Happy Holidays! It’s nearly the end of the year, here are five previously discussed Legal Matters that real estate professionals should continuously be aware heading into the New Year.
- New NAR Regulation on Pocket Listings – Under the new MLS Statement 8.0, if a listing is marketed to the public in any way, the listing must be submitted to the MLS by the next business day. This new policy will be effective January 1, 2020, and all MLS’s and brokers must implement it by May 1, 2020.
- California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) – The California legislature passed the CCPA, which will apply to any for-profit businesses in California that directly or indirectly collects consumers’ personal information. It can potentially apply to large brokerages and real estate sales operations. It takes effect January 1, 2020.
- New Bills Enacted to Address Affordable Housing Crisis – The Tenant Protection Act of 2019, effective January 1, 2020, will cap annual rent increase for non-exempt residential properties in California at 5 percent plus inflation or up to 10 percent, whichever is lower. The act further prohibits a landlord from terminating a tenancy without “just cause.” Landlords of residential properties are required to provide a notice to their tenants before the end of this year. CAR’s new “Rent Cap and Just Cause Addendum” (Form RCJC) is available to be used as a notice to tenant or an addendum to leases.
- Earnest Money Deposit Disputes – The most common claim buyers and sellers make against each other is for the release of the “earnest money” deposit. If the buyer cancels the contract after all contingencies have been removed or waived, generally, the seller is entitled to keep the deposit as liquidated damages, assuming the liquidated damages provision in the contract is properly executed.
- Cancellation Right Associated with Delivery of the Visual Inspection – On January 1, 2019, several real estate “clean-up” laws become effective to eliminate confusion in the existing law. The law is now clear on the buyer’s right to cancel based upon receipt of the listing agent’s visual inspection.