New real estate laws protect renters and strengthen fire insurance

Renter protections (AB 2343 and SB 721)

Renters will now potentially have more time to fight an eviction. The previous law said a renter would have three days to pay rent or get out. But, the new law has switched it to business days.

That means if a renter gets a notice on a Friday, they will be able to stay — or get the situation sorted out — by Wednesday the next week. Also, holidays don’t count so that could also extend time depending on when the landlord served the notice. Unlike other laws on the list, this one takes affect Sept. 1, not Jan. 1.

Another law that will apply to renters is a requirement for landlords to get balconies inspected every six years to ensure they are sturdy. The inspector must be a licensed architect, civil or structural engineer, building contractor with special licenses or a certified building inspector from outside the local jurisdiction.

The law is in response to a tragedy in Berkeley in 2015 where six Irish students died when the fifth-floor balcony they were standing on collapsed.

Landlord benefits (AB 2219)

If someone else is paying your rent, they might have to put in slightly more effort. A new law relates to California’s strong tenant laws.

“If you accepted that rent check (from a third party), were you turning that person into a tenant?” Hutchinson asked the crowd. “Yes. Until now.”

The landlord can request the third party includes a letter that says they are not a tenant and, even though they are paying, they acknowledge they don’t have any rights as a tenant.

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San Diego home sales drop to lowest point since 2007

San Diego County home sales dropped 17.5 percent to the lowest level in 11 years for a September in the first significant sign of a slowdown in the market, real estate tracker CoreLogic reported Tuesday.

Last month, 2,942 homes sold in the county, down from 3,568 sales a year ago. It was the lowest number of sales for a September since just before the Great Recession when 2,152 sold in September 2007. Also, last month’s median home price dropped to $575,000 — the first decrease since January — after hitting an all-time high of $583,000 in August.

Most experts attributed the slowdown to a rise in mortgage interest rates, and the sale price reduction to potential buyers balking at higher monthly payments.

“Mortgage rates (are) another thing that is going to add cost, and temper demand,” said Cheryl Young, senior economist at Trulia. “Rates are hovering around a seven-year high so people are really, possibly, taking a step back before they jump into home buying.”

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San Diego home price increases fall behind nation, California

an Diego home price gains continued to slow in November compared to most of the nation and California, said the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices released Wednesday.

Resale home prices in the San Diego metropolitan area increased 3.3 percent in the year, the third slowest of the 20 cities covered by the index. National home prices were up 5.2 percent in a year, with Las Vegas leading the pack with a 12 percent gain.

Home price increases in November were slower year-over-year nationwide, with many analysts attributing higher mortgage interest rates leading to decreasing affordability — especially in costly areas.

Los Angeles metro area prices increased 4.4 percent in a year, also below the national average. San Francisco was only slightly above with a 5.6 percent yearly gain.

Alan Gin, economist at the University of San Diego, said it is important to note that prices are still rising. However, he said home costs already being near record highs means there’s not much wiggle room for potential buyers.

“A lot of people right now are just priced out of the market,” he said. “That’s why you’re seeing sales slow, as well.”

Gin said other parts of the San Diego economy are still strong, especially with a low unemployment rate, so the region’s slowed home price increases might be an aberration.

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