New Real Estate Laws for 2019 — Part 2

Keith B. DunnaganToday, we continue our 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.

As always, if you have any questions about your real estate, business, estate planning, or any other legal issue, please let us know by e-mailing me at

Also, remember that we do legal presentations for business and community organizations. If your group would like to schedule a presentation related to estate planning, please contact me to setup a date and time.

New Real Estate Laws for 2019 — Part 2

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.

AB 1796 – Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

As electric vehicles become ever more popular, tenants are increasingly demanding charging stations. So, in response to this demand, and looking to the future, AB 1796 was passed. It provides that “any lease executed, extended or renewed after July 1, 2015 a lessor of a dwelling SHALL approve a written request of a lessee to install an electric vehicle charging station” (emphasis added). A tenant must provide the landlord with a complete financial analysis and scope of work regarding the required infrastructure, the tenant pays all costs of install, including permits, construction, damage, maintenance and removal, and must maintain $1M liability policy on the station. Exceptions to this new law are: if parking is not provided as part of the lease, if there are fewer than 5 parking spaces, and if charging stations are already in place for 10% or more of the existing spaces.

Although one would think that the cost of installation would be prohibitive for most, we suspect that Bay Area cities with high-paying tech jobs will feel this impact the most.

AB 1919 – Price Gouging

The wildfires of the past year destroyed thousands of homes, creating ever more demand for rental housing. Unfortunately, there are property owners who make a terrible situation worse by increasing the rent significantly, knowing that desperate families will pay such prices while they rebuild their lives and homes.

In response, when the President, Governor, local official or local governing body declares a state of emergency, it is now a misdemeanor to raise rents more than 10% to an existing or potential tenant for a period of 30 days after such declaration.

We believe this is a start but can envision a scenario where a landlord would simply keep a property vacant, wait for the 30-day period to expire, then increase the rents to the new tenant.

AB 2413 – Right to Call Police

Tenants, like the rest of us, occasionally need the assistance of law enforcement to handle an emergency. Yet some leases contained clauses which punished the tenant for just this scenario.

AB 2413 provides that any provision in a lease that limits or prohibits a tenant’s or other persons rights to summon law enforcement is declared void as against public policy and prohibits a landlord from imposing penalties on a tenant who contacts law enforcement for emergency assistance. A tenant may raise this retaliation as an affirmative defense in an eviction proceeding if the landlord files the eviction within 30 days of such a call for assistance.

AB 2173 – Abandoned Personal Property – Commercial Lease

Commercial landlords face a common problem: tenants, facing eviction, breach the lease, close the doors never to be heard from again, leaving behind fixtures and other business property for the landlord to deal with. The alleged value of the abandoned property becomes the central issue.

Before passage of AB 2173, if the left-behind property was believed to be valued $750 or greater, the landlord was required to move and store the property, and if unclaimed, would then be sold at auction to recoup these costs. Tenants often would make a business decision to abandon personal property and shift the cost to the landlord.

Now, if the abandoned property is valued at $2,500, or 1-months’ rent, whichever is greater, property can be kept by landlord. So, if the rent is $10,000 per month, the landlord can now declare the property abandoned, and dispose of it at likely a cheaper cost than moving and storage.

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.