The water conserving plumbing fixtures and carbon monoxide detector notice, also known as the WCMD, is a relatively new document provided by the California Association of Realtors. The latest release version of the document, which we will be reviewing, was issued on December 12th, 2016.
The two pages that make up the WCMD is meant to modify the existing Carbon Monoxide Detector Notice (CMD).
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Water Conserving Plumbing Fixtures and Carbon Monoxide Detector Notice Disclosure Breakdown
The WCMD addresses the requirements and exceptions of water-conserving plumbing fixtures, carbon monoxide detectors, and local requirements.
Water-Conserving Plumbing Fixtures
All Single family properties built on or before January 1st, 1994, pursuant to California law (Civil Code 1101.4), needs to be equipped with water-conserving plumbing fixtures after January 1st, 2017.
Multifamily and Commercial properties built on or before January 1st, 1994, pursuant to California law (Civil Code 1101.5), needs to be equipped with water-conserving plumbing fixtures after January 1st, 2017.
Additionally, if the multifamily or commercial property has an alteration or improvement that increases the floor area by more than 10%, or has a cost greater than $150,000, or for any area that requires a building permit. It is then required to be equipped with water-conserving plumbing fixtures.
There are exceptions to this law. The requirements that are listed above do not apply to any historical sites, properties where a licensed plumber certified any previously installed water-conserving plumbing fixtures or if any such installation is not feasible. And finally, any building that has their water service permanently disconnected.
There are rare cases that properties that are slated for demolition or if a city/county that has adopted a retrofit requirement prior to 2009 is exempt.
Disclosure of Water-Conserving Plumbing Fixtures
The installation of water-conserving fixtures is not a point of sale requirement. The California Civil Code 1101.4 & 1101.5 requires sellers to disclose to the buyer the requirements about the water conserving measures along with identifying any noncompliant water fixtures.
Noncompliant Water Fixtures Includes:
- Any toilet that uses more than 1.6 gallons of water per flush
- Any urinal that uses more than one gallon of water per flush
- Any shower head that has a flow capacity of more than 2.5 gallons of water per minute.
- Any interior faucet that emits more than 2.2 gallons of water per minute.
It is advised that buyers and sellers should consult their their own home inspectors to determine if any water fixture is compliant or not.
Carbon Monoxide Detectors
California Health and Safety Codes 13260-13263 and 17296-17296.2 require all single family homes have carbon monoxide detectors installed as of July 1st, 2011.
All other types of dwelling units meant for human occupancy shall have carbon monoxide detectors installed before January 1st, 2013.
The exceptions only apply to dwelling units that do not have any of the following:
- Fossil fuel burning heater or appliance
- Attached Garage
Additionally, the law does not apply to any dwelling units owned or leased by the State of California, the Regents of the University of California or any local government agencies.
Other than the three owner types, there are “no other owner exemptions” from this requirement. This includes all types of owners listed below:
- other entities
- REO properties.
Disclosure of Carbon Monoxide Detectors
The Health and Safety Code does not require sellers to provide a disclosure regarding the existence of carbon monoxide detector in a home.
However, homeowners of 1-4 units that are required to fill out the Real Estate Transfer Disclosure (CAR From TDS) or a Manufactured Home and Mobile home Transfer Disclosure Statement (CAR Form MHTDS) must indicate on those disclosures whether or not the dwelling unit has a carbon monoxide detector.
Compliance with Installation Requirement
State building code requires that the placement of carbon monoxide detectors to be placed outside of each sleeping area and on each floor in a multi-level dwelling. Additional or different requirements may apply depending on the local building standards.
Owners who fail to install the carbon monoxide detectors, especially after being given notice by a governmental agencies may face up to $200 for each violation.
Sellers who fail to install the carbon monoxide detectors may be subject to damages of up to $100, plus court costs and attorney fees.
Buyers and Sellers are advised to seek the advisement of their own home inspector, contractor or other professional to determine if the placement of these devices are in accordance with the law.
Some localities have their own requirements for water-conserving plumbing fixtures and carbon monoxide detectors. Therefore, it is extremely important to check the local city or county building and safety departments regarding these devices when it comes to transferring property.
When is the WCMD is Used
Both buyers and sellers may see this disclosure as part of the seller disclosure package during the transaction. However, the usage of the document is very dependant on the agents brokerage document requirements. Because of this, some transactions may not include this document.
It is generally accepted by agents and brokers that the usage of newer and revised disclosures provided by CAR is ideal.
Who Signs the WCMD
Buyers and Sellers are required to sign and initial the WCMD.
Page 1: Buyers & Sellers: Initials
Page 2: Buyers & Sellers name, signature and date of signature
The water conserving plumbing fixtures and carbon monoxide detector notice is fairly straightforward disclosure. The only tip would be to ensure both parties have initialed and signed both pages of the disclosure.
Disclaimer: This article is meant to educate, inform, and comment on a document that is protected by the United States copyright law. This article is only our interpretation of the subject document. We advise the reader to consult their broker or agent on any questions they may have. The reader is also advised to reach out to the California Association of Realtors for any additional information.