It's crucial to be aware of two new rules concerning balcony inspections in California if you own or manage a multi-unit residential building: Senate Bill 721 (SB721) and Senate Bill 326 (SB326). These restrictions were adopted in reaction to a number of high-profile cases where balconies fell, causing harm and even death. The rules mandate routine inspections of outdoor elevated elements, such as balconies, decks, and stairways, in order to protect the safety of residents and visitors.
In 2018, SB721 was enacted into law, requiring inspections of all raised external features in structures housing three or more multifamily dwelling units. A licensed professional engineer or architect must carry out these inspections, and the findings must be shared with the neighborhood building department. The first examination must be completed by January 1, 2025, and all exterior elevated elements must be inspected every six years as well, according to the law.
In accordance with SB326, which was enacted into law in 2019, structures with three or more multifamily dwelling units that are over 20 years old must have all elevated elements inspected. This comprises decks, balconies, and other extensions of the building's outer walls. An authorized professional engineer or architect must conduct the inspections, and the findings must be communicated to the neighborhood building department. The first examination must be completed by January 1, 2025, and all elevated elements must undergo inspections every nine years as well, according to the law.
It's crucial to remember that these laws apply to both owner-occupied and rental homes and that breaking them can result in severe fines. Owners of real estate could face fines, legal action, and possibly the cancellation of their building permits if they don't perform the necessary inspections or fix any defects discovered during inspections.
Property owners can have a few typical queries and worries about these laws. Some people might ask which kinds of structures are impacted, for instance. As previously indicated, SB721 and SB326 are applicable to structures that have three or more multifamily residential units. Apartment complexes, condominiums, and townhomes fall under this category.
Who is in charge of conducting the inspections is another frequently asked issue. The inspections must be carried out by a licensed professional engineer or architect, as required by law. Owners of real estate have two options: they can collaborate with an experienced inspection firm or choose to hire their own engineer or architect.
Finally, the price of the inspections may worry some property owners. The inspections will cost money, it's true, but the long-term advantages of assuring the safety of residents and visitors much outweigh those expenses. As the first inspections aren't required until 2025, property owners may also be able to budget for them over time.
Finally, SB721 and SB326 are significant new legislation in California that mandate routine inspections of raised external components in multi-unit residential buildings. These rules are in place to protect both locals and visitors and breaking them can result in severe penalties. However, to avoid these penalties it is best to get your inspection done as soon as possible as companies like ours will get packed as it's required by 2025. At EEEadvisor we offer a free assessment making it easy to know if your building does fall under the ordinances. It's critical to be aware of these rules and to take the appropriate actions to comply with them if you own or manage a multi-unit residential property in California. You may contribute to ensuring the safety of your inhabitants and defending your investment in your home by engaging with a licensed inspection business and carrying out routine inspections.