(a) A secured lender may enter and inspect the real property security for the purpose of determining the existence, location, nature, and magnitude of any past or present release or threatened release of any hazardous substance into, onto, beneath, or from the real property security on either of the following:
(1) Upon reasonable belief of the existence of a past or present release or threatened release of any hazardous substance into, onto, beneath, or from the real property security not previously disclosed in writing to the secured lender in conjunction with the making, renewal, or modification of a loan, extension of credit, guaranty, or other obligation involving the borrower.
(2) After the commencement of nonjudicial or judicial foreclosure proceedings against the real property security.
(b) The secured lender shall not abuse the right of entry and inspection or use it to harass the borrower or tenant of the property. Except in case of an emergency, when the borrower or tenant of the property has abandoned the premises, or if it is impracticable to do so, the secured lender shall give the borrower or tenant of the property reasonable notice of the secured lender’s intent to enter, and enter only during the borrower’s or tenant’s normal business hours. Twenty-four hours’ notice shall be presumed to be reasonable notice in the absence of evidence to the contrary.
(c) The secured lender shall reimburse the borrower for the cost of repair of any physical injury to the real property security caused by the entry and inspection.
(d) If a secured lender is refused the right of entry and inspection by the borrower or tenant of the property, or is otherwise unable to enter and inspect the property without a breach of the peace, the secured lender may, upon petition, obtain an order from a court of competent jurisdiction to exercise the secured lender’s rights under subdivision (a), and that action shall not constitute an action within the meaning of subdivision (a) of Section 726 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
(e) For purposes of this section:
(1) “Borrower” means the trustor under a deed of trust, or a mortgagor under a mortgage, where the deed of trust or mortgage encumbers real property security and secures the performance of the trustor or mortgagor under a loan, extension of credit, guaranty, or other obligation. The term includes any successor-in-interest of the trustor or mortgagor to the real property security before the deed of trust or mortgage has been discharged, reconveyed, or foreclosed upon.
(2) “Hazardous substance” includes all of the following:
(A) Any “hazardous substance” as defined in subdivision (h) of Section 25281 of the Health and Safety Code.
(B) Any “waste” as defined in subdivision (d) of Section 13050 of the Water Code.
(C) Petroleum, including crude oil or any fraction thereof, natural gas, natural gas liquids, liquefied natural gas, or synthetic gas usable for fuel, or any mixture thereof.
(3) “Real property security” means any real property and improvements, other than a separate interest and any related interest in the common area of a residential common interest development, as the terms “separate interest,” “common area,” and “common interest development” are defined in Sections 4095, 4100, and 4185, or real property consisting of one acre or less which contains 1 to 15 dwelling units.
(4) “Release” means any spilling, leaking, pumping, pouring, emitting, emptying, discharging, injecting, escaping, leaching, dumping, or disposing into the environment, including continuing migration, of hazardous substances into, onto, or through soil, surface water, or groundwater.
(5) “Secured lender” means the beneficiary under a deed of trust against the real property security, or the mortgagee under a mortgage against the real property security, and any successor-in-interest of the beneficiary or mortgagee to the deed of trust or mortgage.
(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 181, Sec. 40. (AB 806) Effective January 1, 2013. Operative January 1, 2014, by Sec. 86 of Ch. 181.)
Last modified: October 25, 2018