SFAA's 2012 Trophy Awards will take place on November 29, 2012, at the St. Regis Hotel
The San Francisco Apartment Association is proud to announce its 2012 Trophy Awards, which will be held November 29, 2012, at the St. Regis Hotel. This is the first year the awards, which celebrate the best service providers and owners in the apartment industry, will be held at the St. Regis, after several wonderful years at the Palace Hotel.
The Trophy awards honor the firms, employees and properties that lead San Francisco's rental housing community. Categories include: Property Management Firm of the Year, Independent Owner of the Year, Resident Manager of the Year, Leasing Agent of the Year, Maintenance Manager of the Year, Green Building of the Year, and much more. Tickets are on sale for $160 each and may be purchased now at sfaa.org. For sponsorship opportunities, contact SFAA's Carol Cintas or Vanessa Khaleel at 415-255-2288.
ADA Lawsuit Bill Moves Forward
A bill aimed at helping businesses deal with lawsuits brought under the Americans with Disabilities Act unanimously passed the California Senate recently. Senate Bill 1186 would ban “demand-for-money” letters. In these letters, lawyers often order businesses to pay a set amount, plus their exorbitant legal fees, in exchange for dropping the case. The bill was authored by Senate Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) and Senator Bob Dutton (R-Rancho Cucamonga).
SB 1186 also would require attorneys to send a notice letter, listing any alleged construction-related violations, at least 30 days before filing a lawsuit. In addition, the measure would require landlords to disclose whether their buildings or properties are state certified and in compliance with ADA laws. SB 1186 also hopes to resolve conflicts between state and federal standards, which some believe are adding to the number of lawsuits filed.
Other bills came up this session that also targeted ADA lawsuits, but SB 1186 was the only one that gained any traction.
No Online Rent Requirement
The state Senate approved a bill by Senator Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) that would prohibit landlords from requiring tenants to pay their rent online. Senate bill 1055 would allow tenants to continue paying rent with checks and money orders. at press time, the measure was headed to the assembly for consideration.
Lieu said the issue was brought to his attention late last year, when a property management group notified residents of a 300-unit apartment complex in Los Angeles that rent would only be accepted through online payments. Current laws do not specify how rent can be paid, he added.
Declawing Could be Disallowed
Landlords in california may soon be barred from requiring tenants with pets to declaw or devocalize the animals. The legislature appears close to passing a new law which prohibits a landlord who allows tenants or occupants to have animals on the premises from advertising the property in a way that discourages individuals from applying because their animal is not declawed or devocalized; refusing to allow, negotiate, or make the property available for occupancy because of a person's refusal to declaw or devocalize an animal; or requiring a tenant or occupant to declaw or devocalize an animal that is allowed on the premises. this bill provides for prosecution of an offending landlord and a civil penalty of $1,000 per animal for every violation.
The measure is supported by at least 21 animal rights groups, including the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association, which stated that the law will "protect tenants from being forced to choose between securing housing for their families and subjecting their pets to unnecessary, costly and life-altering medical procedures."
At press time, the bill was proceeding through the legislature. A proposed effective date has not yet been announced.
Pelosi Criticizes Pot Policy That Targets Landlords
House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi has joined critics of the Obama administration’s campaign against medical marijuana suppliers in california, saying the government is endangering patients and undermining its own proclaimed policy of deferring to states on the issue.
"I have strong concerns about the recent actions by the federal government that threaten the safe access of medical marijuana to alleviate the suffering of patients in california," the San Francisco congresswoman said in a statement.
It was Pelosi's first public criticism of the actions announced in October 2011 by U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag of San Francisco and federal prosecutors in the state's other three regions to crack down on marijuana dispensaries by going after their landlords. The prosecutors said they would notify dispensaries' landlords that they were violating federal drug laws and that they could lose their property or face criminal prosecution.
Since then, about 300 marijuana dispensaries in California have shut down because of fears of prosecution or eviction, including five in San Francisco, said Kris Hermes, spokesman for the advocacy group Americans for Safe Access. He said more than 1,000 medical marijuana suppliers are still operating in the state.