REALTY MATTERS, By Kay Wilson-Bolton
Sewer Later Inspections in Ventura – March 6, 2014
There is a new requirement of home sellers in the City of Ventura that began on January 1, 2014.
The goal of the Ordinance, as provided on the City’s website, is to reduce sewage overflows by extending the City’s ability to compel property owners to eliminate potential deficiencies within their private laterals.
These inspections and repairs will be carried out at the owner’s expense and before escrow can close.
Targeted deficiencies include: root intrusion, kitchen grease build-up, offset joints, connections leading to rain water inflow, groundwater infiltration and any condition with the potential to lead to sewage reaching the surface from the lateral or the public sewer.
Ventura is an older community, with a wide range of housing stock and commercial and institutional properties. The age, quality and long-term maintenance of sewers varies widely. So too, renters and owners vary widely in the care with which they control what goes into the sewers over time.
When not properly inspected, maintained, repaired or replaced by property owners, private sewer laterals may become blocked and cause overflows of sewage from the private sewer laterals. Such sewage overflows negatively impact the public health, safety and welfare of both the property owner and the public by exposing them to untreated sewage. This could also result in illicit discharges of sewage from private property to thepublic storm drains or waters of the United States or the State.
Most plumbing contractors can complete the inspection at costs ranging from $90 to $150. The City will not issue a completion notice to the escrow company until reports are filed with the City of Ventura.
If you are in escrow, don’t wait until the last minute to request the inspection and be prepared to cooperate. It is not optional if you want to close escrow.The real estate community calls such an ordinance a Point of Sale requirement. It doesn’t matter what label is on it because it’s required if you want to sell your home.
Kay Wilson-Bolton has been a broker in Ventura County Since 1976. www.kaywilsonbolton.net