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Added February 2021

Direct from C.A.R.

AB 44 (Petrie-Norris) Business Dealings: Use of Prior Surname
Currently, a real estate licensee must transact business solely under their legal name. A licensee cannot transact business using a former legal name, such as a “maiden” name. So, persons who developed name recognition in their business would lose the ability to use that name were they to change their name after marriage. C.A.R. is sponsoring legislation to ensure that a real estate licensee who is a natural person may use their former surname to conduct business so long as both names are filed with the Department of Real Estate. This measure will ensure that REALTORS® can continue to benefit from their name brand, recognition, and community status despite a legal name change. This was a non-controversial bill which was rolled over into AB 830 (Flora), an “omnibus” bill which contained non-controversial bills from various areas. It was signed into law September 28, 2021 (Chapter 376, Statutes of 2021).

AB 119 (Salas) Special Districts: Fee Transparency – County Auditor/Controller
Direct fees on residential parcels of land have been a growing local government finance tool since the creation of Mello-Roos and the establishment of benefit assessment districts, which allow special taxes to be imposed on property owners to finance public improvements like park maintenance, water, electricity, sewage and drainage, infrastructure and more. While direct fees are required to be disclosed by a seller to a buyer, prospective buyers cannot readily access such information until a transaction has already been entered into. AB 119 requires a County Auditor/Controller to post the rage of combined direct levies assessed on real property along with the current tax rate area information on their internet website. Additionally, if a County Auditor/Controller posts the contact information for each direct levy assessed within their jurisdiction, that notice shall also include the range of fees assessed on individual parcels of real property subject to the special district’s assessment. This bill is pending a hearing in the Assembly Local Government Committee.

AB 244 (B. Rubio) Updating California’s Affordable Housing Cost Study
C.A.R. is sponsoring AB 244 which would require the state’s housing agencies to update the California Affordable Housing Cost Study, which was last released in October 2014. This will help to identify those factors that affect the cost of building affordable housing and thereby allow the state to take steps to maximize how resources are allocated for affordable housing. The measure will also require the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) to prepare an annual addendum to the State's housing plan that identifies certain vital information on affordable housing funds and construction. This bill is pending a hearing in the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee.

AB 491 (Gonzalez) Bans Discrimination in Mixed-Income Multifamily Development Planning
Current law allows for the construction of a mixed-income multifamily residential structure in which the occupants of the affordable units do not have the same access to the common entrances, common areas, and amenities of that structure as the occupants of the market-rate units. C.A.R. is sponsoring legislation to prohibit this discriminatory housing practice. This bill enjoyed bipartisan support and no significant opposition. It was signed into law on September 28, 2021 (Chapter 345, Statutes of 2021).

AB 571 (Mayes) Density Bonus: Fee Reduction to Construct Below Market Rate Unit
Affordable deed restricted housing should not be required to pay a fee intended to construct other affordable housing as it simply increases the cost of the affordable housing being built. C.A.R. is sponsoring legislation to prohibit local governments from assessing affordable housing fees on the deed restricted affordable units contained within a density bonus application. The bill was signed into law on September 28, 2021 (Chapter 346, Statutes of 2021).

AB 633 (Calderon) Implementation: Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act
C.A.R. is co-sponsoring legislation to add California to the list of states that utilize the Uniform Partition of  Heirs Property Act (UPHPA). Currently, 18 states have enacted the model law which seeks to preserve family wealth passed onto the next generation in the form of real property in cases where there is no will or trust or title method of transferring property at the time of the owner’s death and there are multiple heirs. The measure enjoyed bipartisan support and did not receive any “No” votes in the legislature. It was signed into law on July 23, 2021 (Chapter 119, Statutes of 2021).

SB 263 (S. Rubio) Implicit Bias Training for Real Estate Licensees
C.A.R. is sponsoring legislation to require all real estate licensees to have implicit bias, and more robust equality, and fair housing training as part of their pre-licensing DRE requirement and continuing education renewal requirements. SB 263 was signed into law on September 28, 2021 (Chapter 361, Statutes of 2021) but will go into effect on January 1, 2023.

SB 304 (Archuleta) Increasing the Statutory Limit on Unlicensed Handyperson Services
Under current law, a handyperson who is not licensed shall not perform any work on a home where the total value of the work (labor and materials) exceeds $500. C.A.R. is sponsoring legislation to increase the current $500 per project limit allowed for unlicensed handypersons. This bill is pending a hearing in the Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee

SB 392 (Archuleta) Mandating HOA’s Maintain Websites & Email Communications
Existing law permits homeowners to opt-into electronic delivery for Homeowner’s Associations (HOA) communications and reports. C.A.R. is sponsoring legislation to require HOAs with 50 or more units to deliver documents by electronic delivery, unless the recipient has revoked their consent to electronic documents in writing or by email. This measure will also require an HOA to maintain a website where general information (i.e., newsletters, maintenance scheduling notices, governing documents, etc.) is provided. HOAs will be permitted to opt out of these provisions if two-thirds of the owners agree to exempt the association from these requirements. This bill was signed into law October 7, 2021 (Chapter 640, Statutes of 2021).

SCA 2 (Allen & Wiener) Public Housing Projects: Repeal of Article 34
Enacted by voters in 1950, Article 34 of the California Constitution requires that any development comprised of “low-rent” dwellings, financed in whole or in part by federal, state or local government be approved by a vote of the people in the jurisdiction where the project is located. Article 34 does not just apply to “public housing”, but also affects mixed income developments which often contain units partially “subsidized” by local government. C.A.R. also opposes “ballot box planning” of which this is an example. C.A.R. is a co- sponsor of SCA 2 which seeks to repeal Article 34 in its entirety. This bill is pending referral to a policy committee.


SB 7 (Atkins) Jobs and Economic Improvement Through Environmental Leadership Act of 2021

SB 7 seeks to provide for a reasonable extension of existing CEQA streamlining provisions to specified housing projects, which are consistent with the general use designation, density, building intensity, and applicable policies specified for a project area. SB 7 (Atkins) will help address the need for more urban infill housing units by helping to expedite housing development while reducing development costs. This bill is set for a hearing in the Senate Environmental Quality Committee on February 22, 2021.

SB 539 (Hertzberg, McGuire, Allen) Statutory Implementation - Proposition 19: Date Clarification
This measure seeks to among other things, clarify existing law on the dates of implementation as stated in Proposition 19. More specifically, SB 539 clarifies the operative dates in Proposition 19, by stating that either the sale of the original property or the purchase or the new construction of the replacement dwelling can occur prior to April 1, 2021. C.A.R. supports this measure as it seeks to provide certainty in the marketplace for consumers across the state.

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