CleanTech Contractors Working in California: Be Aware of the New Contracting Laws Starting on January 1, 2019 Posted on Dec 28, 2018

A variety of new construction related laws in California go into effect in 2019.  The new laws which may affect contractors working on cleantech projects in California are summarized below.

  • Senate Bill (SB) 721: This new law establishes requirements for inspecting and repairing “exterior elevated elements” for buildings with three or more multi-family dwelling units. It establishes reporting and repair requirements, including timeframes, when repairs are needed. The bill specifies who can complete the inspections and repairs subject to specified experience requirements being met. Building owners who violate the bill’s requirements are subject to civil penalties. (Chapter 445, Statutes of 2018)
  • SB 981: This new law removes the restriction on delivering or installing a water treatment device sold through a home solicitation contract during the consumer’s “three-day right to rescind” from the date the contract is signed. Instead, this bill allows for the installation to take place during that time period. If the consumer subsequently withdraws the contract within the three-day period, the seller is responsible for the costs to remove the device and/or any material and to return the property to its same condition prior to the contract. (Chapter 932, Statutes of 2018)
  • SB 1042: This new law authorizes the Contractor State License Board (“CSLB”) registrar to “settle” less egregious administrative citations prior to an administrative hearing using an informal citation resolution process. The informal process is not subject to the Administrative Procedure Act and the person cited would not surrender their right to request an administrative hearing. (Chapter 110, Statutes of 2018)
  • SB 1087: This new law is a follow-up to AB 1284 (Dababneh, Statutes of 2017), which required the licensing and regulation of Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program administrators by the Department of Business Oversight (DBO). Among other things, SB 1087 makes it unlawful to begin work under a home improvement contract if the property owner was not ultimately approved for the PACE financing. (Chapter 798, Statutes of 2018)
  • SB 1465: This new law requires contractors and insurers to report to CSLB any final civil judgments, settlements, or arbitration awards involving damage claims over $1,000,000 for construction defects in multi-family rental residential structures that meet specified criteria. (Chapter 514, Statutes of 2018)
  • AB 2371: This new law provides that before CSLB revises a landscaping contractor examination, it must confer with specified entities to determine if any updates or revisions to the exam are needed to reflect new and emerging landscape irrigation efficiency practices. (Chapter 867, Statutes of 2018)
  • AB 2705: This new law increases the statute of limitations from one year to two years during which an unlicensed contractor can be prosecuted for failing to obtain workers’ compensation insurance for their employees. (Chapter 323, Statutes of 2018)
  • AB 3126: This new law eliminates the option of a cash deposit with CSLB in lieu of a contractor license bond, bond of qualifying individual, or disciplinary bond to prevent contractors from removing bond funds from their private accounts and leaving no funds payable to a consumer following a valid claim against a bond. Contractors may also submit a cashier’s check. (Chapter 925, Statutes of 2018)