If you're a homeowner in a condominium or apartment complex, you're probably familiar with the concept of a homeowners association (HOA). The HOA is responsible for managing the common areas of the complex and enforcing rules and regulations that govern how residents can use and maintain their individual units.
Recently, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 326 (SB 326) into law, which specifically addresses balconies and other elevated structures in HOA-managed buildings. Here's what you need to know about the HOA balcony law:
What is SB 326?
SB 326 is a new law that requires HOAs to inspect exterior elevated elements such as balconies, decks, and walkways for safety every nine years. The law was passed in response to several high-profile balcony collapses in California, which resulted in injuries and deaths.
What does the law require?
Under SB 326, HOAs must hire a licensed engineer or architect to inspect exterior elevated elements for safety. The inspection must be completed within nine months of the law's effective date, which was January 1, 2020. After the initial inspection, HOAs must conduct subsequent inspections every nine years.
If the inspection reveals any structural deficiencies or safety hazards, the HOA must notify affected homeowners and take steps to repair or replace the affected elements.
Why is this important?
Balcony collapses and other similar incidents can be catastrophic, causing serious injuries and even death. By requiring regular inspections of exterior elevated elements, SB 326 aims to prevent these types of incidents from occurring. The law also helps to ensure that HOAs are fulfilling their responsibilities to maintain safe living conditions for residents.
What are the consequences of non-compliance?
If an HOA fails to comply with SB 326, the consequences can be serious. The law allows for residents to sue their HOA for failing to comply with the inspection and repair requirements. Additionally, if an HOA is found to have willfully failed to comply with the law, it may be subject to civil penalties.
In conclusion, if you live in a condominium or apartment complex, it's important to be aware of the HOA balcony law (SB 326). By requiring regular inspections of exterior elevated elements, this law helps to ensure that your home is safe and that your HOA is fulfilling its responsibilities.
In order to help clients achieve the compliance deadline and guarantee the security of their facilities, EEEAdvisoris 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 info@EEEadvisor.com for additional details.