Residential Environmental Hazards

A recommended Guide For Homeowners, Homebuyers, Landlords and Tenants 2011 can be found at this link on the North County Property Group website: Residential Environmental Hazards Booklet

The California Departments of Real Estate and Health Services originally prepared this booklet in response to the California legislative mandate (Chapter 969, Statutes of 1989, AB 983, Bane) to inform the homeowner and prospective homeowner about environmental hazards located on and affecting residential property.

The 2005 edition was prepared by the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, in cooperation with the California Air Resources Board and the California Department of Health Services’ Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program, Radon Program, and Division of Drinking Water and Environmental Management, in response to a 1994 legislative mandate (Chapter 264, Statutes of 1994, AB 2753, Sher). The 1994 legislation also requires this booklet to consolidate the California disclosure requirements (Ch. 969, Statutes of 1989) and the federal disclosure requirements (The Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard  Reduction Act of 1992). The booklet has since been updated as of 2011.

The information contained in this booklet is an overview of some environmental hazards which may be found on or in residential property and which may affect residential real estate. Since this booklet is not meant to be all inclusive, it should be used only for general guidance. Although law requires the disclosure of known hazards, an environmental survey may be conducted to obtain further information. Homeowners, tenants, and prospective homeowners may wish to obtain other literature for additional information on hazards of concern.

In California, sellers are required to disclose the presence of any known environmental hazard. A statement that the homeowner is unaware of environmental hazards is not a guarantee that the property is free of such hazards. It is in the homeowner’s and prospective homeowner’s interest to know what hazards are common, where they are found, and how they might be mitigated. This booklet will provide homeowners and prospective homeowners with the information and additional resources needed to make an informed decision about environmental hazards that may be present on a property.

Because of the contribution of household hazardous wastes to the problem of hazardous waste disposal, a section on proper storage and disposal of household hazardous products is included. In discussing health impacts of hazardous substances, lifetime exposure to low levels is emphasized because the resident is more likely to encounter this type of exposure than exposure to high levels of hazards for a short time. Sources of additional information and a list of government agencies are provided for further information.

Pursuant to AB 983, if this environmental hazards booklet is made available to homeowners or prospective homeowners or tenants, real estate licensees and home sellers/owners are not required to provide additional information on such hazards. However, delivery of this publication to homeowners or prospective homeowners does not relieve home sellers, landlords and real estate licensees of the responsibility to disclose the existence of environmental hazards when such hazards are known to them.

The material is presented by North County Property Group with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in offering legal or other professional advice. If legal or other expert assistance is required, the services of a skilled legal or environmental hazards professional should be obtained.