Reg Changes Clarify Investigation Standards

New regulations went into effect on February 13, 2022, that clarify and set the minimum standard to be applied in investigations by the Board.  What does this mean going forward?  Work performed based upon a contract entered into after February 13, 2022, when the Board investigates a consumer complaint in a city or county without a residential building code, then the Board will apply the 2015 International Residential Building Code (IRC) as the minimum standard.  This is meant to clarify the “standards of the community” that has been previously enforced during administrative investigations in areas without a local code.  In cities and counties with an adopted building code, the Board shall continue to apply that code in its investigations.

In 2019, the Alabama Legislature amended the Act to give the Board the authority to adopt a residential building code.

Alabama Code Section 34-14A-12(a) states: “[t]he board is authorized to establish or adopt residential building codes and standards of practice for residential home builders within the state. A residential building code or standard of practice adopted or established by the board does not supersede or otherwise exempt residential home builders from a local building law or code adopted by the governing body of a county or municipality or from a local or general law.”

How this will work:  If a consumer complaint is filed against a licensee, the Board will inform the builder of the consumer complaint, that the work performed is in a jurisdiction without an adopted local building code, and that the Board will utilize the 2015 IRC for investigation purposes to determine probable cause for violations of gross negligence, incompetence, and misconduct.  In those cities and counties with an adopted building code, again the Board will continue to apply that local building code for investigation purposes.

Click here to see the new rules.