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CO Detectors

Discussion in 'California' started by SheRa1997, May 4, 2012.

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  1. SheRa1997

    SheRa1997 New Member

    0
    Jan 11, 2009
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Washington
    I just received a new order and on the engagement letter, it states: FOR ALL CALIFORNIA ORDERS: Please DO NOT INCLUDE comment on whether a CO Detector was present at time of inspection.

    As a certified appraiser, we are responsibility to be up to date on local government laws and to report if there are any safety or health issues.

    As of July 1, 2011 the Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act (Senate Bill - SB 183 requires all single-family residences to install carbon monoxide detectors within the homes as of July 1, 2011. The law requires all existing single-family homes that contain a gas heater or appliance, fireplace, or an attached garage to have carbon monoxide detectors.
    This appears to me as if I would be in violation of my USPAP if the local government requires CO detectors due to the safety issues, and if one is not present; I am required to disclose this, am I not?
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2012
  2. CANative

    CANative Elite Member

    69
    Jun 18, 2003
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    California
    Appraisal reports are not property inspection reports. They are reports of a valuation assignment. The presence or lack of presence of CO detectors is not a valuation problem (i.e. there is no affect on the value opinion.)
     
  3. SheRa1997

    SheRa1997 New Member

    0
    Jan 11, 2009
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Washington
    I understand your point CANative; however if you read Appraiser Certification #15 on the form, I would have to disagree with withholding this information. Carbon monoxide is a deadly odorless gas, and it is required by law to install these in all single family homes as of January 1, 2011 for WA State and July 1, 2011 for CA residences as it is a safety issue. I do not personally feel comfortable withholding this information within my report.
     
  4. CANative

    CANative Elite Member

    69
    Jun 18, 2003
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    California
    Your question was primarily:

    This appears to me as if I would be in violation of my USPAP if the local government requires CO detectors due to the safety issues, and if one is not present; I am required to disclose this, am I not?

    The answer (IMO) is "No" to both issues.

    Here is the applicable text of the law:

    (1) For all existing single-family dwelling units intended for
    human occupancy on or before July 1, 2011.

    (2) For all other existing dwelling units intended for human
    occupancy on or before January 1, 2013.

    (b) With respect to the number and placement of carbon monoxide
    devices, an owner shall install the devices in a manner consistent
    with building standards applicable to new construction for the
    relevant type of occupancy or with the manufacturer's instructions,
    if it is technically feasible to do so.

    (c) (1) Notwithstanding Section 17995, and except as provided in
    paragraph (2), a violation of this section is an infraction
    punishable by a maximum fine of two hundred dollars ($200) for each
    offense.

    (2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), a property owner shall receive
    a 30-day notice to correct. If an owner receiving notice fails to
    correct within that time period, the owner may be assessed the fine
    pursuant to paragraph (2).

    (d) No transfer of title shall be invalidated on the basis of a
    failure to comply with this section,
    and the exclusive remedy for the
    failure to comply with this section is an award of actual damages
    not to exceed one hundred dollars ($100), exclusive of any court
    costs and attorney's fees. This subdivision is not intended to affect
    any duties, rights, or remedies otherwise available at law.



    But the problem is in the way they phrased the assignment condition (DO NOT INCLUDE comments...) It's obvious they don't want you to comment because it puts them in the position where their underwriters will make the borrower install CO detectors in every case and this will slow down their process and incur additional costs.

    If it were me I think I would consider this an unacceptable assignment condition and I would tell them so.
     
  5. SheRa1997

    SheRa1997 New Member

    0
    Jan 11, 2009
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Washington
    I apologize, you are correct in your answer to not being in violation of USPAP. I knew what the client was asking me to do was not ethical; which is why I consulted with my USPAP instructor from WA State. He provided a couple of examples of how I can disclose within the report either by reporting the actual law and then stating "I do not check or require CO detectors to be installed." or another example was: Per WA State RCW 19.27.530 / CA State: Per CA Senate Bill – SB183: CO Alarm(s) [ ] installed [ ] NOT installed near bedrooms in dwelling. Proper CO detection unknown; testing not done.



    Thank you for your feedback, it is appreciated.
     
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