April 14, 2021
OLYMPIA – Today, Gov. Jay Inslee signed into law a measure that will protect people who purchase “flipped” homes from damage or injury due to inadequately performed electrical work. Senate Bill 5267, sponsored by Sen. Rebecca Saldaña (D-Seattle), requires electrical work to be performed by a certified electrician or a licensed electrical contractor in homes that are sold within one year of being acquired. Similarly, it requires telecommunications work in such homes to be performed by a licensed telecommunications contractor. “Electrical inspectors are seeing a fairly pervasive problem of people performing inadequate electrical work on property they are flipping,” said Saldaña. “People’s wealth is often in their homes, and it’s important to protect that. This bill will provide safety and security for buyers of flipped homes and their families.” The standards in SB 5267 are the same as for new construction, and only apply to properties being sold within one year of acquisition. They will not affect longtime homeowners who wish to make repairs on their own property. “This is an issue that affected my own home,” Saldaña said. “We were unaware that faulty electrical work performed by someone flipping the property had electrified our roof, and when accessing our roof to help with repairs, a friend was seriously injured – and could have been killed – upon contact. “We later learned the bad electrical work posed a serious fire risk, as well as an imminent safety threat in one of our children’s bedrooms. Many families have similar stories, but no family should have to go through this.” SB 5267 also has the support of the Certified Electrical Workers of Washington. “This is common sense legislation creating a level playing field while increasing safety for consumers and opportunities for apprentices,” said Matthew A. Hepner, the organization’s Executive Director. The 2021 legislative session is scheduled to end on April 25. The law will take effect ninety days after the end of session.