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AB-634 Real property: solar energy systems.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 03/23/2017 09:00 PM
AB634:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  March 23, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 634


Introduced by Assembly Member Eggman

February 14, 2017


An act to amend Section 1812.503 Sections 714 and 714.1 of the Civil Code, relating to employment agencies. real property.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 634, as amended, Eggman. Employment agencies. Real property: solar energy systems.
Existing property law prohibits any covenant, restriction, or condition contained in any deed, contract, security instrument, or other instrument affecting the transfer or sale of, or any interest in, and any provision of a governing document from effectively prohibiting or restricting the installation or use of a solar energy system.
Existing law also exempts from that prohibition provisions that impose reasonable restrictions on solar energy systems that do not significantly increase the cost of the system or significantly decrease its efficiency or specified performance. Existing law specifies that whenever approval is required for the installation or use of a solar energy system, the application for approval must be processed and approved by the appropriate approving entity in the same manner as an application for approval of an architectural modification to the property. If the approving entity is an association created for managing a common interest development, and is not a public entity, the approval or denial of an application must be in writing and if the application is not denied in writing within 45 days of its receipt, the application must be deemed approved, except in limited circumstances.
This bill would require the approval process for associations to include a requirement that an applicant notify each owner of units in the building on which the installation will be located of the application to install a solar energy system and to ensure equal allocation of usable solar space.
Existing property law permits an association to impose reasonable provisions that restrict the installation of solar energy systems installed in common areas, as defined, to those systems approved by the association.
This bill would specify that an association may not prohibit the installation or use of a rooftop solar energy system for household purposes on the roof of the building in which the owner resides and also may not require approval of the membership of the association in those circumstances. The bill also would specify that any action by an association that contravenes these provisions is void and unenforceable, and would make nonsubstantive and clarifying changes.

Existing law defines and regulates employment agencies. Existing law requires a regulated employment agency to maintain a bond, as specified, filed with the Secretary of State, of $3,000, or a deposit in lieu of a bond.

This bill would make a nonsubstantive change to these provisions.

Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 714 of the Civil Code is amended to read:

714.
 (a) Any covenant, restriction, or condition contained in any deed, contract, security instrument, or other instrument affecting the transfer or sale of, or any interest in, real property, and any provision of a governing document, as defined in Section 4150 or 6552, that which effectively prohibits or restricts the installation or use of a solar energy system is void and unenforceable.
(b) This section does not apply to provisions that impose reasonable restrictions on solar energy systems. However, it is the policy of the state to promote and encourage the use of solar energy systems and to remove obstacles thereto. Accordingly, reasonable restrictions on a solar energy system are those restrictions that do not significantly increase the cost of the system or significantly decrease its efficiency or specified performance, or that allow for an alternative system of comparable cost, efficiency, and energy conservation benefits.
(c) (1) A solar energy system shall meet applicable health and safety standards and requirements imposed by state and local permitting authorities, consistent with Section 65850.5 of the Government Code.
(2) Solar energy systems used for heating water in single family residences and solar collectors used for heating water in commercial or swimming pool applications shall be certified by an accredited listing agency as defined in the Plumbing and Mechanical Codes.
(3) A solar energy system for producing electricity shall also meet all applicable safety and performance standards established by the California Electrical Code, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and accredited testing laboratories such as Underwriters Laboratories and, where applicable, rules of the Public Utilities Commission regarding safety and reliability.
(d) For the purposes of this section:
(1) (A) For solar domestic water heating systems or solar swimming pool heating systems that comply with state and federal law, “significantly” means an amount exceeding 10 percent of the cost of the system, but in no case more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or decreasing the efficiency of the solar energy system by an amount exceeding 10 percent, as originally specified and proposed.
(B) For photovoltaic systems that comply with state and federal law, “significantly” means an amount not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000) over the system cost as originally specified and proposed, or a decrease in system efficiency of an amount exceeding 10 percent as originally specified and proposed.
(2) “Solar energy system” has the same meaning as defined in paragraphs (1) and (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 801.5.
(e) (1) Whenever approval is required for the installation or use of a solar energy system, the application for approval shall be processed and approved by the appropriate approving entity in the same manner as an application for approval of an architectural modification to the property, and shall not be willfully avoided or delayed.
(2) For an approving entity that is an association, as defined in Section 4080 or 6528, and that is not a public entity, both all of the following shall apply:
(A) The approval or denial of an application shall be in writing.
(B) If an application is not denied in writing within 45 days from the date of receipt of the application, the application shall be deemed approved, unless that delay is the result of a reasonable request for additional information.
(C) The approval procedures shall include the following:
(i) Require an applicant to notify each owner of units in the building on which the installation will be located of the application to install a solar energy system.
(ii) Ensure equal allocation of usable solar space.
(f) Any entity, other than a public entity, that willfully violates this section shall be liable to the applicant or other party for actual damages occasioned thereby, and shall pay a civil penalty to the applicant or other party in an amount not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000).
(g) In any action to enforce compliance with this section, the prevailing party shall be awarded reasonable attorney’s fees.
(h) (1) A public entity that fails to comply with this section may not receive funds from a state-sponsored grant or loan program for solar energy. A public entity shall certify its compliance with the requirements of this section when applying for funds from a state-sponsored grant or loan program.
(2) A local public entity may not exempt residents in its jurisdiction from the requirements of this section.

SEC. 2.

 Section 714.1 of the Civil Code is amended to read:

714.1.
 (a) Notwithstanding Section 714, any association, as defined in Section 4080 or 6528, an association may impose reasonable provisions which: that:

(a)

(1) Restrict the installation of solar energy systems installed in common areas, as defined in Section 4095 or 6532, areas to those systems approved by the association.

(b)

(2) Require the owner of a separate interest, as defined in Section 4185 or 6564, interest to obtain the approval of the association for the installation of a solar energy system in a separate interest owned by another.

(c)

(3) Provide for the maintenance, repair, or replacement of roofs or other building components.

(d)

(4) Require installers of solar energy systems to indemnify or reimburse the association or its members for loss or damage caused by the installation, maintenance, or use of the solar energy system.
(b) An association shall not:
(1) Prohibit the installation or use of a rooftop solar energy system for household purposes on the roof of the building in which the owner resides.
(2) Require approval of the membership of the association, including that specified by Section 4600, for installation of a solar energy system for household purposes on the roof of the building in which the owner resides.
An action by an association that contravenes paragraph (1) or (2) shall be void and unenforceable.
(c) For purposes of this section:
(1) “Association” has the same meaning as defined in Section 4080 or 6528.
(2) “Common area” has the same meaning as defined in Section 4095 or 6532.
(3) “Separate interest” has the same meaning as defined in Section 4185 or 6564.

SECTION 1.Section 1812.503 of the Civil Code is amended to read:
1812.503.

(a)An employment agency subject to this title shall maintain a bond issued by a surety company admitted to do business in this state. The principal sum of the bond shall be three thousand dollars ($3,000). A copy of the bond shall be filed with the Secretary of State.

(b)The bond required by this section shall be in favor of, and payable to, the people of the State of California and shall be conditioned that the person obtaining the bond will comply with this title and will pay all sums due any individual or group of individuals when the person or his or her representative, agent, or employee has received those sums. The bond shall be for the benefit of any person or persons damaged by any violation of this title or by fraud, dishonesty, misstatement, misrepresentation, deceit, unlawful acts or omissions, or failure to provide the services of the employment agency in performance of the contract with the jobseeker, by the employment agency or its agents, representatives, or employees while acting within the scope of their employment.

(c)(1)No employment agency shall conduct any business without having a current surety bond in the amount prescribed by this title and filing a copy of the bond with the Secretary of State.

(2)Thirty days prior to the cancellation or termination of any surety bond required by this section, the surety shall send a written notice of that cancellation or termination to both the employment agency and the Secretary of State, identifying the bond and the date of cancellation or termination.

(3)If any employment agency fails to obtain a new bond and file a copy of that bond with the Secretary of State by the effective date of the cancellation or termination of the former bond, the employment agency shall cease to conduct any business unless and until a new surety bond is obtained and a copy of that bond is filed with the Secretary of State.

(d)When a deposit has been made in lieu of the bond pursuant to Section 995.710 of the Code of Civil Procedure, the person asserting a claim against the deposit shall, in lieu of Section 996.430 of the Code of Civil Procedure, establish the claim by furnishing evidence to the Secretary of State of a money judgment entered by a court together with evidence that the claimant is a person described in subdivision (b).

(e)When a claimant has established the claim with the Secretary of State, the Secretary of State shall review and approve the claim and enter the date of approval thereon. The claim shall be designated an “approved claim.”

(f)When the first claim against a particular deposit has been approved, it shall not be paid until the expiration of a period of 240 days after the date of its approval by the Secretary of State. Subsequent claims that are approved by the Secretary of State within the same 240-day period shall similarly not be paid until the expiration of the 240-day period. Upon the expiration of the 240-day period, the Secretary of State shall pay all approved claims from that 240-day period in full unless the deposit is insufficient, in which case each approved claim shall be paid a pro rata share of the deposit.

(g)When the Secretary of State approves the first claim against a particular deposit after the expiration of a 240-day period, the date of approval of that claim shall begin a new 240-day period to which subdivision (f) shall apply with respect to any amount remaining in the deposit.

(h)After a deposit is exhausted, no further claims shall be paid by the Secretary of State. Claimants who have had their claims paid in full or in part pursuant to subdivision (f) or (g) shall not be required to return funds received from the deposit for the benefit of other claimants.

(i)When a deposit has been made in lieu of a bond, the amount of the deposit shall not be subject to attachment, garnishment, or execution with respect to an action or judgment against the employment agency, other than as to an amount as no longer needed or required for the purpose of this title that would otherwise be returned to the employment agency by the Secretary of State.

(j)The Secretary of State shall retain a cash deposit for two years from the date the Secretary of State receives written notification from the assignor of the deposit that the assignor has ceased to engage in the business of an employment agency or has filed a bond pursuant to subdivision (a), provided that there are no outstanding claims against the deposit. This written notice shall include all of the following: (1) name, address, and telephone number of the assignor; (2) name, address, and telephone number of the bank at which the deposit is located; (3) account number of the deposit; and (4) a statement whether the assignor is ceasing to engage in the business of an employment agency or has filed a bond with the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State shall forward an acknowledgment of receipt of the written notice to the assignor at the address indicated therein, specifying the date of receipt of the written notice and anticipated date of release of the deposit, provided there are no outstanding claims against the deposit.

(k)A judge of a superior court may order the return of the deposit prior to the expiration of two years upon evidence satisfactory to the judge that there are no outstanding claims against the deposit or order the Secretary of State to retain the deposit for a sufficient period beyond the two years pursuant to subdivision (j) to resolve outstanding claims against the deposit account.

(l)The Secretary of State shall charge a filing fee not to exceed the cost of filing the bond or deposit filed in lieu of a bond as set forth in Section 995.710 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

(m)The Secretary of State shall enforce the provisions of this chapter that govern the filing and maintenance of bonds and deposits in lieu of bonds.