Category Archives: Real Estate

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 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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Is your RE agent looking our for your, or someone else

When you’re involved in a real-estate transaction, do you assume that the realty agents are required to represent the best interests of the home buyer or seller with whom they are working?

The Consumer Federation of America recently posed that question to a national survey sample of adults, and 50 percent answered yes. Another 16 percent said “yes, almost always.” So two-thirds of consumers in the survey had roughly the same impression.

But a new report from the Consumer Federation, an umbrella group representing nearly 300 local and state consumer organizations, suggests that it’s not necessarily so. The reality, according to the study, is that “real estate agents often are not required by law to represent the interests of buyers or sellers.” As a result, sometimes things can go seriously awry.

Among the common forms of representation examined in the CFA study:

Single agent. In this case, the agent works solely for the client and has a fiduciary responsibility to the client.

Subagent. This is where the agent works with the buyer but has a fiduciary duty to the seller.

Transactional agent. In this case, the agent works with both the buyer and seller to facilitate a sale but has no fiduciary responsibility to either party.

Dual agency. The study describes this as an arrangement whereby “the agent somehow is expected to represent the interest of both the seller and the buyer in a home purchase.”

“The Holy Grail is to capture the entire commission,” Brobeck told me. “The listing agent might say to the seller, we’ve got a hot buyer for your house” who happens to be a colleague.

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