New 2012 Laws for Landlords and Property Managers

New Landlord Laws for 2012**UPDATE: I have added names and links to the specific California landlord laws discussed below**  With every New Year comes a new set of laws and regulations for landlords and property managers.  Below is a short list of what we consider to be some of the most important statutes that will affect the multifamily industry in few short weeks.  Thank you our friends at Kimball, Tirey & St. John for creating and publishing this for the benefit of us all.  The original document can be found here.  Have a prosperous 2012! -Trevor

Legal News for 2012

By J. Kathleen Belville, Esq.


Signs: Beginning in January 2012, residents may post political signs of up to 6 square feet in the window or on the door of a multifamily unit and in some other outside areas on single-family properties. Landlords can set time restrictions, requiring that the signs not be displayed earlier than 90 days before, or later than 15 days after, a vote to which the sign refers.  See: California State Assembly Bill No 337

Recycling: Starting in July 2012, landlords of properties with 5 or more units must provide recycling services and require participation by residents. This will not apply if the property is not served by recycling companies, there is no space for containers on-site or the program would constitute a financial hardship on the landlord. (Several cities have passed recycling legislation which could further affect a landlord’s duties). See: California State Assembly Bill No 341

Smoking: Effective January 1, 2012, California law provides that a landlord has the right, but not the duty, to establish smoking restrictions in all or part of a residential property. This right applies to leases “entered into” on or after the effective date of the law. Any new smoking restrictions applied to lease renewals, or month-to-month agreements entered into prior to January 1st must be made in compliance with state law. (Numerous cities have passed legislation requiring that landlords establish smoking restrictions. Landlords should make sure they are aware of, and are complying with, any local restrictions).  See: California State Assembly Bill No 332

Carbon monoxide detectors: Single-family properties with fossil fuel burning appliances, heaters, fireplaces or with an attached garage must now be equipped with a carbon monoxide detector. Multi-family properties will be required to have detectors by January 1, 2013.  See:  California State Bill No. 183

Water conservation: For properties built before January 1, 1994, single family residences must contain water-conserving fixtures by 2017 and multi-family residences must contain such fixtures by 2019.  See: California State Bill No. 7

HOA restrictions on rentals: As of January 1, 2012, there will be more restrictions on a homeowner association’s attempts to restrict owners from renting their units.  See: California State Bill No. 150


Labor relations signs: Effective January 31, 2012, most employers must post an “11X17” sign outlining employee rights unless such posting is not physically feasible, in which case the employee should be provided a hard copy of the notice. If a hard copy is provided, the employee should sign an acknowledgment of receipt. If employers post policies on-line, a link to the notice should be included. See for more information.  See: Assembly Bill No. 469

Red flags: Creditors are required to establish and apply written policies and procedures for 1) identifying “red flags” which could lead to identity theft and 2) protecting against such fraudulent practices. Pursuant to a 2010 amendment, landlords are included in the definition of creditors for the purposes of the application of this law.  See: Federal Red Flags Rule and the corresponding 2010 amendment

DISCLAIMER:  I am not a lawyer nor do I claim to be one.  This blog post is for general information only and legal council should be sought before any action is taken. -Trevor