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Important Changes in Law Regarding Owner-Builder Permits

Property Owners Reminded of their Responsibilities

The Contractors State License Board (CSLB) is focusing attention on a new law designed to protect consumers who use the owner-builder permit process. Unlicensed operators who take advantage of unsuspecting consumers have become a major concern.

Some of these unlicensed individuals pass themselves off as "consultants" who promise to guide the homeowner through the permit process for a fee. Instead of saving money, the homeowner is often left with construction or legal problems, and the added costs of repairing substandard work or damage. Many consumers are simply not aware that it is the contractor's responsibility to pull building permits. Many times homeowners who agree to represent themselves as owner-builders on building and construction permits are unaware that they are increasing their own risk and responsibility for the completion of the project.

A committee composed of members from the California Building Officials Organization (CALBO) and CSLB concluded that existing law did not make a property owner fully aware of owner-builder risks and responsibilities, and their respective boards voted to co-sponsor legislation to address this issue. Assembly Bill (AB) 2335 was signed into law on July 3, 2008, and becomes effective on January 1, 2009.

AB 2335

  • Repeals Health & Safety Code (H&S) Sections 19830, 19831 and 19832
  • Amends H&S Section 1925 to contain the permit format into a single, comprehensive layout
  • Provides a format for the Owner-Builder Declarations that requires property owners to acknowledge their responsibilities, as well as the risks of dealing with unlicensed contractors.

To see the full text of the bill visit:

The purpose of AB 2335 is to make property owners seriously contemplate the financial difficulties that could result from contracting with unlicensed individuals. To learn more about CSLB's legal resources, visit or call (800) 321-CSLB (2752) to have information mailed to you.


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