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Federal Issues

Posted by L.A. Sullivan in September CAR Reports | 0 comments

Chris Osteen, Cal West Management & Sales (760) 438-5728 chriscalw@aol.com The Federal Committee met on September 28th and had several committees reporting to them regarding timely subjects for the real estate market. Transaction and Regulatory Committee reported to the Federal Committee that they were recommending to the California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.) that we affirm our position in support of the existing loan limits ($ 729,750.00) set by Emergency Economic and Stabilization Act. From the committee’s standpoint this was a no brainer. With California real estate prices still being some of the nations highest we need this to continue our recovery efforts. The Taxation Committee recommended that the Federal Committee support their efforts to sponsor legislation that would extend the debt forgiveness protections beyond the end of next year. Once this legislation is approved we will proceed on getting the same protection from the State of California. It was noted that there was still some traction in Washington DC to establish Qualified Residential Mortgage Standards. Some of those standards include: 80 % mortgage/20% cash down, maximum mortgage payment to gross income – 28%, maximum mortgage payment to all debts 36%, no delinquencies within the last 30 days, during the past 24 months no delinquency showing a past due of 60 days, no bankruptcy or foreclosures within the last 36 months and finally no short sales or judgments to state of federal government within the last 36 months. The National Association of REALTORS® has determined that the average family would require 16 years to save up enough cash for a down payment. Much of the meeting was spent on discussing the Proposed Risk Retention Rule where the US Government wants to: 1. Remove some of their Real Estate Owned (REO) and put it up for bulk sale (estimated $ 50 million to $ 1 billion) with the understanding that the investor would be obligated to rent those homes out. 2. Allow some of the REO to be put for bulk sale (estimated $ 50 million to $ 1 billion) where there would be no restraints as to what the investor could do with the property. 3. Allow the Government Sponsored Entities to use third parties to rent out some of their REO inventory. A motion was presented under New Business that would request that the Pest Control Inspection requirement for VA loans be removed as a requirement. Motion passed but I don’t have an update for you where this motion was forwarded to. If you have any questions please email at chriscalw@aol.com and I will try to expand on any of the discussion.

Housing Committee – Common Interest Development, Property Management

Posted by L.A. Sullivan in September CAR Reports | 0 comments

Gwynne Hodge
Ocean Crest, REALTORS
(760) 435-9862

Common Interest Development:
AB 771 (Butler)
- sponsored by C.A.R., has passed both houses and been signed by the Governor. Common Interest Development (CID) fees in many parts of the state have dramatically increased in the last few years when escrow has ordered required documents. What C.A.R. discovered when investigating this issue is that many HOAs or third party vendors providing these documents had bundled other unneeded documents also into the set of documents and thus increasing the cost of these documents. This bill provides that these documents can no longer be bundled, reducing the cost of the fees. C.A.R. will provide a zipForm 6 checklist for our members shortly.

SB 150 (Correa) Right to Rent - this bill has also passed through the Legislature and been signed by the Governor. The third time is the charm on this one. We had tried two times during the previous Governor’s administration to get this bill through but it was vetoed both times. The new law will mandate that if at the time a home is purchased within a CID that the CC&Rs do not prohibit renting out the home, that the homeowner shall have the right to rent out the home during the time that the homeowner owns the property. This time (Yeah!) the bill has been signed by the Governor.

AB 805 (Torres) - is another bill that C.A.R. Favors and it has passed through the Assembly and is in the Senate. It simplifies the Davis Sterling Act by grouping related provisions together. Currently, the provisions are scattered all over the code. C.A.R. does favor this bill.

SB 561 (Corbett) Delinquent Assessment Collection - The Davis Sterling Act also provides that HOAs may collect assessments owed to them. During the collection process the HOA must follow particular guidelines set out by the Davis Sterling Act. Those guidelines do not currently apply to a third party collector. If passed, this bill would make those guidelines from the Davis Sterling Act applicable to the third party collector. C.A.R. is opposed to this bill because it makes it more difficult for HOAs to collect delinquent assessments that have been defaulted on when owners stopped making their CID unit mortgage payments. HOAs around the state have as much as 50% of their annual budgets impacted by delinquent assessments. This bill is due to be taken up in January by the Assembly Judiciary Committee, meaning that it has passed the Senate.

SB 563 Transportation and Housing Committee – CID Meeting Notification: Currently CIDs are to provide HOA members notice of the time and place of a meeting at least four days in advance. SB 563 would change that requirement to two days for meetings held in executive session and would allow a member who gives permission to be notified of the
meeting electronically. This would also allow a meeting to be held by teleconference as long as at least one board member is present. The bill has been amended to take out some language disagreeable to C.A.R. We now have a Favor position. It is currently on the Senate Floor.

As you know FHA has removed from their previously approved list many HOAs. FHA recently updated their criteria to approve HOAs for loans. These changes will be in place for two years: minimum occupancy for resale is 50% owner occupancy, while for new construction 30% owner occupancy is needed.

Under other housing issues there are two other bills:
AB 1220 (Alejo) Challenges to Local Planning Decisions
- Currently there is a very short window for challenging land use decisions of local governments except for advocates for low and moderate-income households. This bill would clarify this provision to ensure that local governments follow the law on housing elements, density bonuses and other requirements by limiting to five years the time period in which a challenge can be made to a general plan based on an inadequate housing element. C.A.R. supports this bill as a positive step towards creating a local regulatory environment for housing that encourages the productions of more affordable housing and contributes to economic recovery. C.A.R. is one of the sponsors of this bill. It is currently on the Senate Floor having passed the Assembly.

The other is a Federal issue where the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Department of Housing and Urban Development have published a “Request for Information” asking for input from interested parties (us!) regarding the disposition of single family real estate properties owned by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and FHA. They are suggesting three different proposals:
1. That they partner together with a third party to rent out a portion of their existing REO inventory.
2. That there be a bulk sale of a portion of their REO inventor to investors ($50,000,000-$1,000,000,000) who would then be obligated to rent those units out.
3. That they partner to do a bulk sale of a portion of their REO inventor to investors with no restriction (they could rent or sell the properties).

The details are very vague with no sunset date and no minimum amount of time that a property must be rented before it can be sold etc. C.A.R. as well as NAR are working hard to clarify and to positively affect these “recommendations.”

Property Management:AB 265 (Ammiano) Unlawful Detainer Notification - Currently a tenant is guilty of unlawful detainer if they remain in possession of real property after defaulting on the rent payment if the tenant has been provided with a 3-Day Notice, in writing, to correct the violation or vacate the premises. This bill would increase that Notice from 3 days to 14 days. The bill was gutted (after C.A.R. voiced our opposition) and amended to remove the 14 day provision but C.A.R. is still opposed to the bill because, as amended, it would allow a tenant to indefinitely avoid paying rent when it is due, effectively “gaming the system.” This bill is on the Inactive File for the Assembly Floor and must be moved out of the Assembly by January 31, 2012 to stay alive.

AB934 (Feuer) Privileged Communications - Civil actions are privileged communications under existing law, meaning that what is said in litigation cannot be the basis of subsequent lawsuits for defamation, slander of libel against participant in the litigation. This bill would exclude from the current definition of a privileged communication any communication related to real property transactions, regulation of rents, termination of tenancy, eviction of residential tenants, or discrimination against tenets. Amendments added to the bill restored only the “defamation” allegations involving real property transactions to the definition of a privileged communication. C.A.R. is opposed to the bill because by eliminating the “litigation privilege even partially as now proposed rental property owners pursuing unlawful detainer actions could be repeatedly exposed to awful litigation by disaffected tenants. This bill was highly supported by tenant’s rights groups but opposed not only by C.A.R. but many Apartment Owner Associations. As a result of our combined efforts this bill has failed to pass the Assembly and is thus dead.

SB 184 (Leno) Rent Control - As you probably know there are several cities throughout the state which have embodied rent control. C.A.R. has always been opposed to rent control because of its many onerous issues. This bill if it had passed would have removed the exemption from rent control for new construction and allowed county boards of supervisors to impose inclusionary zoning as a condition of development. C.A.R. opposed this bill and was instrumental in causing it to fail passage.

SB 337 (Kehoe) Tenant Noncommercial Signs - This bill is currently on the Assembly Floor, having passed the Senate. Originally this bill would have allowed tenants to post any sign, poster, flag or banner, no matter how offensive, regardless of their landlord’s wishes. The bill was amended to allow tenants to display political signs for a limited period of time, with significant controls left to the rental property’s owners or management as to the size and location of the signs. With these amendments C.A.R. removed our opposition and is currently in a Watch position.

Franchise Tax Board (FTB) - As you may know property mangers are required by the FTB to collect from the gross amount of rent of out-of-state owners, 7% monthly, and pay quarterly to the FTB the collected amount. This is completed using a form 592. There are new regulations for property managers using the form 589, Nonresident Reduced Withholding Request (as of August 29, 2011). This form must be submitted by mail or online and can no longer be faxed. Also when using a form 593, 592F or 593, if there is a mistake, underpayment or overpayment, the FTB will inform you of the mistake and any balance due by mail. For further information call 1-800-353-9032.

Lead Based Paint - there is an amendment to the House Appropriations Committee 2012 budget for the Department of Interior and the EPA to prohibit the implementation of the controversial lead paint renovation, repair and painting rules until the EPA meets its obligations under the statute and provides the requisite information and equipment for businesses to comply. NAR has sent a letter in support of this amendment. Currently, if a rental unit built prior to 1978 needs to be “repaired”, that repair must be in compliance with very strict requirements to deal with lead based paint. Many property managers are advising their owners to have their property tested for lead based paint. If the property is certified to be absent of lead based paint (and our numbers are at about 50%), then those strict requirements do not have to be followed. The cost for such a test is between $300-600.

Housing Committee – Multi-Family

Posted by L.A. Sullivan in September CAR Reports | 0 comments

Anita Quillman
Sea Coast Exclusive Properties
(858) 279-2202

State Legislative Issues
AB 341 (Chesbro) and AB 818 (Blumenfield) Multi-family Complex Recycling Requirements - While C.A.R. supports reasonable recycling programs, C.A.R. opposes AB 341 and AB 818. AB 818 requires ALL multi-family dwellings (5 units and more) to provide appropriate recycling services. At C.A.R.'s request AB 818 was amended in July to make the bill's provisions consistent with local recycling ordinance requirements in order to protect multi-family property owners who have complied in good faith with local recycling requirements and to assure that the rules for compliance were not arbitrarily changed after the fact. AB 341, which includes multi-family complexes of five or more units in its definition of "business", mandated local agencies to impose a commercial recycling program on businesses generating more than 4 cubic yards of solid waste and recyclable materials per week. C.A.R. opposed AB 341 because multi-family units with fewer than sixteen units are too small to bear the burden of these new business requirements as they often do not have on-site staff. In light of strong opposition, the author amended AB 341 to instead make the 75% waste reduction target a "goal" instead of a mandate. Because AB 818 and AB 341 amend the same section of law with regards to multi-family property recycling requirements the authors were required to adopt amendments to assure that there would be no ambiguity within the law should both bills be enacted. If both bills are signed into law then only the provisions in AB 341 will take effect.

State Regulatory Issues
C.A.R. has participated as an active stakeholder in the development of Mandatory Commercial Recycling requirements, which were authorized by AB 32 (Nunez, Statutes of 2006). The regulations define "business" to include multi-family rental properties of 5 units or more that generate 4 cubic yards of solid waste (excluding recyclables). C.A.R. supports reasonable recycling programs and worked collaboratively with CalRecycle and its staff to develop a workable commercial recycling regulation for multi-family housing. C.A.R.s amendment permits property owners to require tenants to manually separate their recyclable materials, requires local jurisdictions to consider exempting complexes that lack sufficient space to provide additional recycling bins, and to consider a property owner's "good faith" efforts to comply with recycling requirements. Furthermore, CalRecycle notes in its summary of the regulation that local jurisdictions should focus on complexes of 16 units or more because implementation of recycling responsibilities can be most effectively imposed on residential rental properties with on-site staff who are present and who can over-see this program. California Administrative Code title 25, Section 42 requires multi-family residential rental units of 1 units or more to have a manager or other staff person residing on-site. CalRecycle anticipates the release of its 45 day language this fall, with the adoption of the final regulations scheduled for January 2012. Should the regulation be adopted in its current form the requirements of the measure will go into effect July 1, 2012.

Housing Policy

Posted by L.A. Sullivan in September CAR Reports | 0 comments

Diane Conaway
ReMax United
(760) 747-4700

AB 1220 (Alejo) Land Use and Challenges to Local Planning Decisions - This Bill attempts to clarify a provision in planning decisions that has recently been misinterpreted by the courts. For nearly 25 years, there has been a short period of time to challenge land use decisions. However, low and moderate-income housing enjoyed an extended period of time in order to encourage cities and counties to participate. In 2008, a case, Urban Habitat Program v. City of Pleasanton caused the courts to shorten the time period for filing all challenges to land use decisions from five years to 90 days.

C.A.R. has taken a Support position on this bill which is on the Senate Floor. This bill is also supported by the California Building Industry Association along with 16 organizations that are local and state housing advocates.

Disposition of Government REOs
The Federal Housing Finance Agency, the Department of the Treasury and the Department of Housing and Urban Development published a Request for Information (RFI) on alternative methods of handling single family REOs currently held by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and FHA.

Specifically, the RFI requested comments on a proposal to handle quicker disposition of these REO through three different scenarios:

1. The three entities (Fannie, Freddie and HUD) partner with a third party company to rent out a portion of the REO inventory.
2. The three entities do a bulk sale for a portion of their inventory with the understanding that the investors would be required to rent the inventory.
3. The three entities do a bulk sale for part of their inventory with no restrictions on what the investors could do with the homes, i.e. rent or sell.

Because of the short window for responses, the California Association of REALTORS® wrote a response opposed to any efforts to dictate what investors could do with their properties once they were purchased. It was observed that the administration is trying a “one size fits all” approach to the REO inventory, and perhaps it could be better handled with geographic consideration. For example, what works to dispose of housing inventory in Detroit is probably a different solution than for California.

Manufactured Housing
SB 376 (Fuller) Real Estate Brokers and Sales of Mobile and Manufactured Homes - This bill states that a person who originates or services mobile home or seller carry-back loans would be licensed by the Department of Real Estate pursuant to the Real Estate Law and would not require licensing by the Department of Corporations under the California Finance Lenders Law. This bill was sponsored by the Western Manufactured Housings Communities Association (WMA) and supported by C.A.R., however the Department of Real Estate is concerned about the regulatory oversight of this activity. WMA is working on changes to the bill to satisfy the DRE concerns. CAR is taking a Support Position on this bill which is inactive in the Assembly.

International Real Estate

Posted by L.A. Sullivan in September CAR Reports | 0 comments

Kim Murphy,
The Jacques Company
(760) 451-1600

I am proud to represent you at this forum of international practitioners. This segment of buyers has seen an increase in volume to $82 Billion in 2010, which is a 25% increase over 2009. The median price is $315,000, up from $100,000 in 2009. Sixty-two percent of these clients purchase in cash. They have purchased properties in all 50 states. Here are two ways to get more involved with this level of practitioner: www.worldproperties.com (for posted listings) or the Global Business Council to learn more about becoming an active REALTOR® in this arena.

Since we are a forum, we do not produce any “Action” items. We did request a change in name for this forum that will make us consistent with NAR’s name for this body of REALTORS®. The Executive Committee approved our request and the new name of this forum is Global Real Estate Forum. This inclusive term reflects the body of clients that it refers to: the local inbound and outbound clients, and the client that is not located in the U.S. who wish to purchase property here.

We had an informative presentation by Tess Crescini, Broker, Heritage Homes and Investments, on purchasing property in the Philippines. The Philippines currently has a gross domestic product of 7.3% , which far exceeds most countries. They have a very low cost of living and have thriving cities and beach communities that offer affordable retirement homes for non-citizens of the country. The Philippines has become a retirement haven for many expatriates of the U.S., Britain, Australia, Japan and Korea. Starting price points begin at $40,000 in town, and $80,000 in beach communities.

Land Use & Environmental

Posted by L.A. Sullivan in September CAR Reports | 0 comments

Frank Valletta Sun Country Properties (760) 390-1514 fjvall@aol.com As most of us are aware the government and many of our citizens are getting more involved with our environment and ways to be more energy efficient. In that endeavor the government, both state and federal, are attempting to come up with legislation to clearly identify and clarify what constitutes “cost effective” energy. In order to be proactive and to prevent legislation that may be restrictive to property owners C.A.R. has decided to sponsor legislation to statutorily define “cost effective” to require that the total costs of energy efficiency improvements, including maintenance costs, be less than the total present value of the energy saved over the useful life of the improvement. Hopefully, by taking this proactive approach, we can forestall any legislation that may prove to be more cumbersome to individual property owners.

Legislative Committee

Posted by L.A. Sullivan in September CAR Reports | 0 comments

Sandi Adelson Homeland Properties (760) 591-3090 sandi_and_the_hometeam@hotmail.com The Legislative (Leg) Committee serves two purposes. The first is to consider any and all issues on the state level that is brought to the committee. The second is to review action items from the Transaction and Regulatory, Taxation and Government Finance, Land Use and Environmental, and Housing Committees before they are sent to the Executive Committee for consideration and finally to the BOD. With respect to this second purpose, Leg may approve an action item, propose and pass an amended or replacement motion or disapprove the action completely. If Leg takes any other action than approving the motion brought to it, both the originating committee and Leg present to the Executive Committee. Legislative Update Legislature and State Budget Developments – 1. Reality is that if the budget shortage has not been dealt with by December, there are automatic spending cuts that go into effect. Health care and education will be the hardest hit. Discussions of scaling back the school year for K through 12 by one (1) week are already taking place. High profile cuts are probable. 2. The Governor was unsuccessful with tax extensions. The budget (which now can be passed with only a majority) was passed based on the anticipatory revenues generated by the tax extensions. Now the legislature has a substantial deficit to handle. 3. There are still ongoing discussions to reduce the state sales tax but expand it to a “goods and services” tax. While “services” could include real estate services (escrow, title, loans, commissions, etc.), medical services, spa and salon services, etc., it would become a free-for-all to see what special interest groups could manage a carve out for their members. Member Mobilization Broker Involvement Program – Last year 900 brokers signed up to participate in the program. Through the first eight (8) months of this year there are 2200 participants. Call to Action – All REALTORS® are asked to respond immediately to any Call to Action/Red Alert from C.A.R. and N.A.R. The issues facing real estate on both a federal and state level are huge and support is a necessity for survival. Members are also asked to forward and request to clients with a request for the client to also respond. A short explanation should be sent with the forwarded request and if a REALTOR® is unsure of the issue, she or he should contact the local association for clarification. Staff Update on Sacramento – We could have as many as 40 new faces (1/3) next election. With term limits just as our C.A.R. staff is able to start developing relationships with someone on “The Hill,” he or she is gone and the process has to start all over again. C.A.R. issues cross the aisle and staff has been there and C.A.R. has been consistent…so says the feedback we get from everyone we talk to in Sacramento. Sponsored Legislation SB 150 (Correa) CID Right to Rent – In 2008 C.A.R. was successful in sponsoring and supporting the passage of AB 2259. However, the then Governor was not impressed and vetoed it. SB 150 was a reintroduction of the issue and was passed with the new Governor signing it on July 8th. It protects a property owner in a Common Interest Development from any change in the restrictions on the right to rent a unit. The bill provides that the restrictions that were in place at the time the property was purchased apply for the length of owner irrespective of changes made by the homeowner’s association. (Chapter 62, 2011 Statutes) SB 458 (Corbett) Anti-Deficiency – This was another of the issues that C.A.R. was successful in sponsoring and supporting the passage only to have Gov. Schwarzenegger veto. While originally SB 458 would have applied to the refinance of purchase money trust deeds and cash out to the extent of the funds being used for construction or improvement of the property, it was amended through negotiations with lender groups to extend already existing protection from 1st mortgage holders to any lien holder agreeing to a short sale payment on a residence is accepting it as payment in full of the debt. It also contains prohibits any lender to ask the Seller to bring funds into the transaction. Again, this time with a new Governor with a more reasonable approach, the bill was signed July 15. (Chapter 82, 2011 Statutes) SB 510 (Correa) DRE Manager Proposal – This would allow large brokerages to delegate supervision to an office manager. The brokerages would be required to provide the DRE with a list of the managers and their offices as well as a contract with a defined list of the responsibilities placed the manager. This would not relieve the Broker of Record from accountability and supervisorial responsibilities it would give the DRE the ability to discipline the managers. The bill is on the Governor’s desk awaiting signature. It is not easy to predict whether he will sign it or not. He has a tendency to favor less bureaucracy and so this one is hard to call. AB 278 (Hill) DRE Citation and Fine Authority – This would put a system in place that would deal with “minor” infractions only and would allow for these violations to be dealt with much the same as the “Report a Violation” button in Sandicor. Unless the accused asked for an appeal, any of these violations would not have a hearing, would not go in the licensee’s file, would not be published in the DRE bulletin (it could still be found in the public record), and would carry a maximum fine of $2,500. Status: Senate Floor Position: Support AB 771 (Butler) CID Disclosure Fee Limitation – This was to close a loophole that existed with the limits Home Owner Associations (HOAs) could charge for documents. While a restriction was placed on the cost of the documents that are required by law, it did not restrict the costs charged by third parties used to provide the documentation nor did it disallow the “bundling” of non-required documentation to increase the fees that were being charged. AB 771 says ONLY the fees for the required documents can be charged and that a form must accompany the documents, detailing the documents that are required. It was signed into law by Gov. Brown on September 1. (Chapter 206, 2011 Statutes) AB 392 (Alejo) Brown Open Meeting Act – This would expand the Brown Act to require local government agencies to post not only the agenda of scheduled meetings but staff reports seventy-two (72) hours prior to the meeting and that the postings be placed on the entities website. It would not require any entity to create a website if they do not already have one. Status: Held on Assembly Appropriations Suspense file Position: Support SB 837 (Blakeslee) Modification to TDS for Water Conservation - The TDS was created by legislative action and as such any changes must go through the legislative process. This change is to allow Buyers and Sellers to be put on notice of the mandated changes in the law regarding the retrofit of properties with low-flow toilets and shower heads. For residential properties this takes effect in 2014 for all remodels and 2017 for all others. For commercial and multi-family properties owners have until 2019. It was signed by the Governor on June 30. (Chapter 61, 2011 Statutes). DRE Broker Experience Requirement The C.A.R. BOD voted to “look for opportunities” to present a bill that would restrict the right to a “Degree” Broker’s license to only those with a degree in real estate or a degree and a minimum of two (2) years “general real estate” experience. The opportunity has not presented itself and therefore C.A.R. will “SPONSOR” legislation in the next cycle. Standing Committee Reports and/or Actions Housing – NONE Land Use and Environmental There was one action item brought forward regarding the definition of “cost effective energy efficient improvements.” Refer to the report from Land Use. The motion was approved to go forward to Executive. Taxation and Government Finance Motions were brought forward and were all approved as presented. Refer to the Taxation report for more information. Transactions and Regulatory An action to “Support” the State Bar’s proposal to preserve “purchase money” status for refinanced purchase money mortgages was brought to legislature. There was a great deal of discussion regarding the fact that at this time nothing has been put to paper and therefore we were being asked to support something not yet spelled out. When all was said and done Alex Creel indicated that in a situation such as this, we were being asked to take a position that would be supported only if the finished product coincides with existing C.A.R. policy. The motion was finally approved to go forward. Additional information can be found at http://www.car.org/meetings/carmeetings/committee-materials-archive/2011fall/sept2011legcvr/

Local Government Forum

Posted by L.A. Sullivan in September CAR Reports | 0 comments

Kimberly Gross
Full Commitment Real Estate
(760) 522-6728

G.A.D Subcommittee Report
There was discussion on the business license taxes. Cities are hiring consultants to track down those who are not paying the tax. They discussed the proposal to reduce the REALTOR® Action Assessment to $39. The local association Government Affairs Directors (GADs) are against the reduction.

Issues Updates:
Climate Action Plans and Point of Sale
Placer County AOR spoke about local government cities and counties moving forward with climate action plans so they can protect general plans (AB 32) and get funds for transportation. The plans are slipping in without public notice. Major utilities are giving money to environmental groups who in tern go to small communities and offer grants. When they go through the grant process it’s easy to ignore. There is no public outreach program. It gets on the city council agenda with the Rotary club check issuance type items.

Private Transfer Fees
Placer County reports that the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) recently proposed regulation on private transfer fees (PTFs), which would prohibit Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Federal Home Loan Banks from lending on properties encumbered by private transfer fee covenants. Although C.A.R. sees it as a step in the right direction in that it purports to ban PTFs, Placer County AOR is concerned about a development of 8,500 units in their area with PTFs and the effect on the local market if buyers can’t get loans on those properties.

Foreclosure Prevention Outreach
Over the last three years the Citrus Valley AOR has done a dozen “How to Prevent Foreclosure” events with great success. They partnered with nonprofits and housing organizations. The nonprofits serve as mediators and add a sense of trust. They have access to bank officials who can make immediate decisions. About one year ago they partnered with C.A.R. in Baldwin Park. The event started at 8:00 am. People were lined up at 4:00 am in the rain. They always have a quite room for attendees. There is also a consumer credit counseling group there. The attendees have a sense of “what did I do wrong?” The organizers look at it as “where is the problem?” He recommended you partner with local government. He also recommended the outreach should also be to those who may not be in trouble now but who may need help in the future.

LACBOR (Los Angeles County Board of REALTORS®)
This group was created to fill the gap between the consumer and real estate professionals, with an emphasis on Los Angeles County. They focus on private property rights. They create a forum for REALTORS® to meet and share information. They develop and sponsor favorable legislation effecting Los Angeles County. They are able to mobilize more effectively. They are the center for collecting and disseminating political information. Their current project is a graffiti prevention program in Los Angeles.

Just Cause for Eviction
Silicon Valley said that Costa-Hawkins does not apply to eviction. Rent control ordinances control the rent they do not control evictions. The only cause of eviction is:
1) Stop paying rent.
2) Violate the lease.
3) Owner on title wants to occupy the unit. Local eviction ordinances have no state control.

Anti-Smoking Ordinances
Pasadena passed an ordinance forbidding smoking in any multi-family housing of two or more units. Smoking is prohibited inside the unit, on balconies and patios and in the common areas; HOAs, apartment owners, and/or managers do not have to enforce. The Department of Health is the enforcer. The ordinance takes effect 1/1/2013. Medical marijuana is exempt.

REALTORS® Committee on the Air Quality Management Plan
The South Coast Air Quality Management District Agency had a proposal which would require your home to have an electric vehicle recharging center. Under private property rights, the REALTORS® Committee on the Air Quality Management Plan got the proposal amended.

First-time Homebuyer Education
Northern Solano County AOR has been offering first-time homebuyer education.

GADless AOR Updates
The Downey Association has just contracted with Pacific West Association to share their GAD. South Lake Tahoe just added a GAD a week ago. They are in a politically and environmentally charged area and felt it was time.

Information Sharing
Kevin Dryer from Region 1 spoke. AB 29 was signed into law on July 7, 2011. It imposes a $150 annual wildfire protection fee for property owners in State Fire Responsibility Areas (SRA). The fee will be charged per structure, used for human occupancy commencing with the 2011-2012 fiscal year, to be assessed by the State Board of Equalization. It is a fire prevention fee not a fire fighting fee.

Merced City Council just approved a “just cause eviction” ordinance to keep tenants in place on foreclosures and short sales.


Posted by L.A. Sullivan in September CAR Reports | 0 comments

Chuck Smiar
Prudential California Realty
(760) 796-6300

At the C.A.R. meetings in San Jose, the membership committee brought forward information that shows the benefits that are available to all REALTOR® members. The member benefit list shows 150 benefits of which 121 are free to members.

Throughout the year members receive "RED ALERTS" from the Government Affairs Team. These alerts are to the members about critical situations in government affairs. Your participation is important. Vote on these issues, as they will affect your business and the well being of your clients. Take the time to understand what your membership means, and become involved in the process.

If you need information or want to get involved, talk to your representative on the Board of Directors.

MLS Computer & Business Technology

Posted by L.A. Sullivan in September CAR Reports | 0 comments

Diane Conaway
ReMax United
(760) 747-4700

The committee was presented with several Issues Briefing Papers (IBP) to better understand several issues that are arising from a state and national perspective.

An Issues Briefing Paper addresses photographs being taken of a listing by someone other than the current listing broker. This issue was discussed in May at the previous C.A.R. meetings. The proposed rule stated that anyone taking photos of a property for sale must have the permission of the owner and/or listing broker. This rule is designed to protect the safety and privacy of a homeowner by preventing unauthorized photos from being posted on websites or otherwise disseminated. There was also a proposed tiered monetary citation policy that is still being considered. The original proposal focused solely on the posting of pictures online.

Two new versions were presented at our September meeting. A proposal was made that occupants’ permission should also be obtained in the event that the home is tenant occupied to protect their privacy.

The second proposal stated that any pictures taken could be distributed via text, email or by posting online. Many REALTORS® expressed concern that it would hinder marketing efforts if potential buyers are not allowed to take photos and send to their absentee spouses or family members. For listings with only one exterior photo, buyer’s agents would not be able to take additional photos to send to prospective buyers. It was felt that this version would hinder a REALTOR’S® ability to work with their buyers and would be counterproductive to home sales.

After much discussion, both of these proposals were rejected along with the original proposal and were sent back to the committee for reworking. The intent of the proposals is to prohibit REALTORS® from posting photos on Craigslist and other websites for listings that aren’t theirs and for which they didn’t obtain permission. However, the details of the proposal need to be refined.

Private MLSs
In some markets, private online MLSs have been created. They create an opportunity for exclusive “pocket listings.”
It is mandatory for all listings to be submitted to the MLS within 48 hours in San Diego County. A seller may sign an Authorization to Exclude Listing from the MLS, but it was felt that this is a disservice to the seller by not exposing their listing to the largest amount of REALTORS® and therefore their buyers. There is concern that this practice may expose a REALTOR® to liability by not meeting their fiduciary duty to act in the best interest of one’s client. There could also be an Ethics violation if a REALTOR® does not put their client’s interests ahead of their own.


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