Let me start by saying that I’m a member of CAI. That said I’m not one to fall in line. I don’t follow any party line. I march to the beat of my own drummer.
The balcony bill has no teeth behind it. Essentially it is a paper tiger. The bill says you have to inspect, but if you don’t, there isn’t any state agency that will come after you. The only consequences an HOA faces is if a deck fails and people are injured or killed and the HOA failed to have an inspection done. The insurance company will have to pay and then they won’t renew your policy and you’d be essentially uninsurable.
SB 721, the apartment inspection bill prevents inspectors from bidding to repair damages they may find. That’s a good thing. It keeps inspectors on the straight and narrow. Does SB 326 prevent inspectors from bidding on repairs? Nope. The result is a lot of grifters taking advantage of unsuspecting HOAs and stealing their money.
Now the ultimate insult is before us. The SB 326 balcony bill requires a licensed architect or a licensed structural engineer to perform the inspection and sign/stamp the report. But what happens if a civil engineer signs the report? The bill is clear, it must be a licensed architect or structural engineer. So if a civil engineer signs the report, they should lose their license right? Or at least have a complaint disclosure on their license right?
But the truth is a civil engineer who signed a SB 326 inspection report will be simply admonished for signing the report as the Board of Professional Engineers has no ability to discipline said engineer.
Case in point, Raffi Abkarian, a civil engineer who signed a balcony inspection report. After investigation by the Board of Professional Engineers, they sent this letter to me saying that civil code 5551 gave them no authority to discipline Abkarian even though he signed the report. They basically said he’s guilty as fuck but we can’t do anything.
CAI CLAC insisted on writing a bill for their HOAs because they didn’t like SB 721. They wrote their own bill, the state senate rubber stamped it and here we are. The very HOAs that CLAC professes to want to protect are exposed and are getting screwed by unsavory companies and there’s no recourse for HOAs.
CLAC, it’s time to UnFuck the balcony bill and rewrite it. Protect your HOAs, don’t expose them to grifters.
What does CLAC need to do? Simple, get the balcony bill rewritten to toughen it up. The answers are above… But I will put them below.
Ban inspectors from bidding any work for at least 18 months after an inspection. (Home Inspectors are, look it up). Require inspectors to divulge any ownership interest in any Waterproofing or contracting company in writing. They have conflicts of interest.
Give the Board of Professional Engineers the ability to discipline any engineer that is not a structural engineer who signs a report. Require the structural/ architect to attest that they were on site, inspected the structural elements and determined that they are ok. No robosigning reports. Any engineer that is not a structural engineer who signs a report should have their license suspended for at least one year.
Require HOAs to have their EEEs inspected or be scheduled to have inspections done by the deadline or face financial consequences.