Oakland Point of Sale Sidewalk Repair Ordinance Updates

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Oakland Point of Sale Sidewalk Repair Ordinance Updates

Category: Real Estate

Published 08/29/2019

Oakland’s Department of Transportation has issued new guidelines to the City's Title Transfer Sidewalk Repair Ordinance. Among them, here are some of the most relevant to our property owners.

  1. Permanent time extension option of 90 days. (Allows 90-day extension to complete repair after the closing of escrow)
  2. Clarification regarding HOAs
  3. Clarification on Compliance Certificate expiration date
  4. Clarification on type of contractors eligible to perform certification.

The Point of Sale Sidewalk Repair Ordinance mandates that sidewalk repairs of known, unsafe conditions must be completed prior to the Close of Escrow on the sale of real property. Advent Properties, Inc. has highlighted some of these changes.

1. Permanent time extension option of 90 days


If you cannot obtain a Compliance Certificate for your sidewalk before the title transfer, you may apply for a Provisional Sidewalk Compliance Certificate. The certificate will provide a 90-day extension from the issue date for any sidewalk repairs to be completed. The Provisional Sidewalk Compliance Certificate must be issued prior to the title transfer.

During the 90-day extension period, the responsible party, as negotiated between the buyer and seller, shall complete the requirements to obtain a Compliance Certificate by repairing or replacing the sidewalk as necessary. (Note that once the title transfer is complete, the new property owner is solely responsible for obtaining the Compliance Certificate).

Applicants applying for a Provisional Sidewalk Compliance Certificate will pay the standard OakDOT Permit Intake Fee + a 14.75% Records and Technology Fee. As of July 19, 2019, the Intake Fee + 14.75% amounted to approximately $80 (consult the Oakland Master Fee Schedule [MFS] for up-to-date fee details). This fee will then be applied towards the final Compliance Certificate once compliance is achieved before the end of the 90-day period.

Failure to comply may result in an OakDOT inspection, and further civil penalties may ensue, up to and including a lien on the subject property.

2. Clarification regarding Home Owner's Associations


A Home Owners Association (HOA) or Community Association is a nonprofit corporation or unincorporated association that manages or governs a joint owner's development and operates in accordance with governing documents, whether the corporation or association is formally designated or commonly referred to as an HOA or community association. Examples include condominiums, townhomes, planned unit developments, stock cooperatives, and other projects where separately owned individual units or parcels exist in conjunction with a common area.

HOAs or Community Associations are responsible for maintaining, repairing, and certifying sidewalks when sidewalks are a “common element” or a “common area” in governing documents such as the Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs). The property owner is responsible for maintaining repairing, and certifying sidewalks if the HOA or Community Association does not cover sidewalks as a “common element” or a “common area” in governing documents such as the(CC&Rs), or the joint owner development is not managed or governed by a HOA or Community Association.

Each HOA or Community Association should bring all sidewalks adjacent to the development into compliance. The HOA or Community Association will receive a Compliance Certificate once all sidewalks within their maintenance responsibility comply through the regular compliance process. Compliance Certificates are valid for 5 years.

If you are buying, selling, or renovating a property in an HOA or Community Association, contact your HOA or Community Association to request a copy of the Compliance Certificate to use during title transfer.

If your HOA or Community Association does not yet have a Compliance Certificate, then a no-fee Compliance Certificate can be issued to you as the property owner from the OakDOT Permit Counter. The City may then inspect the sidewalks and issue Notices to Repair for damaged sidewalks to the HOA or Community Association.

3. Clarification on Compliance Certificate expiration date


A Compliance Certificate will be effective for 5 years after the date of issuance. You do not need to apply for a new Compliance Certificate if your property has a valid and unexpired Compliance Certificate.

To check if your property has a valid and unexpired Compliance Certificate, call the OakDOT Permit Counter at 510-238-3199.

4. Clarification on Contractors eligible to perform certification


A self-certification inspection shall be conducted by a contractor holding specified “A,” “B,” or “C-8” license and a current valid Oakland Business License.

In addition to the above licenses, if concurrent permitted work is occurring, the contractor permitted to work at the address may inspect and certify the sidewalk so long as their contractor license includes concrete or related construction (e.g. “C-42” or “C-57”).


Click here to access the City of Oakland's newest Sidewalk Repair at time of title transfer FAQ.

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