Every city in California will have code enforcement officer to enforce building codes even with moisture and mold issues. However, code enforcement does not have the training or expertise to deal with these particular issues and are sometimes misinformed on knowledge regarding mold.
Their authority is also limited as far as what their department policy allows them to determine as to mold in a building or home. I have at times recommended sending the Inspection Report I do to the building code enforcement I have found due to what I mentioned above are not always very helpful in enforcing codes regarding moisture and mold issues.
Because of this it is best having a qualified inspector, referring to a CIH (Certified Industrial Hygienist) or CMC, (Certified Microbial Consultant), perform inspections related to Mold and Moisture as they will give the best recommendations. If possible, ask them to put on the front page of the report if the unit is habitable based on their findings. Below is an example of part of what is on the first page of such a report.
Note: California Senate Bill 655 that went into effect on January of 2016 requires property owners to maintain their properties ‘free from dampness and mold’. Mold in the bill is defined as ‘microorganisms or fungi’ not visible mold. This includes dangerous bacteria that grow from damp or wet conditions in a home.
Dampness is considered a nuisance that is ‘anything which is injurious to health’ as defined under Civil Code Section 3479. Dampness present in home is a violation of CA Health and Safety Code 17920.3. Dampness leads to mold and dangerous bacteria growth starting in just a 2 to 5 days of moisture being present.
Steve Mullins (i.e. Mold Detector)
CMC, Certified Microbial Consultant
Moisture and Mold Detection, Inc.