTS GET MORE PROTECTION FROM UTILITY SHUTOFFS
If a landlord is responsible to pay the utilities and stops paying them, tenants may, under certain conditions, pay the utilities and deduct that amount from the rent. Landlords must also give notice and opportunity for tenants in rentals with unpaid utility bills to take over service and prevent shutoffs. This is particularly important in foreclosure affected properties.
Parts of this law become operative on July 1, 2010 unless extended or modified.
APPLICATION SCREENING FEES CAP LOWERED IN 2010
Due to a drop in the CPI, the maximum application screening fee allowed has dropped to $41.72.
Landlords still must justify these costs and provide proof upon request.
FEDERAL LAW REGARDING TENANCIES AFTER FORECLOSURE
TOOK EFFECT ON MAY 20, 2009
Federal Law (word version) has a significant impact on tenants residing in a residential property that has been foreclosed upon. The bill is intended to assist residential tenants by doing three important things;
!. Transferring existing leases (including section 8 tenancies) to the new owners after a foreclosure sale.
2. Requiring 90 day notices to vacate (State law was 60 days) in month to month tenancies after a foreclosure sale.
3. Declaring that a foreclosure is not "good cause" alone to evict a section 8 tenant.
The lease or rental agreement must have been in existence
prior to the "notice of the foreclosure"
There must be a "bona fide tenant" or "bona fide tenancy"
If these conditions are not met, then State law applies.
Additional consequences and effects
Paying Rent Coming under this law means that the tenant may now have to pay the lease rent after a foreclosure. Existing State Law allowed a tenant 60 days after a foreclosure of a dwelling to vacate without paying rent. This was regarded as an unofficial relocation benefit. This new Federal Law appears to wipe out the free rent California tenants were enjoying. The (pre- foreclosure notice) lease may be recognized and assumed by the new owner who may now want the rent immediately after the foreclosure sale.
Stranger as New Landlord After the foreclosure sale, the tenant will "inherit" a new landlord who may not be the person or entity that the tenant would have a wanted as a landlord if they had a choice in the matter.
Terminating Leases The new owners may terminate an existing lease including,
section 8 tenancies, if the new owner intends to move in with 90 days notice.
Tenants should check the public records in your County (San Diego records) before signing a lease to be sure there is no recorded NOD .on that property If there is one recorded, any lease entered into after that initial NOD may be voided by the buyer. That means the tenant may only be protected for up to 90 days after the sale regardless of the term of the lease..
[This law was set to expire on 12/31/2012] AMENDED TO SUNSET ON 12/31/2014
60 DAY NOTICE LAW EXTENDED
The 60-day notice requirement for month to month tenancies of one year or longer has been extended indefinitely. Therefore, the 60 day notice law (Civil Code 1946.1) will continue to be the law and did not expire as it was originally going to on 12/31/09. The Federal 90 day notice rule for tenancies after foreclosures still applies.(S.896)
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California law for San Diego is applied in these pages. This is not represented to be a full and complete list of all laws that may or may not affect tenants or occupants in properties Such laws may or may not be applicable in other jurisdictions. The information provided herein is of a general nature and is not intended to be taken as specific legal advice. Legal summaries are only the opinion of the Tenants Legal Center and are not intended nor should they be relied upon as any specific representation of any law. For legal advice in a particular situation, promptly consult with an appropriate attorney.