​​SB 721 & SB 326 Deck and Balcony Inspections

All inspections must be completed by December 31, 2024 

Following the tragic collapse of a deck in Berkeley, CA, 2015, which resulted in six fatalities, the CA legislature passed a resolution to force building owners to inspect decks and balconies for rotten wooden supports, which was the reason for the Berkeley deck collapse. 

The goal of the legislation is to verify the safety of exterior elevated elements and their waterproofing components, ensuring they do not pose a hazard to the public or occupants. The resulting laws are SB 721 and SB 326.

Who needs to comply with SB 721 & SB326?

HOA’s, condominium and apartment building owners.

Urgent Reminder: Time to Comply with California’s Deck and Balcony Inspection Mandate – Book Your Inspection Now

Multi-family and HOAs that include decks and/or balconies are required to comply with this new requirement. As of January 1, 2019, California initiated SB 721, the vital deck and balcony inspection mandate. The first major deadline is quickly approaching. 

Every applicable inspection must be conducted by January 1, 2025, with subsequent inspections required every six years thereafter for apartments and nine years for condominiums.

The Real Estate Inspection Company: Your Deck & Balcony Inspection Experts in Southern California

The Real Estate Inspection Company excels in conducting comprehensive evaluations of decks and balconies throughout Southern California, in line with SB 721’s requirements. Our dedicated commercial inspection team ensures your property adheres to state regulations. To schedule your inspection, please contact us at (800) 232-5180 as soon as possible. 

What you need to know about SB 721

SB 721 mandates that all multi-family residential buildings in California, featuring three or more units and equipped with “Exterior Elevated Elements,” (decks and balconies) must undergo a mandatory inspection every six years. Condominiums must have inspections every nine years.

Any minor repairs identified must be addressed within 120 days, while emergency issues require immediate action. Furthermore, if an area poses a hazard, it must be promptly cordoned off to prevent access.

Identifying Exterior Elevated Elements

SB 721 specifies “Exterior Elevated Elements” as structures, including supports and railings, like decks, balconies, stairways, elevated porches and walkways, and entrance features that protrude beyond a building’s exterior walls. These elements must be elevated more than six feet off the ground, accommodate human activity, and primarily rely on wood or wood-based products for structural support.

To avoid any conflict of interest, the regulation necessitates inspections by qualified professionals who are barred from performing any corrective work on these elements to avoid conflicts of interest. 

Inspection Criteria Under SB 721

Compliance requires inspecting at least 15% of each type of exterior elevated element, evaluating:

  • The current state of these wood elements.
  • Expected performance and lifespan.
  • Recommendations for further inspections or repair if necessary.

For an in-depth understanding of the deck and balcony inspection requirements, or to schedule your inspection, please get in touch with The Real Estate Inspection Company.