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What Is a Balcony Inspection?

The Balcony Inspection Law, California Senate Bill SB721, requires the evaluation of balconies, stairways, and similar structures at multifamily buildings with three or more units inspected no later than January 1, 2025. The statute requires building owners to engage an engineer, architect, or another qualified provider to assess a portion of Exterior Elevated Elements (EEE) to identify immediate threats and recommended actions. Specific timelines for reporting, permitting, and repair apply.

Partner has performed balcony inspections on thousands of apartments since 2019. Our crew is comprised of architects, contractors, technicians, and engineers who are highly specialized in multifamily buildings. We help California building owners and operators with accurate EEE counts, pre-assessments for capital planning, full compliance inspections for reporting, repair cost estimates, guidance on permit and design requirements, and complete support to meet compliance deadlines.

Partner offers standard and custom balcony inspection packages. Our experienced crew can work on single sites or portfolios throughout California.

CA's SB721 Balcony Inspections Webinar

If you own multifamily property with three or more units in California, your building is likely subject to balcony inspections (SB721). Building owners are responsible for engaging qualified providers to complete inspections by January 1, 2025. Haven’t a clue what to do to get prepared?

SB721 CA Balcony Inspections Webinar-3/7/24

What's Involved

 

Balcony Inspections

Related Insights

Frequently Asked Questions

Balcony inspections are necessary to prevent accidents and ensure the safety of occupants and pedestrians. Over time, balconies can deteriorate due to exposure to weather elements and wear and tear, posing risks if not properly maintained.

During a balcony inspection, inspectors will visually examine the balcony structure, checking for signs of rust, corrosion, cracks, loose or missing components, and other potential hazards. They may also use specialized equipment such as moisture meters or drones for a more thorough assessment.

Yes, many jurisdictions have laws or regulations mandating balcony inspections for certain types of buildings, particularly those with balconies that are accessible to the public or multiple tenants. Building owners are obligated to comply with these laws to ensure the safety of occupants and avoid potential legal liabilities.

Building owners usually bear the cost. In some cases, HOAs or landlords may share responsibility.

Digging Deeper

Glossary

 

Elevated Exterior Elements

An Exterior Elevated Element (EEE) means the following types of structures, including their supports and railings: balconies, decks, porches, stairways, walkways, and entry structures that extend beyond the exterior walls of the building and which have a walking surface that is elevated more than six feet above ground level, are designed for human occupancy or use, and rely in whole or in substantial part on wood or wood-based products for structural support or stability of the exterior elevated element.

Associated Waterproofing Elements

Associated Waterproofing Elements include flashings, membranes, coatings, and sealants that protect the load-bearing components of exterior elevated elements from exposure to water and the elements.

Load-Bearing Components

Load-Bearing Components are those components that extend beyond the exterior walls of the building to deliver structural loads from the exterior elevated element to the building.

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