REAL ESTATE LAW UPDATE: February 7, 2017

1. California New Employment Law.

Beginning March 1, 2017, any business or place of public accommodation must label any
single user bathroom as “all-gender” under Health and Safety Code 118600. You can no longer label a single user bathroom as “male” or “female”.

Comment: You have got to be kidding me. Can you imagine the cost of new signage for all bathrooms from male/female to all-gender.

2. Employment Contracts Venue and Choice of Law Clauses.

Labor Code Section 925 now voids any provision that requires a California based
employee to litigate or arbitrate his or her claim in the employer’s home state outside of
California. Any employment contract entered into, modified or extended after January 1, 2017, cannot include a venue or choice of law clause. Such provisions are voidable by the employee and if the employee is required to go to court to void those provisions then they are entitled to their attorneys fees. From now on employers are going to have to come to California to litigate or arbitrate employment claims under California law if the employee is based in California.

Comment: This should cut down on lawsuits by the employer against the employee as no employer wants to take the risk of suing an employee in California with the labor laws so tilted in favor of the employee.

3. No Property Taxes Paid Equals No Adverse Possession Claim.

In the case of Nellie Gail Owners Association vs. McMullin (2016) 4 Cal App. 5th 982,
the McMullins purchased a house in Nellie Gail Ranch. In 2008 they applied to make several proposed improvements including an instillation of a new retaining wall that the McMullins claimed bordered an HOA owned park. The HOA denied the application on two separate occasions because the submitted plans did not clearly identify the property lines with a survey between the McMullin’s property and the common area lot/park. Thereafter, the McMullins just submitted one new application that was limited to their pool improvements that included a sports court, a small retaining wall etc.

A year later the McMullins went to the HOA again with another application to install the
previously denied retaining wall allegedly along the boundary line with the HOA park/lot. An HOA employee wrongfully stated that the application for the new retaining wall had been previously approved. Based upon that statement the McMullins somehow obtained a building permit from the City without obtaining any written approval from the HOA that the project had been approved. This is another mistake in the process. This time the mistake was made by the City in issuing the building permit without obtaining written HOA approval.

After discovering the construction of the retaining wall the HOA sent a cease and desist
letter telling the McMullins to stop work on the wall. Unbelievably, the HOA board decided not to pursue the wall as a violation of the CC&Rs and instructed the McMullins to meet with the HOA architect to finalize a landscaping, irrigation and drainage plan to screen the wall that had already been built.

In this comedy of errors in 2010 the City sent a letter to both the McMullins and the
HOA to inform them both that the wall was built entirely on HOA property and not on the
property line as stated by the McMullins. Therefore, the wall did not comply with City code
requirements. The City, the HOA and the McMullins could not reach a resolution concerning the improvements after the HOA owners voted to not sell the captured property by the McMullins (approximately 6,200 sqft.) to the McMullins. This was not just capturing a small area of HOA park/land, but 6,200 sqft of land.

Everyone sued, naturally, and the McMullins sought to Quiet Title of the disputed
property they had taken claiming that they owned the property by adverse possession. The HOA sued the McMullins to Quiet Title on the disputed property and sought a mandatary injunction requiring them to tear down the wall. The trial court entered judgment for the HOA on all claims and granted the mandatary injunction requiring the wall and all other improvements on the HOA property be removed. The McMullins appealed claiming two theories:

1. Equitable Estoppel in relying upon the HOA employee’s statement that they had been
approved and relying upon the City issuing them a building permit.

2. Their fallback argument was that they acquired title by adverse possession.

The Fourth District Court of Appeal affirmed the judge’s decision. The appellate court stated that the McMullins had forfeited the equitable estoppel claims by failing to raise those issues at trial. Moreover, equitable estoppel requires a party asserting the defense to be ignorant of the true facts and to justifiably rely on the conduct or statements of a party who has knowledge of such facts. Here the HOA did not have knowledge of the pertinent facts namely the retaining wall had been built entirely on its property. Additionally, the HOA’s statements instructing the McMullins to consult with their architect occurred after the McMullins had built the wall without HOA approval. Therefore, the McMullins could not have justifiably relied on the HOA’s statements in installing the retaining wall.

The court of appeal also stated that the McMullins failed to establish an adverse
possession claim because they failed to pay property taxes on the disputed property.

Comment: This was an expensive lesson for the McMullins. Not only did they have to pay their attorney to try the case in state court and an appellate attorney to appeal the case, but now they are putting on the party by having to pay the HOA’s attorneys fees to the tune of approximately $190,000.00 plus over $10,000.00 in costs. That is just for the superior court trial. They will get a costs bill as the loser on the appeal as well and they will have to pay for those attorneys fees and costs for the appeal. Ouch!

Scott Souders is a real estate attorney who has practiced real estate law in excess of 40
years in Southern California.

Disclaimer: The Real Estate Law Update cites cases or statutes which are summarized
and should not be relied upon without fully reading the cases or statute in the advance sheets and shepardizing the same and consulting with your own attorney.

 

Article courtesy of:

J. SCOTT SOUDERS, P.C.
ATTORNEY AT LAW
13 CORPORATE PLAZA DR., SUITE 200
NEWPORT BEACH, CA 92660
(949) 718-3574
(949) 718-3582 FACSIMILE
scottsouders @ sbcglobal.net

How to Trade-Up (or Down) Using a Reverese Mortgage

Home prices in many markets have gone up recently. This is leaving many retirees with sticker shock when it comes to trading up, or even trading down.

Consider Anna and Olaf who are in the process of selling their $400,000 home. They’ll be left with net proceeds of approx. $364,000 after paying 9% in sales expenses (transfer taxes, real estate commissions, etc.). The new house they want to purchase costs $500,000, leaving them $136,000 short.

  • Option 1: sell or liquidate $136,000 worth of investments or retirement assets. They will need to “gross up” the withdrawal for taxes if the funds are in a taxable account such as a conventional 401(k). Assuming a 25% tax bracket, they will actually need to withdraw $181,333 from the account, pay their 25% income taxes, and walk away with net proceeds of $136,000. Ouch!
  • Option 2: use a $136,000 Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM), also known as a “reverse mortgage”. In this case, there would be no monthly mortgage payment. Anna and Olaf could preserve their retirement assets and buy their new home without any impact on their cash flow.

Please contact me for more information or if you’d like for me to run the numbers for your situation.

Or click here to apply for a mortgage loan.

Don Parsons
NMLS Number: 287222
Commerce Home Mortgage
Corporate NMLS Number: 1839
dparsons@commercemtg.com
http://www.donparsons.com
(949) 428-3099
450 Newport Center Dr. Suite 200
Newport Beach, California 92660

Alert: Reduced FHA Insurance Premiums Repealed

HUD SUSPENDS MIP REDUCTION

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that the recent Reduction of Mortgage Insurance Premiums (MIP), outlined in FHA Letter 2017-01 were suspended.

According to posted information from Housing Wire, the letter stated that a subsequent Mortgagee Letter will be issued at a later date should this suspension or policy change.

“FHA is commited to ensuring its mortgage insurance programs remains viable and effective in the long term for all parties involved, especially our taxpayers,..”
as stated in the letter this afternoon.

Please see this link to read the full article, but know that CHM is committed to you and your borrowers and with this suspension of policy, there will be some loans that will need correcting in respect to compliance.

Please contact us today should you have questions.

Don Parsons
Mortgage Advisor
(949) 428-3099
dparsons@commercemtg.com

New Real Estate Laws Passed In 2016

REAL ESTATE LAW UPDATE
From J. SCOTT SOUDERS, P.C. , ATTORNEY AT LAW

  1. Advertising Requirements Using “Team Names”.

Business and Professions Code Sections 10159.5 through 10159.7 governs the use of a “team name” and a fictitious business name in real estate sales advertising. Those provisions require a responsible broker’s name to be displayed as prominently and conspicuously as a team name in all advertising and defined such terms as “team name”, “responsible broker’s identity” and “fictitious business name”.

Effective August 29, 2016, chapter 224 revises the definition of “responsible broker’s identity” to mean either (1) the name under which the responsible broker is currently licensed; or (2) both that name and the associated license number. This bill was enacted to correct a drafting error that previously required listing both the name and license number of the responsible broker when the intent was to require one or the other, but not both.

  1. Broker/Salespersons

Under Business and Professions Code 10161.8 brokers are required to immediately notify the BRE whenever they employ, or terminate the employment of, a real estate salesperson. A willful or knowing violation of this law is a crime punishable as a misdemeanor.

Effective January 1, 2018, Business and Professions Code 10161.8 requires brokers to state whether the newly hired salesperson is an associate licensee and, if the associate licensee is a broker, to identify each responsible broker with whom the licensee is contractually associated.

  1. Advertising Disclosures

Under Business and Professions Code 10140.6 licensees are required to disclose certain information, including their license numbers on all advertising materials intended to the first point of contact with consumers and on Real Property Purchase Agreements. Under current law these disclosure requirements do not apply to “for sale” signs or to advertisements in print or electronic media.

Effective January 1, 2018, Business and Professions Code 10140.6 will require the licensee’s name and the responsible broker’s identity to be included in those solicitation materials and Purchase Agreements. Also beginning in 2018 the disclosure requirements under Business and Professions Code 10140.6 will apply to (1) printed and electronic advertisements; (2) for sale, for rent, for lease and open house signs as well as directional signs.

Comment: No doubt this law was pushed by the lobbyist for the sign industry.

  1. Common Interest Developments

The Davis Sterling Act, Civil Code Sections 4000 to 6150 requires HOAs to maintain the common areas including repairing damage caused by wood destroying pests such as termites. Under CC 4785 the HOAs may require an occupant to temporarily vacate the unit in order to apply pesticide. The HOA much give at least 15 days advance notice of the need to temporarily vacate to the occupants and the owners.

Under CC 1940.8.5 landlords must notify tenants before they can apply pesticide to a unit or the common area. The notice must contain specific information about the targeted pests and the pesticide to be applied among other details.

  1. Foreclosing After Death of Owner.

Civil Code Section 2920.7 was recently enacted in 2016 which prohibits a lender from foreclosing once they have been notified that the borrower has died. The lender cannot record a Notice of Default until (1) requesting reasonable documentation of the borrower’s death from the claimant; (2) give the claimant at least 30 days to provide that documentation, Civil Code 2920.7(a). The servicer must also provide the claimant with certain information about the loan and must allow the claimant to apply to assume the loan and/or seek a foreclosure prevention alternative, Civil Code 2920.7(c)(d). Claimants remedies for violations for this new law include injunctive relief, attorneys fees and costs, Civil Code 2920.7(e).

  1. Landlord/Tenant Commercial Leasing.

Since 2013 commercial landlords have been required to state on every Lease form or Rental Agreement whether the premises comply with all construction related accessability standards as determined by a certified access specialist (CASp) pursuant to Civil Code 1938. Now to further force commercial landlords and prospective tenants to address accessability issues during lease negotiations that disclosure requirement has now been expanded pursuant to Civil Code 1938 as follows:

(a)        Every Commercial Lease form or Agreement signed after January 1, 2017, must state whether the premises have undergone a CASp inspection, Civil Code 1938(a).

(b)        If the premises have been inspected and meet all disability access requirements the landlord must give prospective tenants a copy of any CASp inspection certificate and report before the Lease is signed. If the landlord does not give the report to the tenant at least 48 hours before the Lease is signed the tenant can rescind the Lease on the basis of the information in the report within 72 hours after signing the Lease, Civil Code 1938(c). If the tenant did not receive the report before signing the Lease, the landlord must give the tenant a copy of it within 7 days after signing the Lease, Civil Code 1938(d).

Scott Souders is a real estate attorney who has practiced real estate law in excess of 40 years in Southern California.

Disclaimer: The Real Estate Law Update cites cases or statutes which are summarized and should not be relied upon without fully reading the cases or statute in the advance sheets and shepardizing the same and consulting with your own attorney.

December Holiday Special for Borrowers and Realtors!

With holiday schedules fast approaching, working with the wrong lending partner can cause significant delays at closing. CHM is proud to offer you GUARANTEED 24 hour underwriting on all purchase transactions in the month of December.

In addition, we are offering all borrowers with December contracts, the following pricing credits to offset their closing closts:

• Jumbo ARM: 0.25% *
• Conventional & Government ARM: 0.50% *
• Fixed Government Purchases: 0.50% *

Please forward this information to any borrowers who are currently in contract or call me today with any questions.

Don Parsons
Mortgage Advisor
NMLS# 287222
(949) 428-3099
dparsons@commercemtg.com

Condo Homeowner Sued by HOA for Hardwood Flooring

REAL ESTATE LAW UPDATE: September 10, 2015

If for any reason you wish to review a law update for a case that has previously been cited,
law updates for the past year are on my website, Scottsouders.com. Enclosed herewith for your review are brief summaries of new cases.

Homeowners Association Successful in Obtaining An Injunction Against Owner

In the case of Ryland Mews vs. Munoz, 234 Cal App. 4th 705, the HOA sued Munoz for
Injunctive Relief and Nuisance among other causes of action when Munoz, without the HOA approval, installed hardwood floors in his condominium. The condominiums in this building all had carpeting rather than hardwood floors in order to mitigate sound transfer through the floors.

Munoz claims that his wife has a disability that requires hardwood floors because she has
a severe dust allergy. The owners claimed she cannot live in an atmosphere that has dust. They argued that the carpets collected dust. Therefore, it was a requirement based upon her disability and health that the hardwood floors be installed.

The downstairs neighbor could not handle the sound transfer through the floors claiming it
was a nuisance and the sound and noise became “greatly amplified” and “intolerable”. The
downstairs neighbor further claimed based upon the noise that it was difficult to relax, read book, watch television or sleep.

The HOA sued seeking an Injunction and Declaratory Relief declaring that the CC&R’s
prevented the Munoz’s from installing hardwood floors. The homeowner lost at the trial level and appealed to the Court of Appeal.

The court agreed that the HOA was reasonable in requiring that the Munoz’s mitigate their
sound damages. A modification/stipulation of the HOA to the owners to accommodate her claimed disability was to install throw rugs to be placed on 80% of the floors outside of the kitchen and bath areas.

The Appellate Court affirmed the Trial Court’s decision by allowing for the modification intermin solution by placing 80% of the area throw rugs. The Appellate Court determined that was not abuse of discretion by the Trial Judge.

Comment: Seems like the Munoz’s spent a great deal of oney being forced to comply with rules that were running with the and when they purchased their condominium. The only parties/entities that made out on this case was the condominium association’s attorneys and the Munoz’s attorneys.

J. SCOTT SOUDERS, P.C.
ATTORNEY AT LAW
13 CORPORATE PLAZA DR., SUITE 200
NEWPORT BEACH, CA 92660
(949) 718-3574
(949) 718-3582 FACSIMILE
scottsouders @ sbcglobal.net

Mortgage Market Weekly – Update August 10, 2015

In This Issue…

Last Week in Review: July’s Jobs Report showed continued signs of improvement.

Forecast for the Week: Thursday’s Retail Sales report will be the closely watched release on a light economic calendar.

View: Wrap up your summer with a reading list to boost morale and motivate you to take on the rest of the year.

Last Week in Review

“Working 9 to 5. What a way to make a living.” Dolly Parton. A heavy economic calendar culminated the week with July’s Jobs Report singing of work for many Americans. The housing market showed strong gains as well.

housing-price-index_2015-06-22Employers added 215,000 new jobs in July, while the figures for May and June were revised higher by a total of 13,000 jobs. Retail, health care and leisure led the pack with job opportunities. The unemployment rate held on to its seven-year low, which is also good news. While the average workweek increased, growth rate of wages remains at the lowest levels on record.

Home prices jumped in June. Research firm CoreLogic reported that home prices rose 6.5 percent, marking the 40th consecutive month of year-over-year gains. While prices are still down from the peak in April 2006, they are expected to continue to rise. CoreLogic cited pent-up demand, affordability and a more robust labor market for the gains.

Data continues to show that the job market, housing sector and economy overall are improving, even though inflation remains below the Fed’s 2 percent target. The big question now is whether or not our economy has improved enough for the Federal Reserve to begin raising its benchmark Fed Funds Rate (the rate banks use to lend each other money overnight). September’s Federal Open Market Committee meeting provides the next opportunity to see what the Fed will do.

For now, home loan rates remain near historic lows. Let me know if I can answer any questions at all about the mortgage market, housing or home loan rates for you or your clients.

Forecast for the Week

This week’s economic calendar is light, though the second half of the week features several key reports.

  • Tuesday kicks off with data from second quarter Productivity.
  • Jump ahead to Thursday with weekly Initial Jobless Claims and the closely watched Retail Sales report.
  • On Friday, the Consumer Sentiment and the Producer Price Indexes will be released.

Remember: Weak economic news normally causes money to flow out of Stocks and into Bonds, helping Bonds and home loan rates improve. In contrast, strong economic news normally has the opposite result. The chart below shows Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS), which are the type of Bond on which home loan rates are based.

When you see these Bond prices moving higher, it means home loan rates are improving; and when they are moving lower, home loan rates are getting worse.

To go one step further a red “candle” means that MBS worsened during the day, while a green “candle” means MBS improved during the day. Depending on how dramatic the changes are on any given day, this can cause rate changes throughout the day, as well as on the rate sheets we start with each morning.

As you can see in the chart below, Mortgage Bonds improved throughout the latter part of July. Home loan rates remain near historic lows.

Chart: Fannie Mae 3.5% Mortgage Bond (Friday Aug 07, 2015):

mtgbonds_2015-08-02

The Mortgage Market Guide View…

Summer of Success Reading List

If you’re looking for a few great titles to wrap up your summer reading, look no further than these top picks from Amazon’s Best Seller list! These great reads will boost your morale and motivate you to take on the rest of the year.

Getting to Yes with Yourself (and Other Worthy Opponents) is the highly anticipated follow up to “Getting to Yes: Negotiation Agreement Without Giving In.” Harvard University professor and negotiation expert William Ury addresses one of the most common obstacles to achieving goals: negative self-talk.

StrengthsFinder 2.0 asks if you have the opportunity to do what you do best every day. For many, natural talents go untapped. Instead, people devote more time to fixing perceived shortcomings than to developing and using strengths. This book reveals how to change the pattern.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing shares the secrets of the most popular organization consultant in Tokyo. Disorganization contributes to problems in both business and life. But author Marie Kondo (whose consultancy has a three-month waiting list) promises if you organize your home or office just once—and do it properly—you’ll never have to do it again, and you’ll see positive results.

The Achievement Habit: Stop Wishing, Start Doing, and Take Command of Your Life written by the co-founder of Stanford’s d.School, Bernard Roth, shares thinking insights gained from solving large-scale design projects. Gain confidence, overcome obstacles that keep you from your potential, and learn to think more creatively from one of the masters of applied creative thought.

As always, feel free to pass these helpful tips along to your team, your clients and colleagues!

econ-cal-2015-08-08_0-48-45

The material contained in this newsletter is provided by a third party to real estate, financial services and other professionals only for their use and the use of their clients. The material provided is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as investment and/or mortgage advice. Although the material is deemed to be accurate and reliable, we do not make any representations as to its accuracy or completeness and as a result, there is no guarantee it is without errors.

Don Parsons
Commerce Home Mortgage – NMLS 2105
450 Newport Center Drive Suite 480
Newport Beach, CA 92660
2130 Main Street Suite 260
Huntington Beach, CA 92648

REAL ESTATE LAW UPDATE: July 20, 2015

Appraiser Hired By Lender Owes No Duty to Borrower.

In the case of Willemsen vs. Mitrosilis, 230 Cal App. 4th 622, the Court of Appeal affirmed
the trial court’s decision that the appraiser hired by the lender owed no duty to the borrower. Therefore, the borrower could not sue the appraiser for negligence or negligent misrepresentation. [Read more…]

Mortgage Market Weekly – Update June 26, 2015

In This Issue…

Last Week in Review: The housing sector is batting strong, while the overall economy showed signs of a slump.

Forecast for the Week: The markets may be closed on Friday, but not before key reports on housing, manufacturing and the labor sector are released.

View: Check out these six keys to maximizing your success.

Last Week in Review

“You don’t have to swing hard to hit a home run. If you got the timing, it’ll go.” Yogi Berra. May was a good time for the housing sector, as several reports came in strong.

jun26-new-home-salesNew Home Sales hit their highest level in seven years in May, rising 2.2 percent from April to an annualized rate of 546,000. April’s figures were also revised higher to 534,000. Sales of new single-family homes are up nearly 20 percent from May 2014! Existing Home Sales also rose 5.1 percent in May from April.

However, the economy overall isn’t batting as well, as the final reading for first quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) showed that economic growth contracted by 0.2 percent, though less severe than the -0.7 percent from the second reading. In addition, the negative reading for the quarter was the fifth time in the six-year recovery that the economy couldn’t produce at least an anemic reading of 1 percent.

Growth in the first quarter was stunted by a negative trade balance due to the stronger dollar, harsh weather and the West Coast port closing. And with inflation still tame, rest assured the Fed will be watching economic reports closely this summer, as they determine when to raise the benchmark Fed Funds Rate (the rate banks charge each other to lend money overnight).

Overseas, the uncertainty surrounding Greece continues. Mortgage Bonds reversed course and moved lower in recent days, in part because signs have pointed to a possible deal. This will be a key story to watch in the next week.

Home loan rates are near 2015 highs, but are still very close to historic lows. If I can answer any questions at all for you or your clients about a home purchase or refinance, please get in touch!

Forecast for the Week

The fireworks could begin early in this holiday-shortened but jam-packed week.

  • In the housing sector, Pending Home Sales will be released on Monday, followed by the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index on Tuesday.
  • Look for manufacturing data from the Chicago PMI on Tuesday and the ISM Index on Wednesday.
  • Consumer Confidence will also be released on Tuesday.
  • The first of two key reports on the labor sector will be released on Wednesday with the ADP National Employment Report.
  • Thursday is the big day with the June Jobs Report, which includes Non-farm Payrolls, Hourly Earnings and the Unemployment Rate. Weekly Initial Jobless Claims will also be reported on Thursday, as usual.

All U.S. markets will be closed on Friday in observance of the July 4th holiday.

Remember: Weak economic news normally causes money to flow out of Stocks and into Bonds, helping Bonds and home loan rates improve, while strong economic news normally has the opposite result. The chart below shows Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS), which are the type of Bond on which home loan rates are based.

When you see these Bond prices moving higher, it means home loan rates are improving and when they are moving lower, home loan rates are getting worse.

To go one step further a red “candle” means that MBS worsened during the day, while a green “candle” means MBS improved during the day. Depending on how dramatic the changes were on any given day, this can cause rate changes throughout the day, as well as on the rate sheets we start with each morning.

As you can see in the chart below, Mortgage Bonds have struggled in recent days. I’ll be watching closely to see if they’re able to bounce back in the days and weeks ahead.

Chart: Fannie Mae 3.5% Mortgage Bond (Friday Jun 26, 2015)

jun26-bonds-chart

The Mortgage Market Guide View…

6 Keys to Remarkable Success

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” Aristotle, 345 B.C.

The myth that people are born talented is evaporating. The scientific community is at last catching up with what even Aristotle knew—the difference between success and non-success, skill and mediocrity, is a matter of dedication and time rather than innate ability.

But can the way you practice make a difference? Yes, says Tony Schwartz, author of “The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working,” who offers six principles for becoming really good at anything:

Pursue your passion. Passion will keep you motivated better than anything. If you can’t be passionate, find something else or you may burn out.

Hard work first. Most experts (and experts who study experts) say that practicing first thing in the morning when you have the most energy is best.

Practice intensely, but not too long. Working without interruption for short periods of no longer than 90 minutes with short breaks (and not longer than 4.5 hours each day) seems to be the norm for top performers.

Get feedback in small doses. Too much advice too frequently can impede learning and make you gun shy. Focus on your own experiments.

Refresh regularly. All work and no play … stinks! And it won’t help you in the long run. Plus, if it’s a breakthrough you want, rest is the best thing for activating your creative right hemisphere.

Ritualize practice. Time blocking ensures you don’t have to expend any energy thinking about when or how to work.

As always, feel free to pass these helpful tips along to your team, clients and colleagues!

econ-calendar-20150626

The material contained in this newsletter is provided by a third party to real estate, financial services and other professionals only for their use and the use of their clients. The material provided is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as investment and/or mortgage advice. Although the material is deemed to be accurate and reliable, we do not make any representations as to its accuracy or completeness and as a result, there is no guarantee it is without errors.

Don Parsons
Commerce Home Mortgage – NMLS 2105
450 Newport Center Drive Suite 480
Newport Beach, CA 92660
2130 Main Street Suite 260
Huntington Beach, CA 92648

New Smoke Alarm Laws Take Place on July 15, 2015

The exemption that currently exists for battery powered smoke alarms installed prior to July 1, 2014, expires shortly on July 15, 2015.

Here are the new laws that you must abide by or else risk legal exposure if there is a fire:

  1. Battery operated smoke alarms must be replaced with those that contain a sealed battery and is rated to last at least 10 years. All hard wired smoke alarms must comply with provisions that have a label showing the date of instillation and manufacturer.

Product Requirements

  1. Can be hardwired with a battery backup or solely battery powered, but must contain a nonremovable battery that is rated 10 years.
  2. Must display the date the product was manufactured and must have a place to display the date it is installed on the smoke alarm.
  3. Must have a built in hush feature.Places Where One Must Have Smoke Alarm 
  4. Every bedroom
  5. Hallways leading to bedrooms that are centrally located outside sleeping areas.
  6. Every level/floor including basement.
  7. If mounted on the ceiling should be at least 4 inches from the wall.
  8. If mounted on the wall should be 4-12 inches from the ceiling.

    Landlord Requirements

  9. All of the above mentioned requirements pertain to landlords. In addition, the landlord cannot make the tenant responsible for testing or maintaining the smoke alarm. It is now the landlord’s responsibility.

Scott Souders is a real estate attorney who has practiced real estate law in excess of 39 years in Southern California.

Disclaimer: The Real Estate Law Update cites cases or statutes which are summarized and
should not be relied upon without fully reading the cases or statute in the advance sheets and shepardizing the same and consulting with your own attorney.

J. SCOTT SOUDERS, P.C.
ATTORNEY AT LAW
13 CORPORATE PLAZA DR., SUITE 200
NEWPORT BEACH, CA 92660
(949) 718-3574
(949) 718-3582 FACSIMILE
scottsouders @ sbcglobal.net