California Assembly Bill 38 (AB 38) - Defensible Space Inspections

As of July 1, 2021, California Assembly Bill 38 (AB 38) states that the seller of a residential property located in specified zones must submit documentation of compliance with locally adopted defensible space requirements prior to the close of escrow. As all of Malibu has been designated a Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone (VHFHSZ) by Cal Fire, all properties sold within the Malibu city limits are subject to the requirements of AB 38.

With AB 38, if documentation showing compliance cannot be obtained by the close of escrow, the seller and buyer can enter into a written agreement showing that the buyer agrees to obtain documentation of compliance within one year of closing escrow.

AB 38 Inspections

The Malibu Fire Safety Liaisons are not authorized to conduct AB 38 inspections. Property owners or their agent should contact the Los Angeles County Fire Department Fire Prevention Division to request an AB 38 inspection.

To view the full text of AB 38, visit the California Legislative Information webpage.