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A Comprehensive Guide to SB-721 Balcony Inspections

Posted by on March 6, 2023
“Common interest development”* for more details visit Civil Code §4100
*** This presentation cannot alone determine whether a structure requires inspection, contact us to verify.

What is SB-721 and why was it introduced?

SB 721 was originally introduced to the California Legislature in 2017, and it affects the way city inspectors perform balcony inspections. The law is intended to make it easier for homeowners, landlords, and tenants to ensure that their balconies are safe by requiring regular inspections. This guide will help you understand the requirements of SB-721 and make sure that you have a safe and secure balcony.

The bill was a response to the collapse of a balcony at UC Berkeley resulting in the death of six students.

How does this affect you the property owner?

California SB 721 now requires periodic inspections on multifamily buildings with three or more units. Property Owners now have until January 1, 2025, to complete their first inspection.

Requirements and procedures

  • The purpose of SB-721 is to ensure proper installation and maintenance of balconies and other elevated elements, reducing the risk of failure and injury.
  • A qualified architect, civil or structural engineer, or a B/C5 General contractor should conduct the balcony inspection, using approved visual and non-destructive testing methods.
  • Inspections should include a thorough visual inspection of all components, testing of the railing system, and a check for corrosion.
  • During the inspection, any signs of corrosion or damage should be noted and repairs should be recommended if necessary.
  • The inspection results should be reported to the local jurisdiction, along with any recommended repairs or improvements. Owners will have between 15 to 120 days to address any repair(emergency or non-emergency) depending on the condition of elements inspected.
  • Contractors performing the inspection cannot also perform the repairs to items for the inspected building. Within 120 days of receiving the inspection report building owners must apply for non-emergency repair permits. Once approved, the owner has 120 days to complete the repairs.

Inspections must be done on any external building element that is six feet or higher from the ground, such as walkways, balconies, decks, landings, stairways, and railings. The inspection is necessary for all buildings containing three or more units, two or more stories in height.

Should you be worried?

If the building owner does not comply with repair requirements within 180 days. The inspector shall notify local enforcement. Failing to adhere to SB-721 can result in owners facing liens, fines, and other penalties.

However, the inspection process is straightforward and is designed to make sure that any potential risks are identified and addressed. This will ensure that you have a safe and secure balcony. The majority of inspections result in the identification of minor problems (or no problems at all) that can be address as a matter of routine maintenance. If you are concerned about the condition of your balcony, an inspection by a qualified professional is the best way to ensure that your balcony is safe!

Why you should choose LA Creative Design for your balcony inspection!

  • We have experienced and skilled professionals who can handle any project
  • Expertise in California SB 721 regulations and compliance requirements
  • Dedication to exceptional customer service and support throughout the entire process
  • Proven track record of delivering quality and reliable inspection services
  • Focus on building long-term relationships with our clients based on trust and mutual respect.

For the full SB 721 text please click here.

Get In contact with us today!

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