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AB-2618 Hiring of real property: Department of Consumer Affairs: landlords and property managers: training.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 04/20/2018 04:00 AM
AB2618:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 19, 2018

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 2618


Introduced by Assembly Member Bonta

February 15, 2018


An act to add Section 1940.25 to the Civil Code, relating to real property.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2618, as amended, Bonta. Hiring of real property: Department of Real Estate: Consumer Affairs: landlords and property managers: training.

Existing law, as of July 1, 2018, establishes the Department of Real Estate in the Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency to license and regulate real estate brokers and real estate salespersons. Existing law specifies that the chief officer of the department is the Real Estate Commissioner and it is his or her principal responsibility to enforce all laws relating to real estate brokers and real estate salespersons in a manner that achieves the maximum protection for the purchasers of real property and those persons dealing with real estate licensees.

Existing law establishes the Department of Consumer Affairs within the Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency. Under existing law, boards within the department are established to ensure that private businesses and professions are regulated to protect the people of California, as provided.
Existing law, the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, prohibits the owner of any housing accommodation, or any person subject to the Unruh Civil Rights Act as the act applies to housing accommodations, from discriminating against any person because of the race, color, religion, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, ancestry, familial status, source of income, disability, or genetic information of that person or engaging in harassment of tenants, among others, in connection with those housing accommodations. Existing law authorizes a person claiming to be aggrieved by an alleged unlawful practice to file a complaint with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing.
Existing law makes it unlawful for a landlord to engage in specified activities for the purpose of influencing a tenant to vacate a dwelling, including using, or threatening to use, force, willful threats, or menacing conduct that interferes with the tenant’s quiet enjoyment of the premises and that would create an apprehension of harm in a reasonable person.
This bill bill, commencing on January 1, 2020, would require the Department of Real Estate Consumer Affairs to administer a certification program for landlords and property managers, as defined, to provide education to landlords and property managers on fair practices housing practices, obligations of landlords, and tenant rights. The bill would make this certification effective for a period of 2 years. years and would provide for renewal if certain requirements are met. The bill would would, except as specified, authorize the department to identify and approve appropriate providers of the educational coursework, as specified. The bill would make a person who acts as a landlord or property manager without first having obtained certification from the department subject to a specified civil penalty.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 1940.25 is added to the Civil Code, to read:

1940.25.
 (a) The following definitions shall apply for purposes of this section:
(1) “Department” means the Department of Real Estate Consumer Affairs in the Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency.

(2)“Dwelling unit” means a structure or the part of a structure that is used as a home, residence, or sleeping place by one person who maintains a household or by two or more persons who maintain a common household.

(3)

(2) “Landlord” means an owner of two or more residential rental properties or dwelling units that he or she offers for hire for a period of 15 days or longer. available for hire located within this state, excluding units used for transient occupancy limited to 30 days or less in duration.

(4)“Property manager” means a person who is hired by a landlord to be his or her agent for the purpose of managing two or more residential rental properties or dwelling units offered for hire for a period of 15 days or longer.

(3) “Property manager” means any person, regardless of title or job description, who, for compensation or in expectation of compensation, regardless of the form or time of payment, is engaged in residential property management of one or more dwelling units, excluding units used for transient occupancy limited to 30 days or less in duration.
(4) “Residential property management” means engaging in any of the following activities:
(A) Leasing, renting, or offering to lease or rent, placing for rent, or soliciting listings of residential property for rent, including accepting signed leases and rental agreements.
(B) Soliciting for prospective tenants.
(C) Showing rental units and common areas to prospective tenants.
(D) Responding to inquiries from prospective tenants concerning completion of an application.
(E) Providing information about rental rates and other terms and provisions of a lease or rental agreement.
(F) Collecting deposits or fees for credit checks, administrative costs, security deposits, or rents.
(G) Determining whether the application of a prospective tenant will be approved or denied.
(H) Serving tenancy related notices, including, but not limited to, notices in changes of terms of tenancy, advisory notices regarding property issues, notices to enter a dwelling unit, notices to pay rent or quit, and notices to terminate the tenancy.
(I) Collecting rental payments, receiving requests for repairs, accommodations, or services from current tenants, and receiving tenant complaints regarding tenantability, management issues, or similar communications, including formal or informal grievance resolution.
(b) The department shall administer a certification program for landlords and property managers pursuant to this section. The program shall provide education to landlords and property managers on fair practices housing practices, obligations of landlords, and tenant rights.
(c) Successful completion of the certification program shall not affect a landlord or property manager’s liability for violation of the laws or rights covered under the program.
(d) Within a reasonable time after completion of the certification or additional coursework required by this section, a landlord shall distribute to the tenants of a property or post on the property a notice stating that he or she has complied with this section and shall include a copy of the certification or certifications obtained by property managers who perform duties at the property.

(c)

(e) The department shall determine the content and duration of the educational coursework required in order to obtain certification. The coursework shall include, but is not limited to, all of the following subjects of instruction: certification, subject to all of the following:
(1) The total number of hours for the certification shall be at least four hours, but no more than eight hours. The certificate of completion shall be provided by a department-approved provider of the course. The certificate shall include the following statement: “The recipient of this certificate has completed a certificate program approved by the Department of Consumer Affairs that meets the requirements of Section 1940.25 of the Civil Code.”
(2) The coursework shall include training on compliance with the Unruh Civil Rights Act (Section 51), the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 12960) of Part 2.8 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code), and regulations that may be issued thereunder, as they relate to housing issues, including, but not limited to:
(A) Discrimination policies, practices, terms, or conditions that result in unequal access to housing or housing-related services.
(B) Representation that a housing accommodation is not available for rent if that accommodation is in fact available.
(C) Refusal to permit, at a disabled tenant’s expense, reasonable modifications if necessary to accommodate a disability.
(D) Refusal to make reasonable accommodations in housing rules, policies, practices, or services if necessary to afford a person with disabilities equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling.
(3) The coursework shall include training on rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants, including, but not limited to:
(A) Habitability duties of landlords and tenants, as specified in Sections 1941, 1941.1, 1941.2, and 1942.
(B) Preparation and service of notices to change the terms of the tenancy, as specified in Section 827.
(C) Preparation and service of notices to terminate the tenancy, as specified in Sections 1946 and 1946.1, and Section 1161 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
(D) Rights and responsibilities related to entering the rental unit, as specified in Section 1954.
(E) Collection and use of security deposits and screening fees, as specified in Sections 1950.5 and 1950.6.
(F) A landlord’s obligations with respect to the limitation on the inquiry about, disclosure of, or use of information about the immigration or citizenship status of a tenant, prospective tenant, occupant, or prospective occupant, as specified in Sections 1940.3 and 1940.35, and Section 1161.4 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
(G) Protections for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, human trafficking, or abuse of elder or dependent adults, as specified in Sections 1941.5, 1941.6, and 1941.7, and Section 1161.3 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
(H) Protections from retaliation, as specified in Section 1942.5.

(1)Compliance with the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (Part 2.8 (commencing with Section 12900) of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code).

(2)Evictions and notices.

(3)Resident issues and tenant rights.

(d)

(f) Certification pursuant to this section shall be effective for a period of two years. years, after which the certification shall be renewed if the requirements of this section are met. The coursework required to renew a certification pursuant to this section, as determined by the department, may differ from the coursework required to receive an initial certification, provided that all of the following requirements are met:
(1) At least one hour of the coursework shall be on the subject of compliance with fair housing laws or new regulations issued pursuant to those laws, as described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (e).
(2) The additional coursework required shall include new developments in landlord-tenant law or fair housing laws, or new regulations issued under those laws.
(3) The additional coursework required may be related to the subjects described in paragraphs (2) and (3) of subdivision (e), and any other subject that related to fair housing practices and tenant rights, as determined by the department.

(e)

(g) The department shall identify and approve appropriate providers of the educational coursework required in order to obtain certification. The providers shall make the required educational coursework available to landlords and property managers in person in a classroom setting or online via live webinars.

(f)A

(h) Except as provided in subdivision (i), a person who acts as a landlord or property manager, as defined in subdivision (a), without first having obtained certification from the department pursuant to this section may be subject to a civil penalty of up to one thousand dollars ($1,000). five hundred dollars ($500).The department shall be responsible for enforcing this section and the penalties shall be deposited into the general fund. General Fund.
(i) The following persons shall not be in violation of subdivision (h), notwithstanding their failure to obtain certification pursuant to this section:
(1) A landlord who has delegated all residential property management to a licensed real estate broker that has taken the property management course in the real estate licensing program, or a property manager who has obtained certification pursuant to this section. The property manager may be a coowner of the residential property or an employee of the landlord.
(2) A licensed real estate broker, if he or she has taken the property management course in the real estate licensing program.
(3) Any person, including, but not limited to, a registered process server or employee of a licensed real estate broker, who serves tenancy related notices, as described in subparagraph (H) of paragraph (4) of subdivision (a), but does not prepare such notices or engage in any other residential property management.
(4) The manager of a hotel, motel, or auto and trailer park.
(5) Any person or entity, including a person employed by a real estate broker, who, on behalf of another individual or entity, solicits or arranges, or accepts reservations or money, for transient occupancies, described in paragraphs (1) and (2) of subdivision (b) of Section 1940.

(g)

(j) A person acting as a landlord or property manager prior to January 1, 2019 and continuing after that date may continue after January 1, 2019 if he or she complies with this section within a reasonable period of time and shall not be 2020, who is required to obtain certification pursuant to this section, may continue to engage in residential property management without being subject to a civil penalty as described in subdivision (f). (h) until June 30, 2020, but is subject to a civil penalty after that date if he or she has not obtained the necessary certification to engage in residential property management.
(k) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2020.