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SB-488 Substandard housing: regulations.(2013-2014)

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SB488:v93#DOCUMENT

Senate Bill No. 488
CHAPTER 89

An act to amend Sections 17920.3 and 17961 of the Health and Safety Code, relating to housing.

[ Approved by Governor  August 12, 2013. Filed with Secretary of State  August 12, 2013. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 488, Hueso. Substandard housing: regulations.
(1) Existing law specifies that any building, including any dwelling unit, shall be deemed to be a substandard building when a health officer determines that, among other things, an infestation of insects, vermin, or rodents exists to the extent that it endangers the life, limb, health, property, safety, or welfare of the public or its occupants, or there is a lack of adequate garbage and rubbish storage and removal facilities.
This bill would, if an agreement does not exist with an agency that has a health officer, authorize a code enforcement officer, upon successful completion of a course of study in the appropriate subject matter as determined by the local jurisdiction, to determine whether an infestation exists or whether there is a lack of adequate garbage and rubbish removal facilities.
(2) Existing law provides that the housing or building department of every city, county, or city and county is required to enforce within its jurisdiction all of the State Housing Law. Existing law further provides that the health department of every city, county, or city and county, or any environmental agency or local building department, may enforce regulations related to lead hazards, as specified, and is required to coordinate enforcement activities with other interested departments and agencies in order to avoid unnecessary duplication.
This bill would make technical, conforming changes to those provisions.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) Exposure to pests, such as arthropods and rodents, in one’s home has clear health impacts. Cockroaches are known to produce allergens that trigger asthma, especially in children. A study conducted by the National Institutes of Health found that cockroach allergens are the primary contributor to childhood asthma in inner-city homes. Mouse and rat allergen sensitization and exposure also contribute to asthma exacerbations. Rats and mice are the source of several infections in humans, including, but not limited to, hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, murine typhus, leptospirosis, and lymphocytic choriomeningitis. Bed bug bites can cause itching and become infected, and bed bug infestations have been linked to severe mental stress.
(b) Inadequate garbage and rubbish storage and removal facilities can be a contributing factor to infestations of pests and vermin as they provide harborage.
(c) State law limits the enforcement authority for pest infestations and inadequate garbage and rubbish storage and removal facilities to county health officers. Cities lacking an agreement or the resources needed to contract with a county for the services of the county health officer are left without any authority to address these substandard housing conditions. Local code enforcement officers could make these determinations.
(d) Owners shall not be cited by both a local code enforcement officer and a health officer for the same violation of regulations regarding infestations of pests and inadequate garbage storage and removal.

SEC. 2.

 Section 17920.3 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:

17920.3.
 Any building or portion thereof including any dwelling unit, guestroom or suite of rooms, or the premises on which the same is located, in which there exists any of the following listed conditions to an extent that endangers the life, limb, health, property, safety, or welfare of the public or the occupants thereof shall be deemed and hereby is declared to be a substandard building:
(a) Inadequate sanitation shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
(1) Lack of, or improper water closet, lavatory, or bathtub or shower in a dwelling unit.
(2) Lack of, or improper water closets, lavatories, and bathtubs or showers per number of guests in a hotel.
(3) Lack of, or improper kitchen sink.
(4) Lack of hot and cold running water to plumbing fixtures in a hotel.
(5) Lack of hot and cold running water to plumbing fixtures in a dwelling unit.
(6) Lack of adequate heating.
(7) Lack of, or improper operation of required ventilating equipment.
(8) Lack of minimum amounts of natural light and ventilation required by this code.
(9) Room and space dimensions less than required by this code.
(10) Lack of required electrical lighting.
(11) Dampness of habitable rooms.
(12) Infestation of insects, vermin, or rodents as determined by a health officer or, if an agreement does not exist with an agency that has a health officer, the infestation can be determined by a code enforcement officer, as defined in Section 829.5 of the Penal Code, upon successful completion of a course of study in the appropriate subject matter as determined by the local jurisdiction.
(13) General dilapidation or improper maintenance.
(14) Lack of connection to required sewage disposal system.
(15) Lack of adequate garbage and rubbish storage and removal facilities, as determined by a health officer or, if an agreement does not exist with an agency that has a health officer, the lack of adequate garbage and rubbish removal facilities can be determined by a code enforcement officer as defined in Section 829.5 of the Penal Code.
(b) Structural hazards shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
(1) Deteriorated or inadequate foundations.
(2) Defective or deteriorated flooring or floor supports.
(3) Flooring or floor supports of insufficient size to carry imposed loads with safety.
(4) Members of walls, partitions, or other vertical supports that split, lean, list, or buckle due to defective material or deterioration.
(5) Members of walls, partitions, or other vertical supports that are of insufficient size to carry imposed loads with safety.
(6) Members of ceilings, roofs, ceiling and roof supports, or other horizontal members which sag, split, or buckle due to defective material or deterioration.
(7) Members of ceilings, roofs, ceiling and roof supports, or other horizontal members that are of insufficient size to carry imposed loads with safety.
(8) Fireplaces or chimneys which list, bulge, or settle due to defective material or deterioration.
(9) Fireplaces or chimneys which are of insufficient size or strength to carry imposed loads with safety.
(c) Any nuisance.
(d) All wiring, except that which conformed with all applicable laws in effect at the time of installation if it is currently in good and safe condition and working properly.
(e) All plumbing, except plumbing that conformed with all applicable laws in effect at the time of installation and has been maintained in good condition, or that may not have conformed with all applicable laws in effect at the time of installation but is currently in good and safe condition and working properly, and that is free of cross connections and siphonage between fixtures.
(f) All mechanical equipment, including vents, except equipment that conformed with all applicable laws in effect at the time of installation and that has been maintained in good and safe condition, or that may not have conformed with all applicable laws in effect at the time of installation but is currently in good and safe condition and working properly.
(g) Faulty weather protection, which shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
(1) Deteriorated, crumbling, or loose plaster.
(2) Deteriorated or ineffective waterproofing of exterior walls, roofs, foundations, or floors, including broken windows or doors.
(3) Defective or lack of weather protection for exterior wall coverings, including lack of paint, or weathering due to lack of paint or other approved protective covering.
(4) Broken, rotted, split, or buckled exterior wall coverings or roof coverings.
(h) Any building or portion thereof, device, apparatus, equipment, combustible waste, or vegetation that, in the opinion of the chief of the fire department or his deputy, is in such a condition as to cause a fire or explosion or provide a ready fuel to augment the spread and intensity of fire or explosion arising from any cause.
(i) All materials of construction, except those that are specifically allowed or approved by this code, and that have been adequately maintained in good and safe condition.
(j) Those premises on which an accumulation of weeds, vegetation, junk, dead organic matter, debris, garbage, offal, rodent harborages, stagnant water, combustible materials, and similar materials or conditions constitute fire, health, or safety hazards.
(k) Any building or portion thereof that is determined to be an unsafe building due to inadequate maintenance, in accordance with the latest edition of the Uniform Building Code.
(l) All buildings or portions thereof not provided with adequate exit facilities as required by this code, except those buildings or portions thereof whose exit facilities conformed with all applicable laws at the time of their construction and that have been adequately maintained and increased in relation to any increase in occupant load, alteration or addition, or any change in occupancy.
When an unsafe condition exists through lack of, or improper location of, exits, additional exits may be required to be installed.
(m) All buildings or portions thereof that are not provided with the fire-resistive construction or fire-extinguishing systems or equipment required by this code, except those buildings or portions thereof that conformed with all applicable laws at the time of their construction and whose fire-resistive integrity and fire-extinguishing systems or equipment have been adequately maintained and improved in relation to any increase in occupant load, alteration or addition, or any change in occupancy.
(n) All buildings or portions thereof occupied for living, sleeping, cooking, or dining purposes that were not designed or intended to be used for those occupancies.
(o) Inadequate structural resistance to horizontal forces.
“Substandard building” includes a building not in compliance with Section 13143.2.
However, a condition that would require displacement of sound walls or ceilings to meet height, length, or width requirements for ceilings, rooms, and dwelling units shall not by itself be considered sufficient existence of dangerous conditions making a building a substandard building, unless the building was constructed, altered, or converted in violation of those requirements in effect at the time of construction, alteration, or conversion.

SEC. 3.

 Section 17961 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:

17961.
 (a) The housing or building department or, if there is no building department acting pursuant to this section, the health department of every city, county, or city and county, or any environmental agency authorized pursuant to Section 101275, shall enforce within its jurisdiction all of this part, the building standards published in the State Building Standards Code, and the other rules and regulations adopted pursuant to this part pertaining to the maintenance, sanitation, ventilation, use, or occupancy of apartment houses, hotels, or dwellings. The health department or the environmental agency may, in conjunction with a local housing or building department acting pursuant to this section, enforce within its jurisdiction all of this part, the building standards published in the State Building Standards Code, and the other rules and regulations adopted pursuant to this part pertaining to the maintenance, sanitation, ventilation, use, or occupancy of apartment houses, hotels, or dwellings. Each department and agency, as applicable, shall coordinate enforcement activities with each other and interested departments and agencies in order to avoid unnecessary duplication.
(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), the health department of every city, county, or city and county, or any environmental agency authorized pursuant to Section 101275 may, in addition to the local building or housing department, if any, enforce within its jurisdiction the provisions of Section 17920.10 and shall coordinate enforcement activities with other interested departments and agencies in order to avoid unnecessary duplication.
(c) The State Department of Public Health may enforce Section 17920.10 if any local agency or department specified in subdivisions (a) and (b) enters into a written agreement, approved and published pursuant to local government procedures, with the State Department of Public Health to enforce that section, or provides the State Department of Public Health with a written request to enforce that section for a specific case following the identification of a lead poisoned child in that jurisdiction.