Code Section Group

Health and Safety Code - HSC

DIVISION 13. HOUSING [17000 - 19997]

  ( Division 13 enacted by Stats. 1939, Ch. 60. )

PART 1. EMPLOYEE HOUSING ACT [17000 - 17062.5]

  ( Part 1 added by Stats. 1979, Ch. 62. )

CHAPTER 5. Enforcement [17050 - 17056]
  ( Chapter 5 added by Stats. 1979, Ch. 62. )

17050.
  

(a) Except as provided in Section 18930, the Department of Housing and Community Development may promulgate rules and regulations to interpret and make specific this part. When adopted, those rules and regulations shall apply to all parts of the state.

(b) Upon written notice to the Department of Housing and Community Development, any city, county, or city and county may assume the responsibility for the enforcement of this part, for the building standards published in the California Building Standards Code relating to employee housing, and for the other regulations adopted pursuant to this part following approval by the department for that assumption.

(c) The Department of Housing and Community Development shall adopt regulations which shall set forth the conditions for assumption and may include required qualifications of local enforcement agencies. When assumption is approved, the department shall transfer the responsibility for enforcement to the city, county, or city and county, together with all records of active and inactive employee housing within its jurisdiction.

(d) A city, county, or city and county may, by ordinance, establish a schedule of fees for the operation of employee housing not to exceed that which is established by the department. In no event may fees be charged to residents of employee housing.

(e) (1) In the event of nonenforcement of this part, of the building standards published in the California Building Standards Code relating to employee housing, or of the other rules and regulations adopted pursuant to this part, the department shall enforce this part, the building standards published in the California Building Standards Code relating to employee housing, and the rules and regulations adopted pursuant to this part in any city, county, or city and county after the department has given written notice to the governing body of the city, county, or city and county, setting forth in what respects the city, county, or city and county has failed to discharge its responsibility, and has failed to initiate corrective measures to carry out its responsibility within 30 days of the date of the notice.

(2) On or after January 1, 1987, in the event the local enforcement agency has failed to initiate adequate and reasonable corrective measures to carry out its responsibility, as determined by the department, within 30 days of the date of notice of one or more specific examples of nonenforcement, the department, at its option, may undertake investigation and enforcement of the alleged violations of this part within the local enforcement agency’s jurisdiction, and the local enforcement agency shall be liable to the department and the Attorney General for the actual costs of the investigation and enforcement by these state agencies.

(f) (1) The department shall conduct an annual evaluation of the enforcement of this part, of the building standards published in the California Building Standards Code relating to employee housing, and of the other regulations adopted pursuant to this part by each city, county, or city and county which has assumed responsibility for enforcement. The department shall submit a written summary of the evaluation conducted pursuant to this subdivision with the report required by Section 50408.

(2) The department, in consultation with interested persons, including housing advocates and farming organizations, shall conduct an evaluation of the definition of “rural” as used in paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of Section 17008 and submit a written summary of the evaluation with the report required in calendar year 1996 by Section 17031.8.

(g)  Except as provided in Section 18945, the department shall be sole judge as to whether the local enforcement agency is properly enforcing the provisions. Except as provided in Section 18945, the local enforcement agency shall have the right to appeal the decision to the department.

(h) (1) Any city, county, or city and county may cancel its assumption of responsibility for the enforcement of these provisions by providing written notice of cancellation to the department. The department shall assume the responsibility within 90 days after receipt of the notice.

(2) A local enforcement agency that has been approved by the department to enforce the provisions of this chapter and cancels its assumption of responsibility and returns enforcement to the department under paragraph (1) shall remit to the department the fees established and collected under Section 17036 and subdivision (d) that have not been expended pursuant to this chapter and the regulations adopted thereunder. For the purpose of this paragraph, the local enforcement agency shall either identify the actual expenditures and pay to the department the balance of fees collected, or shall pay the department a sum equal to the percentage of the years remaining before outstanding permits to operate expire.

(i) The enforcement agency may:

(1) Enter public or private properties to determine whether there exists any employee housing to which this part applies.

(2) Enter and inspect all employee housing wheresoever situated, and inspect all accommodations, equipment, or paraphernalia connected therewith.

(3) Enter and inspect the land adjacent to the employee housing to determine whether the sanitary and other requirements of this part, the building standards published in the California Building Standards Code relating to employee housing, and the other rules and regulations adopted pursuant to this part have been or are being complied with.

(Amended by Stats. 2008, Ch. 138, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2009.)

17051.
  

For the purpose of securing compliance with this part, the officers and agents of the enforcement agency may serve any process or notice throughout its jurisdiction.

(Added by Stats. 1979, Ch. 62.)

17052.
  

The enforcement agency shall annually enter and inspect, and reinspect as necessary, all employee housing accommodations for compliance with the provisions of this part and regulations adopted pursuant to this part, except:

(a)  Accommodations for employee housing consisting only of permanent single family housing that have been granted an exemption as provided in Section 17031.

(b)  Accommodations for employee housing that have been issued a multiyear permit to operate pursuant to Section 17030.5.

(c)  Accommodations for employee housing that are inactive.

(d)  Accommodations for employee housing inspected in the prior calendar year with no violations identified or complaints received by the enforcement agency, which shall be inspected at least biennially.

The enforcement agency shall make every effort to complete the inspection prior to the occupancy of the employee housing.

(Amended by Stats. 1995, Ch. 561, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 1996.)

17053.
  

The department shall maintain a file of all reports of complaint or other significant information regarding employee housing maintenance and operation. Each file and information shall be available to local enforcement agencies, district attorneys, and the Attorney General. This material shall be a matter of public record.

(Amended by Stats. 1992, Ch. 1298, Sec. 38. Effective January 1, 1993.)

17054.
  

The Attorney General, upon the request of the Director of Housing and Community Development, shall conduct such investigations as may be necessary to determine whether any violation of any provision of this part has occurred. For such purpose, the Attorney General shall have the powers specified in Section 17050.

The Attorney General shall conduct such prosecutions of violations of this part as the director may request.

(Added by Stats. 1979, Ch. 62.)

17055.
  

(a)  Any person residing in employee housing subject to this part may file an administrative complaint orally or in writing with the enforcement agency. The enforcement agency shall deliver a summary or copy of the complaint, by mail or in person, to the owner or operator, at the time of filing the complaint.

(b)  If a civil action under this part has not been filed by the enforcement agency within 21 days after receipt of the complaint, the complainant may bring a civil action for injunctive or declaratory relief and appropriate statutory damages, civil penalties, actual damages, penalties, and other remedies which arise from any violation of this part, building standards published in the State Building Standards Code relating to employee housing, regulations adopted pursuant to this part, or conditions of the permit.

(c)  In any civil action under this section, if the enforcement agency certifies that the employee housing is in compliance with this part, building standards published in the State Building Standards Code relating to employee housing, regulations adopted pursuant to this part, and conditions of the permit, no injunctive relief related to mandatory repairs shall be granted with respect to any alleged violation covered by the certificate.

(d)  In any civil action brought by a private person or entity under this section, the private person or entity may be granted reasonable attorney’s fees and costs, in addition to any other remedy granted, if the private person or entity prevails, and if the trier of fact finds that the violations involve retaliation or are so extensive and of such a nature that the immediate health and safety of residents or the public is endangered or has been endangered.

(e)  If a complainant alleges, and the court finds, that residents of the employee housing were in imminent peril as a result of serious violations of this part, the complainant may immediately proceed with the filing of a civil action without regard to the 21-day waiting period specified in subdivision (b).

(Amended by Stats. 2000, Ch. 702, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2001.)

17056.
  

(a)  In every part of the state, notwithstanding assumption of responsibilities by local enforcement agencies pursuant to Section 17050, the department shall establish procedures and devote resources to locating and prosecuting the most serious violators of this part and those who refuse to apply for or obtain permits to operate pursuant to this part, as determined by the department.

(b)  The department shall maximize the efforts of personnel implementing this part by seeking to use new resources and nontraditional means, by coordinating with state, local, and federal agencies and by training and coordinating with local health and building departments.

(c)  All of the requirements of this part shall be performed by civil service employees of the department who, to the extent feasible, shall be bilingual in Spanish and English.

(Amended by Stats. 1995, Ch. 561, Sec. 4. Effective January 1, 1996.)

HSCHealth and Safety Code - HSC