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About SB326

California Senate Bill SB326

 

The Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act was enacted to govern the management and operation of common interest developments, with an existing law also setting forth the duties and responsibilities of the association and the owners of the separate interests. However, things might be taking a different look soon as a bill, SB 326, requiring the association of a condominium project to cause a reasonably competent and diligent visual inspection of exterior elevated elements, has been initiated. 

SB 326 require HOAs for condominium building that has more than 3 dwelling units only to hire (Structural Engineer or Architecture Engineer) as an inspector, unlike SB721 which allow owners to hire a general contractor (B1), Certified Home Inspector, Structural/ Architecture Engineer. Inspector should submit the inspection report to the board of the association providing specified information. 

 

The report should include identification of the building components comprising the load-bearing components and associated waterproofing system, their current physical condition, the expected future performance and remaining useful life of the load-bearing components, and recommendations for any necessary repair or replacement with photos of elements. This report should be signed and stamped by the engineer. It also requires the association to take preventive measures immediately upon receiving the report in the case inspector finds any immediate hazard to in 15days to install shoring as well as prevent occupant access to the exterior elevated element until repairs have been inspected and approved by the local enforcement agency. The inspector shall provide a copy of the inspection report to the association immediately upon completion of the report and to the local code enforcement agency.

 

The building types involved include condominiums and HOAs of at least three units, with the sample size identified to be Statically Significant sampling of all elements” to have 95% confidence. This ratio is based on the age of the building, geographical location, building type, and other elements, but the inspector should have % 5 margins of error, so he or she can be aggressive in the case found some sign of damage or threat. If during the visual inspection, the inspector observes building conditions indicating that unintended water or water vapor has passed into the associated waterproofing system, thereby creating the potential for damage to the load-bearing components, then the inspector may conduct a further inspection. The inspector shall exercise their best professional judgment in determining the necessity, scope, and breadth of any further inspection.

Prior to conducting the first visual inspection, the inspector shall generate a random list of the locations of each type of exterior elevated element. The list shall include all exterior elevated elements for which the association has maintenance or repair responsibility. The list shall be provided to the association for future use.

 

Timeline

The deadline has been set for December 31, 2024, with a 9-year timeframe. HOAs boards have to keep it for two-cycle periods (18 years). Other provisions of the bill include the possibility of one company to be the inspector and contractor at the same time, with the inspector as the structural and architect-engineer.

Exemptions

  • If your building has less than three units, you are fine. 

  • If you have a building with more than 3 units and it has a EEE that the height of EEE is less than 6 feet, you do not need to inspect it. 

  • If you have a balcony that is not designed for humans or it has no floor, it does not need to be inspected.

 

The bill will undoubtedly help in enhancing the effectiveness of the building and construction industry while making safety a priority for all stakeholders.