Who Is Affected?
The new balcony law applies to owners of structures with 3 or more multi-family dwelling units – in other words, thousands of apartment building owners in California – and holds owners responsible for safety by requiring inspections of exterior elevated elements that include load-bearing components and waterproofing systems.
What Counts as an Exterior Elevated Element?
The “Balcony Law” applies to much more than balconies, focusing on structures that extend beyond the building wall and are mostly made of wood or have a wood-based framework. These may include:
- Entry structures more than 6-feet above ground level
What Are the Deadlines and Fines of Which You Should Be Aware?
Commercial property owners have until January 1, 2025 to have their wood-framed exterior elevated elements inspected by a qualified professional, and then reinspected at intervals not to exceed every 6 years.
If an inspector finds that repairs are necessary, s/he will notify the owner, who must then perform any necessary repairs. An owner’s failure to comply within 180 days will result in notice to the local enforcement agency. An owner’s failure to effectuate repairs within 30 days after such notification may result in a civil penalty of $100-$500 for every day that required repairs are left undone.
Who Can Perform These Required Inspections?
The inspection must be done by a qualified professional, such as a:
- Licensed architect
- Licensed civil or structural engineer
- Licensed contractor with certain classifications and a minimum of 5 years’ experience
- Certified building inspector or official
What Happens if Repairs Are Needed?
There are two types of repairs:
- Non-Emergency Repairs
In this situation, the owner must apply for a permit to make repairs within 120 days of receiving the inspector’s report. Once the permit is issued, the owner has another 120 days to make repairs.
- Emergency Repairs
In this situation, the exterior elevated elements are not structurally sound and may pose a danger to individuals’ safety, requiring the performance of immediate repairs. An inspector must re-inspect any emergency repairs and report results to the local enforcement agency.
Our Inspection Services
At Deck Inspectors, we want to make sure that our community is safe and served well by providing timely inspections through qualified professionals who not only hold proper licenses or certifications, but who are expert waterproofers with decades of experience. Getting timely inspections done doesn’t just save you money – it preserves the value of your property and strengthens relationships between and among residents, property managers, and owners. Our inspections may include any or all of the following:
- A detailed report by a qualified inspector
- Photo documentation
- Destructive testing
To learn more about SB 721, receive advice, or get a thorough inspection by an elite team of qualified professionals, contact us today.