AB 838: Cupertino to Offer New Health and Sanitation Investigation Services for Renters

Do you rent a home you suspect to have exposed lead or that may harbor other conditions that could endanger life, limb, health, property, safety, or welfare for yourself, other residents, or the public? Have complaints to your landlord about unsafe conditions in your home gone unanswered or resulted in deferred or only partial resolution? 

Thanks to the 2021 passage of Assembly Bill (AB) 838, cities and counties will now respond to complaints of substandard housing conditions with inspections, inspection reports, and citations, as needed, to remediate unsafe conditions in rental homes. 

During the 9/19/2023 Council meeting, Council Members unanimously approved amendments to the Cupertino Municipal Code to expand existing property maintenance requirements in accordance with AB 838 changes to California Health and Safety Code section 17970.5. The 2021 AB 838 mandates that cities and counties must:

  • Receive any complaint of substandard building or lead hazard violations;Investigate the complaint and make findings through a reasonably competent and diligent visual inspection of the property;Conduct an inspection at least as promptly as the agency’s Building Department responds to requests for building permit final inspection;
  • Produce an inspection report;Advise the property owner or operator of violations and of corrective actions required to remedy the violations; and
  • Provide free, certified copies of an inspection report and citations issued to any involved or potentially affected party.

2021 AB 838 states that cities and counties shall not collect fees from property owners for inspections or inspection reports, unless the inspection reveals one or more lead hazards, or code enforcement officers identify the property as substandard pursuant to California Health and Safety Code sections 17920.3 and 17920.10. 

If you have alerted your landlord to an observed or suspected hazard condition in your home and your landlord has failed to correct the issue in a timely manner, submit a request for a home inspection at Cupertino 311 (https://www.cupertino.org/our-city/advanced-components/cupertino-311) or by using the Cupertino 311 mobile app.


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