New Deck & Balcony Inspection Requirements

Written by: Commercial Real Estate Inspectors, LLC

As of January 1, 2019 a new senate bill, SB 721, commonly referred to as the “deck and balcony inspection” bill, went into effect.

In a nutshell, this bill requires that all multi-family residential buildings with three or more dwelling units in California that have “Exterior Elevated Elements” require a mandatory inspection every six years. Any recommended minor repairs have to be done within 120 days. Any emergency repairs must be done immediately and if an area is considered dangerous then immediate barriers must be installed to prevent access.

What are Exterior Elevated Elements? SB721 defines these as:

Exterior Elevated Elements - the following types of structures, including their supports and railings: balconies, decks, porches, stairways, walkways, and entry structures that extend beyond exterior walls of the building and which have a walking surface that is elevated more than six feet above ground level, are designed for human occupancy or use, and relay in whole or in substantial part on wood or wood-based product for structural support of stability of the exterior elevated elements.

This law now requires apartment building owners to have this inspection done by a qualified professional who, by the way, cannot do any of the remedial work on the site due to possible conflict of interest. These inspections must be completed by Jan 1, 2025 and then redone every six years thereafter.

How did this come about? In June of 2015 in Berkeley California a deck collapsed and six people died. The wooden supports were rotted.

The purpose of the inspection is to determine if exterior elevated elements and their associated waterproofing elements are in a generally safe condition and the welfare of the public or the occupants is not endangered.

A sample of at least 15 percent of each type of exterior elevated element is to be inspected.

This evaluation must address each of the following:

A. The current condition of the exterior elevated elements.

B. Expectations of the future performance and projected service life.

C. Recommendation of any further inspection necessary.

Commercial Real Estate Inspectors is fully qualified to perform these required inspections and provide you a written report.

Call us TODAY and book your inspection!

I hope this helps,

Bob Pace

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