Corrected — New Laws for Real Estate in 2019 — Part 1

Keith B. DunnaganToday, we look at new legislation going in effect this year. Every year the legislature adopts new laws and it is important to understand the new laws and their relationship to your real estate business.

** This article is a corrected version from an article of the same date. We do apologize for any confusion.

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New Real Estate Laws for 2019 — Part 1

By: Alexander W. Munn, Esq.

Alexander W. Munn, Esq.Did you know that during the 2017 session, the California Legislature passed approximately 2,500 pieces of legislation? These new laws run the gamut: industrial hemp, talent agency education and training, employer sexual harassment training, and yes, real estate. In this blog series, we’ll look at laws which impact developers, owners and investors.

SB 721 – Inspection of Decks, Balconies and Stairways:

I think we all remember the tragedy in Berkeley which took place in 2015. A group of students and visitors were standing on an exterior balcony when it collapsed, killing 6 and injuring 7 more. The cause was rotted wood support beams. In response, the Legislature passed SB 721, which requires inspection of: exterior elevated, load bearing components of 3 or more units, including balconies, decks, stairways, walkways and porches above 6 feet in elevation. The inspection shall include direct visual examination or similar means, and you must inspect at least 15% of each type of exterior elevated element and provide a written report within 45 days of inspection. Inspections shall be completed by January 1, 2025 and every 6 years thereafter.

SB 969 – Automatic Garage Doors:

The devastating fires throughout California resulted in not only billions of dollars in damages, but the loss of many lives. Some lives were lost when residents lost power and were unable to manually disengage and lift their garage door to escape the flames. So, in response, beginning July 1, 2019 – when replacing or installing automatic garage door openers, each opener must have battery operated backup feature. Failure to do so could result in a $1,000 civil penalty.

AB 2343 – 3 Day Notices and Unlawful Detainer:

As the law stands now, when a landlord served either a 3 Day Notice to Quit or served an Unlawful Detainer (eviction) lawsuit upon a tenant, the time for the tenant to respond includes Saturdays, Sundays and judicial holidays. For example, if you served the 3 Day Notice on a Friday, the tenant had until Monday to respond. Now, effective September 1, 2019, the time to respond to a 3 Day Notice or Eviction does NOT include Saturday, Sunday or judicial holidays. So, adjust your processes accordingly.

AB 1289 – Changes in Nomenclature:

The standard CAR forms have been updated to reflect modern transaction terminology. “Selling Agent” has been replaced with “Buyer’s Agent” and “Listing Agent” has been replaced with “Seller’s Agent.” Similarly, on the Transfer Disclosure Statement and Seller Property Questionnaire, “Transferor” is now “Seller” and “Transferee” is replaced with “Buyer.” These changes make much more sense for all involved.

AB 2598 – Administrative Fines and Penalties:

Local municipalities use fines and penalties as a tool to not only ensure that owners maintain their property, but also to punish those irresponsible owners into such compliance. Under the old law, a City or County could impose administrative fines and penalties of $100 for the first violation, $200 for second within same calendar year, and $500 for third violation. Now, for all violations it increases to $130 for the first violation, $700 second and $1,300 for each additional violation, which can add up quickly. The bottom line: monitor your properties carefully!

The attorneys of BPE Law Group, PC. have been advising our clients on real estate, business and estate planning issues for over 20 years and have assisted numerous clients in business and real estate matters and have represented and advised brokers on their professional obligations as well as consumers on their rights. If you have questions concerning legal matters, give us a call at (916) 966-2260 or e-mail Keith at Our flat fee consult for new clients may get you the answers you need for the questions you have.

The information presented in this Article is not to be taken as legal advice. Every person’s situation is different. If you are facing a legal issue of any kind, get competent legal advice in your State immediately so that you can determine your best options.