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What is the SB 326 Balcony Bill and How Does it Affect You?

Posted by on February 22, 2023

What type of buildings are required to have a balcony inspection?

In California any building that has three or more multifamily dwelling units are required to be inspected.

"Common interest development"* for more details visit Civil Code §4100
*** This presentation cannot alone determine whether a structure requires inspection, contact us to verify.

It is essential for those who serve on the board of a residential homeowners’ association and multi-family property owners containing more then 3 units and 2 or more stories in California to be aware of the provisions of Senate Bill 326 (Davis-Stirling Act | Civ. Code § 5550 ).

LA Creative Design. offers a service to help these HOAs and Multi-family property owners stay up to date and remain compliant with the state's balcony laws by providing inspections and in-depth reports.

This guide is meant to help those on the HOA board and Multi-family property owners to fully understand the requirements of SB-326 and thus sidestep any hefty fines from the building department, enforcement costs, and potential property liens.

What is SB 326 and why was it introduced?

The SB 326 Balcony Bill (an amendment Civil Code Section 5551) was introduced in response to a survey of inspections in California and to strengthen California’s balcony safety regulations. As well as a number of incidents in which tenants were endangered by unsafe balconies.

The bill provides improved safety regulations for balcony users in California and makes sure all building owners comply with current safety regulations.

It does this by requiring building owners to conduct periodic inspections of their balconies and to report any deficiencies or unsafe conditions.

It also requires all balconies to be built to meet current codes and standards, and sets penalties for non-compliance.

What are the Requirements of SB-326?

SB-326 requires HOAs to conduct inspections no later than January 1, 2025. 

At least once every nine years there after. Inspections must be carried out by licensed structural engineers, architects, general contractors, or certified building inspectors. These inspections must include a "statistically significant sample" of all exterior elevated elements (EEEs) 6 feet or more off the ground, as well as their waterproofing systems. If any imminent dangers to life and safety are identified, they must be reported to the city building department and HOA board. After the inspection, the inspector must prepare a signed and detailed report with repair recommendations and present it to the HOA board. The board then must budget for any necessary repairs and complete them.

What are the consequences of not complying with the SB326 Balcony Bill?

The consequences of not complying with the SB326 Balcony Bill can be severe. The bill requires that all balconies, decks, and stairs on homes or buildings that are two or more stories must be built with strong railings that extend 36 inches above the surface of the balcony or deck. If these safety standards are not met, a building or homeowner can face serious fines or even criminal prosecution. Additionally, a landlord could be held liable for any injuries or deaths that occur on the property as a result of non-compliance. It is important to comply with this law to ensure the safety of all occupants.

What Methods Are Used During an SB-326 Inspection?

During an SB-326 inspection, an experienced inspector will look for any potential hazards and make sure that the balcony is compliant with the requirements of the bill. The inspector will review the balcony's construction, check handrails, verify waterproofing, and look for any signs of wear and tear. If any issues are found, the inspector will provide a detailed report to the homeowner or landlord and recommend any necessary repairs.

What Happens During the SB-326 Inspection Process?

1. Free Consultation and Estimate

Once you have filled out our form or contacted us by phone, we will organize a meeting with you to discuss your requirements and provide you with an estimation.

2. Perform Inspection

We will schedule an inspection for a time convenient for you. Our specialist will inspect exterior elevated elements and will provide a report of any emergency or non-emergency repairs necessary to your city's code enforcement agency.

3. Inspection Report

When the inspection is completed, we will compile a detailed report showing any necessary repairs or if all elevated structures meet guidelines. The report will contain a summary chart with of every structure inspected.

Why Choose LA Creative Design for your SB-326 Inspection?

We provide an easy inspection process and a simple, comprehensive report. All of our reports are finalized by our engineering team.

Our team of architects engineers, and contractors have worked on over 500 approved projects & have over 20 years of experience!

Get In contact with us today!

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