Today's Law As Amended


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AB-838 State Housing Law: enforcement response to complaints.(2021-2022)



As Amends the Law Today


SECTION 1.

 Section 17970.5 is added to the Health and Safety Code, to read:

17970.5.
 (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of this part, a city or county that receives a complaint from a tenant, resident, or occupant, or an agent of a tenant, resident, or occupant, regarding a potential violation of Section 17920.10 or regarding a building being substandard pursuant to Section 17920.3 shall do all of the following:
(1) Inspect the building or portion thereof intended for human occupancy, including any dwelling unit, guestroom, or suite of rooms, or the premises on which it is located, that may be in violation of Section 17920.10 or that may be substandard pursuant to Section 17920.3.
(2) Document any violations of Section 17920.10 that would be discovered based upon a reasonably competent and diligent visual inspection of the property and identify any building or portion thereof intended for human occupancy, including any dwelling unit, guestroom, or suite of rooms, or the premises on which it is located, that is determined to be substandard pursuant to Section 17920.3, as applicable. The documentation shall be included in the inspection report described in subdivision (d).
(3) As applicable, advise the owner or operator of each violation and of each action that is required to be taken to remedy the violation and schedule a reinspection to verify correction of the violations.
(b) A city or county shall perform an inspection conducted pursuant to subdivision (a) at least as promptly as that city or county conducts an inspection in response to a request for final inspection pursuant to Section 110 of the California Building Code.
(c) Notwithstanding subdivisions (a) and (b), a city or county is not required to conduct an inspection in response to either of the following types of complaints:
(1) A complaint that does not allege one or more substandard conditions.
(2) A complaint submitted by a tenant, resident, or occupant who, within the past 180 days, submitted a complaint about the same property that the chief building inspector or their designee reasonably determined, after inspection, was frivolous or unfounded.
(d) A city or county shall provide free, certified copies of an inspection report and citations issued pursuant to this section, if any, to the complaining tenant, resident, occupant, or their agent. If inspection reveals a condition potentially affecting multiple tenants, residents, or occupants, including, but not limited to, conditions relating to the premises, common areas, or structural features, then the city or county shall provide free copies of the inspection report and citations issued to all potentially affected tenants, residents, occupants, or their agents.
(e) A city, county, or city and county shall not collect a fee, cost, or charge from a property owner or property owner’s agent for any inspection of, or any inspection report about, that owner’s or agent’s property that is conducted or issued pursuant to this section, unless the inspection reveals one or more material violations of Section 17920.10 or deems and declares the property substandard pursuant to Section 17920.3.
(f) Nothing in this section limits or alters the existing authority of a city, county, or city and county to impose fees on rental property owners to support a rental property inspection program, or to otherwise impose generally applicable charges, fees, or assessments to cover the costs of inspections or inspection reports required by this section.
(g) An inspection or report required by this section shall not be subject to any unreasonable conditions, including any requirements that:
(1) The tenant, resident, occupant, or agent first make a demand for correction upon the owner of the property.
(2) The tenant be current on rent.
(3) The tenant otherwise be in compliance with their rental agreement.
(4) The tenant, resident, or occupant not be involved in a legal dispute with the owner of the property.
(h) A city or county shall not unreasonably refuse to communicate with a tenant, resident, occupant, or the agent of a tenant, resident, or occupant regarding any matter covered by this section.
(i) The requirements of this section shall not be construed to impose a mandatory duty pursuant to Section 815.6 of the Government Code, and shall not be construed to affect the availability of any immunity otherwise applicable to the city or county or its employees, including, but not limited to, Sections 818.2, 818.4, 818.6, 820.2, 821, 821.2, and 821.4 of the Government Code.
(j) (1) An action to enforce the requirements of this section shall be brought pursuant to Section 1085 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
(2) For purposes of Section 1085 of the Code of Civil Procedure, the requirements of this section shall be construed as acts which the law specially enjoins, as a duty resulting from an office, trust, or station.
(k) This section shall become operative July 1, 2022.
SEC. 2.
 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because a local agency or school district has the authority to levy service charges, fees, or assessments sufficient to pay for the program or level of service mandated by this act, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, and because the only other costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district under this act would result from a legislative mandate that is within the scope of paragraph (7) of subdivision (b) of Section 3 of Article I of the California Constitution.