The New California Real Estate Laws You Should Know About

Earlier this month, the Greater San Diego Association of Realtors hosted representatives from NAR, CAR, and the California Bureau of Real Estate to discuss and educate the real estate community on 2016 state and federal legislation that affects the industry.

Below are some of the most important highlights from the event which affect not only homeowners, but also renters, landlords, and potential buyers. For the full list of new laws passed by California and federal legislature, the California Association of Realtors has released a helpful chart.

Commercial property energy:

The new law repeals the requirement of a property owner to provide an Energy Use Disclosure to prospective buyers (or lenders/lessees of the entire building) as long as the building is nonresidential.

Drying clothes:

Homeowner’s associations and landlords are now legally obligated to allow residents to attach a drying rack or clothesline to the building in order to dry their clothes. Under previous guidelines, doing so was not allowed without permission from the landlord or HOA.

Artificial landscaping:

Under the California Emergency Services Act, the waste or unreasonable use of water in times of drought emergency should be prevented. As of January 1st 2016, homeowner’s associations can no longer fine property owners for failure to water a lawn or replacing it with artificial turf, even if it “violates” association rules.


Landlords could now face criminal penalties if they neglect to take action after a health official examines the property and finds it uninhabitable due to mold, which by law makes the property unfit for renters. However, the penalty does not apply if the mold was caused by inappropriate housekeeping practices on the tenant’s end.


Landlord are now required to tell tenants at least 24 hours before spraying pesticides on the property, and disclose the type of pest they are targeting as well as the specific product and any warnings about its toxicity.


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