The City, the State and the Water Heater

Real Estate Agent with Crown Key Realty

I recently took a listing that I expected to sell quickly. Almost instantly we received multiple offers with one standing out above the others. I knew the Realtor representing the buyers and I knew the lender as well. A quick talk with the lender convinced me that it was the best offer and my sellers accepted it.


During the inspection process it was noted that the water heater installation did not meet state guidelines. My experience told me the inspector was correct. I spoke to the home owner who was adamant that it was correct and gave me documentation from the city approving the installation. I spoke with a city official that said if the installation meets city code state code did not apply. Hmm!


I called the California Association of Realtors Legal Hotline and explained the situation to one of the attorneys taking calls. He told me that if city code is met, state code is silent on the issue! What a surprise. I spoke with the buyers Realtor and she was equally surprised.


Learn something new everyday in this profession my past broker used to say, and that day I definitely did.


My name is Dale E. Bledsoe with Crown Key Realty and as always I may be reached at 209-481-6031. You may also visit me on the web at


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Raymond E. Camp
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Ontario, NY
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester

Beware the government

Jun 13, 2012 03:11 AM #1
Than Maynard
Coldwell Banker Heart of Oklahoma - Purcell, OK
Broker - Licensed to List & Sell - 405-990-8862

Absolutely, if the city has its own code or adopted a modified code then the city over-rides the state code.

Jun 13, 2012 03:35 AM #2
Steven Cook
No Longer Processing Mortgages. - Tacoma, WA

Dale -- here in Washington we have two basic categories of cities/towns: 1) one that can do pretty much anything the state does not prohibit them from doing and 2) those that can only do the things the state allows them to do.  Sounds like something like that is in place in this instance.

Jun 13, 2012 03:39 AM #3
Robert Butler
Aspect Inspection - Montreal West Island, QC
Montreal Home Inspector | Aspect Inspection

Very interesting. Just goes to show that assumtions can be , well just that, assumptions.

Looks like you got out of hot water on that one.

Jun 13, 2012 07:15 AM #4
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Dale Bledsoe

Realtor in Tracy, California
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