California Adopts New Rental Rules for 2013

by Chris on December 26, 2012

California lawmakers have enacted some changes to landlord tenant laws for 2013.  Fortunately, some of these changes are landlord-friendly, and have the potential to cut down on the time and costs of managing rental properties:

Tenants’ Abandoned Property

When a tenant leaves behind belongings, landlords have to take on the task of collecting and storing the property, then notifying the tenant of their right to come and claim it. Unclaimed property then can be sold at auction.

Beginning in January, 2013, the total resale value of abandoned property must reach $700 or  more before a landlord is required to sell it at public auction, as opposed to throwing it away or finding some other use for it.

The previous rule set that value at $300.

At the same time, a landlord cannot collect storage costs against the tenant if the tenants picks up the abandoned property within 2 days of leaving the rental.

Landlord disclaimers are now required in the termination notice or pre-move out inspection report  informing tenants of their rights to reclaim property under certain conditions.

Security Deposit Accounting Goes Digital

Now, California landlords and tenants can mutually agree to handle security deposit transactions electronically. Returned security deposit funds can be wired to the tenant’s account, and the accounting — including all receipts for deductions — can be scanned and emailed to an address provided by the tenant.

Can’t Collect Rent Online Only

After protests that electronic rent collection discriminates against the elderly and poor, a new rule requires that a non-Internet rent payment option must be available to all tenants.

Eviction Restriction for New Owners

The existing law requires a previous owner or agent to provide rent payment information to current tenants regarding a change of ownership through sale or foreclosure  within 15 days of the ownership change.

Now, a new bill provides that if the tenant did not receive notice,  the  successor is prohibited from evicting a tenant for nonpayment of rent that accrued during that period.   However, the new rules do not relieve a tenant’s liability for unpaid rent.

This post is provided by Tenant Verification Service, Inc., helping landlords reduce the risks of renting with fraud prevention tools that include Tenant Screening, Tenant Background Checks, (U.S. and Canada), as well as Criminal Background Checks, and Eviction Reports (U.S. only).

Click Here to Receive Landlord Credit Reports.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this post in not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.

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