Chapter 15.34


15.34.010    Purpose.

15.34.020    Definitions.

15.34.030    Scope of program.

15.34.040    Administration and enforcement.

15.34.050    Fees.

15.34.060    General inspections.

15.34.070    Abatement of unlawful conditions.

15.34.010 Purpose.

The Council finds and determines as follows:

A.    The City of San Carlos (the City) has a history and reputation for well maintained properties.

B.    Property values and the general welfare of the community are founded, in part, upon the appearance and maintenance of private properties.

C.    The beneficial effects of property maintenance in the City include, but are not limited to, appreciation of property values, physical improvement of residential areas, attraction of investors of capital to residential zones and increase of the tax base of the City.

D.    Owners and occupants of some residential rental properties within the City have allowed or contributed to deferred maintenance and violations of the Uniform Building Code and City Zoning Code (the Code) of common areas and interiors of residential rental units.

E.    The existence of such conditions as described in this chapter is injurious and inimical to the public health, safety and welfare of the residents of the City.

F.    The abatement of such conditions will improve the general welfare, health and safety of the residents of the City and maintain the positive image of the City and maintain property values.

G.    The abatement procedures set forth in this chapter are reasonable and afford due process to all affected persons. (Ord. 1259 (part), 1999)

15.34.020 Definitions.

The following words and phrases, whenever used in this chapter, shall be construed as defined in this section, unless from the context a different meaning is specifically defined and more particularly directed to the use of such words or phrases:

"Abatement costs and administrative expenses" means the actual cost and expenses of the City to prepare notices, conduct special inspections, conduct repetitive inspections to monitor code compliance, prepare repetitive notices, prepare and refer property violations to the City Attorney.

“Code” means the current Uniform Housing Codes, the current Uniform Fire Code, the current regulations of County and State agencies that are applicable to residential rental property.

“Common area” means common areas of a residential rental building and the real property it is located on shall include those areas used by or accessible to all residents of residential rental building and property. It includes but is not limited to, hallways, corridors, stairways, carports, garages, storage areas, laundries, recreation rooms, pools, pool areas, play areas, landscaped and unimproved grounds. For the purposes of inspections, this also includes areas accessible to maintenance personnel such as pool equipment enclosures, maintenance rooms, storage rooms, electric room, etc. It shall not include the interiors of residential rental units.

“Deputy” means the person(s) designated by the Building Official to enforce this chapter. That person may be a Code Enforcement Officer, Building Inspector or other staff person.

"Landowner" means the person(s) or entity to whom land is assessed, as shown on the last equalized assessment roll of the county.

"Residential rental building" means a building used in whole or in part for residential purposes that contains three or more residential units and that are leased.

"Residential rental unit" means all or part of a residential rental building used for a single-family dwelling unit. (Ord. 1259 (part), 1999)

15.34.030 Scope of program.

All landowners of a residential rental building and/or a residential rental unit and their designated agent are required to participate in this program. (Ord. 1259 (part), 1999)

15.34.040 Administration and enforcement.

The Building Official shall be responsible for the administration and enforcement of this chapter. (Ord. 1259 (part), 1999)

15.34.050 Fees.

An annual fee shall be charged to the landowner of any residential rental building and residential rental unit in conformance to the City of San Carlos Fee Schedule. Building, electrical, mechanical and plumbing permits, when required, are in addition to these fees. (Ord. 1475 § 1, 2014: Ord. 1259 (part), 1999)

15.34.060 General inspections.

A.    The Building Official, or his designee, shall conduct inspections of the common areas of all residential rental buildings at least once every two years but not more often than annually, except to remedy ongoing Code violations. The property owner or his or her agent shall be given adequate prior written notice of the required inspection and shall make all areas of the common area as defined above, and all vacant units, available for inspection.

B.    Upon vacancy and prior to the next occupancy of any residential rental unit, as defined above, the property owner or his or her designated agent shall request an inspection of the vacant unit. The inspection shall be performed on the business day next following the notification.

C.    A property owner and tenant in any residential rental unit may request an inspection by the Building Official to determine compliance with the Codes.

D.    If the number of vacant units inspected at the time of the inspection of the common area plus the number of vacant units inspected between common area inspections is less than twenty percent of the total units, the inspector may require inspection of a sufficient number of occupied units to reach twenty percent. The selection of occupied units shall be based upon units that have not been previously inspected.

E.    All exterior elevated wood and metal decks, balconies, landings, stairway systems, guardrails, handrails, or any parts thereof in weather exposed areas of Group R-2 Occupancies, as defined in the most recent edition of the California Building Code, shall be inspected within six months of adoption of this section, and every three years thereafter, by a licensed general contractor, structural pest control licensee, licensed architect, or licensed engineer, verifying that the elements are in general safe condition, adequate working order, and free from hazardous dry rot, fungus, deterioration, decay, or improper alteration. Property owners shall provide proof of compliance with this section by submitting an affidavit form provided by the City. The affidavit shall be signed by the responsible inspecting party and submitted to the Building Official. For the purpose of this section, elevated “weather-exposed areas” mean those areas that are not interior building areas and are located more than thirty inches above adjacent grade. (Ord. 1515 § 1, 2016; Ord. 1259 (part), 1999)

15.34.070 Abatement of unlawful conditions.

A.    Violations of the Code, determined at the time of the inspection, will result in a written correction notice at the end of the inspection.

B.    The property owner or his or her agent shall arrange to correct all violations of the Code within thirty days of receipt of the correction notice.

C.    If violations of the Code are not corrected within thirty days, a notice of violation will be sent to the property owner.

D.    If violations of the Code are not corrected within thirty days after a notice of violation is sent to the property owner, other enforcement action may be instituted as permitted by the Uniform Building Code, Uniform Housing Code, Uniform Code for the Abatement of Dangerous Buildings and other action as determined by the City Attorney. (Ord. 1259 (part), 1999)