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Los Angeles Times

Tuesday August 21, 2012

California Lawmakers OK Bill That Bars Requiring Online Rental Payments

By Patrick McGreevy, Los Angeles Times - PolitiCAL
State Sen. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) wrote a bill prohibiting landlords from requiring that rent be paid online. Credit: Rich Pedroncelli / AP.

The state Senate voted Tuesday to prohibit landlords from requiring rental payments to be made online amid concerns it can create a hardship for low-income and elderly tenants who do not have easy Internet access.

Sen. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) introduced the measure after hearing of complaints when the manager of a 300-unit apartment complex in Los Angeles notified tenants they would have to pay rent online.

"A growing number of landlords are no longer accepting checks or money orders from tenants,” Lieu said. “Many residents of the rent-controlled complexes are elderly, live on fixed incomes and have no computer."

The Senate voted 37-0 to approve SB 1055 and send it to Gov. Jerry Brown for consideration. The bill was previously approved by the Assembly.

The bill was requested by the Coalition for Economic Survival and was supported by both the Western Center on Law and Poverty, which represents tenants, and the California Apartment Assn., which represents landlords and property managers.

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