Effective January 1, 2017, California Civil Code 1938 addresses the rights and responsibilities of prospective landlords and tenants with respect to the existence, or non-existence, of an inspection of the property by Certified Access Specialist. This section revises the existing law, in part, as follows:
- Where an inspection by a certified access specialist had previously occurred and, to the knowledge of the landlord, the property has not been altered in a way that renders the report inaccurate, then the landlord must provide the tenant with a copy of the report prior to execution of the lease. The tenant must first, however, agree to keep the report confidential except as necessary to complete the necessary repairs and corrections that the tenant agrees to make.
- The new law creates a presumption that any repairs and modifications needed to correct identified violations as determined from a certified inspection specialist are the responsibility of the landlord, unless the parties contractually agree otherwise.
- If the landlord fails or neglects to provide the prospective tenant an opportunity to review any existing report (prepared by a certified inspection specialist) at least 48 hours prior to execution of the lease, then the prospective tenant may rescind the lease within 72 hours after execution of the lease.
- If the property has been inspected by a certified inspection specialist and found to be compliant, then the landlord must provide a copy of the compliance certificate obtained from the inspector and a copy of the report within 7 days after execution of the lease.
Other changes were made to this law, including the obligation to insert specific language in the lease regarding the Tenant’s right to obtain an inspection of the property that he, she or it may be leasing from a certified inspection specialist, and how the cost of the inspection and any repairs to be made (as a result of its findings) are to be handled.