Senate sends to guv Sen. Ted Lieu’s bill to block landlords from requiring tenants to pay rent only online

August 21, 2012
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Complaints from residents prompt renter-protection bill
SACRAMENTO – In response to complaints from residents that more and more landlords are requiring rental payments be made only online, the California Senate today approved and sent to the governor a bill by Sen. Ted W. Lieu that would ensure landlords also accept other forms of payment that are neither cash nor an electronic transfer of funds.

“A growing number of landlords are no longer accepting checks or money orders from tenants,” Lieu, D-Torrance, said about the bipartisan 38-0 vote in support of Senate Bill 1055. “Instead, they have begun to change rental agreements to require tenants – including the elderly, disabled and poor – to pay their rent online.” 

The issue came to light late in 2011 when hundreds of tenants in apartment complexes in Los Angeles objected when the property-management group notified residents of a 300-unit complex that the only way they could soon pay rent was online.
Current law does not specify how rent is to be paid. SB 1055 revises the law to prohibit landlords from requiring online only rental payments. 

“Many residents of the rent-controlled complexes are elderly, live on fixed incomes and have no computer,” Lieu said, adding that it was unreasonable to ask renters who may be struggling to make ends meet to invest in a computer, Internet access and related expenses in order to rent a residence.

SB 1055 is supported by the California Apartment Association and is co-sponsored by the Coalition for Economic Survival and the Western Center on Law and Poverty.

It has no opposition and was approved by the Assembly as a consent item.

Gov. Brown has not taken a position on the bill but he has roughly two weeks to sign the measure, veto it or allow it to become law without his signature. 
 
For more, including a Fact Sheet on SB 1055, please visit Lieu’s Web site at the address below.

Ted W. Lieu chairs the Senate Labor Committee and represents nearly 1 million residents of Senate District 28, which includes the cities of Carson, El Segundo, Hermosa Beach, Lomita, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach and Torrance, as well as portions of Long Beach, Los Angeles and San Pedro. For more, visit www.senate.ca.gov/lieu

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