Deadline Looms for Balcony and Deck Inspections

Owners of multi-unit or condo buildings with more than three units in California are required to inspect their elevated wood/wood-based balconies, decks and stairways by January 1, 2025.

Prompted by the Berkeley deck collapse in 2015, lawmakers passed two laws: SB 721, in 2018, which refers to apartment buildings, and two years later, SB326 which applies to condo homeowners associations (HOAs).

The state requires inspections to be done by licensed professionals who must identify health or safety issues due to decay, deterioration or structural deficiencies.  Non-compliance could lead to daily civil penalties and a building safety lien against the property.

HOAs have to hire a licensed architect or engineer for their inspections, and apartment/non-condo buildings are allowed to use general contractors (with an A, B or C-5 license) who have a minimum of five years’ experience— or a certified building inspector. If the inspector finds a problem, owners are required to make repairs within 120 days of the inspection. The individual who’s inspected the structure is not permitted to do the actual work.

After the initial inspection, apartment buildings are required to inspect every six years. Condo HOAs have to do inspections every nine years.

It’s early in the process, but I’m betting that our future real estate disclosure packages will need to include a current deck inspection report showing that the condo building is in compliance with state inspection requirements. I’m seeing some names of inspectors kicking around in real estate circles, but also hearing that there aren’t too many people willing and able to do inspections.

The post Deadline Looms for Balcony and Deck Inspections first appeared on Inside San Francisco Real Estate.