In 2019, California enacted a law known as the Tenant Protection Act, which created a litany of protections for tenants facing eviction and rent hikes. The law applied to most tenants who had been continuously occupying a rental property for at least 12 months, which would include most current leases through the state. This past Saturday (September 30th, 2023), the Governor signed a new law – Senate Bill 567 – that adds significant teeth to the Tenant Protection Act by imposing further requirements on landlords seeking to terminate tenancies based on “no fault” causes and increasing civil penalties for those landlords who violate these laws. The stated purpose of the new law is to close loopholes in the existing law relative to “no fault” causes for termination of tenancies.
What Does No Fault Mean?
No fault causes include: (i) the intent to occupy the property by the owner or close family member; (ii) withdrawal of the property from the rental market; and (iii) intent to demolish or substantially remodel the residential real estate property. With this new law in place, landlords renting residential properties in California must now comply with the added requirements, depending on the cause relied on for terminating. For example, a landlord considering terminating for having to demolish or substantially remodel the property must now inform tenants of the scope and duration of the demolition and remodel and provide tenants with copies of permits. A landlord’s failure to comply with these new requirements renders the legal notice void, and exposes landlords to attorneys’ fees, treble damages, and punitive damages, in addition to actual damages.
Next Steps for Landlords
Landlords throughout California should inform themselves of these new requirements and the increased exposure for noncompliance. Real estate attorneys at Putterman Law have been a go-to legal partner for landlords in Orange County and throughout California. If you have any questions concerning these new laws and the requirements they impose, please submit a request for consultation here.