Friday, January 13, 2006

New Laws Regarding CA Real Estate

From CAR... these are some of the new laws concerning Real Estate as of January 2006:

Methamphetamine-Contaminated Properties: Starting January 1, 2006, a property owner must disclose in writing to a prospective buyer or tenant if local health officials have issued an order prohibiting the use or occupancy of a property contaminated by meth lab activity. The owner must also give a copy of the pending order to the buyer or tenant to acknowledge receipt in writing. Failure to comply with these requirements may subject an owner to, among other things, a civil penalty up to $5,000. Aside from disclosure requirements, this new law also sets forth procedures for local authorities to deal with meth-contaminated properties, including the filing of a lien against a property until the owner cleans up the contamination or pays for the cleanup costs. Source: Assembly Bill 1078.

Small Claims Court: Starting January 1, 2006, the maximum monetary claim an individual person may bring into small claims court has been increased from $5,000 to $7,500. Legal entities other than natural persons (e.g., corporations, partnerships, or governmental entities) do not qualify for this jurisdictional increase. Source: Assembly Bill 1459 and Senate Bill 422.

Property Taxes for Domestic Partners: Beginning the lien date for the 2006-07 fiscal year, any transfer between registered domestic partners will not trigger property tax reassessment. As a result, registered domestic partners will be treated the same as spouses under California property tax laws. Source: Senate Bill 565.

Notice to Terminate Tenancy: Starting January 1, 2006, landlords may give a 30-day notice to terminate their month-to-month tenants (unless rent control or subsidized housing rules apply). Existing law requiring a 60-day notice of termination under certain circumstances will sunset at the end of this year. C.A.R. will soon release a revised standard-form Notice of Termination of Tenancy (NTT) to reflect this change in the law. Source: Senate Bill 51 defeated.

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