By BPE Lawyer Steve Beed

During 2016, the State Legislature passed and Governor Brown signed numerous laws affecting real estate brokerage operations and the real estate investment industry. Here are the highlights:

1. Water Conservation Standards

Owners of all 1-4 unit residential properties are required to update interior water fixtures (toilets, faucets, urinals, showers) to low-flow fixtures and disclose the compliance to prospective buyers.

2. HOA Information

Every property owner in an HOA must provide annually a mailing and secondary address, name and address of legal representative, and whether the property is owner-occupied, rented, or vacant.

3. Disclosure of Death of Occupant

Current law requires this be given to any prospective Buyer or Tenant. The new law clarifies that the death and manner of death need not be disclosed if longer than 3 years ago.

4. Residential Environmental Hazards booklet

must now also be given to tenants on leases of more than one year.

5. Minimum Wage Increase

New minimum will be $10.50/hour and will increase is future years.

6. Employment Mandated State Retirement Savings Program

All employers with five or more employees that do not have a company retirement plan must enroll their employees in this new State program.

7. FHA Minimum Occupancy Standard

The Minimum owner-occupancy ratio has now been reduced from 50% to 35% for condominium associations.

8. Bedbug Disclosure

All landlords must disclose the existence of bedbugs to new tenants and are prohibited from showing or renting vacant units if the landlord knows they are infested.

9. Commercial Leasing Disclosure

All commercial property owners must disclose to tenants whether or not the property has been inspected by a Commercial Access Specialist (CASp) and that the property meets applicable building standards.

10. Water sub-Metering

As of 2018, all new multi-family and mixed MF-Commercial properties must have sub-metering for water.

11. No more Real Estate Salesmen

eliminates outdated terms. Now requires description as real estate salesperson or salespersons.

12. Notary Fees

the official fee will jump from $10 per document to $15 per document.

13. PACE Loans

a homeowner cannot participate in a PACE lien program without first receiving a Disclosure as to potential difficulties in selling or refinancing and have a 3 Day Right of Rescission.

14. FHA PACE Policy

FHA agrees to subordinate to purchase or refinancing with pre-existing PACE financing provided that certain conditions are met.

For over 20 years, the attorneys of BPE Law Group, P.C. have been advising and representing business and property owners and investors in dealing with their legal needs. Check us out on the Web at: If you would like a consultation, please contact me at

This article is not intended to be legal advice, lending advice, or a specific recommendation of any particular lender or company, and should not be taken as such advice.