New Flipper Disclosure Bill – Ensuring Accountability for House Flippers

Finally holding bad flippers’ feet to the fire

California AB 968 introduces crucial regulations for individuals selling homes purchased within the past 18 months. This bill presumes such sellers to be flippers and mandates them to disclose extensive details about property improvements. This includes a description of the work performed, the contractors involved, and the permit status of each project.

Historically, many flippers have avoided full disclosure by claiming exemption due to lack of residency, similar to those inheriting properties. However, as professional home inspectors, we have frequently encountered flip homes that, while aesthetically pleasing, can harbor substandard and potentially criminal renovations. Often, these are carried out without permits to avoid the lengthy approval process, thereby reducing the flipper’s holding costs and avoiding jeopardizing profit margins. Typically funded by high-interest, short-term hard money loans, these rushed projects frequently result in unpermitted work executed by unlicensed or inexperienced workers.

We have observed dangerously executed electrical work where flippers overload circuits with too many outlets, lights, or appliances, posing significant risks from frequent breaker trips to fire hazards. Particularly in older homes, this includes unsafe connections between incompatible copper and aluminum wiring. Furthermore, structural compromises are common, such as the removal of load-bearing walls without proper support, leading to sagging structures which are costly to rectify.

Other frequent issues include damaged cast iron drain lines, resulting in severe sewage leaks, and aesthetic enhancements that mask underlying problems. These quick fixes often lead to significant issues for unsuspecting buyers, ranging from minor inconveniences to severe health and safety risks.

Assembly Bill 968 aims to foster greater accountability by ensuring that buyers are informed whether improvements were made by licensed professionals, the involvement of unskilled or unlicensed workers, and the legality of the work through proper permits. This transparency is crucial as unpermitted additions can lead to substantial fines, mandatory repairs, or even demolition orders from building authorities.

For prospective home buyers, thorough inspection is paramount. Don’t let a home’s surface appeal deceive you. As your impartial advocates in the home-buying process, we encourage you to contact The Real Estate Inspection Company for detailed and experienced evaluation of any home or commercial property. Protect yourself from hidden defects and ensure peace of mind. Reach out to us at 800-232-5180 or schedule your inspection online at As the old saying goes, “beauty is only skin deep.” Let us help you see beyond the surface.

Source: CA Legislature