Chapter 5. Enforcement of California Health And Safety Code >> Division 13. >> Part 1. >> Chapter 5.
(a) Except as provided in Section 18930, the Department of
Housing and Community Development may promulgate rules and
regulations to interpret and make specific this part. When adopted,
those rules and regulations shall apply to all parts of the state.
(b) Upon written notice to the Department of Housing and Community
Development, any city, county, or city and county may assume the
responsibility for the enforcement of this part, for the building
standards published in the California Building Standards Code
relating to employee housing, and for the other regulations adopted
pursuant to this part following approval by the department for that
(c) The Department of Housing and Community Development shall
adopt regulations which shall set forth the conditions for assumption
and may include required qualifications of local enforcement
agencies. When assumption is approved, the department shall transfer
the responsibility for enforcement to the city, county, or city and
county, together with all records of active and inactive employee
housing within its jurisdiction.
(d) A city, county, or city and county may, by ordinance,
establish a schedule of fees for the operation of employee housing
not to exceed that which is established by the department. In no
event may fees be charged to residents of employee housing.
(e) (1) In the event of nonenforcement of this part, of the
building standards published in the California Building Standards
Code relating to employee housing, or of the other rules and
regulations adopted pursuant to this part, the department shall
enforce this part, the building standards published in the California
Building Standards Code relating to employee housing, and the rules
and regulations adopted pursuant to this part in any city, county, or
city and county after the department has given written notice to the
governing body of the city, county, or city and county, setting
forth in what respects the city, county, or city and county has
failed to discharge its responsibility, and has failed to initiate
corrective measures to carry out its responsibility within 30 days of
the date of the notice.
(2) On or after January 1, 1987, in the event the local
enforcement agency has failed to initiate adequate and reasonable
corrective measures to carry out its responsibility, as determined by
the department, within 30 days of the date of notice of one or more
specific examples of nonenforcement, the department, at its option,
may undertake investigation and enforcement of the alleged violations
of this part within the local enforcement agency's jurisdiction, and
the local enforcement agency shall be liable to the department and
the Attorney General for the actual costs of the investigation and
enforcement by these state agencies.
(f) (1) The department shall conduct an annual evaluation of the
enforcement of this part, of the building standards published in the
California Building Standards Code relating to employee housing, and
of the other regulations adopted pursuant to this part by each city,
county, or city and county which has assumed responsibility for
enforcement. The department shall submit a written summary of the
evaluation conducted pursuant to this subdivision with the report
required by Section 50408.
(2) The department, in consultation with interested persons,
including housing advocates and farming organizations, shall conduct
an evaluation of the definition of "rural" as used in paragraph (1)
of subdivision (b) of Section 17008 and submit a written summary of
the evaluation with the report required in calendar year 1996 by
(g) Except as provided in Section 18945, the department shall be
sole judge as to whether the local enforcement agency is properly
enforcing the provisions. Except as provided in Section 18945, the
local enforcement agency shall have the right to appeal the decision
to the department.
(h) (1) Any city, county, or city and county may cancel its
assumption of responsibility for the enforcement of these provisions
by providing written notice of cancellation to the department. The
department shall assume the responsibility within 90 days after
receipt of the notice.
(2) A local enforcement agency that has been approved by the
department to enforce the provisions of this chapter and cancels its
assumption of responsibility and returns enforcement to the
department under paragraph (1) shall remit to the department the fees
established and collected under Section 17036 and subdivision (d)
that have not been expended pursuant to this chapter and the
regulations adopted thereunder. For the purpose of this paragraph,
the local enforcement agency shall either identify the actual
expenditures and pay to the department the balance of fees collected,
or shall pay the department a sum equal to the percentage of the
years remaining before outstanding permits to operate expire.
(i) The enforcement agency may:
(1) Enter public or private properties to determine whether there
exists any employee housing to which this part applies.
(2) Enter and inspect all employee housing wheresoever situated,
and inspect all accommodations, equipment, or paraphernalia connected
(3) Enter and inspect the land adjacent to the employee housing to
determine whether the sanitary and other requirements of this part,
the building standards published in the California Building Standards
Code relating to employee housing, and the other rules and
regulations adopted pursuant to this part have been or are being
For the purpose of securing compliance with this part, the
officers and agents of the enforcement agency may serve any process
or notice throughout its jurisdiction.
The enforcement agency shall annually enter and inspect, and
reinspect as necessary, all employee housing accommodations for
compliance with the provisions of this part and regulations adopted
pursuant to this part, except:
(a) Accommodations for employee housing consisting only of
permanent single family housing that have been granted an exemption
as provided in Section 17031.
(b) Accommodations for employee housing that have been issued a
multiyear permit to operate pursuant to Section 17030.5.
(c) Accommodations for employee housing that are inactive.
(d) Accommodations for employee housing inspected in the prior
calendar year with no violations identified or complaints received by
the enforcement agency, which shall be inspected at least
The enforcement agency shall make every effort to complete the
inspection prior to the occupancy of the employee housing.
The department shall maintain a file of all reports of
complaint or other significant information regarding employee housing
maintenance and operation. Each file and information shall be
available to local enforcement agencies, district attorneys, and the
Attorney General. This material shall be a matter of public record.
The Attorney General, upon the request of the Director of
Housing and Community Development, shall conduct such investigations
as may be necessary to determine whether any violation of any
provision of this part has occurred. For such purpose, the Attorney
General shall have the powers specified in Section 17050.
The Attorney General shall conduct such prosecutions of violations
of this part as the director may request.
(a) Any person residing in employee housing subject to this
part may file an administrative complaint orally or in writing with
the enforcement agency. The enforcement agency shall deliver a
summary or copy of the complaint, by mail or in person, to the owner
or operator, at the time of filing the complaint.
(b) If a civil action under this part has not been filed by the
enforcement agency within 21 days after receipt of the complaint, the
complainant may bring a civil action for injunctive or declaratory
relief and appropriate statutory damages, civil penalties, actual
damages, penalties, and other remedies which arise from any violation
of this part, building standards published in the State Building
Standards Code relating to employee housing, regulations adopted
pursuant to this part, or conditions of the permit.
(c) In any civil action under this section, if the enforcement
agency certifies that the employee housing is in compliance with this
part, building standards published in the State Building Standards
Code relating to employee housing, regulations adopted pursuant to
this part, and conditions of the permit, no injunctive relief related
to mandatory repairs shall be granted with respect to any alleged
violation covered by the certificate.
(d) In any civil action brought by a private person or entity
under this section, the private person or entity may be granted
reasonable attorney's fees and costs, in addition to any other remedy
granted, if the private person or entity prevails, and if the trier
of fact finds that the violations involve retaliation or are so
extensive and of such a nature that the immediate health and safety
of residents or the public is endangered or has been endangered.
(e) If a complainant alleges, and the court finds, that residents
of the employee housing were in imminent peril as a result of serious
violations of this part, the complainant may immediately proceed
with the filing of a civil action without regard to the 21-day
waiting period specified in subdivision (b).
(a) In every part of the state, notwithstanding assumption
of responsibilities by local enforcement agencies pursuant to Section
17050, the department shall establish procedures and devote
resources to locating and prosecuting the most serious violators of
this part and those who refuse to apply for or obtain permits to
operate pursuant to this part, as determined by the department.
(b) The department shall maximize the efforts of personnel
implementing this part by seeking to use new resources and
nontraditional means, by coordinating with state, local, and federal
agencies and by training and coordinating with local health and
(c) All of the requirements of this part shall be performed by
civil service employees of the department who, to the extent
feasible, shall be bilingual in Spanish and English.