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What Is the Procedure for SB721?

Updated: Mar 23, 2023

If you're a landlord or property owner in California, you may have heard of Senate Bill 721 (SB721). This bill, which was signed into law in 2018, requires certain types of properties to undergo periodic inspections of their balconies, decks, and other elevated structures. These inspections are designed to identify potential hazards and prevent tragic accidents, such as the 2015 balcony collapse in Berkeley that killed six people. So, what is the procedure for SB721 inspections? Here's what you need to know:

  • Determine if your property is subject to SB721.

SB721 applies to any property in California that has three or more multi-family dwelling units and one or more exterior elevated elements, such as balconies, decks, or walkways. This includes both residential and commercial properties.

  • Hire a qualified inspector.

SB721 requires that inspections be conducted by a qualified inspector, which is defined as a licensed architect, licensed civil or structural engineer, or a building contractor with a specified level of experience and training. You'll need to find an inspector who meets these qualifications and has experience with SB721 inspections.

  • Schedule your inspection.

SB721 requires that the first inspection be conducted by January 1, 2025, and subsequent inspections be conducted at least once every six years. You'll need to schedule your inspection in advance to ensure that you comply with these deadlines.

  • Prepare for the inspection.

Before the inspection, you'll need to provide the inspector with access to all exterior elevated elements on your property, as well as any necessary documentation, such as building plans or previous inspection reports.

  • Receive the inspection report.

After the inspection, the inspector will provide you with a report that identifies any potential hazards and recommends necessary repairs or maintenance. If any hazardous conditions are identified, you'll need to take action to correct them in a timely manner.

  • File the report with the appropriate agencies.

SB721 requires that the inspection report be filed with both the local building department and the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD). You'll need to ensure that the report is filed in a timely manner to avoid penalties.

In conclusion, SB721 is an important law designed to protect the safety of residents and visitors to California properties with elevated elements. By following the above procedures, you can ensure that your property is in compliance with the law and that potential hazards are identified and addressed before they can cause harm.

EEEAdvisor is working to educate clients about these definitions and the regulations outlined in SB721 and SB326, helping them to meet the compliance deadline and ensure the safety of their buildings.





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