Mandatory Los Angeles County Retrofit Items When Selling

You are selling a residential property within the County of Los Angeles. What are the mandatory retrofit items that must be completed prior to the close of escrow? They are …..

Smoke Detectors – California law requires that every ”dwelling intended for human occupancy” have smoke alarms. (Cal. Health and Safety Code section 13113.7). There is no exception for single family properties. These smoke alarms must be approved and listed by the State Fire Marshal. California State Building Code requires that smoke alarms be located in 1) the hallway outside the bedrooms 2) in each bedroom and 3) on every floor regardless of whether there is a bedroom on that floor. The California State Building Code has required this at least since 2007. As of July 1st, 2014, the State Fire Marshal requires battery operated smoke alarms to contain a non-replaceable, non-removable battery capable of powering the smoke alarm for at least 10 years. When transferring a property in the state of California, the transferor/seller must provide the buyer with a written statement indicating that the property is in compliance with the law governing smoke alarms.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors – As of January 1, 2013, State law now requires the installation of Carbon Monoxide detectors in all single and multi-family dwellings (Cal. Health & Safety Code § 13261) . The state requirement requires a Carbon Monoxide detector be installed outside each separate sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of the bedrooms, and on every level of the property.

Smoke and CO detector state codes – CBC 907.2.11, CRC 314.3, CRC 315.1

Water Heater Strapping – California Plumbing Code Section 507.2 requires that all water heaters shall be supported and strapped to prevent movement during an earthquake. Two metal straps, not less than 22 gauge, nor less than 5/8-inch wide shall be used.

Water Conserving Plumbing Fixtures (Toilets, Showerheads, and Faucets) – Starting in 2017 the law requires the installation of water conserving plumbing fixtures if you own a single-family home, and it is built before 1994 whether or not it is being sold. When selling, if you haven’t already installed water conserving plumbing fixtures on your pre-1994 single-family house, then you are in violation of the law. Homes built after 1994 presumably already have state mandated low flow plumbing fixtures. A non-complaint plumbing fixture is any of the following: Any toilet manufactured to use more than 1.6 gallons of water per flush, Any showerhead manufactured to have a flow capacity of more than 2.5 gallons of water per minute, Any interior faucet that emits more than 2.2 gallons of water per minute. More information here.

Certification and Reporting for Code Compliance Items – California Health and Safety Code Sections 13113.8(b) and 19211 requires Sellers to provide buyer with a written statement indicating that the Property is in compliance with the applicable local ordinance regarding installation of carbon monoxide, smoke detectors and water heater bracing, anchoring or strapping.

These LA County codes are state mandated, meaning every property in the state of California has these requirements. Whether they are addressed or not is up to the parties involved and their agents.

Also, sellers and owners must check with the local city department of building and safety in which the home is located to determine any additional city or local requirements. Cities, including Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Culver City and others will have additional requirements to those listed above.

Call us if you have any questions about these items at 310-800-4418 .

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