BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



          SENATE COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION AND HOUSING
                              Senator Jim Beall, Chair
                                2015 - 2016  Regular 

          Bill No:          AB 1448           Hearing Date:    6/23/2015
           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 
          |Author:   |Lopez                                                 |
          |----------+------------------------------------------------------|
          |Version:  |6/16/2015                                             |
           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 
           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 
          |Urgency:  |No                     |Fiscal:      |No              |
           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 
           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 
          |Consultant|Alison Dinmore                                        |
          |:         |                                                      |
           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 
          

          SUBJECT:  Personal energy conservation:  real property  
          restrictions


            DIGEST:  This bill voids, or makes unenforceable, any provision  
          of a governing document in a common interest development (CID)  
          that prohibits an owner's ability to use a clothesline or drying  
          rack in the owner's backyard. 

          ANALYSIS:
          
          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. 


          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.  








          AB 1448 (Lopez)                                    Page 2 of ?
          
          

          4)Permits the governing board of a homeowners association (HOA)  
            to adopt operating rules that apply generally to the  
            management and operation of the CID or the conduct of the  
            business and affairs of the HOA, provided that the rules are  
            within the authority of the board to make, do not conflict  
            with the association's articles, bylaws, or governing law, and  
            are 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.





          This bill:

          1)Defines "clothesline" as including a cord, rope, or wire from  
            which laundered items may be hung to dry or air.  A balcony,  
            railing, awning, or other part of a structure or building  
            shall not qualify as a clothesline.

          2)Defines "drying rack" as an apparatus from which laundered  
            items may be hung to dry or air.  A balcony, railing, awning,  
            or other partof a structure or building shall not qualify as a  
            drying rack. 

          3)Defines "private area" as an outdoor area or an area in the  
            tenant's premises enclosed by a wall or fence with access from  
            a door of the premises. 

          4)Provides that a tenant may utilize a clothesline or drying  
            rack 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:

             a)   The clothesline or drying rack will not interfere with  
               the maintenance of the rental property;
             b)   The clothesline or drying rack will not create a health  
               or safety hazard, block doorways, or interfere with  








          AB 1448 (Lopez)                                    Page 3 of ?
          
          
               walkways or utility service equipment; and
             c)   The tenant seeks the landlord's consent before affixing  
               a clothesline to a building. 

          1)Voids, or makes unenforceable, any provision of a governing  
            document in a CID that effectively prohibits, or unreasonably  
            restricts, an owner's ability to use a clothesline or drying  
            rack in the owner's backyard and specifies that this section  
            only applies to backyards that are designated for the  
            exclusive use of the owner.  

          2)Permits an HOA to establish reasonable restrictions for the  
            use of a clothesline or drying rack, and defines "reasonable  
            restrictions" as restrictions that do not significantly  
            increase the cost of using a clothesline or drying rack. 

          COMMENTS:

          1)Purpose of the bill.  According to the author, due to an  
            ambiguity in current law, many homeowners, condominium, or  
            apartment associations have an outright ban on the use of  
            clotheslines.  This ban prevents low-income families and  
            energy-conscious persons from using a low-cost, low-technology  
            energy-conservation tool.  This bill would ensure that  
            associations and landlords cannot enforce an outright  
            prohibition on the use of a clothesline or drying rack in a  
            person's private area if certain conditions are met. 

          2)Effect of the bill.  This bill provides that any provision in  
            a CID governing document is unenforceable if it effectively  
            prohibits or unreasonably restricts the ability of an owner to  
            use a backyard clothesline or drying rack.  The bill allows  
            HOAs, however, to impose reasonable restrictions on an owner's  
            use of a clothesline or drying rack.  This bill also specifies  
            that use of a clothesline or drying rack is limited to  
            backyard use and may not be used in common areas.  

          3)Double-referral.  The Senate Rules Committee referred this  
            bill to both this committee and the Senate JudiciaryCommittee.  
             If the bill passes out of this committee, it will be referred  
            to the Judiciary Committee to consider the landlord/tenant  
            provisions of the bill. 

          Assembly Votes:









          AB 1448 (Lopez)                                    Page 4 of ?
          
          
            Floor:    52-18
            H&CD:       5-2
            Jud:        6-3
          
          Related Legislation:
          
          AB 2561 (Bradford, Chapter 584, Statutes of 2014) - established  
          conditions under which residents of CIDs and tenants in rental  
          housing may engage in personal agriculture.

          FISCAL EFFECT:  Appropriation:  No    Fiscal Com.:  No    Local:  
           No


            POSITIONS:  (Communicated to the committee before noon on  
          Wednesday,
                          June 17, 2015.)
          
            SUPPORT:  

          The Utility Reform Network (sponsor)
          California Municipal Utilities Association 
          California State Grange
          Chinatown Community Development Center
          Conference of California Bar Associations 
          Consumer Federation of California
          Latino Coalition for a Healthy California (LCHC)
          Natural Resources Defense Council
          Sebastopol Grange #306

          OPPOSITION:

          None received

          
          
                                      -- END --