Happy New Year!
2016 was a year of challenges and opportunities for California REALTORS® and the real estate industry. The housing market maintained a strong sales pace for much of the year, but a continued shortage of homes for sale and rising prices are likely to hamper the market this year. And it’s still uncertain how the new Congress and new Administration will tackle a number of issues that affect real estate, including tax reform, healthcare insurance, flood insurance, and GSE reform.
The pace of change will continue to accelerate in the industry, but C.A.R.’s leadership team will confront the crucial issues – from educating you on new technologies to working with policymakers to effect positive change in the real estate industry. Specifically, we’ll look to increase the housing shortage that has plagued California and address the state’s housing affordability crisis. We will keep you apprised of all that C.A.R. is doing to help REALTORS® stay central in transactions in 2017.
A new year always brings with it new laws. A number of laws went into effect on January 1, 2017, that affects you and the real estate industry. Below are some of the laws that may affect REALTORS®.
Uniform Advertising Standards – Beginning Jan. 1, 2018, all first point of contact solicitation materials must include: the name and number of the licensee; and the responsible broker’s “identity,” meaning the name under which the broker is currently licensed by the BRE and conducts business in general or is a substantial division of the real estate firm. The broker’s license number is optional.
Broker Associates Searchable Information – Beginning Jan. 1, 2018, CalBRE’s public licensee information, as provided on CalBRE’s website, will indicate whether a licensee is an “associate licensee” and, if the associate licensee is a broker, will identify each responsible broker with whom the licensee is contractually associated. This law also requires the responsible broker to immediately notify CalBRE in writing whenever a broker-associate is hired or terminated.
Disciplinary Action Records Petition – Beginning Jan. 1, 2018, a licensee may petition CalBRE to remove a past disciplinary action record from his or her online profile after 10 years. CalBRE retains discretion to grant the petition.
Disclosures Liability Protections of Environmental Hazards Booklet – Liability protections for delivery of the Residential Environmental Hazards booklet was extended to include leases of more than one year (effective Jan. 1, 2017). Visit here for additional laws or contact the Legal Hotline.
In Sacramento, C.A.R. had a very successful legislative year in 2016. To begin, thanks to REALTORS® responding to a Red Alert, C.A.R. achieved last minute amendments to AB 1381 (Weber), which removed proposed exemptions to the real estate license law that would have permitted non-licensees to broker leases, sales, and easements for the placement of outdoor advertising.
C.A.R. also successfully opposed and defeated several bills, including:
- SB 1445 (Hertzberg) Service Taxes – This bill, among other things, would have imposed a tax on services, including real estate transaction services (e.g., brokerage commissions, structural pest control inspections, escrow services, etc.). C.A.R. opposed SB 1445 because a tax on services disproportionately burdens real estate transactions, which are “services intensive.”
- AB 2502 (Mullin and Chiu) Rent Control – This bill would have allowed local governments to establish inclusionary housing requirements (rent control) as a condition of the development of residential rental units. C.A.R. opposed AB 2502 because it would have created a statewide statutory authority to impose inclusionary zoning, resulting in the elimination of the new construction exemption from rent control laws.
Additionally, C.A.R. sponsored several bills in 2016 that were signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown, including:
- AB 2693 (Dababneh) Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Loans – This measure requires a TRID-like disclosure be provided to a property owner participating in a PACE program, a 3 day right of rescission, and a notice that the property owner may not be able to refinance or sell without paying off the PACE “loan.”
- AB 2476 (Daly) Parcel Tax Vote Notification – Under current law, resident property owners receive notice of proposed parcel taxes with receipt of their ballot pamphlet while non-resident property owners do not receive any notice whatsoever. This bill requires notice of a parcel tax to be given to non-resident property owners after it has been approved.
Lastly, I’m excited to tell you about the rollout of the new car.org website that was designed with you in mind. You can get in and out quickly and efficiently to find what you need. Using your input and feedback, we created a contemporary design so you can navigate with ease, save articles, and more. The best part? You can access it anywhere—whether on your phone, in a client meeting on your tablet, or at your desk. The new car.org is now available as a public beta preview at new.car.org. During the beta launch, the current car.org will still be available, but we hope you’ll try the new car.org. Take a look, scroll, search, and explore. The redesigned car.org will officially launch Feb. 6, 2017, with navigation tutorials and other help features to make the transition even easier.
CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®