BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                      AB 1448


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          ASSEMBLY THIRD READING


          AB  
          1448 (Lopez)


          As Amended  May 14, 2015


          Majority vote


           ------------------------------------------------------------------- 
          |Committee       |Votes |Ayes                 |Noes                 |
          |----------------+------+---------------------+---------------------|
          |Judiciary       |6-3   |Mark Stone, Chau,    |Wagner, Maienschein, |
          |                |      |Chiu, Gallagher,     |O'Donnell            |
          |                |      |Cristina Garcia,     |                     |
          |                |      |Holden               |                     |
          |                |      |                     |                     |
          |----------------+------+---------------------+---------------------|
          |Housing         |5-2   |Chau, Burke, Chiu,   |Steinorth, Beth      |
          |                |      |Lopez, Mullin        |Gaines               |
          |                |      |                     |                     |
          |                |      |                     |                     |
           ------------------------------------------------------------------- 


          SUMMARY:  Permits tenants, as well as owners in a homeowners  
          association (HOA), to use clotheslines and drying racks, as  
          specified.  Specifically, this bill:  


          1)Requires a landlord to permit a tenant to use a clothesline or  
            drying rack, as defined, if approved by the landlord, and  
            subject to reasonable time or location restrictions, in the  
            tenant's private area if all of the following conditions are  
            met:








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             a)   The clothesline or drying rack shall not interfere with  
               the maintenance of the rental property.


             b)   The clothesline or drying rack shall not create a health  
               or safety hazard, block doorways, or interfere with walkways  
               or utility service equipment. 


             c)   The tenant seeks the landlord's prior approval before  
               affixing a clothesline to a building. 


          2)Makes void and unenforceable any provision in HOA governing  
            documents that effectively prohibits or unreasonably restricts  
            an owner's ability to use a clothesline or drying rack in the  
            owner's yard.  Specifies that nothing in this provision shall  
            prevent the HOA from establishing reasonable rules and  
            restrictions governing clotheslines or drying racks. 


          3)Specifies that a balcony, railing, awning, or other parts of a  
            structure or building shall not qualify as a clothesline or  
            drying rack. 


          EXISTING LAW:  


          1)Regulates the terms and conditions of residential tenancies, and  
            generally requires landlords to keep the rental units in a  
            condition fit for occupancy.  
          2)Creates an implied covenant of quiet enjoyment in every lease,  
            requiring that the tenant shall not be disturbed in his or her  
            possession by the landlord.  










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          3)Regulates the purposes for which a renter's security deposit may  
            be used, including, but not limited to, compensating the  
            landlord for default on payment of rent, cleaning or repairing  
            rented property, exclusive of normal wear and tear, or remedying  
            future obligations under the rental agreement, as specified.  


          4)Permits the governing board of an HOA to adopt operating rules  
            that apply generally to the management and operation of the  
            common interest development or the conduct of the business and  
            affairs of HOA, provided that the rule is within the authority  
            of the board to make, does not conflict with the association's  
            articles, bylaws, or governing law, and is reasonable.  


          5)Provides specified limits to the authority of HOA governing  
            documents to regulate the use of a member's separate interest,  
            including provisions relating to the display of signs, the  
            installation of solar energy systems, and modification to  
            property to accommodate a disability.  


          FISCAL EFFECT:  None 


          COMMENTS:  This modest energy conservation and freedom of choice  
          measure will make it easier for renters and owners in an HOA to  
          make use of an outdoor clothesline or drying rack in order to  
          conserve energy and cut utility costs.  This bill has ample  
          protections for landlords and HOAs.  First, a landlord must  
          approve the tenant's choice of clothesline or drying rack and may  
          impose reasonable restrictions as to time and location.  As for  
          owners in an HOA, this bill provides that any provision in the  
          governing documents that unreasonably prohibits or impairs the  
          ability of the owner to use a clothesline or drying rack in the  
          owner's yard is unenforceable.  However, this bill permits the HOA  
          to impose reasonable restrictions on the use of clotheslines and  
          drying racks.  This bill specifies that a balcony, railing,  
          awning, or other parts of a structure or building shall not  








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          qualify as a clothesline or drying rack.


          According to the author and supporters, using clotheslines and  
          drying racks instead of gas or electric dryers does more than save  
          the tenant or HOA owner money; it eases pressures on the state's  
          power supply and reduces the amount of carbon released into the  
          atmosphere. 


          Many of the concerns raised by the many regional apartment  
          associations opposed to this bill appear to be already addressed  
          by the requirement that any clothesline or drying rack must be  
          "approved by the landlord" and subject to "reasonable time and  
          location restrictions."  The opposition's concerns that  
          clothesline may be placed or attached in manner that damages  
          property or poses a threat to safety or convenience of other  
          tenants or owners, in the case of an HOA, seem more than  
          adequately addressed by recent amendments.  Remaining opposition  
          appears to be based on the aesthetics of clotheslines and drying  
          racks. 


          Necessity for Legislation.  The California Apartment Association   
          questions the necessity for this bill.  The California Apartment  
          Association claims that most tenants can already use clotheslines  
          and drying racks and regularly work out the details and  
          permissions with landlords.  No doubt most landlords and tenants  
          settle the issue reasonably and without incident, but according to  
          the author and supporters many landlords and HOAs in California  
          do, in fact, prohibit clotheslines.  To the extent to which  
          tenants and owners are prohibited from using clotheslines and  
          drying racks is not clear, but by the opposition's own reckoning a  
          fair number of landlords and HOAs must prohibit outdoor  
          clotheslines and drying racks, otherwise there would be no basis  
          for opposition to this bill.  For tenants and owners dealing with  
          these landlords and HOAs, this bill may permit them to have  
          reasonable clotheslines and drying racks.









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          Analysis Prepared by:                                               
          Thomas Clark / JUD. / (916) 319-2334  FN: 0000420