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Low Flow Plumbing Requirements in Santa Barbara News Press Inaccurate

Real Estate Agent with Village Properties BRE# 01425049

It was this past Sunday morning, Dec. 15, 2013 and the flood gates (no pun intended) opened.  Clients calling, all of us Realtors emailing each other and homeowners in a frenzy about an article reported in the Santa Barbara Newspress regarding a new law going into effect come January 2014.  

Wait, what is this?  Why did we as Realtors not hear about this? Is this true? 

The News Press facts were not accurate, surprised???

While yes, there are some things happening come January, this ONLY pertains to homes built before January 1, 1994 that are seeking a building PERMIT. The city/county will require these upgrades of low flow plumbing fixtures as a part of the PERMITTING process, so in other words, if you plan to remodel or need a permit for something in Santa Barbara, you will need to install these low flow upgrades as a condition of final completion certificate.   This has already been happening and not real "new news" however what was "INACCURATELY" reported was that the seller of a home would need to perform these upgrades as a Condition of Sale starting in January 2014.  

Can you imagine what this would do to home sellers in Santa Barbara and really, who would be the gatekeeper of this?  I know the City of Santa Barbara already has enough issues with Zoning Inspection Reports.  To have something for the City to additionally have to verify and without being licensed plumbers I might add, would be completely over the top!

Pheeewww!  Santa Barbara is not a community that takes surprises lightly and definitely not Santa Barbara Realtors that are some of the most knowledgeable professionals in our state.  It left us all in a tailspin but thankfully, our Executive Director at the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors, Bob Hart, was able to put all our minds at ease come Monday morning....I'm sure all of Bob's inboxes were at maximum capacity by 9:00am!

So other than applying for a permit, when will something happen with "selling" a home as was reported?

The law is SB407 and it's a bill that actually would require on or before January 1, 2017 (not 2014) there be a "disclosure" for homes built on or before 1994.  “The bill would require, on and after January 1, 2017, that a seller or transferor of single-family residential real property, multifamily residential real property, or commercial real property disclose to a purchaser or transferee, in writing, specified requirements for replacing plumbing fixtures,and whether the real property includes noncompliant plumbing. The bill would require, on and after January 1, 2017, a seller of certain residential real property to make a specified disclosure in this regard." 

So what's the tip of the day?
Make sure your facts are right before you hit Santa Barbara with a front page article in any publication whether it's on paper or online!

For information on the Bill SB407 here is a helpful link:

For information on installing low flow plumbing upgrades:

More information on water conservancy/recycling and reclaiming:

Buying or Selling a Home in Santa Barbara...I would be honored to make your dreams become reality:

Happy Holidays!