Since January 1, 2021, sellers have been required to complete the Fire Hardening Defensible Space Advisory (FHDS) should their property fall within a high to very high fire hazard zone. Per AB 38 this includes properties that fall within a high to very high fire hazard zone; built before 2010; residential one to four properties; condominiums, or other common interest development units; or manufactured home. If the seller is not sure, there is a state website where the property address can be inputted to determine if the proper does fall in high or very high fire zones.
To identify fire zones, visit: Fire Hazard Severity Zones Maps.
In addition to the FHDS requirements, as of July 1, 2021, homeowners are required to also maintain a defensible space between a structure on the property and any flammable grass, trees, shrubs, or wildland area that surrounds it. Sellers of these properties will need to provide documentation that their property follows the defensible space laws, or the buyers will be required to agree to obtain such documentation of compliance in the future.
For the buyer to take on the responsibility, they will need to contact their local Fire District to request an extension to complete the work.
All Fire Districts request that inspection requests be placed as soon as the seller intends to place the listing on the MLS, as it can take a week for the Fire District to respond and make it out to the property.
The seller will need to determine which jurisdiction their property falls in, either the local municipality, Fire Protection District, or CalFire.