Government

Landlords beware, California law that Protects Tenants’ Political Signage.

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california-laws

2016 is a presidential election year and the political arena is heating up rapidly just about everywhere across the country.  Demonstrations, pseudo riots, threats, destruction of property, you name and it is happening right now in Plainville, USA.  All one has to do is turn on the television and watch the nightly news to see how divided our wonderful country is right now.  I recently saw a Youtube video that showed a guy running over a political sign with his off-road Jeep simply because he disagreed with the candidate.  You can watch that video here if you like but I am not promoting that video and don’t worry, I am not going to pitch my candidate or denigrate any that are out there.  I want to protect my clients and would be clients; that is the sole purpose of this blog post pure and simple.  As a landlord or a tenant you need to know what you can and cannot legally do in regards to free speech and your property.   In California there is a law that spells this out clearly for all to know, it is SB 337, which was passed a few years ago.  I think that this particular year it may be important to be familiar with what it says and what it means.

The first question you might ask is, “this is a matter of free speech protected under the 1st Amendment”.  Well in that case you would be wrong.  1st Amendment rights are to protect you from the Government not from your tenant or landlord.  So, the aim of this Bill is to protect the tenant from landlords who would try to prevent a tenant from placing a sign.  This bill would also protect the landlord from a tenant that would put up any old sign and display it on-going without ceasing.  Since the 1st Amendment does not prohibit private enterprises from restricting freedom of expression, including landlords, California decided it needed additional legislation, SB 337.  Can’t have enough laws now can we.

California already had legislation that addressed places like Condos, Townhomes and Mobile Home Parks from prohibiting unit owners from posting non-commercial signs or posters on their individual properties subject to limitations on size and material, but there was nothing that regarding tenants/landlords.  SB 337 was introduced to specifically address the ability of tenants to display such signs.  Initially SB 337 gave the right for tenants to display non-commercial signs, then after some rewording it now only addresses “political signs”.  So, under this new law as a tenant I could post a political sign for my favorite green party candidate but not a sign encouraging the eating of vegetables over meat.  And as a landlord, I could not prohibit my tenants posting of a sign for his candidate even if I did not agree with candidate.  SB 337 does contain limitations for the sign, such as, no more than six square feet nor may it violate any law.  The sign must relate to a specific election, referendum, recall or other issue that is up for public vote and cannot be just generally political in nature.  Thus, a sign that says “Tax Reform Now” or “Free Tibet” would not be protected and the landlord may remove it.  Signs can be displayed no more than 90 days in advance and no longer than 15 days after an election or vote.

So if you are a tenant or a landlord and you don’t like a candidate that your tenant or landlord is in favor of that is protected speech under California SB 337.  That said; keep your Jeep off the grass and let’s all keep a level head this election season.  Please feel free to share this with anyone you know who is a tenant or a landlord.  It may be something that they are unaware of and could save them a major headache.

John Conca

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Non-compliant plumbing fixtures & SB 407

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faucetNon-compliant plumbing fixtures & SB407

Have you updated your faucets and showerheads???   Are you getting ready to sell your home???  Well guess what?  According to a new piece of legislation called SB 407, you going to need to do just that.

As you are well aware California has been suffering from a long time drought, lakes are at an all-time low and I mean low.  Did you see the pictures of exposed buildings, bridges and other things that surfaced due to low water levels in our lakes and reservoirs?  People were walking out to the middle of Folsom Lake on dry land, now that is low.  Thank goodness for Senor El Nino, matter of fact it is raining heavily at the time I am writing this and lake levels are beginning to rise but we are not out of the woods yet.  We need much more rain and more snow pack in the Sierra’s to help us out of this drought.  The water aquafers need to be filled as well, so come on rain and snow, not that I like to shovel or anything.

The state of California also passed some new legislation, SB 407 requires that on or before January 1, 2017, noncompliant plumbing fixtures in any single-family residential real property shall be replaced by the property owner with water-conserving plumbing fixtures.  The fixtures that the bill is targeting are the faucets, showerheads and toilets.  I guess they could have wanted the water dispenser on my refrigerator to dispense water at a slower rate as well.  Maybe that would be a good thing so water doesn’t shoot out of the glass when you go to fill it.  Now that’s a waste!

The bill goes on to say that on or before January 1, 2017 any non-compliant plumbing fixtures need to be replaced by the home owner with water conserving plumbing fixtures.  Also, by the same date a Seller or Transferor of a single family home shall disclose in writing to the potential purchaser of SB 407 and whether the property has any non-compliant plumbing fixtures.  Those doing additions or modifications to their home may also be subject to this new law.  Read SB 407 for more info on that.

Non-compliant plumbing fixtures would include toilets, if they have a flush rate of greater than 1.6 gallons of water per flush.  Faucets are non-compliant if the flow rate is more than 2.2 gallons of water per minute and showerheads are non-compliant if the flow rate is more than 2.5 gallons per minute.

So, if you are thinking of buying or selling a home this year be sure to look for these items to be corrected before you buy or sell.  If you don’t you may get stuck with a headache and a potential delay of the escrow process.  Call, text, Facebook, email, visit my website or whatever works best if you need help Buying or Selling a home or if you have questions regarding this information, I can help.

 

Thanks for listening and don’t forget to share this information to your Facebook page.

 

John Conca

Broker Associate

Century 21 Select Real Estate

Fannie Mae Has Shortened Its Waiting Period

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Fannie Mae’s Credit Policy Eased

Fannie Mae has just changed its policy-anyone whose loan origination date is August 16th, 2014 or later will now only need to wait 4 years after a short sale or foreclosure to reenter the housing market. Fannie Mae’s previous policy has people waiting 7 years until they can be eligible for a home loan. Those eligible to reenter the housing market still need to show that they have re-established credit after such negative credit events like a foreclosure, short sale, deed-in-lieu of foreclosure or bankruptcy.

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Fannie Mae buys large groups of mortgages from mortgage lenders, thus securing the loans so that the lenders have more cash to lend out to more borrowers which increases the amount of lenders in the housing market. Now there should be a few more borrowers as well. If you think you’re ready to buy a home then, please, give me a call.

You can contact me, John Conca, at 530-306-3494, if you are searching for a home anywhere in El Dorado county, or if you are ready to sell your home. I’d be happy to discuss your options with you. You can find new Placerville listings here.

Gov. Jerry Brown Signed Bill To Regulate Pumped Groundwater

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Historic Bill Met With Anxiety

On Tuesday, September 16th, Governor Jerry Brown signed 3 bills to regulate water pumped from underground in California. With the state in a historic drought and state leaders under pressure to kink hoses, this news won’t surprise many locals. The signing brings fear of the long arm of the government into the hearts of many farmers.

Smoke from the King fire over thirsty Sly Park Lake.
Smoke from the King fire over thirsty Sly Park Lake.

Contact me, John Conca; 530-306-3494, if you are searching for a home anywhere in El Dorado county, or if you are ready to sell your home. I’d be happy to discuss your options with you. You can find new Placerville listings here.

Due to the exceptional drought that California is experiencing, residents have had many restrictions placed on their irrigation. We’ve cut down on the days we can water our lawns and gardens and face higher rates if we fail to keep our usage down. Many farm groups are concerned that when the new regulations are in place they won’t be allotted enough water to produce a fruitful crop. Fines implemented for excess water usage may drive up produce prices. Damages would be far-reaching as many of California’s farms feed the world.

Some farmers agree with the bills because they see it as a way to preserve farming. Worried that when the water runs out they’ll have to shut down or move out, they welcome regulations to conserve vital resources for a sustainable farming future. This change is one that has been discussed for a long time. California has been able to use as much well water as we’ve pleased without oversight until now, but that has accounted for up to 60% of the water used during a drought. As the underground water gets lower, so does our land which has a detrimental effect on bridges and water canals.

The new law requires local governments and water districts to begin managing their local wells and calls for state water agency intervention if necessary. Of course water metering and fines to monitor and enforce the restrictions are part of the package, as should be expected with any regulations.

SB1168, SB1319 and AB1739, written by Assemblyman Roger Dickinson and Senator Fran Pavley, passed despite objections from lawmakers and central valley democrats. These bills won’t help with the immediate crisis as they will require years to create and carry out management plans. Recovery of the state’s over-pumped water basins may not be seen until at least 2040.

Our own local farmers will have to plan ahead and work hard to survive the changes and continue to provide delicious food at good prices we find at such places as Boa Vista Orchards. Perhaps this is what is needed to continue as a bountiful agricultural state. Here’s hoping it doesn’t result in what many fear– a suppressed agricultural economy.

Find more information on local water regulations and how to conserve water on El Dorado Irrigation District’s website.

 

Please feel free to browse my website. Follow my blog for updates on real estate news, timely home maintenance suggestions, and tips for buyers and sellers. Thanks for stopping by.