California’s Mold Law – SB 655
Mold is now a factor in declaring a property unfit for a renter.
A landlord could even face misdemeanor criminal penalties if mold is not cleared out. California’s Mold Law – SB 655 . .
However, he said a health officer actually has to come out to a property to declare it uninhabitable because of mold. A renter will not be successful in court, he said, unless a health official says the unit poses a risk.
“Here’s the really good news: You don’t need to do anything until you’re told about it,” Hutchinson said of when a landlord needs to clean it out.
The mold law also says mold is not the landlords’ fault if the tenant caused mold by “inappropriate housekeeping practices.”
BILL NUMBER: SB 655 INTRODUCED BILL TEXT
INTRODUCED BY Senator Mitchell FEBRUARY 27, 2015
An act to amend Sections 17920 and 17920.3 of the Health and
Safety Code, relating to housing standards.
LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST
SB 655, as introduced, Mitchell. Housing standards: mold.
(1) The State Housing Law, which is administered by the Department
of Housing and Community Development, prescribes standards for
buildings used for human habitation and establishes definitions for
this purpose. The law provides that a building, or a portion of it,
in which certain conditions are found to exist, such as a lack of
sanitation, as specified, is substandard. The law provides that a
violation of these provisions is a misdemeanor.
This bill would specify that visible or otherwise demonstrable
mold growth, excepting mold caused by inappropriate housekeeping
practices or improper use of ventilation, is a type of inadequate
sanitation and therefore a substandard condition. The bill would
define mold as living or dead fungi or its related products or parts,
including spores and hyphae. By expanding the definition of a crime,
this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
(2) The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse
local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the
state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this
act for a specified reason.
Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes.
State-mandated local program: yes.
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:
SECTION 1. Section 17920 of the Health and Safety Code is amended
17920. As used in this part:
(a) "Approved" means acceptable to the department.
(b) "Building" means a structure subject to this part.
(c) "Building standard" means building standard as
defined in Section 18909.
(d) "Department" means the Department of Housing and
(e) "Enforcement" means diligent effort to secure
compliance, including review of plans and permit applications,
response to complaints, citation of violations, and other legal
process. Except as otherwise provided in this part, "enforcement"
may, but need not, include inspections of existing buildings on which
no complaint or permit application has been filed, and effort to
secure compliance as to these existing buildings.
(f) "Fire protection district" means any special
district, or any other municipal or public corporation or district,
which is authorized by law to provide fire protection and prevention
(g) "Labeled" means equipment or materials to which has
been attached a label, symbol, or other identifying mark of an
organization, approved by the department, that maintains a periodic
inspection program of production of labeled products, installations,
equipment, or materials and by whose labeling the manufacturer
indicates compliance with appropriate standards or performance in a
(h) "Listed" means all products that appear in a list
published by an approved testing or listing agency.
(i) "Listing agency" means an agency approved by the
department that is in the business of listing and labeling products,
materials, equipment, and installations tested by an approved testing
agency, and that maintains a periodic inspection program on current
production of listed products, equipment, and installations, and
that, at least annually, makes available a published report of these
(j) "Mold" means living or dead fungi or its related products or
parts, including spores and hyphae.
(k) "Noise insulation" means the protection of persons
within buildings from excessive noise, however generated, originating
within or without such buildings.
(l) "Nuisance" means any nuisance defined pursuant to
Part 3 (commencing with Section 3479) of Division 4 of the Civil
Code, or any other form of nuisance recognized at common law or in
(m) "Public entity" has the same meaning as defined in
Section 811.2 of the Government Code.
(n) "Testing agency" means an agency approved by the
department as qualified and equipped for testing of products,
materials, equipment, and installations in accordance with nationally
SEC. 2. Section 17920.3 of the Health and Safety Code is amended
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,
(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
(5) Lack of hot and cold running water to plumbing fixtures in a
(6) Lack of adequate heating.
(7) Lack of, or improper operation of required ventilating
(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) Any visible or otherwise demonstrable mold growth, excluding
the presence of mold that is caused by inappropriate housekeeping
practices or improper use of natural or mechanical ventilation.
(14) General dilapidation or improper maintenance.
(15) Lack of connection to required sewage disposal
(16) 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
(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
(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
(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
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. No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to
Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because
the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school
district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or
infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty
for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the
Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the
meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California
California's Mold Law - SB 655
Prevent water damage and mold growth
Leaves, sticks, and debris can become a problem for your rain gutters. Rain gutters typically allow the removal of water away from your home or building. In this instance, the blockage within the rain gutter allowed water to overflow and deposit near the front door of the unit. If left untended, the backup within the gutter would allow the water to impact the structure and possibly cause water damage inside the home. Water damage and mold growth inside your home can be prevented by regular maintenance of the rain gutters during this El Nino rainy season.
Do your best to observe the signs of a failing rain gutter and prevent water damage:
- Loose or detached down spouts
- Bent or broken sections of the main gutter
- Excessive debris (including leaves and dirt)
- Improper slope and grading of the gutters
- Overflowing water
These recent fungi, mold, and mushrooms were observed on the inside of a home. Fungi grow for numerous reasons in buildings and structures, including the presence of water damage or moisture intrusion.
Some fungi and mushrooms are able to import moisture from other source outside the home and continue growing even if the moisture source is eradicated. This complex rooting system allows the fungi and molds to grow in the absence of moisture leak or water damage.
Although this is not probably not a indoor air quality problem, it is a problem for the building or structure. With continuing growth of this fungi, the organism digests the cellulose within the wood, drywall, and other building components of the structure.
Experts familiar with this type of mold growth should be called to help diagnose the extent of contamination and present a pragmatic solution to eradicate the problem.
Read More > > > http://funguyinspections.com/poria-incrassata-problems-in-los-angeles/
1. Fix any roof leaks before it rains. This is a sure way to prevent water damage to the attic, insulation, and ceilings within your home.
2. Gutters and downspouts should be clean and free of debris. Also look for any breaks and make sure the gutters are tight against the roofline. Moving water away from the home with rain gutters and downspouts will help prevent water from damaging your home.
3. Buy a generator. This standby generator will help provide light and possibly heat during a power outage.
4. Install a sump pump for areas below grade. Moving water from low lying areas will prevent ponding and potential water damage to your home.
5. Exterior surfaces of the home should be touched up, sealed, or painted. Seal up any holes from cables and other wires that penetrate exterior walls to prevent water damage.
6. Examine your windows. Look for holes in the seals and caulk the openings. Check and recaulk as needed.
7. Check balcony and deck slopes. Look for holes, loose, and degrading layers of building materials on the surface of patios or decks.
8. Call an exterminator to prevent pests from intruding during the rain.
9. Store emergency repair materials (sandbags, heavy plastic sheeting) in a safe dry place.
10. Vechile – Maintain tires and fill up your gas tank.
11. Buy new windshield wipers. This will help you drive safely during the heavy rains.
12. How old is your car’s battery? At three years, have it checked by a trusted mechanic.
13. Drainage. Prepare your yard by sloping landscape away from your home. Note new drainage patterns if you have recently changed to an environmentally friendly yard.
14. Automatic Timers: Turn off your system.
15. Loosen compacted soil: Ground that has been allowed to dry out will repel water initially. Make sure soil levels are below the stucco line of your home to prevent water damage.
16. Have your trees checked: With the drought taking a toll on all trees, now is the time to bring in a certified arborist — not a simple tree cutter — to do a health check and risk assessment.
17. Secure your yard: Reinforce your fencing if needed. Store or tie down anything that might blow and cause damage in high wind.
18. Have materials on hand to divert water: Sandbags, concrete edgers and straw-waddle tubing can effectively channel water away from structures to drainage areas.
19. Secure important documents in the cloud or on a thumb drive.
20. Put together preparedness and disaster supply kits for your home and car. FEMA, the California Department of Water Resources and the Auto Club are just three of many organizations that list important things to have on hand. For more information, go to www.floodprepareCA.com (California Department of Water Resources), www.ladbs.org (Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety “Homeowners Guide for Flood, Debris Flow and Erosion Control”), www.ready.gov (National Weather Service) and www.aaa.com (Automobile Club of Southern California).
21. Prepare now: Experts agree that the toughest time to find solutions to rain-related issues is during a rainstorm.
1. Emergency Kit
Key items to include in an emergency kit include:
- Food and water to last you and your family 72 hours
- First aid supplies
- Any medical supplies you might need, like medications and spare eyeglasses.
You should also include a flashlight with extra batteries in your emergency kit in case you lose power during a winter storm.
You can find most things you’d want in an emergency kit around your home. Take a minute to gather them together to store in a safe place, so that you’re ready for any emergency.
2. Create a Plan
Creating an emergency plan for you, your family, or your business can help you better react to and recover from any emergency. Making a plan isn’t hard. By taking a few simple steps, you can be better prepared for life’s emergencies.
Talk to your family about how they would react to an emergency, for example an earthquake or a mudslide:
- Do you know what kinds of emergencies you might face at your home, school, or workplace?
- How will you know when there is an emergency in your area? What if you’re not at home?
- How will you get in touch with each other? Remember: cell phone service might be down, so think of a few different options.
- How will you let family and friends out of state know you’re okay?
- If you are separated during an emergency, how will your family reunite? Where will they reunite?
- How will you begin to recover? Do you have copies of important legal and vital documents stored somewhere safe?
Once you’ve started the conversation, get started on the plan. Use one of the easy, helpful templates from Ready.gov to get stared or create a customized plan using the Prepare LA Now web app.
3. Get Sandbags
Visit any neighborhood LAFD fire station to pick up sandbags. You can find your nearest fire station at the Los Angeles Fire Department website.
Some fire stations also have sand available. For a list of stations with sand, click here.
Not sure what to do with those sandbags once you’ve picked them up? Learn how to properly fill and place a sandbag from the pros.
Get pets prepared with these simple tips:
- Make sure that your pets have current City of Los Angeles Licenses. You can get a new license or renew your dog’s license online! Click here to get started.
- Micro-chip your pets, and verify information at least once a year! You can get your pets micro-chipped at any of the six L.A. City shelters (no appointments necessary).
- Remember to include pet food, water, leashes, medications, and treats in your emergency kit.
- Keep copies of your pets vital documents, and include the pets in your emergency plans.
- Your companion animals should have up-to-date vaccinations.
5. Get Prepared
Now is the time to get your home ready for wet winter weather. Here are some tips to get started:
- Walk around your home and look for anything that might cause problems during a storm. Is your roof showing signs of leaking? Are your gutters overflowing with leaves? Does water drain off your property? Once you’ve identified potential issues, you can start addressing them.
- Review your homeowners renters insurance policy. Does it cover flood damage? If not, the National Flood Insurance Program might be right for you.
- Clear out gutters and secure any loose items in your yard that might clog storm drains and cause flooding.
- Trim any trees that might fall over during a storm. (If you use a contractor, don’t get scammed. Be sure to check their license before starting work.)
- Install rain barrels or other water conservation systems to collect water, which saves money and is drought friendly. Learn more about El Niño and the Drought.
- Get a kit, get a plan, and practice it! Remember, your preparing for El Niño will better prepare you for whatever LA might throw our way.
- If you’re concerned about flooding, get sandbags before storms arrive. Learn how to get free sandbags.
Learn more > > > http://www.elninola.com/ready/