The Cross Law Firm's Landlord Law Blog

May 6, 2021

San Diego Adopts Ban on Evictions Countywide

Filed under: Evictions — lawmatters @ 8:16 pm
Yet another blow to landlords of residential rental property in San Diego County

On May 4, 2021, the County of San Diego Board of Supervisors passed an extremely broad and restrictive ban (“Ban”) on almost all residential evictions in San Diego County.  This Ban prohibits landlords from pursuing any evictions against tenants (as well as non-tenants in possession in certain circumstances) unless the landlord can prove the tenants (or others in possession) constitute an imminent threat to health and safety.

Specifically the Ban prohibits landlords from doing all of the following:

  • Serving a notice of termination of tenancy;
  • Filing or serving an unlawful detainer lawsuit, ejectment action, or other action to recover possession of a residential unit;
  • Evicting a Tenant or requiring a Tenant to vacate a residential unit, including by seeking the entry of an eviction judgment or by causing or permitting a writ of possession to be executed, including in the case of judgments entered prior to the date of this ordinance; or
  • Taking any other action in reliance on a notice of termination of tenancy that expired during the Local Emergency or attempt to induce a tenant to vacate based on such a notice. Any notice of termination of tenancy served or expiring during the Local Emergency or within sixty (60) days afterward shall be deemed invalid and insufficient to support an action in unlawful detainer during the Local Emergency or at any time afterward; or
  • Representing to a Tenant that the Tenant is required to move out of their unit by law.

Please note that the Ban defines an “Imminent health or safety threat” as follows:

“a hazard to the health or safety of other tenants or occupants of the same property, taking into account (1) the risk of potential spread of coronavirus caused by the eviction, in case of a Local Emergency due to COVID-19, (2) any public health or safety risk caused by the eviction, and (3) all other remedies available to the landlord and other occupants of the property, against the nature and degree of health and safety risk posed by the tenant’s activity. An imminent health or safety threat cannot be the Resident’s COVID-19 illness or exposure to COVID-19, whether actual or suspected.”

The Ban broadly defines “Landlord” as “Owners, lessors, or sublessors (of any level) of either residential rental property, and the agent, representative, or successor of any of the foregoing.”

Finally, the Ban protects tenants, as well as all other occupants in possession, by broadly defining “Tenant” to include “a tenant, subtenant, lessee, sublessee (of any level), or any other person entitled to use or occupancy of residential property, including occupants who are holding over after the expiration of the term of a written or oral lease and current occupants who occupied the property with the current or prior consent of the property’s landlord or a prior owner.” (emphasis added).  This definition also includes a prior homeowner residing in a residential unit post-foreclosure.

As if this was not enough, the Ban also invalidates any and all notices of termination, unlawful detainer actions, writs and judgments that are ongoing at the time the Ban takes effect on June 4, 2021.  Therefore, even if the Ban takes effect on June 4, 2021, all termination notices, eviction lawsuits, writs and judgments, whether served, filed or issued before the Ban all become invalid on June 4, 2021.

Some additional notes if you are continuing to serve a notice of termination for imminent health and safety reasons, the Ban requires additional language to be added to notices of terminations and requires proof of compliance with the Ban language in any action to evict.  To add insult to injury, the Ban also has a prohibition against rent increases over CPI until July 1, 2021 and creates an additional level of liability for landlords who fail to comply with this Ban.

The Ban will continue until 60 days after Governor Newsom lifts the Stay at Home or Work from Home Orders, so please contact your attorney to ensure you are in compliance with the Ban, if you have any questions.

To see the full language of the ordinance, please click HERE.

March 1, 2021

COVID-19 Pool Closures Not Entitled To Rent Reduction

Mobilehome Attorney COVID Pool closure

As the pandemic turns a year old, I am reminded of the anxious and urgent calls I received from mobilehome park owners and manufactured community owners over the summer, asking what they should do about the closing of common areas, pools, clubhouses, gyms, playgrounds, etc. at their mobilehome parks or manufactured housing communities. The local, state and federal guidelines were unclear and changing daily. 

My clients indicated that they were receiving pressure from residents to allow the amenities to stay open so that they could cool off in the pool, have somewhere for their kids to play outside the house, etc. but the risks involved and the concern for health and safety needed to be weighed appropriately also.  Angry residents threatened lawsuits against park owners who closed community pools and clubhouses and demanded rent reductions relating to said actions. Park owners as well as landlord and mobilehome park lawyers were forced to hopscotch the legal minefields throughout this pandemic.

This is why I want to spotlight a refreshing gem in SB 91 relating to this issue. Although most of the mobilehome park and manufactured housing communities have found safe and effective ways to reopen, which include maintaining social distances and complying with current health regulations, SB 91 includes a provision clarifying that landlords and park owners who temporarily reduce or make unavailable a service or amenity as the result of complying with a state, federal or local public health order or guideline during the pandemic, shall not be considered to have violated the rental agreement or provided different terms or conditions such as to constitute a reduction in services.  Civil Code1942.9(b).

There are a lot of other items bundled up in this new law SB 91, but I wanted to spotlight this provision that should come as a welcome clarification. Please let our mobilehome park attorney know if you have any questions about SB 91 or your responsibilities as a mobilehome park owner or manufactured community owner as we continue to get through this pandemic together. 

September 16, 2020

COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act of 2020 Notice Requirements

COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act 2020MOBILEHOME PARK OWNERS AND MANUFACTURED HOUSING COMMUNITY OWNERS – PLEASE TAKE NOTICE: By September 30, 2020 you need to mail or serve residents/tenants who owe rent or utilities from March 1, 2020 – August 31, 2020 with a 1179.04(a) Notice. This 1179.04(a) Notice summarizes the residents’/tenants’ rights under the COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act 2020 as it relates to nonpayment of rent and utilities during this time period.

Mobilehome Park Owners/ Manufactured Community Housing Owners are required to send this 1179.04(a) Notice only to residents who have past due rent or utilities owed during March 1, 2020 – August 31, 2020. This Notice is not required to be sent to all residents by September 30, 2020.

You will, however, need to send this 1179.04(a) Notice in the future, if any residents/tenants become late in all or part of their rent or utilities owed between September 1, 2020 – January 31, 2021, but there is no September 30, 2020 deadline to serve the Notice for this period. You are also able to serve this 1179.04(a) Notice concurrently with a 15 Day Notice for non-payment of rent/covenants, as long as it is served on or before September 30, 2020.

Also, mobilehome park owners/landlords may now send notices for failure to pay rent or utilities during March 1, 2020 – August 31, 2020 (“Protected Period”), as well as for September 1, 2020 – January 31, 2021 (“Transition Period”), but the usual 3 Day Notices to Pay Rent/Covenants or Quit are now replaced with a 15 Day Notice to Pay Rent/Covenants or Quit.

Depending on which period the amount of rent/utilities are owed: the “Protected Period” or “Transition Period”, different language will be required on each of the 15 Day Notices. Both types of 15 Day Notices require a blank Resident/Tenant 1179.02(d) Declaration of COVID-19 Related Financial Distress to be sent along with the 15 Day Notice to allow the resident/tenant to verify under penalty of perjury that they suffer a COVID-Related hardship (if applicable).

Please feel free to contact our mobilehome park attorney if you have any questions regarding the COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act 2020 or your responsibilities under this new law. Also, copies of all notices and declarations can be obtained by contacting my office.

July 30, 2020

Should San Diego Landlords Be Required to Allow Pets?

According to a staff report, San Diego Councilmember Chris Ward has proposed an ordinance that would require San Diego landlords to allow their tenants to have a pet. The councilman states that one of the main reasons people give up their pets to the shelter is due to the inability to find pet-friendly rentals in San Diego and/or the high cost of a pet deposit. The councilman believes prohibiting pet ownership is also a barrier to homeless individuals looking for housing.

Contact you councilmember and let them know what you think:

Councilmember Chris Ward: 619-236-6633

Councilmember Jennifer Campbell: 619-236-6622

Councilmember Mark Kersey: 619-236-6655

Councilmember Scott Sherman: 619-236-6677

October 2, 2019

Rent Control Coming to all of California

Landlord-Attorney-San-DiegoTAKE NOTICE – California Governor is set to sign AB 1482, approving statewide rent control for businesses/individuals owning more than 10 rental properties.

The California legislature just passed a rent control measure that would limit rent increases to 5% of the current rent a year over CPI for tenants that have been living in the rental unit for over a year.  The bill is expected to be signed shortly by Governor Newsom.

The measure will also require landlords to demonstrate “just cause” to evict tenants who have lived in the rental unit for a year or longer.  Relocation expenses paid to tenants may be required in certain situations.

AB 1482 does not apply to rental property that is under 10 years old or if the owner owns less than 10 rentals.

If you have any more questions about AB 1482, please contact our landlord attorney in San Diego.

January 30, 2019

Required Notices Due By February 1, 2019 – Mobilehome Parks (MRL)

Mobilehome Attorney San DiegoMobilehome Park Owners/Managers:
 
Happy New Year!  Here is your reminder that the following notices must be personally served or sent via regular mail to the homeowners/residents by February 1, 2019 to be in compliance with the Mobilehome Residency Law (“MRL”).

1.  Notice of MRL significant change:
When there has been a significant change in the California Mobilehome Residency Law (“MRL”) (we recommend every year) Park/Community management must either:
a.   Mail or personally serve a copy of the 2019 Mobilehome Residency Law to all homeowners/residents by February 1, 2019; OR
b.   Notify all homeowners/residents in writing by February 1, 2019 that there has been a significant change in the MRL and that he/she can request a copy of the updated MRL from the management at no charge.  Upon a request by a homeowner, management is required to provide a copy of the MRL to the homeowner within 7 days of the request.
 
2.  Rights & Responsibilities Notice:
Park/Community management is required to send a Notice of Rights & Responsibilities to all homeowners and residents pursuant to the MRL, California Civil Code 798.15(i) on or before February 1, 2019.  You can find the exact language required for the Notice in the MRL – Civil Code Section 798.15(i).
 
3.  CARE Notice:
If your Park/Community is a master-metered park, management shall give written notice to homeowners/residents on or before February 1, 2019 in their utility billing statements about assistance to low-income persons for utility costs available under the California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) program, established pursuant to Section 739.1 of the Public Utilities Code.  The notice shall include CARE information available to master-meter customers from their serving utility, to include, at a minimum: (1) the fact that CARE offers a discount on monthly gas or electric bills for qualifying low-income residents; and (2) the telephone number of the serving utility which provides CARE information and applications.  The Park/Community shall also post the notice in a conspicuous place in the clubhouse, or if there is no clubhouse, in a conspicuous public place in the Park/Community.
 
Please contact our Mobilehome Attorney in California if you have questions.

November 12, 2018

New Sexual Harassment Training Requirements for California Employers

Employment Attorney in San DiegoSB1343 was just signed into law and requires all California businesses with as few as 5 employees to have at least two hours of sexual harassment prevention training for all supervisory employees as well as at least one hour of sexual harassment training to all non-supervisory workers.

Training is required to occur prior to January 1, 2020 and to be provided:

  • Within six months of the employee being hired
  • After the six months, then once every two years

Seasonal and temporary employees are to receive training within 30 calendar days of hire or 100 hours worked, whichever is first.

If you have additional questions about SB1343 or other employment related issues, please contact our employment attorney in San Diego.

February 1, 2018

Required Notices for Mobilehome Parks Due by February 1, 2018

Mobilehome Attorney California

Mobilehome Park Owners/Managers:

Here is your reminder that the following notices must be personally served or sent via regular mail to the homeowners/residents by February 1, 2018 to be in compliance with the Mobilehome Residency Law (“MRL”).

1. Notice of MRL significant change:
When there has been a significant change in the California Mobilehome Residency Law (“MRL”), such as this year, Park/Community management must either:
a. Mail or personally serve a copy of the 2018 Mobilehome Residency Law to all homeowners/residents by February 1, 2018; OR
b. Notify all homeowners/residents in writing by February 1, 2018 that there has been a significant change in the MRL and that he/she can request a copy of the updated MRL from the management at no charge. Upon a request by a homeowner, management is required to provide a copy of the MRL to the homeowner within 7 days of the request.

2. Rights & Responsibilities Notice:
Park/Community management is required to send a Notice of Rights & Responsibilities to all homeowners and residents pursuant to the MRL, California Civil Code 798.15(i) on or before February 1, 2018. You can find the exact language required for the Notice in the MRL – Civil Code Section 798.15(i). Please let my office know if you need a copy of this Notice.

3. CARE Notice:
If your Park/Community is a master-metered park, management shall give written notice to homeowners/residents on or before February 1, 2018 in their utility billing statements about assistance to low-income persons for utility costs available under the California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) program, established pursuant to Section 739.1 of the Public Utilities Code. The notice shall include CARE information available to master-meter customers from their serving utility, to include, at a minimum: (1) the fact that CARE offers a discount on monthly gas or electric bills for qualifying low-income residents; and (2) the telephone number of the serving utility which provides CARE information and applications. The Park/Community shall also post the notice in a conspicuous place in the clubhouse, or if there is no clubhouse, in a conspicuous public place in the Park/Community.

If you have any additional questions please contact the Mobilehome Park Attorney at The Cross Law Firm, APC today.

January 24, 2017

Mobilehome Notices Required by Feb. 1 Under the 2017 MRL

Mobilehome Attorney CaliforniaPer California Law, there are three important notices mobilehome park owners and manufactured housing community owners and/or their management need to send to all homeowners/residents by February 1 of each year:
 
1. Notice of MRL significant change:
 
You need to distribute a copy of the 2017 Mobilehome Residency Law to all homeowners and residents OR notify all homeowners and residents in writing by February 1, 2017 that there has been a significant change in the MRL and notifying the homeowner that he/she can request a copy of the updated MRL from the community management at no charge.  Upon a request by a homeowner, Community owners and management are required to provide a copy of the MRL to the homeowner within 7 days of the request.  
 
2. CARE Notice:
 
The management of a master-meter park shall give written notice to homeowners and residents on or before February 1, 2017 in their utility billing statements about assistance to low-income persons for utility costs available under the California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) program, established pursuant to Section 739.1 of the Public Utilities Code. The notice shall include CARE information available to master-meter customers from their serving utility, to include, at a minimum: (1) the fact that CARE offers a discount on monthly gas or electric bills for qualifying low-income residents; and (2) the telephone number of the serving utility which provides CARE information and applications. The park shall also post the notice in a conspicuous place in the clubhouse, or if there is no clubhouse, in a conspicuous public place in the park. 
 
3. Rights & Responsibilities Notice (UPDATED)
 
Management is required to send the below notice of Rights & Responsibilities to all homeowners and residents pursuant to California Civil Code 798.15(i) by February 1, 2017.  The Notice or Rights and Responsibilities was just amended- so please make sure you have the updated language from the MRL.  Here it is: 
IMPORTANT NOTICE TO ALL MANUFACTURED HOME/MOBILEHOME OWNERS: CALIFORNIA LAW REQUIRES THAT YOU BE MADE AWARE OF THE FOLLOWING:
The Mobilehome Residency Law (MRL), found in Section 798 et seq. of the Civil Code, establishes the rights and responsibilities of homeowners and park management. The MRL is deemed a part of the terms of any park rental agreement or lease. This notice is intended to provide you with a general awareness of selected parts of the MRL and other important laws. It does not serve as a legal explanation or interpretation. For authoritative information, you must read and understand the laws. These laws change from time to time. In any year in which the law has changed, you may obtain one copy of the full text of the law from management at no charge. This notice is required by Civil Code Section 798.15(i) and the information provided may not be current.
Homeowners and park management have certain rights and responsibilities under the MRL. These include, but are not limited to:
1. Management must give a homeowner written notice of any increase in his or her rent at least 90 days before the date of the increase. (Civil Code Section 798.30)
2. No rental or sales agreement may contain a provision by which a purchaser or a homeowner waives any of his or her rights under the MRL. (Civil Code Sections 798.19, 798.77)
3. Management may not terminate or refuse to renew a homeowner’s tenancy except for one or more of the authorized reasons set forth in the MRL. (Civil Code Sections 798.55, 798.56) Homeowners must pay rent, utility charges, and reasonable incidental service charges in a timely manner. Failure to comply could be grounds for eviction from the park. (Civil Code Section 798.56)
4. Homeowners, residents, and their guests must comply with the rental agreement or lease, including the reasonable rules and regulations of the park and all applicable local ordinances and state laws and regulations relating to mobilehomes. Failure to comply could be grounds for eviction from the park. (Civil Code Section 798.56)
5. Homeowners have a right to peacefully assemble and freely communicate with respect to mobilehome living and for social or educational purposes. Homeowners have a right to meet in the park, at reasonable hours and in a reasonable manner, for any lawful purpose. Homeowners may not be charged a cleaning deposit in order to use the park clubhouse for meetings of resident organizations or for other lawful purposes, such as to hear from political candidates, so long as a homeowner of the park is hosting the meeting and all park residents are allowed to attend. Homeowners may not be required to obtain liability insurance in order to use common facilities unless alcohol is served. (Civil Code Sections 798.50, 798.51)
6. If a home complies with certain standards, the homeowner is entitled to sell it in place in the park. If you sell your home, you are required to provide a manufactured home and mobilehome transfer disclosure statement to the buyer prior to sale. (Civil Code Section 1102.6d) When a home is sold, the owner is required to transfer the title to the buyer. The sale of the home is not complete until you receive the title from the seller. It is the responsibility of the buyer to also file paperwork with the Department of Housing and Community Development to register the home in his or her name. (Civil Code Sections 798.70–798.74)
7. Management has the right to enter the space upon which a mobilehome is situated for maintenance of utilities, trees, and driveways; for inspection and maintenance of the space in accordance with the rules and regulations of the park when the homeowner or resident fails to maintain the space; and for protection and maintenance of the mobilehome park at any reasonable time, but not in a manner or at a time that would interfere with the resident’s quiet enjoyment of his or her home. (Civil Code Section 798.26)
8. A homeowner may not make any improvements or alterations to his or her space or home without following the rules and regulations of the park and all applicable local ordinances and state laws and regulations, which may include obtaining a permit to construct, and, if required by park rules or the rental agreement, without prior written approval of management. Failure to comply could be grounds for eviction from the park. (Civil Code Section 798.56)
9. In California, mobilehome owners must pay annual property tax to the county tax collector or an annual fee in lieu of taxes to the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD). If you are unsure which to pay, contact HCD. Failure to pay taxes or in lieu fees can have serious consequences, including losing your home at a tax sale.
10. For more information on registration, titling, and taxes, contact: the Department of Housing and Community Development www.hcd.ca.gov (800) 952-8356; your County Tax Collector; or call your local county government.

(more…)

May 29, 2013

CARE (California Alternate Rates for Energy) Issues New Income Qualification Levels

Landlord Attorney San DiegoThe California Alternate Rates for Energy, otherwise known as “CARE” has issued new income qualification levels as of June 1, 2013. These new income levels will be used to determine if an individual or household qualifies for discounted electric and gas rates.

To be eligible for the CARE discount, individuals or households must have gross income below the income stated on the CARE chart. These CARE income levels should be communicated to residents and the applicable prevailing residential gas and electric rate schedule as published by the serving utility shall be posted in a conspicuous place in the Community.

The revised income levels are as follows per number of individuals in the household:

     1 person                                $22,980
     2 persons                              $31,020
     3 persons                              $39,060
     4 persons                              $47,100
     5 persons                              $55,140
     6 persons                              $63,180
     7 persons                                     $71,220
     8 persons                              $79,260
     Each additional person             $8,040

If you have any specific questions about the new CARE levels and how to notify your community, please contact our Landlord Attorney in San Diego today.


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