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Balcony Inspection Rules in California

The safety of your residents or tenants depends on your knowledge of the laws governing balcony inspections if you own or manage a property with balconies in California. We'll go through the fundamentals of these laws in this piece, along with what you must do to abide by them.

What are the required balcony inspection rules in California?

In California, the balcony inspection rules are covered by the California Building Code (CBC). These rules require the periodic inspection of all balconies and other elevated exterior elements of a building, such as decks, porches, and stairways.

Specifically, the CBC requires that all exterior elevated elements be inspected at least once every 3 years by a qualified inspector. The inspection must evaluate the condition of the element, including any deterioration, cracking, or other signs of wear and tear, and assess its structural integrity and safety. If any issues are found, they must be promptly addressed and repaired.

The CBC also requires the inspection of all balconies in multifamily buildings with three or more units. These inspections must be conducted by a licensed architect, engineer, building contractor, or building inspector, and must be completed within 6 months of the building's construction or renovation.

Why are these inspections necessary?

The inspections are necessary to ensure the safety of the building's occupants. Balconies and other elevated elements can be subject to weathering, corrosion, and other forms of deterioration over time. Without proper inspection and maintenance, these elements can become unstable or even collapse, potentially causing injury or death.

In fact, balcony collapses have been a problem in California in recent years, leading to several tragic incidents. By requiring regular inspections and repairs, these rules help to prevent such accidents from occurring and ensure the safety of everyone who lives or works in the building.

How can you comply with these rules?

To comply with these rules, you'll need to hire a qualified inspector to conduct the required inspections. You may also need to make repairs or upgrades to your balconies or other elevated elements if any issues are found during the inspection.

It's important to note that failing to comply with these rules can result in penalties and legal liability if someone is injured as a result of a balcony or other elevated element failure. So, it's best to take these inspections seriously and make sure they are conducted regularly and thoroughly.

In summary, the required balcony inspection rules in California are designed to ensure the safety of the building's occupants and prevent tragic accidents. If you own or manage a property with balconies or other elevated elements, it's essential to comply with these rules by conducting regular inspections and addressing any issues promptly. By doing so, you can protect the safety of your residents or tenants and avoid costly legal problems down the road.

In order to help clients achieve the compliance deadline and guarantee the security of their facilities, EEEAdvisor strives to educate clients on these standards and the rules established in SB721 and SB326. The California-based engineering inspections business EEEadvisor Engineering was co-founded by Omid Ghanadiof. According to Senate Bills 721 and 326, EEEadvisor Engineers supports homeowners associations (HOAs) and landlords in compliance to state rules for balcony inspections. Contact us at (805) 312-8513 or for further details.


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