Second Meeting with Fire Chief on Point of Sale Inspections

By · December 3, 2012
Our SAMCAR Committee met Fire Chief Phil White and Luis del Salva today to see if we could agree on their proposed ordinance to do Point of Sale Inspections.  While it was a very cordial meeting with both sides trying to get the other side to understand their point of view, there was no agreement.  SAMCAR does not want any Point of Sale Inspections as we represent both buyers and sellers and do not want any government agency inserted into the contract.  Why should a seller who has owned a home for 20, 30 or more years, have an inspection that may or may not have needed a permit when the home was upgraded, now be scrutinized by City officials in the name of safety. As I have said all along and the Realtors all agree that safety is very important, but  you can't fix everything.  Many examples were brought up that could be dangerous that existed when the home is for sale that the Fire Department wants fixed.   But how does one know when a new buyer comes along that they won't make improvements without permits or without a knowledge of safety?  Just because the Fire Department fixes a problem today, does not mean it will be fixed forever. The State of California allows for the seller to certify certain things be done, such as installation of smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors and correctly strapped water heaters as an example. The Chief wants to be certain that they are done.  This is the reason for the inspection.  When he stated that he wanted someone other than the seller or the Realtors, to be responsible, even another third party, I showed him in the proposed ordinance that the City will not have any  liability even if this ordinance was passed the way it was written.  .  It is stated in this proposed ordinance that "NEITHER THE ENACTMENT OF THIS CHAPTER.......SHALL IMPOSE ANY MANDATORY DUTY UPON THE CITY TO COMPLETELY AND ACCURATELY INSPECT THE SUBJECT PROPERTY,  REPORT INFORMATION FROM ITS RECORDS OR IMPOSE ANY LIABILITY UPON THE CITY FOR ANY ERROS OR OMMISSIONS ..." So why have an inspection at all if no one is responsible from the City?  Why have an inspection if the City does not have a duty to completely and accurately inspect the property, or even report permit information and not be liable? When we again brought up the 4th Amendment, he stated that safety was the issue and that he had every right to inspect the property as it was differently that the California Penal Code. The Chief left saying that he would send a letter to us if he thought of anything differently, as he will be "thinking outside the box". Do you want to have the City come into your home to inspect for what they believe to be safety problems, which could cost you thousands of dollars?  Please share your thoughts.  
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