An Express Article from the California Land Title Association
Bulletin 11/12-57 - December 8, 2011
The City of Pacifica recently adopted a new ordinance requiring property owners to obtain a “Sewer Lateral Compliance Certificate” prior to transferring ownership. The City of Pacifica will begin enforcement on January 1, 2012. A copy of the city's enforcement policy is viewable here. The Sewer Lateral Compliance Certificate lists six reasons for the application (a copy of the application itself can be viewed here), including a transfer of ownership or a property remodel. There are specified exemptions, such as transfers to a revocable trust, between co-owners and between spouses.
The transferor is required to disclose the requirements of the ordinance. The responsibility is also on the transferor to obtain the Compliance Certificate. A copy of the Certificate must be provided to the transfer’s real estate broker and escrow holder, if any, and the transferee.
The ordinance provides that the requirement to obtain a Compliance Certificate prior to transfer of title in no way affects the legality of the transfer of title in the underlying property transaction. If the certificate cannot be obtained prior to the transfer to title the ordinance permits the property owner to request a time extension of 180 days. However, if the work is not completed within 180 day of the extension, the escrow funds, which were required to be deposited to obtain the extension, may be forfeited, and the current property owner must demonstrate compliance. After close of escrow the current property owner is responsible for all cost associated with compliance.
Violations include the failure to obtain the Certificate, failing to post required funds in to an escrow account and failing to perform the work after receiving an extension. Falsifying facts to obtain an exemption or Certificate and presenting a false Certificate also violate the ordinance.
The California Insurance Code provides that certain title insurance provisions constitute the exclusive regulation of the conduct of escrow and title transactions by entities engaged in the business of title insurance, notwithstanding any local regulation or ordinance.
Interested Parties are invited to attend the local Pacifica Realtors meeting next Tuesday December 13th at 9:30am to ask any questions they may have. The meeting will be held at the Pacifica Community Center located at 540 Crespi Drive Pacifica, CA 94044.