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On May 7, 2010, the Governor signed SB 183, a bill that requires owners of all single-family homes that have fossil fuel burning appliances, fireplaces, or an attached garage to install carbon monoxide device(s) (“CO devices”) approved and listed by the State Fire Marshall on or before July 1, 2011.
For all other dwellings, owners will be required to install the CO devices on or before January 1, 2013.
The devices (1) must be designed to detect carbon monoxide and produce a distinct, audible alarm; (2) may be 1) battery powered; 2) a plug in device with a battery backup, or 3) a device installed as recommended by the National Fire Protection Association that is either wired into the alternating current power line of the dwelling unit with a secondary battery backup or connected to a system via a panel. They must be tested and certified pursuant to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and UL.
If the device is combined with a smoke detector, it must comply with the standards that apply to carbon monoxide alarms, the standards that apply to smoke detectors, and must emit an alarm or voice warning in a manner that clearly differentiates between a carbon monoxide alarm warning and a smoke detector warning. Single-family home owners will be given a 30-day notice to correct a violation of this new law prior to being assessed a fine.
Owners of rental units will be required to install CO devices. In addition:
Owners will be given a right to access a rental unit for the sole purpose of installing, repairing, testing, and maintaining CO devices upon the giving of a 24-hour notice similar to the one required for making necessary repairs in a rental unit.
Tenants will be required to notify the owner or manager if the tenant becomes aware of an inoperable or deficient CO device. This will shift the burden to the tenant if the tenant becomes aware that the device has become inoperable or if the tenant causes the device to become inoperable (i.e. if the tenant has unplugged the unit or removed the batteries).
Owners must ensure CO devices are operable at the time that the tenant takes possession. The owner will be required to correct deficiencies in the CO device thereafter following notice by the tenant and will not be found in violation of this new law unless such tenant has notified the owner or manager. This new law does not affect any rights parties may have under any other provision of law because of the presence or absence of a CO device.
The transfer disclosure statement (TDS) for residential property with one to four units will be amended to require the owner to disclose if the property has one or more CO devices.
The new law provides, “No transfer of title shall be invalidated on the basis of a failure to comply with this section, and the exclusive remedy for the failure to comply with this section is an award of actual damages not to exceed one hundred dollars ($100), exclusive of any court costs and attorney’s fees. This subdivision is not intended to affect any duties, rights, or remedies otherwise available at law.” It further allows for local ordinances that are consistent with its provisions.
Almost a month ago, the San Francisco Association of REALTORS® commenced a legal action against the City and County of San Francisco in Superior Court seeking a stay in the enforcement of the recently enacted amendments to the Water Conservation Ordinance because the city has not produced the documents sellers need to be able to comply with the amendments.
The unavailability of the documents sellers need to comply with the amendments is causing widespread confusion among REALTORS® concerning how they should advise sellers concerning their obligations under the amendments. If the court grants the requested stay, the effective date of the amendments will be 10 days after the documents sellers need to be able to comply with the amendments are produced by the city to allow the Association to notify members of the new effective date.
The Association’s outside general counsel, Alex Weyand, is currently discussing settlement of the lawsuit on mutually agreeable terms with San Francisco’s city attorney.
As reported earlier in REALTOR® Advantage Online, the City and County of San Francisco has amended Chapters 12 and 12A of its Housing Code earlier to expand the requirements of the city’s Water Conservation Ordinance.
The amendments require the city to provide the public with an inspection form and a disclosure brochure. The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission and the San Francisco Department of Building Inspection appear to have been charged with the duty to provide these implementing documents. But as of the effective date of the amendments (July 1, 2009), the city, the SFPUC and the SF Department of Building Inspection Department had failed to do so.
On July 30, 2009, the city promised to provide the documents by August 15, 2009 and agreed not to enforce the amendments until then. But the city did not meet its self-imposed August 15, 2009 deadline, either. And, a review of the DBI web site today indicates that the city continues to fail to perform its obligations under the law.
San Francisco Association of Realtors
This comes from the Mesothelioma Cancer Center:
Many types of asbestos occur naturally in California due to its location and geologic history. Many of its citizens are becoming increasingly aware of the harmful health ailments that can occur as a result of asbestos exposure. An epidemic has been hitting workers of the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department.
Currently, San Francisco is the 14th largest city in the United States and there are still many public facilities and homes that likely contain asbestos and other contaminants. Asbestos deposits are found naturally in 44 of California’s 58 counties. Homes and buildings built before 1980 could still contain asbestos-materials. Potential homebuyers, remodelers and real estate agents should be aware that there are now many healthy options that replace the need for asbestos entirely.
Although asbestos has been used as a form of piping and insulation, the biggest threat of asbestos exposure occurs in the shipyard industry. Throughout World War II, the U.S. military produced the majority of its vessels in shipyards located in San Francisco. Mesothelioma is an aggressive form of asbestos cancer that accounts for nearly three percent of all cancer diagnoses in the country. Mesothelioma treatment is unfortunately almost always unsuccessful and physician prognosis is poor.
In 2004, the state of Florida was hit with Hurricane Charlie. With many storms, homes suffer a large amount of damage, which amounts to asbestos fibers becoming airborne throughout neighborhoods. A Daytona Beach Real Estate company reported that many citizens were affected as a result of the release of toxins and spills from the damage. One of the extreme contaminants of concern was asbestos. San Francisco residents experienced a similar situation in 1989, when an earthquake registering 7.1 on the Richter scale destroyed many structures and disturbed asbestos-containing materials. These types of events have lead to the Environmental Protection Agency to consider the hazards of asbestos in the wake of natural disasters.
The California Department of Industrial Relations administers a number of programs which are aimed at preventing asbestos exposure in public facilities, workplaces and homes. The removal of asbestos must be performed by licensed abatement contractors who are specially trained in handling hazardous materials. It is highly recommended that those who believe they live or work in an area where asbestos are found to leave it undisturbed. Contractors come equipped with protective gear in case its fibers become airborne immediately after it is broken up.
Once the remove is finished, healthy alternatives should be considered as replacements. These options include the use of recycled building materials like cotton fiber, cellulose and lcynene. The use of these eco-friendly materials will also result in a decrease in energy costs. The United States Environmental Program states that that cotton fiber insulation can reduce costs anywhere from 25 to 35 percent annually. Not only do these alternatives save you money, they allow a lifestyle free of health corroding materials.
For additional information contact:
Mesothelioma Cancer Center
This is a dramatic video (30-seconds, very short) about how to deal with a common kitchen fire … oil in a frying pan. The water, being heavier than the oil, sinks to the bottom where it instantly becomes superheated. The explosive force of the steam blows the burning oil up and out. Inside the confines of a kitchen, the fire ball hits the ceiling and fills the entire room.
- Mick Orton
A reader submits this:
…A fire risk assessment helps you to identify all the fire risks and hazards in your premises. You can then decide to do something to control them.
Articles Fire Risk Assessments:
- Fire Types & Fire Extinguishers
- United Kingdom: Fire Departments
- New Fire Safety Rules
- Steps Needed For Fire Risk Assessment
- Steps Are Needed To Save Lives
- Fire Safety Engineering
- Safety Rules: Fire Risk Assessment Fire Risk Assessments
We see damage caused by termites in many inspections that go through this office. The newest edition of The Money Pit talks about early detection of these pests and now is the time to do something about them.
It’s termite swarm season, so now is the time to see if you can catch these sneaky and destructive pests before they head underground to make a meal of your home. Swarm season is the part of a termite’s life cycle where they fly off and reproduce. When this happens, you’ll either spot the swarm itself or find the clear wings termite swarms leave behind, typically near windows or on sills. Unfortunately, this is the only time you’ll even catch a glimpse of these little buggers. Termites typically enter your home in areas that are difficult to spot, like inside dark crawlspaces or basement. Other telltale signs of termite infestation include soft wood in the home, mud tubes in the interior or exterior of your home often near the foundation, and darkening or blistering of wood structures. But by the time you notice the signs of an infestation, the damage has most likely already been done. To avoid a surprise attack, have your home inspected for termite damage. An annual, professional inspection only costs about a hundred bucks and is the best prevention to avoid termites and other wood destroying insects all year long. Read more.
- Mick Orton
Don’t get us wrong. We do not like smoking and wish everyone would quit. But is it the government’s responsibility to ban such noxious habits? This country was founded on the principle of religious and personal freedoms, yet, good or bad, our country is also a nation of laws. And the current laws support the thinking that second hand smoke is the cause of disease.
With that said, the latest Davis-Stirling newsletter addresses the problem of odors coming from a neighbor’s unit of a condominium in an article called “incensed”.
QUESTION. One of our owners is complaining because his downstairs neighbor burns a lot of incense, mostly late at night. The smell goes through the floor into his upstairs unit. What are the board’s duties?
- Adrian J. Adams, Esq. ADAMS & KESSLER LLP
ANSWER. Because the odors may violate the nuisance provision of the CC&Rs, the board must investigate the complaint and make a good faith determination if the odors are excessive.
Nuisance. Owners do not have a right to be completely free of sounds and odors when they live in a condominium. To constitute a nuisance the noise/odors must be sufficiently annoying to cause an unreasonable disturbance to the free use of property by the owner in the adjacent unit.
Action. If, in the board’s opinion, the odors are strong enough to constitute a nuisance, the board must take appropriate action to stop the first owner from disturbing the second owner. A simple phone call or warning letter may cure the problem. If the owner ignores the warning [incense is often used to mask the smell of marijuana smoke], the board should give him a hearing and impose a fine for each nuisance violation.
If the owner wants to continue smoking pot . . . sorry, I meant burning incense, he could cure the problem by (i) buying a HEPA filter to clean the air in his unit, or (ii) sealing all penetrations in walls, ceilings and floors (at his expense) to prevent the smoke from migrating to surrounding areas.
If the fines do not cause the owner to cure the problem, the association can go into court for an order that the owner cease creating a nuisance.
Religious Observance. Even if the burning of incense is for religious purposes, the same rules apply.
Tobacco Smoke. Because of the problems associated with second-hand smoke, many associations are looking at going “smoke free” by amending their CC&Rs to prohibit smoking everywhere in the association, including owners’ units.
In a case decided November 2006 in Colorado, an association banned smoking in owner’s units because second-hand smoke was seeping into adjoining units. One of the owners (a smoker) sued. The court upheld the smoking prohibition and found that the CC&R amendment “was proper, reasonable, made in good faith and not arbitrary and capricious.” Christiansen v. Heritage Hills
The city of Belmont in the San Francisco Bay area is currently considering a ban in all apartments and condominiums in the city. In 2003, the Seattle Housing Authority opened a smoke-free property, an 86-unit development called the Tri-Court. The restriction was imposed because residents with asthma, emphysema and other respiratory problems were asking for a smoke-free building.
The MoneyPit is a free newsletter that has all sorts of home improvement ideas. There was important recall news in this week’s issue:
…the CPSC is warning consumers about Maytag and Jenn-Air dishwashers that pose a fire hazard. More than two million dishwashers were sold between 1997 and 2001. Consumers can have them repaired or get credit toward replacing them.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said that about 2.3 million Maytag and Jenn-Air dishwashers will be recalled because of a fire hazard. The dishwashers pose a safety risk because liquid rinse aid can leak from its dispenser and come in contact with the product’s internal wiring, causing it to short circuit and ignite. The company, part of Whirlpool, has received 135 reports of dishwasher fires and four reports of injuries. Three of those injuries were from smoke inhalation, the agency said. The recall applies to Maytag and Jenn-Air under-counter or portable tub dishwashers with black, white, almond, bisque or stainless steel front panels. The dishwashers were sold at department and appliance stores and by home builders nationwide from July 1997 through June 2001 for between $370 and $800. The agency said consumers should immediately stop using the dishwashers and disconnect the electric supply. The agency instructed consumers to contact Maytag for either a free in-home repair or a $75 cash reimbursement for the purchase of a new Maytag, Jenn-Air, Whirlpool or KitchenAid dishwasher. Check out www.cpsc.gov for details.
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Copyright 2006 Squeaky Door Productions, Inc.
Read and Learn! Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer severe brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke. Now doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions:
- Ask the individual to SMILE
- Ask the person to TALK to SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE (Coherently) (I.e. . . It is sunny out today).
- Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS.
(NOTE : It has also been reported that another ‘sign’ of a stroke is this: Ask the person to ‘stick’ out their tongue. If the tongue is ‘crooked’, if it goes to one side or the other that is also an indication of a stroke. Though this is true, it may be harder to diagnose… better to stick to the first three suggestions.)
If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call 911 immediately!! And describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.
Verified by Snopes.com
A reader asks: If a property’s backyard leads into a park, who’s responsibility is it to clear the brush next to the fence (on the side of the park)? — Am I able to hire someone to cut down some of the brush?>
Our reply: The City, County or State parks department is responsible for the maintenance of the park. They usually do not allow anyone who is not hired by the park to do any “landscaping”. So if you have a problem with the brush on the other side of your fence, contact the appropriate parks department and ask them to clear it away.
- Janis Stone
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