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Navigating the Waters of AB 1418: Crime Free Multi-Housing Programs

Navigating the Waters of AB 1418: Crime Free Multi-Housing Programs

by | Feb 21, 2024 | Legislation

In the ever-evolving landscape of California housing laws, a significant new regulation has come into effect that aims to reshape the approach to Crime Free Multi-Housing Programs and related ordinances. With the introduction of Assembly Bill 1418 (AB 1418), effective January 1, 2024, the State of California has greatly restricted the use and implementation of such programs.

Civica Law is at the forefront of assisting public agencies to navigate these changes. This article breaks down the essentials of AB 1418, offering clarity and guidance on its implications for those involved in the housing sector.

Understanding AB 1418

At its core, AB 1418 targets Crime Free Multi-Housing Programs and related local ordinances, restricting local ordinances, policies and regulations that must now comply with strict State law provisions; any program or ordinance in conflict with its provisions is considered void. Local governments are required to amend any existing policies that fail to comply with this directive. However, it’s important to note that AB 1418 does not categorical prohibit all ordinances or policies, but rather those that are inconsistent with State law, leaving local ordinances unrelated to crime free housing policies unaffected.

Key Provisions of AB 1418

Prohibition of Penalties Based on Law Enforcement Contact: A local government cannot impose penalties on residents, owners, tenants, landlords, or any relevant party solely due to “contact with a law enforcement agency.”

Restrictions on Evictions and Penalties: A local government cannot require or encourage landlords to evict or penalize tenants based on a criminal arrest or association with another tenant who has a criminal conviction or contact with law enforcement.

Mandatory Criminal Background Checks: AB 1418 prohibits a local government from requiring that landlords perform mandatory criminal background checks on prospective tenants.

Nuisance Definitions and Tenancy: The law states that contact with law enforcement cannot be deemed a nuisance by cities.

Other Generally Applicable Laws:  AB 1418 does not affect other generally applicable ordinances, programs or policies that do not conflict with the law, and local governments are not prohibited from enforcing those.

Legal Recourse and Enforcement

AB 1418 introduces mechanisms for enforcement and legal recourse, signaling the State’s focus on enforcing these new regulations, even against other governmental entities. In fact, the law allows third parties, including landlords, tenants and other groups to sue local governments that have ordinances, policies or programs that do not comply. This includes allowing special interest and nonprofit groups to initiate lawsuits and the possibility for plaintiffs to recover attorney’s fees if they succeed.

Civica Law Group’s Role

As these changes unfold, Civica Law stands ready to local government agencies in understanding and complying with AB 1418. Whether it’s clarifying the nuances of the law or assisting with the review and amendment of related ordinances, Civica Law is dedicated to providing expert legal assistance. 

For those seeking further clarification related to Crime Free Multi-Housing Programs and ordinances, Civica Law offers its expertise to help navigate the complexities of this new State law. In order to comply with the new law and avoid potential legal exposure, local government should ensure they understand and adapt their ordinances, policies and programs in light of AB 1418.

    About the Author

    • Civica Law

      With over 75 collective years of experience, Civica Law has helped cities and counties abate thousands of dangerous and substandard properties, improve housing conditions, and effectively deal with a wide range of quality-of-life issues, from homeless encampments to cannabis, drug, and gang dens to illegal gambling (or tap-tap) facilities, illegal business operations, human trafficking and massage, land use, and zoning, and virtually every other conceivable quality of life and safety issue a public agency may face.

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