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PSAR members learn how new state laws will impact real estate.

posted Feb 3, 2017, 4:04 PM by Joyce Evans   [ updated Feb 3, 2017, 4:05 PM ]
PSAR members recently attended a legal update from Gov Hutchinson, assistant general counsel with the California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.). 
“The real estate profession becomes more complicated every year,” Hutchinson said. “Last year, the state legislature introduced about 1,600 new laws and the governor signed about 800 of them with 50 of them relating to real estate.”
Among the latest updates from Hutchinson:
  • REALTORS® should be aware of an additional question that now appears on the disclosure form. The question asks a seller if their home is in compliance with water conservation plumbing fixtures, including toilets, faucets and shower heads. Most homes built after 1992 comply with this requirement.
  • Starting Jan. 1, 2018, REALTORS® are required to include their California Bureau of Real Estate (BRE) license number on all first point of contact solicitation marketing materials, including flyers, advertisements, social media and signage such as directional signs, open house signs and for sale signs.
  • In the matter of dual agency, when REALTORS® are with the same firm, both must act in the interest of buyer and seller. A real estate professional who represented a seller of a home owes a fiduciary duty to not only the seller but also the buyer if the buyer’s agent happens to work for the same brokerage.
  • If California cities receive fewer dollars from the U.S. government under the Trump administration, then Hutchinson said local officials may be forced to make up the difference with additional fees, which could affect real estate transactions and REALTORS®. “Nothing has happened yet, but we have concerns,” Hutchinson said.
Hutchinson identified other new statewide laws affecting real estate professionals:
  • Landlords and tenants should prepare for new requirements to facilitate the prompt treatment and control of bed bugs in residential rental housing. The requirements go into effect July 1, 2017 for new tenants and Jan.1, 2018 for existing tenants.
  • Starting Jan. 1, 2018, a licensee of the Bureau of Real Estate will be able to petition the Real Estate Commissioner to remove his or her notice of disciplinary action from the Bureau’s Internet website because the information is no longer necessary to prevent a credible risk to the public.
  • A homeowner association in a common interest development, or its agent, is now required to provide an owner or tenant of a separate interest with advance written notice of the application of pesticides to the separate interest or to a common area when done without a licensed structural pest control operator.
A 31-year employee at C.A.R., Hutchinson manages C.A.R.’s Member Legal Services Program and C.A.R.’s Legal Hotline, which advises REALTORS® on aspects of real estate law. The hotline answers nearly 400 calls a day, an increase from 70 calls a day when Hutchinson joined C.A.R. in 1985.