This post originally appeared on Burt M. Polson's Real Estate Journal and is republished with permission. Find out how to syndicate your content with theBrokerList.


Being a real estate broker and a member of the California Association of Realtors I receive year-end updates of new laws for the coming year in California. It is good for us to know what to expect and how our legislators are best representing our interests.

But, before we review a few of the new laws I thought I would start off with a few old laws that used to be on the books in California cities according to

  • You are not permitted to wear cowboy boots unless you already own at least two cows

  • It is illegal to spit, except on baseball diamonds

  • Ice cream may not be eaten while standing on the sidewalk

  • Bowling on the sidewalk is illegal

  • Men who wear mustaches are forbidden from kissing women

  • No person may show his or her buttocks on a playground

  • It is illegal to curse on a mini-golf course

  • It is illegal to wipe one’s car with used underwear

  • Persons classified as “ugly” may not walk down any street

It is a good thing our legislators matured in the significance of new laws. Here are a few significant new laws for 2016:

  • Hosting platforms (like Airbnb) will be required to warn a tenant subletting a room that doing so could violate his lease

  • Residents (in an HOA) and tenants are now allowed to dry their clothes on a clothesline or drying rack

  • The Energy Use Disclosure for Nonresidential Buildings law, which went into effect in 2015 is now repealed

  • You can no longer discriminate based upon citizenship, primary language, or immigration status

  • An insurer may not discriminate on a renter’s source of income or receipt of public assistance

  • A landlord is not obligated to repair dilapidations relating to mold until he receives notice of it or if the tenant fails to keep the property clean thereby contributing to the mold problem

  • A landlord must post notice if a pesticide is applied by an unlicensed pest control operator

  • Hotels, motels and landlords cannot price gouge for any rental housing during states of  emergency

  • Victims of domestic violence or sexual assault may terminate their lease with 14 days notice

  • Mobilehome park management must provide in writing to a buyer or seller the standards that will be utilized in determining if the prospective homeowner will be accepted

  • Revocable transfer on death deed created at time of death allows a homeowner to transfer title to a beneficiary upon the owner’s death without a probate proceeding

  • The existing law allowing a Municipal Utility District to place liens on a property for unpaid water or sewer services provided to a tenant is extended indefinitely

  • A municipality cannot enact or enforce an ordinance or regulation that prohibits the installation of drought tolerant landscaping, synthetic grass or artificial turf on residential property

  • A municipality cannot impose a fine to a property owner for failure to water a lawn or having a brown lawn during a declared drought emergency

As always I welcome your comments, suggestions and questions.

Burt M. Polson, CCIM, is a real estate broker with ACRES Real Estate Services Inc. Reach him at 707-254-8000, [email protected]. Sign up for his email newsletter at

Photo credit: © 2014 Shelly ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ . Licensed under CC-BY.

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