Many REALTORS® have asked about the new law requiring that Water-Conserving Plumbing Fixtures be installed in homes by 2017.

First, some background on this issue:

In 2009 SB 407 was introduced which would have required that residential and commercial properties be retrofitted at point-of-sale with low-flow toilets, showerheads, and faucets. At the time, C.A.R. argued that the point-of-sale approach would burden escrows and have a negative impact on the already weak housing market. As a result, SB 407 was amended to remove the point-of-sale provision and instead require all properties to be retrofitted by 2017. In other words, instead of point-of-sale, a “date-certain” approach would be implemented.

In 2011, C.A.R. sponsored SB 837 to add language to the Transfer Disclosure Statement (TDS) notifying the purchaser of a property of the impending requirements of SB 407. The inclusion of this information in the TDS will ensure that sellers and buyers are aware of these water efficiency retrofit requirements and provide disclosure liability protection to REALTORS®. This measure went into effect on January 1, 2012.

Do you have more questions? If so, read the C.A.R. Legal Q and A, which will answer many common questions, including:

  • Does the water conservation law create any point of sale requirements?
  • What is the significance of it NOT creating a point of sale requirement?
  • Are there any forms that allow the seller to meet their disclosure obligations?
  • Should this box on the TDS be checked if the seller is uncertain about whether there are WCP fixtures installed?
  • How should a seller answer the question on the SPQ, “Are you aware of any noncompliant plumbing fixtures?” if they are uncertain?
The full FAQ can also be found on the C.A.R. website.

For the past several months, the City of San Jose has been developing two ordinances that impact the rental housing industry: An Ellis Act Ordinance and a Tenant Protection Ordinance. Both of these would have a drastic impact on how you manage your property. The public comment period for the Tenant Protection Ordinance and the Ellis Act will close this Friday, March 3rd at 5:00 p.m.

Below is a sample letter that addresses the major issues with the two ordinances. You can take this letter and send it on your behalf to the Housing Department to let the City of San Jose know that there are serious problems with these ordinances. It is important that the City hears from you and that they receive a volume of letters opposing these measures and favoring laws that do not place onerous restrictions on property owners. 
 
You must email the San Jose Housing Department by Friday, March 3rd at 5:00 p.m.

Sending Instructions:
1.  Copy the text of the letter below and paste it into an email
2.  Edit the “Your Name” section at the end so the letter is written on your behalf
3.  Send the letter to the following recipient: tpo@sanjoseca.gov

 


Dear San Jose Housing Department,
 
I am writing to you as a rental housing provider in the City of San Jose. I am concerned that the Tenant Protection Ordinance (TPO) is overly complicated and convoluted. As someone who owns rental property, I want to urge the Housing Department to adopt changes to the TPO that would simplify it. This would eliminate the need for each property owner to require a legal interpretation for each application of the ordinance. The ordinance, as written, will have a number of unintended consequences.

 As a property owner, I have a limited awareness of the conditions inside my units unless there is an inspection or the tenant reports a code violation. Therefore, it is difficult to determine if the reports of code violations are being rationed out to extend the term of the good cause protection. The ordinance is written to allow for repeated instances of good cause protections up to 6 months at a time if used strategically. Instead, we ask that a tenant only be permitted one instance of a 6-month good cause protection per lease term.
 
Under TPO, owners must show that code violations have been corrected prior to beginning an eviction for just cause, such as non-payment of rent. If the tenant commits an illegal act but the code violation has not yet been corrected, then the property owner is powerless from preventing further criminal activity until the code violation is corrected. Instead, we ask that any illegal activity is exempt from the TPO. As property owners, we must provide our tenants a safe place to live. This ordinance, as written, prevents that.
 
Under the Ellis Act, a property owner is required to provide one year of just cause protection to the tenant prior to filing a notice of intent to withdraw. This provision requires us to know a full year in advance of our intent to utilize the Ellis Act, which is an unreasonable expectation. This ordinance would also hurt the resale ability of our buildings as this one year requirement would impact the subsequent owner. Instead we ask that you strike the requirement that good cause protection be provided to tenants for one year prior a notice to intent to withdraw the property is served.
 
Sincerely,
 
[Your name]


 

You can read the full draft recommendations from the San Jose Housing Department by using the links below:

Draft Recommendations for the City of San Jose Ellis Act

Draft Recommendations for the City of San Jose Tenant Protection Ordinance

Looking to tap into the growing international real estate market, members of the Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS® (SCCAOR) will join the Vietnamese National Association of Real Estate Professionals (VNARP) on a ten-day trade mission to Vietnam starting on March 1st. Delegates representing both groups are aiming to foster mutual investment opportunities between real estate stakeholders in both Vietnam and the United States.

“Vietnam is forecasted to be one of the top growing economies in the next few decades,” said Evan Huynh, President of VNARP. “This trade mission will give our delegates the opportunity to exchange trade experience and learn about the best practices for investment opportunities in both countries.”

Delegates from the groups will attend real estate conferences and meet with Vietnamese companies and government agencies in Ho Chi Minh City, Ha Noi, and Danang ─ three cities currently experiencing a boom in real estate development. Several delegates from the United States will be giving special presentations at these events, including: Lieu Nguyen, the President’s Liaison to Vietnam for the National Association of REALTORS®, Ron Gonzales, the former Mayor of San Jose and President of Presencia, LLC, and Hilda Ramirez, the Director of Public Relations, Events, and Education for SCCAOR.

Guest presenters for the SCCAOR/VNARP Vietnam Trade Mission (clockwise from top left): Ron Gonzales, Hilda Ramirez, Tom Truong, David Tran, Ryan Hubris, and Evan Huynh.

Hilda Ramirez, who led SCCAOR Members on a similar trip to China in 2015, said that REALTORS® are starting to embrace the global market when it comes to real estate investment. “The theme for this Inaugural Trade Mission is to ‘Connect Cultures to Create Commerce’,” she said. “Silicon Valley is home base for technology and innovation, considered one of the most thriving economies in the world, and the economic impact happening in many Vietnamese cities is truly dynamic. We are honored to have the opportunity to join VNARP in this unique opportunity. It is essential for today’s business professional to be well versed on emerging markets.”
Silicon Valley, Ho Chi Minh City, and Ha Noi all rank in the top 10 of the World’s “Most Dynamic Cities of 2017” according to the JLL City Momentum Index. This index was calculated by examining over 40 variables such as innovation capacity, technological prowess, commercial real estate momentum, and a host of other socio-economic factors.

For updates on the trip, visit the Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS® on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sccrealtors

In the wake of the worst flooding to hit San Jose in decades, Santa Clara County REALTORS® Foundation has donated $10,000 to the San Jose Flood Victims Relief Fund. Over 14,000 people were impacted by the overflowing Coyote Creek due to spillover from the Anderson Reservoir.

“The Santa Clara County REALTORS® Foundation strives to help families and revitalize our local communities, and this includes assisting in disaster relief,” said Bonnie Wilson, the Chairperson for the Foundation. “We are inspired by the response from our REALTOR® Community, and we hope to continue our work in uniting local real estate professionals in giving back and enriching the lives of those affected by this unfortunate event.”

The Relief Fund, set up by San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo and Silicon Valley Community Foundation, is supporting nonprofit organizations that are providing immediate and long-term relief and recovery assistance to flood victims in San Jose. The public can help by contributing online at www.siliconvalleycf.org/sjflood.

“It is heartbreaking to see so many families displaced from their homes but I am heartened by the outpouring of community support,” said Neil Collins, CEO of the Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS®. “I am proud and grateful that our Members responded to the needs of the community that we serve. Those impacted by the flooding remain in all of our prayers.”

The SCCR Foundation is the charitable arm of the Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS®, which is made up of over 6,000 Realtors and Affiliates in and around the Bay Area. The SCCR Foundation aims to bring organized real estate together by investing in our neighborhoods with compassion, foresight, and action.

Learn more about the Santa Clara County REALTORS® Foundation at www.sccrfoundation.org.

San Jose is experiencing unprecedented flooding along Coyote Creek. Over 14,000 residents have been evacuated and numerous residences and buildings have been damaged. This guide has information about how to safely evacuate, donate to relief efforts, and volunteer your time to helping those affected by the floods.

Click here for the latest emergency information.

Click here to learn about how you can keep your family safe during a flood and how to clean up a flooded home.

Click here to donate to the San Jose Flood Victims Relief Fund, which will support nonprofit organizations providing immediate and long-term relief and recovery assistance to flood victims in San Jose.

Click here to donate to the Red Cross (on the donation website, make sure to select “California Floods” – see image below)

Click here to learn about how you can volunteer with the Red Cross to assist those affected by the floods.

Click here for information of free sandbags available from the Santa Clara Valley Water District.

Click here to follow California Highway Patrol’s Twitter Account for freeway closure information.

Senator Bob Wieckowski was the keynote speaker at the SCCAOR General Membership meeting on February 10th, 2017. The Senator spoke about several new laws and guidelines that are relevant to the real estate industry, and he answered several questions from the audience. The meeting also featured a NAR update from Dave Walsh, a CAR update from Craig Gorman, and an MLS Listings update from Quincy Virgilio. SCCAOR also honored its legacy members who have been with the association for 25, 30, 40, and 45 years.

We have compiled some relevant documents on the information that was covered in the meeting:

  • Click here for the Accessory Dwelling Unit Memorandum produced by the California Department of Housing & Community Development.  Many general questions about the new guidelines are addressed in the memo.
  • Click here for information on the Automatic Residential Fire Sprinkler System Requirments for Accessory Dwelling Units.
  • Click here for the MLS Listings Update slideshow.
  • You can also click here to watch an archived live stream of the meeting on our Facebook page, or just click on the video below:

SCCAOR General Membership Meeting 2/10/2017

SCCAOR General Membership Meeting, featuring keynote speaker. Senator Bob Wieckowski.

Posted by Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS® on Friday, February 10, 2017

The City of Santa Clara is considering adding additional fees to new construction of residential housing to pay for affordable housing projects. This will impact the ability of new housing to be built at prices affordable to the average family. The dream of homeownership is already difficult for many families to achieve and these new fees could push this dream completely out of reach.
 
Santa Clara has commissioned a nexus study, which is a specific study that legally allows the city to justify adding hidden taxes to the cost of housing; these taxes are known as impact fees. This study would justify up to $71,800 in added impact fees for the construction per single-family home and $43,400 per apartment unit. This will not make housing more affordable in Santa Clara. Additionally, these fees will hurt property values, as the study shows the fees would decrease land values by 10% to 40% depending on how high the fees are set.
 
What can you do?
  • Email and call the Mayor and City Council with your stories about how adding tens of thousands of dollars of new fees will hurt your clients as they try to afford the American dream of homeownership.
  • Click here to read the nexus study justifying the fee increases on homebuyers and renters.
The real estate business and its relevant laws are always changing. Keeping up with these new laws each year can be tough, so here are three important new laws that may affect your business:
  1. Uniform Advertising Standards
    Beginning Jan. 1, 2018, all first point of contact solicitation materials must include: the name and number of the licensee; and the responsible broker’s “identity,” meaning the name under which the broker is currently licensed by the BRE and conducts business in general or is a substantial division of the real estate firm. The broker’s license number is optional.
  2. Broker Associates Searchable Information
    Beginning Jan. 1, 2018, CalBRE’s public licensee information, as provided on CalBRE’s website, will indicate whether a licensee is an “associate licensee” and, if the associate licensee is a broker, will identify each responsible broker with whom the licensee is contractually associated. This law also requires the responsible broker to immediately notify CalBRE in writing whenever a broker-associate is hired or terminated.
  3.  Disciplinary Action Records Petition
    Beginning Jan. 1, 2018, a licensee may petition CalBRE to remove a past disciplinary action record from his or her online profile after 10 years. CalBRE retains discretion to grant the petition.

For more details on these laws, download this PDF from car.org

 

Rick Smith, broker and owner at Windermere Silicon Valley, has been installed as President of the Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS® (SCCAOR). Smith and the entirety of SCCAOR’s 2017 Board of Directors were sworn in at an evening ceremony at the Dolce Hayes Mansion in San Jose on January 20, 2017.

“I’m excited and honored to represent the Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS® and serve as its president,” said Smith. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to take on this leadership role and help SCCAOR develop and promote programs and services that will enhance members’ ability to conduct business, while promoting real property ownership and the preservation of real property rights.”

Smith, who served as President-Elect of SCCAOR in 2015, is also a Director and Ombudsman for the California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.), and has served several years on C.A.R.’s Professional Standards Committee, which has strengthened his commitment to help improving the professionalism of REALTORS® and their adherence to the National Association of REALTORS® Code of Ethics.

SCCAOR’s 2017 Board of Directors were also installed at the event. Kevin Cole will serve as President-Elect, Anne Hansen will serve as Vice President, and Brad Gill will serve as Treasurer in 2017. Other members of the Board of Directors that were installed include: Helen Chong, Craig Gorman, Doug Goss, Gene Hunt, Sandy Jamison, Don Jessup, Trisha Motter, Stephen Theard, Myron Von Raesfeld, and Linda Zimmer.

 

 

SCCAOR also honored several members at the event. Sandy Jamison received the REALTOR® of the Year Award, Sheryl Martinez received the President’s Choice Award, Grace Vaccaro received the Volunteer of the Year Award, and Anna Lopez received the Affiliate of the Year Award. In a surprise announcement, Dave Walsh was awarded SCCAOR’s highest honor, the Byron Brawley Award for Service of Self.

The Santa Clara County REALTORS® Foundation was also present at the event, and gave separate $25,000 checks to two local organizations: Downtown Streets Team and Family Supportive Housing. The Foundation has now given out over $125,000 in grants, scholarships, and donations to organizations that are helping to improve the lives of children and families in our communities.

 

 

Click here to view photos from the event.

KAFPA and SCCAOR Members with some of the donated items from the Toy & Pajama Drive: Denise Marchu (KAFPA Executive Director), Christina Atkinson (KAFPA Program Specialist), Susan Steele (KAFPA Foster/Adoptive Family Advocate), Cassandra Guzman(KAFPA Program assistant), and Hilda Ramirez (SCCAOR Director of PR, Education & Events).

The weather called for heavy wind and rain, but members of the Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS® (SCCAOR) were determined to bring joy to local foster children this Christmas. More than 200 Local REALTORS® came together last Thursday and raised over $16,000 in cash, toy, and pajama donations for local foster teens.

SCCAOR Members weathered the torrential downpours and winter temperatures to bring both their donations and their holiday cheer to their Annual Membership Appreciation Mixer and Gifts for Teens Drive. All donations and money raised during the event went to KAFPA, the Kinship, Adoptive and Foster Parent Association, a nonprofit that provides resources and advocates for the needs of foster and adoptive Families in Santa Clara County. This year’s donation drive placed emphasis on teens, a segment of the population often overlooked during the “Season of Giving.”

Trisha Motter, President of SCCAOR, said that this year’s event was a team effort.

“So many dedicated people and groups came together to make this year’s toy drive a huge success,” said Motter. “We felt that it was important to focus on gifts for teens, as they are often the ‘forgotten group’ when it comes to holiday giving.”

The event was attended by real estate agents from all over Santa Clara County. Each attendee brought some type of donation, some individuals electing to fill bags and even boxes full toys to donate to KAFPA.

Kelly Hunt, a REALTOR® for CSR Real Estate Services, has been actively participating in the event for the last ten years. She spends the month before the event gathering donations from friends and colleagues. This year she collected a total of 405 toys and pajamas, and $1300 in cash and gift cards.

“My volunteer work over the years has been primarily focused on helping children, since they don’t always have the ability to control their environment,” said Hunt. “My clients, friends, and colleagues are what really makes the toy drive a success, and I couldn’t do it without them. I’m just the vehicle making it easier to help and to bring everyone together for the benefit of the kids.”

While organizations like KAFPA receive a majority of their donations around the holidays, it is important to keep them in mind year round.

Hunt added, “KAFPA needs donations all year long for basic necessities, so I’m working with the director to find ways to help more throughout the year. The Holiday Toy Drive is just one of many things our real estate community does to give back to the community throughout the year, and I’m always proud to be a part of helping those in need.”

For more information on KAFPA, visit www.kafpa.org.
Learn more about the Santa Clara County REALTORS® Foundation at www.sccrfoundation.org.