A Couple Changes in Real Estate Law for 2012

With the New Year right around the corner, let's take a look at a couple of the new California state laws effecting real estate and the landlord/tenant relationship:

Landlord Imposed Smoking Restrictions
California has long been a leader in smoking restrictions. As of January 2012, California law provides a landlord the right, but not the duty, to adopt smoking restrictions in all or any part of a residential property. With this new law, even if the lease or rental agreement was entered into prior to this law taking effect, the landlord can still restrict smoking in accordance with other state laws. Like recycling discussed below, many local communities are imposing their own legal requirements with regard to smoking restrictions in addition to California state law.

Recycling Requirements
While many communities are adopting local regulations for recycling, California has adopted state laws, effective January 2012, requiring Landlords of a 5 unit or more properties to provide their tenants with recycling services. In addition to the requirements placed on the landlord, California state law will also require tenants to participate in the recycling program. This law excludes properties without recycling services, space on-site for the recyclables, and where compliance would cause financial hardship.

Landlord Control of Political Signs Limited
Beginning in January 2012, California state law allows residents to post political signs no larger than six (6) square feet in a window or on the door of their single family residence. A landlord can, however, limit the usage of political signs to no earlier than ninety (90) days before an election and no later than fifteen (15) days after the vote to which the sign refers.

Amir H. Afsar, Esq. is an attorney and founder of Afsar Law Group, A.P.C. which represents clients in business, real estate, construction, and estate planning matters throughout the Coachella Valley including Indio, La Quinta, Bermuda Dunes, Indian Wells, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, Cathedral City, Palm Springs, Banning, Joshua Tree, and other cities located within Riverside and San Bernardino County. Mr. Afsar can be reached at Afsar Law Group, A.P.C. at 760.345.3110.

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