Who Should Get the Permit?
The property owner or a contractor licensed by the State of California can obtain permits. Tenants may obtain a permit if they have the written permission of the property owner and the property owner signs the permit documents.
It is always best if a licensed contractor obtains the permit. The contractor must provide a bond to ensure that the work will be started and completed in a timely manner, constructed in accordance with the various codes and performed with an acceptable degree of workmanship. If the work is not completed or if the work is not completed according to code, the bond could be used to pay someone else to finish or redo the work.
If the owners obtain the permit they act as the contractor and are responsible for completing the work and to assure that it meets code requirements. Interaction then takes place between Building Division inspectors and the owner. If the owner has hired a contractor or other person to do some of the work and it is not done in accordance with the approved plans and code requirements, the inspector will ask the owner, not the contractor, to have the work redone. In other words, if the owner obtains the permit it is the owner's responsibility to make sure the work is being done in accordance with the approved plans and codes.