The Myth of Public Agency protection in the Building Permit Process: "t is commonly perceived that the building permits that are routinely issued by city building inspectors for construction work certify that the building or 'work of improvement' is quality built, safely constructed, and that all of the relevant building and state Health & Safety Code requirements have been met. The reality behind what a building permit represents, however, is quite different. Under current statutory schemes, local municipalities and city public agencies are essentially stripped of any responsibility for the work performed by their building inspector employees and the permits that these inspectors issue. In truth, a building permit is little more than a statement by the local municipality that the homeowner or developer who contracted for the work of improvement has paid the requisite fees to the local city housing authorities. A building permit does not represent that the construction that was undertaken is safe and free from defects or that all of the necessary building codes have been strictly complied with."
Great article by attorney Jan Kopczynski of Berding & Weil. For HOA and condo owners, it means they shouldn't think a new building is necessarily well-built. Guess who is ultimately responsible for all the problems, unless they can successfully sue the developer? That's right. The owners. Thanks to Fred Fischer for the link.