The California State Balcony Inspection Law, also known as Senate Bill 721, mandates that multi-family residential properties with three or more units, including apartment buildings, condominiums, and other multi-family residential properties, inspect exterior elevated elements such as balconies, decks, and stairs on a regular basis. The law was put into effect as a result of a tragic balcony fall in Berkeley, California, in 2015 that claimed six lives and injured other people.
In this article, we'll explore the basics of CA balcony inspections, what the law requires, and why it's important for property owners, managers, and tenants.
What Does the California State Balcony Inspection Law Require?
The California State Balcony Inspection Law requires that all exterior elevated elements, including balconies, decks, stairs, and landings, in covered properties must be inspected at least once every nine years. The inspection must be performed by a licensed architect, structural engineer, or contractor who has experience in inspecting exterior elevated elements.
The inspection must include a visual assessment of all exterior elevated elements, including an examination of the structural integrity of the elements, connections between the elements and the building structure, and any potential hazards such as water damage, dry rot, or corrosion.
If the inspector identifies any potential hazards, the property owner or manager must take corrective action to address the issue. Depending on the severity of the hazard, corrective action may involve repairs, replacement, or reinforcement of the affected element.
Who Does the California State Balcony Inspection Law Apply To?
The California State Balcony Inspection Law applies to all multi-family residential buildings in California with three or more units, including apartments, condominiums, and townhouses. The law also applies to hotels, motels, and other commercial buildings with sleeping accommodations.
Property owners, managers, and homeowners' associations (HOAs) are responsible for complying with the requirements of the law. Failure to comply with the law can result in significant legal and financial consequences, including fines, penalties, and lawsuits.
Why Are CA Balcony Inspections Important?
CA balcony inspections are important for several reasons:
1. Public Safety: Regular balcony inspections help identify potential hazards before they result in injuries or fatalities, improving public safety.
2. Compliance: Complying with the requirements of the California State Balcony Inspection Law is essential for property owners, managers, and HOAs to avoid legal and financial consequences.
3. Liability: If a balcony or other exterior elevated element collapses and causes injury or death, the property owner may be held liable for damages. Insurance companies may also deny coverage for damages resulting from a collapse if the property owner has not complied with the inspection requirements of the law.
4. Maintenance: Regular balcony inspections help ensure that exterior elevated elements are well-maintained and in safe condition, which can help prolong their lifespan and reduce maintenance costs over time.
CA balcony inspections are an essential part of maintaining public safety and ensuring compliance with the California State Balcony Inspection Law. Property owners, managers, and HOAs should take the requirements of the law seriously and ensure that all exterior elevated elements are inspected regularly and maintained in safe condition.
By conducting regular balcony inspections, property owners can identify potential hazards and take corrective action to prevent accidents and injuries. Complying with the California State Balcony Inspection Law is not only a legal requirement but also a moral responsibility to ensure the safety and well-being of tenants and guests.
In order to help clients achieve the compliance deadline and guarantee the security of their facilities, EEEAdvisor is working to educate clients on these criteria and the rules established in SB721 and SB326. Co-founding member of EEEadvisor Engineering, a Southern California-based company that specializes in engineering inspections, is Omid Ghanadiof. According to Senate Bills 721 and 326, EEEadvisor Engineering helps homeowners associations (HOAs) and owners of rental properties comply with state requirements for balcony inspections. Contact Mr. Ghanadiof at (805) 312-8513 or http://info@EEEadvisor.com for additional details.