The New Year brings us new laws in California. A bevy of bills signed by the Governor are important to contractors this year. State legislation, taking effect January first is as common as the ball dropping in Times Square — and 2014 is no exception.
With CA experiencing a record dry year, it is interesting to note that a water conservation law added to the state Civil Code in 2009 (Senate Bill 407) will make a ‘splash’. This requires anyone applying for building alterations or improvements to single-family residences built before January 1, 1994 to replace all plumbing fixtures with water-saving models “as a condition for issuance of a certificate of final completion and occupancy or final permit approval by the local building department”. In other words, if a homeowner contracts for a kitchen remodel, they may also be required to replace their old toilets and install water-saving showerheads throughout the residence. It has generally been left to “public entities that supply water” to pass an ordinance or resolution to enact and enforce this law.
Contractors who send in their renewal on time, only to have it returned for corrections, will not be required to pay a delinquency fee if a “corrected and acceptable renewal application is returned by the licensee within 30 days after the license expiration date.” Senate Bill 822 made this change; however, it did NOT change the fact that your license will still show as “expired” for the time period “between the expiration date and the date of submission of a correct and acceptable renewal application.” So while you might save $180.00, your license record will still show an expiration that could have an adverse impact if you are involved in any future lawsuit.
As this column has mentioned many times, it is best to send or deliver your renewal to the CSLB early. Make sure to double check that the correct personnel have signed the application and that the correct fee is attached. It you want to make sure the Board has received your renewal, send it priority or overnight, hand-deliver it in person or call Capitol Services for assistance.
Existing law allows for disciplinary action against a licensed contractor who aids an unlicensed person in evading the Contractors’ State License Law. Under existing law, any person who willfully and intentionally uses, with intent to defraud, a contractor’s license number that does not correspond to a currently valid contractor’s license held by that person, is guilty of a crime. SB 261 will now allow the CSLB to take additional administrative action against licensed or unlicensed individuals who commit violations related to the fraudulent possession, alteration, or use of a contractor’s license – such as allowing an unlicensed person to use his or her license. According to the CSLB, “previously, an offense could not be alleged administratively, as the law only allowed it to be charged as a misdemeanor by a prosecutor. Now, if a prosecutor does not file charges, CSLB has administrative authority to discipline violators.”
While AB 44 does not actually take effect until the middle of 2014, it is worth noting. At present, “The Subletting and Subcontracting Fair Practices Act requires the entity taking bids for the construction of any public work or improvement to specify that any person making a bid or offer to perform the work shall, in his or her bid or offer, include specified information, including the name and location of the place of business of each subcontractor”
Commencing July 1, 2014, this new law will require that the California contractor license number of each subcontractor be provided as a part of the bid document. Now is the time to prepare for the change. If you have questions about how new laws impact your license just give us a call.