- Adjoining landowners, with properties contiguous or in contact with each another, must share equally the responsibility for maintaining boundaries and monuments between them. Adjoining landowners are presumed to share an equal benefit from any fence dividing their properties, and unless otherwise agreed in writing, are presumed to be equally responsible for the reasonable costs of construction, maintenance, or necessary replacement of the fence. Assembly Bill 1404 (codified as Cal. Civil Code § 841) (effective January 1, 2014). More on Facebook.com/HollisterRealtor
Criminal Grand Theft of Livestock Broadened
Under existing law, grand theft is committed if someone takes certain animals, namely a horse, mare, gelding, bovine animal, caprine animal, mule, jack, jenny, sheep, lamb, hog, sow, boar, gilt, barrow, or pig (including certain carcasses). The new law expands the crime of grand theft to include anyone who feloniously steals, takes, carries, leads, or drives away any of these animals belonging to another, fraudulently appropriates the animal entrusted to him or her, or fraudulently obtains possession of the animal. Grand theft of such animal is a misdemeanor or a felony punishable by one year imprisonment, plus a fine of $5,000. The proceeds of such fine will be allocated to the Bureau of Livestock Identification for the investigation of cases involving the grand theft of animals as specified. Assembly Bill 924 (codified as Cal. Penal Code §§ 487a and 489) (effective January 1, 2014).
Public Dog Parks Not Liable for Injury Caused by Dogs
A city, county, or other public entity that owns or operates a dog park is not liable for injury to, or death of, a person or pet resulting solely from the actions of a dog in a dog park. As background, existing law provides that the owner of any dog is liable for damages suffered by any person bitten by a dog while in a public place or lawfully in a private place (Cal. Civil Code § 3342)Assembly Bill 265 (codified as Cal. Gov’t Code § 831.7.5) (effective January 1, 2014).
Minimum Wage Increased to $10 Per Hour
Minimum wage in California has been increased from $8 per hour to $10 per hour. A one-dollar increment from $8 per hour to $9 per hour will come into effect on July 1, 2014, and another one-dollar increment from $9 per hour to $10 per hour will come into effect on January 1, 2016. The minimum wage has been $8 per hour since January 1, 2008. Assembly Bill 10 (codified as Cal. Labor Code § 1182.12 ) (law itself came into effect on September 25, 2013).
Protection Against Lender Collecting or Claiming Deficiency is Owed
California’s anti-deficiency laws that generally prohibit a foreclosing lender from obtaining a deficiency against a borrower have been expanded to also prohibit the lender from claiming that a deficiency is owed, such as on a credit report, or collecting on a deficiency. Existing law already generally prohibits a short sale lender from claiming a deficiency is owed or from collecting a deficiency. The new law applies to loans foreclosed upon by a trustee’s sale, as well as loans secured by purchase-money, owner-occupied, one-to-four residential unit properties (including refinances with no cash out). A lender, however, can pursue a deficiency against a guarantor or other surety (such as a mortgage insurer), or pursue other security for a cross-collateralized loan.
Senate Bill 426 (codified as Cal. Code of Civil Procedure § 580b) (effective January 1, 2014).
Consumer Right to Free Credit Report From Creditor Who Declines
A consumer credit reporting agency cannot prohibit in any manner, or dissuade or attempt to dissuade, a user of a consumer credit report furnished by that credit reporting agency from providing a copy of the same credit report to the consumer upon the consumer’s request, if the user has taken adverse action against the consumer, based on information in the credit report. The term, “prohibit in any manner” includes, but is not limited to, having a contractual provision to that effect. A district attorney or other enforcement agency can bring a civil lawsuit to recover $5,000 in civil penalties against a credit reporting agency who violates this law. As background, existing law requires anyone (such as a lender and landlord) who takes adverse action against a consumer based on credit report information to provide written notice of the adverse action, including, among other things, the consumer’s right to obtain a free credit report from the credit reporting agency that furnished the credit report (Cal. Civil Code § 1785.20).
Assembly Bill 1220 (codified as Cal. Civil Code § 1785.10.1) (effective January 1, 2014).
Smoke Detectors Specifications Changed
Starting July 1, 2014, the State Fire Marshall will not approve a battery-operated smoke alarm unless it contains a non-replaceable, non-removable battery capable of powering the smoke alarm for at least 10 years. This rule was originally slated to take effect on January 1, 2014. Until July 1, 2015, an exception to this rule applies to smoke alarms ordered by, or in the inventory of, an owner, managing agent, contractor, wholesaler, or retailer on or before July 1, 2014. Furthermore, starting January 1, 2015, the State Fire Marshal will not approve a smoke alarm unless it does all of the following: (1) displays the date of manufacture on the device; (2) provides a place on the device to insert the date of installation; and (3) incorporate a hush feature. A previous requirement for the smoke alarm to incorporate an end-of-life feature that provides notice that the device needs to be replaced has been eliminated. The requirements taking effect on January 1, 2015 was originally slated to take effect on January 1, 2014. The State Fire Marshal has the authority to create exceptions to these requirements.
Senate Bill 745 (codified as Cal. Health & Safety Code § 13114) (effective January 1, 2014).
Revised Billing Statement for HOA Documents and Other Changes
Existing law requiring a homeowners’ association (HOA) to use a statutory form for billing charges for HOA sales disclosures has been revised to require the form to be in at least 10-point type and include an itemization for “Rental Restrictions, if any” (Cal. Civil Code § 4528). Existing law prohibiting an HOA from charging a cancellation fee for HOA documents as specified has been moved from section 1368 to section 4530 of the California Civil Code. Furthermore, existing law stating that, when an inconsistency exists, governing documents prevail over articles of incorporation, which in turn prevail over bylaws, and in turn prevail over operating rules, has been revised to apply when a conflict, not inconsistency, exists (Cal. Civil Code §§ 4205 and 4350). Additionally, existing law requiring delivery of documents to an HOA by email, fax, other electronic means, or personal delivery if the HOA consents to any of those methods, has been extended to allow delivery by first-class mail, postage prepaid, registered or certified mail, express mail, or overnight delivery by an express service center, regardless of HOA consent (Cal. Civil Code § 4035(3)). Also, existing law requiring certain actions that must be approved by a majority of a quorum of the members to be approved at a “duly-held meeting” at which a quorum is present has been revised to require approval in a “duly-held election” at which a quorum is represented (Cal. Civil Code § 4070). This law also repeals several laws (Cal. Civil Code §§ 1363.05, 1368, and 1368.2) that have been superseded by the restructuring of the Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act that takes effect on January 1, 2014.
Senate Bill 745 (codified as Cal. Civil Code §§ 4528, 4205, 4350, 4035, and 4070) (effective January 1, 2014).