There’s a new ordinance affecting the residents of the City of Ventura that also impacts home sales. Effective February 3, 2014 inspections of private sewer laterals are required prior to closing. This new ordinance came about due to a lawsuit involving the City of Ventura’s sewage overflow and in an effort to prevent disruptions in operation of the public sewer. The required inspections are aimed at helping residents identify timely inspections and repairs or replacements of private sewer laterals. A private sewer lateral is the pipe that connects a business or home’s plumbing system to the City’s wastewater collection pipeline. The homeowner is responsible for the entire pipe length, not just the portion underneath their property. Although Ventura Water is responsible for maintenance on the main pipelines, private property maintenance is the responsibility of the property owner.
If you’re a real estate agent or someone that is considering selling your home, you are encouraged to have a licensed plumber inspect your home prior to the opening of escrow. This will ensure you that you have plenty of time to complete the inspection and required paperwork. Sellers are required to submit the Private Sewer Lateral Inspection Report to the city’s Building and Safety Division prior to closing.
In the event that repairs are required, the buyer and seller may reach an agreement in regards to who is responsible for financing and making all necessary repairs. Generally, the repairs should be made within a six month window of the home sale.
For an overview of the new ordinance, watch this video from Ventura Water. More information is also available at http://www.cityofventura.net/water/privatelateral. For a copy of the required Private Sewer Lateral Inspection Report, visit http://www.cityofventura.net/files/file/public-works/water/BS%20625%20Private%20Sewer%20Lateral%20Inspection%20Report.pdf.
This post is brought to you on behalf of Karen Musser. Karen is based out of our Montecito Office and services both Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, visit her online at www.SantaBarbaraVenturaHomes.com.