Cautiously optimistic. That might be the best way to describe CSSA officials as they try to maneuver Bill AB 983 through the 2014 session of the California Legislature.
Last summer, when the California Senate Judiciary Committee decided not to let bill AB 983 move forward, it caught CSSA officials and members by surprise. The bill, intended to help self storage operators dealing with lien laws, made a positive move recently when it passed the same Judiciary Committee by a 7-0 vote and is now on the Senate floor. The California Legislature reconvenes on August 4 and the session closes on August 31.
Nonetheless, it appears that the Assembly Judiciary has some concerns with the e-mail amendment and CSSA lobbyist Randy Pollack hopes to assuage those concerns come August 4.
“AB 983 is on the Senate floor,” said Pollack. “Once it passes, it needs to go back to the Assembly for a concurrence vote. However, the Assembly Judiciary Committee informed Assembly Member Melendez' staff that they have concerns with the e-mail provision and would like to discuss the bill with us. We will be meeting with the Chair of the Judiciary Committee when the legislature reconvenes on August 4th.”
“The Assembly Judiciary Committee's ‘concern’ could prove to be a problem,” said Carlos Kaslow, General Council for the national Self Storage Association (SSA). “We deleted the right to send lien notices when the bill was in the Assembly Judiciary Committee last year and they may wonder why it's back. The revised right to send notice by e-mail is very occupant friendly and much more protective than the language deleted from the version introduced in the Assembly.”
Kaslow said that to use e-mail to send lien notices the operator must do the following:
1. The rental agreement must contain a notice in bold type notifying the tenant that lien notices may be sent by e-mail
2. The occupant's provide consent before the owner may send notices by this method.
3. When sending the Notice of Lien Sale the owner must get a receipt that confirms that it was delivered to the tenant's e-mail address. [There are private companies that can provide the required receipt. One of the largest is RPost which is based in Los Angeles.]
4. The owner must provide the occupant with the email address from which notices will be sent.
“We hope that when the protections are explained the Assembly Judiciary Committees their concerns will be satisfied,” added Kaslow. “However, an explanation may not make any difference if the Committee thinks that the storage industry and the Senate has ignored its views on this issue. Making our case to the Committee is what the lobbyist gets paid for and we hope that Randy is successful in his discussions.