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Contractors State License Board Outlines New 2017 Laws Affecting California’s Construction Industry

SACRAMENTO — The Contractors State License Board (CSLB) is providing a round-up of new state laws affecting California’s construction industry that take effect in the new year.

Assembly Bill (AB) 1793 modifies the criteria the courts use to determine if a contractor substantially complied with licensing law under Business and Professions Code (BPC) section 7031. This allows a client to not pay a contractor and to demand the return of compensation paid for work completed if the contractor was unlicensed at any time during the course of work. The new legislation provides the court a modified set of criteria to use when determining if a contractor “substantially complied” with licensure requirements and acted promptly and in good faith to remedy the lapse in licensure once known.

Senate Bill (SB) 1209 provides for enhanced complaint disclosure of legal actions taken against licensees. Under the provisions of this legislation, citations issued against a licensed contractor follow that contractor if he or she is issued another license and allows for the public disclosure of these citations.

AB 2486 requires that by January 1, 2019, CLSB create a system that allows consumers to search CSLB’s website for a licensed contractor either by zip code or geographic area, which should make it easier for consumers to identify and hire properly licensed contractors.

In an effort to establish further safety measures around underground excavation, SB 661 enacts the Dig Safe Act of 2016, and makes several changes to existing requirements for excavation procedures. These include requiring that excavators delineate an area to be excavated prior to notifying an appropriate regional notification center and establishing the California Underground Facilities Safe Excavation Advisory Board within the Office of the State Fire Marshall.

AB 2286 authorizes CSLB to raise its various fees, resulting in what will be the first fee increase since 2011, and only the second fee increase since 1993. The 10 percent fee increase will ensure that CSLB has enough funds to operate in the coming years. Increases that take effect July 1, 2017 include: The application fee for an original license in a single classification will increase from $300 to $330; the renewal fee for an active license will increase from $360 to $400; and the registration and renewal fee for a Home Improvement Salesperson will increase from $75 to $83.

CSLB will provide the industry more information on the upcoming fee increase in the spring.

 

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