New California laws in effect July 1: Hidden fee ban, lower rental deposits

ByJuan Carlos Guerrero KGO logo
Friday, June 28, 2024
New California laws going into effect July 1
New California laws taking effect July 1, 2024 ban hidden fees, limit deposits to one month's rent and double the fines for illegal fireworks. Here's what else is changing:

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- If you ever thought you had a good deal on an Airbnb and then discovered a bunch of hidden fees during checkout, a new state law makes hiding those junk charges illegal.

That's just one of many laws taking effect July 1, 2024 in California.

Here's what is changing:

RIGHT TO REPAIR

SB 244: It's going to be easier and cheaper to get your iPhone fixed. The Right to Repair Act requires manufacturers to provide consumers and repair shops with the parts, tools and documentation needed to service or repair the device. The law affects home appliances and electronic devices like televisions, audio and video recording equipment and cellphones that cost at least $50.

HIDDEN FEES

SB 478: Makes it illegal for businesses to advertise a price for an item and then add hidden fees at the time of purchase. The price transparency law requires businesses, restaurants, websites and apps to display the true cost of an item or service, such as lodging, tickets for live events and food delivery fees. Businesses do not have to include taxes and shipping costs. A bill (SB 1524) still being considered would allow restaurants to list extra fees as a separate item on their menus instead of on the food price.

SHORT-TERM RENTALS

AB 537: Requires hotels, motels and short-term rentals on Airbnb and Vrbo to disclose the total price of a rental in their advertised rate, including cleaning fees and other charges. Taxes and governments charges do not have to be included in the rate. The law imposes a $10,000 penalty for not disclosing the true cost of the rental.

RENTAL DEPOSIT

AB 12: Any new rental contracts for housing signed after July 1 will only require one month's security deposit. Existing rental agreements that required larger deposits are not affected. Landlords can still seek additional fees at the end of a lease if there is damage that exceeds one month's deposit.

NO ROOFIES LAW

AB 1013: Requires businesses that sell alcohol for consumption in their premises to sell or give away date-rape testing kits to customers. Bars and nightclubs must also post signage in their business informing customers that the drug testing kits are available. Businesses will be required to obtain their own kits.

SODIUM NITRATE

AB 1109: Prohibiting online marketplaces from selling sodium nitrite to anyone under the age of 18. Stores would be required to verify the age of the person purchasing the chemical. A companion law (AB 1210) limits the sale of products with a concentration of sodium nitrite to no greater than 10%. Known as Tyler's Law, AB 1109 addresses the escalating issue of teen suicides.

FIREWORKS

AB 1403: Mandates that the State Fire Marshall identify and evaluate methods to gather data on fires, injuries and damages caused by illegal fireworks and safe and sane fireworks. The goal is to train law enforcement and fire personnel on seizing, transporting and storing fireworks, and prosecution of those caught with illegal fireworks.

The law doubled fines for illegal fireworks starting in January of 2024.

FIREARMS TAX

AB 28: Imposes an 11% tax on the sale of firearms and ammunition. The money generated will fund gun violence prevention and school safety programs. California is the first state to implement such a law.

PERSONAL CAR SHARING

AB 893: Requires individuals who rent out their vehicle using peer to peer third party platforms like Turo or Getaround to pay the same tourism fees and taxes as traditional car rental companies.

VEHICLE REGISTRATION

AB 256: Prohibits police from stopping a vehicle solely because the license plate registration has expired, unless at least a month has passed since the original month of expiration. Law enforcement can cite a vehicle with expired tags if the vehicle was stopped for another violation.

MENSTRUAL PRODUCTS

AB 230: Requires public and charters schools with students from grades three and up to provide free menstrual products in their bathrooms. Expands a previous California law that required menstrual products starting in the sixth grade.

SCHOOL ATHLETICS

AB 245: Requires high school sports coaches, who already receive training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation, to receive training in recognizing and responding to signs and symptoms of cardiac arrest. It will also require certification in the use of external defibrillators.

'WILLFUL DEFIANCE'

SB 274: Prohibits the suspension or expulsion of students from kindergarten to 12th grade for what's known as 'willful defiance', defined as disruption of school activities or defying school staff. Research studies have shown students of color, homeless and LGBTQ+ students are more likely to be disciplined for willful defiance than other students.

The 'Keep Kids in School' law requires schools to instead use intervention methods and provide support as an alternative.

VIOLENCE PREVENTION

SB 553: Requires businesses with 10 or more employees to implement and maintain a workplace violence prevention program. Employers must train workers on how to identify workplace violence hazards and how to respond to them. Employers must keep a log of workplace violence incidents.

HATE CRIMES

AB 449: Requires law enforcement agencies in California to adopt a hate crimes policy that guides officers on how to recognize suspected hate crimes. It authorizes the Department of Justice to review materials submitted to make sure law enforcement departments are complying with the law.

PROPERTY DISCLOSURES

AB 968: Requires the owner of a single-family residential property who is selling the home with 18 months of acquiring it to disclose the name of each contractor involved in any room additions, structural modifications or repairs to the property and copies of any permits that were obtained. The law only applies to new transactions.

HOUSING CONSTRUCTION

SB 684: Allows cities and counties to build medium sized housing developments without the need for public hearings or votes. The developments must have 10 or fewer residential units and be on lots no larger than five acres. The law only applies in areas already zoned for multifamily housing.