Building permits are required by law as a public safety measure. Permits ensure that construction is performed in compliance with state and local codes, including safety standards. On June 11, 2009, the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) voted unanimously to place a high priority on enforcing building permit requirements, and an industry bulletin was subsequently issued on November 30, 2009, to alert licensees that CSLB would be accelerating building permit enforcement efforts, beginning January 2010.
Failure to obtain a building permit is a violation of Contractors License Law. Further, construction performed without a permit can expose a homeowner to additional liability and costs. When a contractor performs improvement work without a local building permit, it is a violation of Business and Professions (B&P) Code sections 7110 and 7090. Contractors who violate the law are subject to disciplinary action by CSLB, including civil penalty assessments of up to $5,000 per violation, an order of correction that requires payment of permit fees and any assessed penalties imposed by the local building department, and suspension or revocation of the license.
If you suspect a violation has occurred, please fill out a Building Permit Violation Referral form. CSLB will contact the contractor regarding the permit allegation and take the appropriate disciplinary action.