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Understanding SB326 and SB721: A Comprehensive Guide for Homeowners

Updated: Jan 17



A Quick Dive into SB326 and SB721: Unmasking the Mystery for Homeowners


Let's start off with a bit of context. Senate Bills 326 and 721, known as SB326 and SB721, are California laws that came into effect not too long ago. Quite understandably, these laws have created ripples in the realm of home ownership. You might be wondering, "What's all this fuss about these bills? And more importantly, how do they affect me?" Hang tight; we’ve got you covered!


Dissecting SB326: The 'Balcony Bill'


SB326, often dubbed the 'Balcony Bill,' was born out of a tragic incident when a balcony collapse led to loss of lives. Now, this bill mandates regular inspections of Elevated Exterior Elements (or EEEs) like balconies, decks, and stairways, in multifamily buildings.


But here’s the twist. As much as it targets multi-unit buildings, it doesn’t let single-family homeowners completely off the hook! It insists that homeowners must ensure their home additions or alterations align with the building code, regardless of whether or not the city requires it. Talk about being tough, eh?


Why Should You Care?


This law can have a significant impact on you if you happen to be a homeowner who is part of a Home Owners Association (HOA) or responsible for property management. With regular inspections, there comes the need for more thorough maintenance, which inevitably leads to higher expenses. So, it seems like your wallet might be feeling a bit lighter!


Navigating Through SB721: The 'Deck Inspection Law'


Following closely after SB326, the state introduced SB721. This law specifically targets decks and balconies of buildings with three or more units. Much like its predecessor, SB721 requires regular inspections of decks that are higher than six feet above ground.


The Impact on You


If you happen to be the proud owner of a multi-unit property or a member of a HOA responsible for managing such buildings, it's time to roll up your sleeves and get ready for some extra work! In addition to the usual property maintenance tasks, there's now an additional item on the checklist: deck inspections. Brace yourself, because this means your budget will take a hit.


Tying It Together: What These Laws Really Mean for You


So, what does all this legal jargon boil down to? Essentially, these laws stress better maintenance, safety, and peace of mind for homeowners and residents alike. Yes, they come with extra responsibility, but they also bring about greater transparency between builders, HOAs, and owners.


Final Thoughts: Navigating the Muddy Waters


Understanding SB326 and SB721 can seem like trying to ace quantum physics at first – daunting and pretty much Greek! But hey, don't sweat over it! In essence, both these laws push for safer structures that can stand the test of time.


While they may involve more thorough inspections and slightly increased fees, these measures also guarantee a greater level of safety for your home. We think it's a fair compromise that's definitely worth considering!

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