Monday, February 2, 2009

2009 Brings Changes to State Laws for California Contractors

The Contractors State License Board (CSLB) is advising contractors about some of the changes in California law during the 2008 legislative session that may impact them and/or their business practices.

Increased Penalties SB 797 (Ridley-Thomas) Business & Professions Code § 490. Expands the penalties for individuals who contract without a license if they were named on a revoked license and were found to be culpable in the license revocation. (Amended Stats 2008 ch 33 § 2, effective January 1, 2009.)

Sunset Dates SB 963 (Ridley-Thomas) Business & Professions Code § 7000.5. Extends the legislative sunset date for the Contractors State License Board until January 1, 2011.The original sunset date for CSLB was July 1, 2009. (Amended Stats 2008 ch 385 §1, effective January 1, 2009.)

Contractor Bonds SB 1432 (Margett) Business & Professions Code § 7071.5, § 7071.10 and § 7071.11. Requires that a contractor's bond and the qualifying individual's bond be available to a property owner whose single-family dwelling is damaged as the result of a violation of the state Contractors License Law, if the dwelling is not intended or offered for sale at the time the damages were incurred. (Amended Stats 2008 ch 157 §1 (1), §3 (c) (2), effective January 1, 2009.)

Small Claims Code of Civil Procedure § 116.220. Increases the small claims court filing against a defendant guarantor that charges a fee for its guarantor or surety services from $4,000 to $6,500. (Amended Stats 2008 ch 157 §4 (4) (c) (3), effective January 1, 2009.)

Owner-Builder Declarations AB 2335 (Nakanishi) Health and Safety Code § 19825. Streamlines the law covering the owner-builder permit process. Expands the requirements for an owner-builder to acknowledge the risks of contracting with unlicensed contractors when obtaining permits. (Repeals Sections 19825 §1, 19830 §3, 19831 §4, and 19832 §5 of the Health and Safety Code, and Added Stat 2008 ch 66 H&S 19825 §2 (a), effective January 1, 2009.)

These laws will are included in the 2009 California Contractors License Law and Reference Book. Additional details of each legislative change is available by looking up the California code and section number on the following state Web site:

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