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Keith B. Walker
310.284.2230

Environmental

New Proposition 65 Requirements for California Residential Landlords 

By: Keith Walker

Pursuant to Proposition 65, notice must be provided prior to exposing anyone to chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer or reproductive harm.  Recent changes to the requirements imposed by Proposition 65’s safe harbor warning guidelines affect the compliance approach for residential landlords in California. 

Specifically, California Health and Safety Code sections 25607.34 and 25607.35, which became effective July 1, 2019, require that warnings be provided to new tenants and other adult occupants in specific formats, at lease inception and again each year during the tenancy. 

Pursuant to new requirements issued by the State of California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), the warnings need to be conveyed annually (i) in a letter delivered to the rental property and addressed to all known adult tenants; (ii) in an email sent to all of the email addresses that the landlord uses to communicate with tenants; or (iii) in the lease agreement.

With respect to the content of the required warnings, they must include the following information:

  • the symbol symbol
  • the word “WARNING” in all capital letters and bold print
  • the following text:
    • [Name of one or more exposure sources(s)] on this property can expose you to [name of one or more chemicals] which is [are] known to the State of California to cause [“cancer,” “birth defects or other reproductive harm,” or “cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm”]. Talk to your landlord or the building owner about how and when you could be exposed to this chemical in your building. For additional information go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/apartments.

OEHHA is also the agency charged with maintaining and updating the list of chemicals that gives rise to the notification requirements discussed above.  In a residential context, OEHHA has provided the following examples of potential “exposure source(s)” for residential rental properties: 

  • fireplaces or unvented gas space heaters;
  • paint chips and dust from lead-containing paint;
  • use of lead-containing plumbing materials;
  • imported vinyl miniblinds manufactured prior to 1997;
  • building materials containing urea-formaldehyde resins; and
  • asbestos-containing materials, including some ceiling coatings on the property, if such materials are disturbed.

Other Proposition 65-listed chemicals that are often found in apartments and other residential rental properties include asbestos, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, and lead.

For questions regarding compliance with Proposition 65 and designing an effective strategy for completing the required notifications, whether for a single property or a portfolio made up or dozens or hundreds of residential assets, please contact Keith Walker at (310) 284 - 2230 or kwalker@coxcastle.com.

Cox, Castle & Nicholson LLP is a full service law firm offering comprehensive legal services to the business community and specialized services for the real estate and construction industries.  Reproduction is prohibited without written permission from the publisher.  The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, investment, business or insurance counseling through this publication.  No statement is to be construed as legal, investment, business or insurance advice.

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