In a joint letter submitted this week, RCRC, the California Association of Counties, the Urban Counties of California and the League of California Cities voiced continued concerns with Assembly Bill 838, authored by Assemblymember Laura Friedman (D – Glendale), which aims to ensure that tenants have safe and healthy housing. Although our organizations agree with the intent of the bill, as written AB 838 would place non-reimbursable cost burdens on local governments. 

AB 838 requires a city or county that receives a complaint from a tenant of a substandard building or a lead hazard violation to inspect the building to determine if the conditions are substandard. The bill would also require a city or county to provide free, certified copies of an inspection report and citations issued, if any, to the complaining tenant and to all potentially affected tenants, residents, occupants. AB 838 prohibits the local jurisdiction from collecting a fee or charging the property owner for the inspection or report unless the inspection reveals a lead hazard violation or the property is declared substandard pursuit to the inspection. 

While our coalition had successfully worked with the author’s office during the beginning of the legislative session to address our previous issues, recent amendments created new concerns related to the funding component of the bill. We will continue discussions with the author’s staff to find a compromise that protects tenants, is not overly burdensome to property owners, and allows local governments to fund the resources needed to implement the inspection and notification provisions of the bill. For more information, please contact Tracy Rhine.