Investment property owners in Long Beach need to be familiar with the federal, state and local laws that govern rental property, landlords and tenants. Mistakes can easily be made, not because you intend to break the law, but because you simply don’t know what the laws are. If you’re not up to date on all these regulations, make sure you educate yourself or turn your property over to a professional Long Beach property manager who makes it a point to know and follow all the applicable laws.
Unruh Civil Rights Act
The Unruh Civil Rights Act is legislation specific to California which ensures fair and equal accommodation to all tenants. This means you cannot discriminate against a renter based on sex, race, color, ancestry, national origin, age, disability, marital status, medical condition or sexual orientation. It’s comprehensive and extends to all businesses. Since your investment property is, in effect, a business, you need to follow this law.
City Codes and Ordinances
Depending on where your rental property is located, you’ll be required to follow the local codes and ordinances that are in place. For example, Long Beach does not have rent control ordinances, but many California communities do. You need to know what you can and cannot do when it comes to raising rent, making repairs and conducting inspections.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act
Many landlords don’t think about this law applying to them, but it does. If you reject a potential tenant based on their credit, you need to send a letter explaining the action you took. You also need to ensure that all of the personal and financial information you collect on tenants and prospective tenants is stored securely and not available to the public.
Fair Housing Laws
The federal fair housing laws protect tenants from discrimination, similar to the Unruh Civil Rights Act. You cannot discriminate in your advertising, screening or leasing. The best way to avoid fair housing problems is to have a set of documented procedures in place and to treat everyone consistently.
These are just a few of the laws and regulations you need to be familiar with as a California landlord. If you need help understanding them, please contact us at CMC Realty & Property Management, and we’d be happy to tell you more.