California’s Senate Bill 721 (SB721) and Senate Bill 326 (SB326) Mandate Compliance by Statutory Deadlines
By Omid Ghanadiof, EEEAdvisor Engineering
Get ready! January 1, 2025 is the deadline for compliance with both Senate Bills 721 and 326 for multifamily rental properties and condominiums that contain three or more dwelling units. Applicable residential property owners and homeowners’ associations (HOAs) throughout California must have inspections of balconies and exterior elevated elements at their properties. Property owners and manages, and HOAs should seek the help they need before the deadline and become familiar with the inspection criteria to ensure they are in compliance with the so-called “California Balcony Inspection Laws.”
What Must Be Inspected? Exterior Elevated Elements (EEEs)
These two state laws are designed for buildings that contain three or more dwelling units. Senate Bill 326 is for condominiums, and Senate Bill 721 is for apartment buildings. The laws emerged following a balcony collapse in the City of Berkeley, which then established a local balcony inspection ordinance, and many of the local ordinance’s provisions have been incorporated into state law. Accordingly, required inspections must be made to any elevated element structures. Exterior Elevated Elements are building elements that are constructed of wood, have a walking surface, have any portion sitting 6-feet above the ground, and that extend outside of the four walls of a structure. Exterior Elevated Elements include balconies, outside decks, porches, exterior stairways, and exterior walkways that have a walking surface that is elevated more than six feet above ground level according to these ordinances. Required inspection includes waterproofing system supports and railings, and load bearing component.