Recent California Landlord/ Tenant Law Changes

IMPORTANT NEW LANDLORD-TENANT LAWS FOR 2017AB 2819: PERMANENT MASKING OF ALL EVICTION LAWSUITS

Before AB2819 was passed, all eviction court filings were hidden from public view for only 60 days. If a tenant prevailed and no judgment was entered against the tenant, there would be no public record of the filing of the eviction lawsuit. However, if tenant did not prevail, the filing would be made public to credit reporting agencies, thus showing prospective landlords a tenant had an eviction lawsuit filed against him or her.

Under the new law, all eviction lawsuits will permanently masked to the public and all credit reports unless there is a judgment in favor of landlord obtained through a court trial. Keep in mind that only a small percentage of eviction filings actually make it to the trial stage. However, just as before, the new law still allows the Court to issue an order barring access to court record if both parties stipulate (agree).

Nevertheless, this new law will result in a greater inability to allow prospective landlords to view a negative rental history of apartment applicants.

On the other side, this new law may possibly break the cycle of financial hardship resulting from an eviction judgment which would then result in another hardship of attempting to locate another apartment to rent with a recent negative notation on their credit report. Only time will tell.

AB 551: BED BUGS

Civil Code Section 1942.5 was amended to prohibit a landlord from retaliating against a tenant who gives notice of a suspected bed bug infestation.

Further, Civil Code Section 1954.602 prohibits a landlord from showing or renting a unit that landlord knows has bed bugs. There is no inspection requirement imposed, but if apparent, the landlord is considered to have knowledge.

As well, CC Section 1954.603 requires all new rental and lease agreements include a specific notice about bed bugs beginning July 1, 2017 with all current tenants receiving same notice by January 1, 2018.

Further, CC Section 1954.604 requires landlords to give notice of intent to enter AND tenants are required to cooperate with inspection and requests for information to facilitate bed bug detection and treatment.

Now finally the tricky part, CC Section 1954.605 requires landlords to give notice to tenants within two business days of receiving a pest control operator's findings when inspected. It is the landlords' responsibility to ensure the findings are left at the unit at issue by the operator. And of course, when infestations are found in common areas, the landlord must provide notice to all tenants.