Is Your Balcony Safe?

On August 30th, a new balcony bill went into legislation. Unlike its predecessor, Senate Bill 726, Senate Bill 326 focuses primarily on condominiums and has a more in-depth inspection process. With this new bill, community associations are required to inspect balconies and other Exterior Elevated Elements (EEE), such as stairways, decks, and railings.

Bill 326 requires that all new construction projects supply the association with a full set of plans, before the first escrow closes. Another stipulation, for condominium associations, is that a good majority of the EEE’s obtain a visual inspection every nine years. This MUST be done by either an architect or structural engineer, and they must certify that their inspection has 95% confidence and accuracy of the integrity of the balcony.

The inspector is asked to identify if further action is necessary. After the inspection is complete, a written report is required to be turned into the local code enforcement agency giving a detailed description of the EEE’s and the findings.

The 9-year limit is no random number as the statute of limitations on construction defects is 10 years.  The association’s board will now have authority to pursue the builder for faulty construction. To prevent bias, developer-affiliated HOA board members will not be allowed to participate in this decision.

With the passing of this bill, all common interest developments are required to complete their first inspection prior to January 1, 2025.

Some of our clients have built new construction condo projects and hold them as rentals for 10 years before selling units and initiating the HOA.  We may see more of that – They will still have to obtain a public report in order to stay out of rent control and city restrictions like those in North Hollywood. This also provides an option to sell should you want to.