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Updated May 20, 2019

The Santa Cruz County Association of REALTORS® (SCCAR) supports a comprehensive government affairs program designed to foster a political and legal environment in which members can operate their business successfully and the interests of their clients are protected.

SCCAR's government affairs program places focus on the following objectives:
  • Supporting candidates, who understand the concerns and needs of SCCAR members, in local government elections.
  • Supporting the California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.) and the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) in their efforts to pass legislation that is: REALTOR®-friendly, protects private property rights, supports homeownership, and promotes an economic environment in which businesses and the real estate industry can thrive (and to oppose legislation that does not accomplish these goals).
  • Keeping SCCAR members informed about pending real estate-related legislation and regulatory changes that impact their business.
  • Educating SCCAR members about how to become involved in the political process when it comes to critical legislative initiatives that affect SCCAR members and their clients.


• Local Government Officials - Contact Information Find contact information for local elected officials by jurisdiction.
• Sign Ordinances
• California Association of REALTORS®
• California Association of REALTORS® - Legislative Program 2016-2017
• REALTORS® Action Fund
• National Association of REALTORS® - Government Affairs

GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS
Updated October 15, 2019

AB-1482: What Does It Mean To Your Clients

Just recently, the California State legislature passed AB 1482, also known as the statewide “rent cap bill.” We now know what to expect when Governor Newsom signs the bill. In short, the law will make it harder to evict a tenant after they have resided in the property for 12 months and it will cap rent increases between 5% and 10%, depending on regional CPI.

However, not all residential properties will be subject to the law.

The bill excludes most single-family, duplex and new residential construction. The following are exempt from the bill:

Single family homes and condos if:

• Tenants have received notice of the exemption and, • The owner is not a REIT, corporation, or LLC owned wholly or in part by a corporation • Homes built within the last 15 years • Owner-occupied duplexes • Owner-occupied single-family homes where two or fewer rooms are rented out (exempt from just cause but not rent cap) • Government assisted housing

Rent increase of non-exempt properties will be capped at 5% plus inflation, but not to exceed 10% total. It would prohibit a landlord from increasing the gross rental rate more than 5% plus the then current inflation rate (California CPI is approximately 2.8%), or 10%, whichever is lower for the immediately preceding 12 months. Further, the bill would prohibit the landlord from increasing the gross rental rate for the unit in more than two increments over any 12-month period. As stated above, the bill would generally exempt single-family dwellings, owner occupied duplexes, and condos. The rent cap would retroactively apply to all rent increases occurring on or after March 15, 2019.

Eviction from non-exempt rental properties can only happen with “Just Cause”.

The bill would prohibit an owner of non-exempt property from terminating a tenancy without “just cause” after the tenant has occupied the property for 12 months. A “just cause” eviction would stem from a scenario where the tenant breached of the rental agreement, or became a nuisance, giving cause for removal. The law would leave open the opportunity for a landlord to evict a tenant in the limited case where the landlord 1) planned to move into the property, 2) sell the property to someone who intends to live there, or 3) substantially remodel the property so that tenancy during construction is impossible. For these terminations, the owner will be required to assist with the tenant’s relocation cost by providing a direct payment of one month’s rent to the tenant or by waiving in writing the payment of rent for the final month of the tenancy, prior to that payment coming due.

Finally, the law would leave in place any local ordinance that provides a higher level of protection to tenants than this state-wide law does. In those cases, the local ordinance would supersede state law.

Here is a short Q & A provided by C.A.R.

What do I need to provide to my tenants? CAR’s new “Rent Cap and Just Cause Addendum” (Form RCJC) – available in December pending approval of the Standard Forms Advisory Committee.

When do I provide it? It needs to be provided by January 1, 2020.

My tenant is month to month. Does that matter? Yes. For month to month tenants, the addendum should be incorporated into the rental agreement by providing a notice in change in terms of tenancy. Use Form “Notice of Change in Terms of Tenancy” (Form CTT).

What about leases? If your tenant is on a lease, then you’ll provide the addendum as a stand-alone notice.

What needs to be done for new or renewed tenants? For all tenants signing a new lease or rental agreement or a renewed lease or rental agreement after January 1, 2020, the addendum must be included.

Where can I find more information? A Q&A explaining all aspects of the new law will be available soon on the C.A.R. website.

NO ON M A SUCCESS!

The No on M Committee, funded mostly by REALTORS® and local contributors, was successful in defeating the overreaching City of Santa Cruz initiative, Measure M. The success of the defeat of Measure M did not come alone, as what some may describe as the most important component of a successful campaign, voter contact and grass-roots advocacy, was led by Santa Cruz Together. As of Wednesday night, Measure M was headed to a defeat with nearly 67% of voters overwhelmingly opposing the initiative.

The measure, if passed, would have expanded rent control and also would have imposed expensive relocation fees on landlords if they passed a rent increase exceeding 10 percent in any unit exempted by the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act.

We would like to thank Lynn Renshaw and the team at Santa Cruz Together for their fact-driven grass-roots campaign that brought the truth of the initiative impacts to the voters of Santa Cruz, preventing a rental housing disaster from expanding in the City of Santa Cruz.

In addition, we thank the numerous REALTORS® who stepped up to the plate, including our President Renee Mello, Local Government Relations Co-Chairs Fred Antaki and John Flaniken, and SCCAR CEO Kathy Hartman for spending countless hours contacting voters and walking precincts making sure the fate of the initiative was nothing short of defeat. Financing of the campaign was critical to getting our message out, so we would like to thank Robert Bailey and Barbara Palmer for working with National Association of REALTORS® and the California Association of REALTOARS® who advocated for that crucial funding and all SCCAR members who contributed to the REALTOR® Action Fund.

In addition to this REALTOR® win, we are thrilled to report the defeat of California state Proposition 10, the repeal of Costa-Hawkins, with an overwhelming 61.7% of California voters in opposition.

The defeat of this measure and proposition demonstrate that if the REALTOR® community bands together, we are strong.

The Santa Cruz County Association of REALTORS® (SCCAR) supports a comprehensive government affairs program designed to foster a political and legal environment in which members can operate their business successfully and the interests of their clients are protected.

SCCAR's government affairs program places focus on the following objectives:

  • Supporting candidates, who understand the concerns and needs of SCCAR members, in local government elections.
  • Supporting the California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.) and the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) in their efforts to pass legislation that is: REALTOR®-friendly, protects private property rights, supports homeownership, and promotes an economic environment in which businesses and the real estate industry can thrive (and to oppose legislation that does not accomplish these goals).
  • Keeping SCCAR members informed about pending real estate-related legislation and regulatory changes that impact their business.
  • Educating SCCAR members about how to become involved in the political process when it comes to critical legislative initiatives that affect SCCAR members and their clients.

CALLS TO ACTION
• REALTOR® Action Center - NAR


CURRENT NEWS

COUNTY
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CITY OF SANTA CRUZ
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CAPITOLA
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SCOTTS VALLEY
• Scotts Valley Hires new City Manager
   The City of Santa Cruz’s second-in-command is stepping up to fill neighboring Scotts Valley’s leading governance role.

WATSONVILLE
• Watsonville Planning Commission recommends changes to alcohol ordinance.
   By a 4-2 vote following a nearly four-hour meeting, the commission — with Vice-Chair Matthew H. Jones absent — recommended the City Council make drastic changes to the city’s current laws around alcohol-related businesses. Chief among those changes: creating an overlay district in downtown that stretches from 2nd Street to 5th Street which would allow up to 15 percent of all businesses in the area to be alcohol-related, defined by the city as any business that sells alcohol.
• 2019 Downtown Strategic Plan
   City of Watsonville prepared to finalize Downtown Watsonville Complete Streets Plan.


LOCAL GOVERNMENT RELATIONS COMMITTEE

Are you a realtor interested in participating in SCCAR's Local Government Relations Committee? Contact Victor Gomez at gad@mysccar.com to learn more!

LGR focuses on real estate-related issues and concerns affecting the real estate industry. The committee offers input on legislative matters, environmental and community issues that are of concern to property owners and REALTORS® with primary emphasis on local issues. This group also develops and maintains close relationships with legislators representing Santa Cruz County through frequent meetings and correspondence.

For information about joining this committee please email gad@mysccar.org.




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