Transaction Coordinators Access Real Estate Law Information

smoke detector lawsWhen working with a California Transaction Coordinator, this individual can help you to be aware of all of the new and changing real estate laws.

According to the California Association of Realtors®, there will be some changes to the laws about smoke alarms coming in January of 2014. Using a knowledgeable California transaction coordinator can help you to be certain that you address many of these new laws before closing an escrow.

Here’s some handy information from the California transaction coordinators at Transaction 911 (courtesy of the California Association of Realtors®):

Starting January 1, 2014, for all dwelling units intended for human occupancy for which a building permit is issued for alterations, repairs, or additions for more than $1,000, the issuer of the building permit will not sign off on the completion of work unless the owner demonstrates that all smoke alarms (previously “smoke detectors”) required for the dwelling unit are devices approved by the State Fire Marshal. This rule applies to any dwelling unit intended for human occupancy, including factory-built housing (but not manufactured homes or mobile homes). Also starting January 1, 2014, to be approved and listed by the State Fire Marshal, a smoke alarm must display the date of manufacture, allow a place for the date of installation to be written, incorporate a hush feature, incorporate an end-of-life warning, and, for battery-operated devices, contain a non-removable 10-year battery. These rules may be superseded by a local rule or ordinance that is more stringent than state law. For properties rented or leased, an owner is generally responsible for testing and maintaining smoke alarms in an apartment complex or other building starting January 1, 2013, and in a single-family residence starting January 1, 2014. An owner of an apartment complex no longer needs to have a smoke detector in common stairwells. Beginning January 1, 2016, an owner of a dwelling unit intended for human occupancy that is rented or lease must generally install additional smoke alarms as needed to comply with current building standards. Existing alarms need not be replaced unless the alarm is inoperable. New alarms installed may be battery-operated if approved by the State Fire Marshal. These installation requirements for landlords do not apply to fire alarm systems with smoke detectors, fire alarm devices that connect to a panel, or devices that use a low-power radio frequency wireless signal.

Senate Bill 1394 (codified as Cal. Health & Safety Code §§ 13113.7, 13113.8, and 13114) (effective January 1, 2013 unless otherwise indicated).

The California transaction coordinators at Transaction 911 also remind you that the smoke detector and water heater compliance issues are now included in the Transaction Disclosure Statement (TDS), so currently the separate statement of compliance (WHD) would not be required if your transaction includes a TDS.

Not sure what forms to use? Feel free to reach out to the California transaction coordinators at Transaction 911.

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