April 12, 2024

Business Bib

Business & Finance Blog

Go through the Soft-Story Retrofit Program

2 min read

Seismic activity in Los Angeles is nothing new; Southern California has been expecting “The Big One” for decades. It’s something that Californians have to deal with, but in 2015 the City of Los Angeles approved Regulation 183893 and Regulation 184081 to establish mandatory standards for soft-story buildings meant to be considered as risk of structural failure at the time of an earthquake.

The purpose of these laws is to advertise public safety and reduce structural deficiencies triggered by quakes in the most cost-effective and possible methods The City of Los Angeles Department of Building Safety, or LADBS, invested over two years compiling a list of soft-story buildings that that will need some type of seismic retrofit. The Los Angeles Soft Story Retrofit System describes all specifications for a building to comply by 2022.

The Soft-story Seismic Retrofit Program is designed to inform entrepreneurs through a courtesy notice that the house may be in need of seismic retrofitting and motivates the proprietor to take the necessary measures in avoiding renter displacement or having renters live in uninhabitable conditions.  The notice gives the proprietor the opportunity to prepare economically and provides time to locate a specialist to do the essential work once a Notice to Comply (Order) is received. When the related building permits are used from the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety, a Tenant Habitability Plan (THP) is needed. The THP, along with explaining the expected opportunity of work, must also detail the steps the landlord will take in order to minimize the impact to the tenant during the retrofit period.  Once all work has been completed, a proprietor can restore 50% of retrofit costs through the Seismic Retrofit Cost Recovery Program.

Property owners have several options. Within two years, destroy the building, submit retrofitting plans to the town, or prove the structure of the building can hold up against an earthquake’s seismic activity. The retrofit has to be completed within seven years of the compliance order receipt.