Legislative Updates

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As members of the National Association of REALTORS® and California Association of REALTORS®, REALTORS® have benefit of belonging to the largest trade associations dedicated to the promotion and preservation of the real estate profession and the property rights of all.  It is this commitment that unifies members in the support or opposition of legislation which may affect the real estate industry as a whole, as well as the communities in which we live, work, and play.  We invite you to take a closer look at the important legislation currently being sponsored and/or monitored and share any thoughts and/or comments with your REALTOR® to be sure your voice is heard. 

 

C.A.R.-Sponsored Bills, 2015 

 

(Status as of March 3, 2015)
 

AB 205 (Wood) Squatters Pilot Program Jurisdictions - In 2014, C.A.R. sponsored AB 1513 (Fox) in an effort to address the lengthy process required to prevent squatting or to evict squatters. This measure created a three year pilot program in the cities of Lancaster, Palmdale and Ukiah that permits the owner of a vacant property to register it with local law enforcement. It establishes a fee-based program for local government that permits an owner of a vacant home to register it with local law enforcement and have it monitored while it remains vacant. It further requires timely action by these law enforcement agencies should the property be unlawfully occupied. As introduced, AB 205 proposes to expand the pilot program to include the cities of Eureka and Fairfield and the counties of Humboldt and Lake.

 Status: Assembly Judiciary Committee

 

AB 237 (Daly) Parcel Tax Vote Notification - Under current law, property owners who reside within a local jurisdiction receive notice of proposed parcel taxes with receipt of their ballot pamphlet while non-resident property owners do not receive any notice. This measure would require a city, county or special district (e.g., school districts, hospital districts, etc.) to provide at least 90 days’ notice of a vote to impose a parcel tax on non-resident property owners.

 Status: Assembly Local Government Committee

 

AB 345 (Frazier) Continuing Education - Under current law, real estate brokers and salespersons are required to complete 45 hours of CalBRE-approved continuing education in order to renew their licenses. AB 345 seeks to earmark three hours of a broker’s mandated continuing education for a course on the management and supervision of real estate licensed activity. The bill also permits salespersons to elect to take a course containing relevant information to assist them in understanding how to be effectively supervised by a responsible broker or branch manager.

Status: Assembly Business and Professions Committee

 

AB 607 (Dodd) Bonds for Unlicensed Employees - The Bureau of Real Estate’s current regulations allow an unlicensed employee of a broker, with written authorization, to manage the broker's trust account if the employee has fidelity bond coverage that is equal to the maximum amount of funds to which the employee has access. This regulation is interpreted to mean that the bond must be a zero deductible bond, meaning that the insurers are responsible for the first dollar lost. REALTORS® have reported that bond companies will not sell bond coverage exceeding $100,000 unless the bond contains a deductible, usually of 1-5 percent. This measure would, among other things, allow bonds for unlicensed employees with access to broker trust funds to include a deductible of up to 5%.

Status: Awaiting policy committee assignment by the Assembly Rules Committee

 

AB 685 (Irwin) Real Estate Law Cleanup - While current law permits the Bureau of Real Estate (CalBRE) to deny the renewal of a license to a licensee who has an unpaid fine, it is not clear that CalBRE can deny an application for a license based on an unpaid fine. This measure would, among other things, clarify that CalBRE can deny an application based on an unpaid fine, revoke an erroneously/mistakenly issued license, and add the filing of a criminal complaint charging a felony to the list of disciplinary activities licensees must report to CalBRE.

Status: Awaiting policy committee assignment by the Assembly Rules Committee

 

AB 807 (Stone) Private Transfer Fees - Private Transfer Fees (PTFs) are fees imposed by an individual, developer, etc. that require a homebuyer and any subsequent purchaser to pay a fee upon the transfer of a home. In 2007, C.A.R. successfully sponsored AB 980, which requires disclosure of new and existing PTFs and requires PTFs to be recorded against the applicable property. However, new kinds of PTFs are now being used. This bill would expand the current PTF recordation requirement to include PTFs whose payment does not occur upon a change in ownership or that are not based on sales price.

Status: Awaiting policy committee assignment by the Assembly Rules Committee

 

SB 146 (Galgiani) Team Names - In 2014, C.A.R. sponsored AB 2018 (Bocanegra) to remove ambiguity surrounding Fictitious Business Names (FBNs) by statutorily defining how salespersons, with their broker’s permission, can use FBNs while also establishing clear standards for the use of “team names” that are not FBNs. This measure would clean-up and clarify that "team names" not requiring an FBN for purposes of the real estate law do not require the filing of an FBN with their local county.

 Status: Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee

 

SB 474 (Wieckowski) Credit Bids - In 2014, C.A.R. successfully sponsored AB 2039 (Muratsuchi) addressing real estate short sales. That legislation, among other things, prohibits companies from using "shill bids" (i.e., bids from non-bona fide purchasers) to drive up the price of the home being auctioned. A "credit bid" (lender bidding amount of their note at the foreclosure sale) is exempt from the "shill bid" prohibition. This measure would define "credit bid" in statute.

Status: Awaiting policy committee assignment by the Senate Rules Committee