Update on Local Shelter in Place Orders

As we near the end of April 2020, it has certainly been an interesting time. I think that is a good way to say that. Many shelter orders that were amended or extended in early April are set to expire. Some counties are extending further others are moving to a different path. Today we look at the updates on some of those shelter in place orders.

As always, if you have any questions about your real estate, business, estate planning, or any other legal issue, please let us know by e-mailing managing shareholder Keith Dunnagan at kbdunnagan@bpelaw.com.

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Update on Local Shelter in Place Orders
By: D. Keith Dunnagan, Esq.

It seems like every week, we are looking at the current state of the shelter in place orders and this week is no different. Today, we look at Sacramento County, Placer County and El Dorado County.

On April 29, Sacramento County extended and amended its order. The new shelter in place order will take effect on May 2, 2020 and is set to remain in effect through May 22, 2020. However, there is some good news in this order. In the version that was issued on April 7, real estate was deemed an essential business. However, the order prohibited any in-person viewings of occupied properties. Naturally, this created a problem for the industry in that most buyers will not buy a property without seeing it. Additionally, as we discussed previously, virtual showings came with a tremendous risk related to disclosure obligations contained in state law. Local industry associations did a great job working with the county to get this provision amended for the benefit of their members and the public.

The amended Sacramento shelter in place order reads as follows:

Service providers that enable residential transactions (including rentals, leases, and home sales), including, but not limited to, real estate agents, escrow agents, notaries, and title companies, provided that appointments and other residential viewings must only occur virtually or, if a virtual viewing is not feasible, by appointment with no more than two visitors at a time residing within the same household or living unit and one individual showing the unit. These services must be carried out in compliance with Social Distancing Requirements as defined in this Order, to the extent possible.

This is great news for local agents as buyers will now be allowed to complete limited in-person viewings. This is all the more important because the conflicting orders between the counties were unnecessarily difficult for local agents working in multiple counties. This amended order helps alleviate some of that conflict. While these allowances have been granted, they should not be abused.

Where feasible, electronic and virtual viewings should be used. More importantly, agents will be allowed to complete their AVID’s appropriately as required by Civil Code section 2079. Buyers will be allowed to complete their diligent visual inspections as required under Pagano v. Krohn and Civil Code section 2079.5 and home inspectors will be able to complete inspections. Make sure to continue to use the CAR COVID-19 forms, including the PEAD form and even though the businesses is allowed, make sure to follow best practices in conducting such actions. For ease, the California Association’s best practice guidance can be found here.

In El Dorado County, the shelter in place directive is set to expire on May 1, 2020. Currently, El Dorado County has taken the position that they will not extend the shelter order, and the Board of Supervisors recently sent a letter to Governor seeing permission to begin reopening the El Dorado County economy.

As to Placer County, their current order is set to expire at 11:59 pm on May 1, 2020. We have not been given any updates as to what direction Placer County will go. We will know more by Friday at the latest.

The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and not to be construed as legal advice. If you have questions, you should seek competent legal representation to assist you.


The attorneys of BPE Law Group, PC. have been advising our clients on real estate, business, and estate planning issues for over 20 years and have assisted numerous clients in probate, business, and real estate matters and have represented and advised brokers on their professional obligations as well as consumers on their rights. If you have questions concerning legal matters, give us a call at (916) 966-2260 or e-mail Keith at kbdunnagan@bpelaw.com. Our flat fee consults for new clients may get you the answers you need for the questions you have.

The information presented in this Article is not to be taken as legal advice. Every person’s situation is different. If you are facing a legal issue of any kind, get competent legal advice in your State immediately so that you can determine your best options.