PALOS VERDES ESTATES : City Plans to Inspect Homes Listed for Sale

If your house is up for sale in Palos Verdes Estates, the city building inspector may soon be paying you a visit.

New code enforcement guidelines were unanimously given preliminary approval by the City Council on Tuesday. City staff will now draw up the final guidelines.

Previously, the city did not inspect homes that were for sale, but did require sellers to obtain a list of permits on file.

One amendment proposed by Councilman William A. Finer would allow the city to strike pre-existing code violations if residents need to refinance their homes. The planning director estimated that the new policy will cost the city an hour of staff time for each home investigation.

The draft guidelines also prevent code inspectors from responding to anonymous tips and stress voluntary compliance. The city plans to give homeowners four weeks to bring their houses up to code.

If homeowners do not correct violations after four weeks, they could be fined $100. That fine would rise to $500 if the violation continues for two more weeks. After that, the city would begin proceedings to correct the violations.

A recent spat with one homeowner, who the city said placed illegal trees and rocks outside his home, lasted more than a year. The offending landscaping was removed by city bulldozers in August.

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