California Balcony Inspection Law

PCA Inspection is the leading Balcony Inspector in the San Francisco Bay Area.  We are fully informed about the latest laws and requirements of the new Balcony Inspection Law (California Senate Bill #721) and help our clients with these new requirements.  Below are some common questions Building Owners and Property Managers ask about the Balcony Inspection Law.

Do I need to inspect my balcony or does my deck need to be inspected?

Balconies or decks that are attached and extend beyond the exterior of the building of multi-family buildings with 3 or more units are required to be inspected.

What is the purpose of this inspection?

To inspect the waterproofing elements and structural components of balconies and decks to confirm they are safe and free of hazardous conditions.  Common conditions found are dry rot, metal rust corrosion, and improper alterations.

When do they need to be inspected?

All buildings in the state of California are required to be inspected by January 1, 2025 and be re-inspected every 6 years.

What is required in the inspection report?

The report is required to include photographs and a narrative description of the condition of the balcony or deck.  This report will establish a baseline of the condition of inspected components for subsequent inspections. 

What repairs will need to be made?

Depending on the condition of the balcony or deck, repairs items are classified as being either an immediate repair item or a corrective work item.  The law requires all of these identified items to be repaired and re-inspected. 

What is considered an immediate repair item?

            Immediate repairs are when any balcony or deck assembly poses an immediate threat to the safety of the occupants, and preventing occupant access and conducting emergency repairs – including shoring – are necessary. The report should be delivered to the owner of the building and to the local enforcement agency within 15 days.  Immediate repairs shall be considered an emergency condition and the owner of the building shall perform required preventive measures immediately. 

What is considered only corrective work?

Corrective work is any item which does not pose an immediate threat to the safety of the occupants but still needs be to corrected.  Owners must apply for building permits for these repairs within 120 days of the report and another 120 days to complete the repairs.

Can an inspector make recommended repairs?

No.  Repairs must be made by a licensed contractor that is not servicing as the inspector of record.

How long must the Inspection Report be kept?

Copies of this report should be maintained in the building owner’s records for at least 2 inspection cycles and shall be disclosed and delivered to the buyer at the time of any subsequent sale of the building. 

What are the penalties if you don’t get you balcony inspected?

If an owner does not complete the recommend repairs within 180 days, the inspector is responsible for notifying the local enforcement agency and building owner.  The local enforcement agency is able to assess between $100 to $500 penalty per day until the work is complete.