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Which Properties Are Covered By SB 721?

Updated: Jun 10

In the wake of several tragic balcony collapses, California legislators enacted Senate Bill 721 (SB 721) to bolster balcony safety regulations. But does this law apply to your property? If you're a California property owner, understanding the scope of SB 721 is crucial for ensuring compliance and safeguarding your investment. Let's unravel the details and determine which properties fall under this important legislation.


SB 721: A Closer Look at California's Balcony Inspection Law

SB 721, also known as the Balcony Bill, specifically targets multi-family dwellings with three or more units.  Its primary objective is to mandate inspections of Exterior Elevated Elements (EEEs) to identify and address potential safety hazards.

But what exactly constitutes an EEE?  Under SB 721, EEEs encompass a wide range of structures, including:

  • Balconies

  • Decks

  • Walkways

  • Stairways (with wood components)

  • Guardrails

  • Other elevated elements six feet or more above the ground


Properties Covered by SB 721

If your property meets the following criteria, it likely falls under the purview of SB 721:

  1. Multi-Family Dwelling: The building must contain three or more separate dwelling units. This includes apartment complexes, condominiums, and other multi-unit structures.

  2. Exterior Elevated Elements: The property must have at least one EEE as defined above. This could be a balcony, deck, walkway, or any other qualifying elevated structure.

  3. Permit Submission Date: If the building permit for your property was submitted on or before January 1, 2019, it's subject to SB 721 requirements.


Properties Exempt from SB 721

While SB 721 covers a wide range of properties, there are a few key exemptions:

  1. Single-Family Homes: Single-family residences are generally exempt from SB 721 inspections, even if they have elevated decks or balconies.

  2. Duplexes: Properties with only two dwelling units are also exempt.

  3. Newly Constructed Buildings: If the building permit for your property was submitted after January 1, 2019, different inspection requirements may apply.


Special Considerations for SB 721 Compliance

Even if your property falls under SB 721, there are a few additional factors to consider:

  • Inspection Timeline: The deadline for the initial inspection under SB 721 is January 1, 2025. Subsequent inspections are required every six years thereafter.

  • Qualified Inspectors: Inspections must be conducted by qualified professionals, such as licensed architects, engineers, or certified building inspectors.

  • Repair Requirements: If any issues are identified during the inspection, you must address them promptly to ensure ongoing compliance and maintain a safe environment for your residents.


Partnering with EEEadvisor for Expert Guidance

Determining whether your property is covered by SB 721 can be confusing. EEEadvisor specializes in California balcony inspections and can help you navigate the intricacies of this law. We offer comprehensive inspection services, ensuring your compliance with SB 721 and other relevant regulations.

Our team of experienced professionals can assess your property, determine its eligibility for inspection, and guide you through the entire process. We'll work closely with you to schedule the inspection, interpret the report, and address any necessary repairs.


Remember: Compliance with SB 721 is not just a legal obligation; it's a commitment to safety. By partnering with EEEadvisor, you're taking proactive steps to protect your property and its occupants. Contact EEEadvisor today for a free consultation and let us help you navigate the complexities of SB 721!

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