California now requires inspections of Exterior Elevated Elements-decks and balconies for dwelling’s with 3 or more units with decks. Scroll to the bottom of the page to read the balcony bill.
Many general contractors have jumped on the bandwagon and have opened”deck inspection companies” that are designed to feed their contracting business with work. We believe this is unethical and misleading.
DeckExpert.com advises that you retain an expert that only does inspections. Once you have an inspection report and need work, hire a project manager to develop repair specifications, put the work out to bid and oversee the repairs. Having someone on your side is preferable to being at the mercy of contractors peddling fear…
For more information on balcony inspections for HOA’s, check out Davis-Stirling.com
The following companies have been vetted and determined to have no conflicts of interest as Independent Consultants.
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA INSPECTORS (LA to San Diego, Desert Areas)
A7 Group, Inc.
700 2nd Street Unit H
Encinitas, CA 92024
701 Palomar Airport Rd. Suite 300, Carlsbad, CA 92011
2030 E 4th St #208D
Santa Ana, CA 92705
CL Sigler & Association
74820 Borro Dr., Palm Desert 92260 (760) 469-3048
Design Build Associates
5655 Lindero Canyon Road, Suite 321, Westlake Village, CA 91362
Focused Inspection Group
333 City Blvd. West, Suite 1700, Orange 92868
2062 Business Center Drive Ste 235 Irvine CA 92612
Southern Cross Consultants
4045 Hancock St., Suite 240
San Diego 92110
Matthew Boomhower, AIA
CENTRAL CALIFORNIA INSPECTORS (Ventura to Monterey, Bakersfield to Merced)
Van Sande Consultants
2920 De la Vina St.
Santa Barbara 93105
Carolle Van Sande, CSM
NORTHERN CALIFORNIA INSPECTORS (San Jose/San Fran/Sacramento)
2544 Barrington Court
Hayward, CA 94545
CL Sigler & Association
523 Charcot Ave. #203, San Jose 95131 (408) 922-0262 and 74820 Borro Dr., Palm Desert 92260 (760) 469-3048
Focused Inspection Group
1999 S. Bascom Ave., Suite 700, Campbell 95008 and 333 City Blvd. West, Suite 1700, Orange 92868
Senate Bill No. 721
An act to amend Section 1954 of the Civil Code, and to add Article 2.2 (commencing with Section 17973) to Chapter 5 of Part 1.5 of Division 13 of the Health and Safety Code, relating to building standards.
[ Approved by Governor September 17, 2018. Filed with Secretary of State September 17, 2018. ]
LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST
SB 721, Hill. Building standards: decks and balconies: inspection.Existing law provides authority for an enforcement agency to enter and inspect any buildings or premises whenever necessary to secure compliance with or prevent a violation of the building standards published in the California Building Standards Code and other rules and regulations that the enforcement agency has the power to enforce.This bill would require an inspection of exterior elevated elements and associated waterproofing elements, as defined, including decks and balconies, for buildings with 3 or more multifamily dwelling units by a licensed architect, licensed civil or structural engineer, a building contractor holding specified licenses, or an individual certified as a building inspector or building official, as specified. The bill would require the inspections, including any necessary testing, to be completed by January 1, 2025, with certain exceptions, and would require subsequent inspections every 6 years, except as specified. The bill would require the inspection report to contain specified items and would require that a copy of the inspection report be presented to the owner of the building within 45 days of the completion of the inspection and would require copies of the reports to be maintained in the building owner’s records for 2 inspection cycles, as specified. The bill would require that if the inspection reveals conditions that pose an immediate hazard to the safety of the occupants, the inspection report be delivered to the owner of the building within 15 days and emergency repairs be undertaken, as specified, with notice given to the local enforcement agency. The nonemergency repairs made under these provisions would be required to be completed within 120 days, unless an extension is granted by the local authorities. The bill would authorize local enforcement agencies to recover enforcement costs associated with these requirements. The bill would require the local enforcement agency to send a 30-day corrective notice to the owner of the building if repairs are not completed on time and would provide for specified civil penalties and liens against the property for the owner of the building who fails to comply with these provisions. The bill would exclude a common interest development, as defined, from these provisions. The bill would require any building subject to these provisions that is proposed for conversion to condominiums to be sold to the public after January 1, 2019, to have the required inspection conducted prior to the first close of escrow of a separate interest in the project, and would require the inspection report and written confirmation by the inspector that any recommended repairs or replacements have been completed to be submitted to, among others, the Department of Real Estate and included in certain required statements and reports, as specified. The bill would authorize a local governing entity to enact stricter requirements than those imposed by these provisions.Existing law authorizes a landlord to enter the dwelling only in certain situations, including to make necessary repairs.This bill would additionally authorize a landlord to enter the dwelling unit to comply with the above-described requirements.Because this bill would impose new duties upon local enforcement authorities, it would impose a state-mandated local program.The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
Vote: majority Appropriation: no Fiscal Committee: yes Local Program: yes
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:
Section 1954 of the Civil Code is amended to read:
(a) A landlord may enter the dwelling unit only in the following cases:(1) In case of emergency.(2) To make necessary or agreed repairs, decorations, alterations or improvements, supply necessary or agreed services, or exhibit the dwelling unit to prospective or actual purchasers, mortgagees, tenants, workers, or contractors or to make an inspection pursuant to subdivision (f) of Section 1950.5.(3) When the tenant has abandoned or surrendered the premises.(4) Pursuant to court order.(5) For the purposes set forth in Chapter 2.5 (commencing with Section 1954.201).(6) To comply with the provisions of Article 2.2 (commencing with Section 17973) of Chapter 5 of Part 1.5 of Division 13 of the Health and Safety Code.(b) Except in cases of emergency or when the tenant has abandoned or surrendered the premises, entry may not be made during other than normal business hours unless the tenant consents to an entry during other than normal business hours at the time of entry.(c) The landlord may not abuse the right of access or use it to harass the tenant.(d) (1) Except as provided in subdivision (e), or as provided in paragraph (2) or (3), the landlord shall give the tenant reasonable notice in writing of his or her intent to enter and enter only during normal business hours. The notice shall include the date, approximate time, and purpose of the entry. The notice may be personally delivered to the tenant, left with someone of a suitable age and discretion at the premises, or, left on, near, or under the usual entry door of the premises in a manner in which a reasonable person would discover the notice. Twenty-four hours shall be presumed to be reasonable notice in absence of evidence to the contrary. The notice may be mailed to the tenant. Mailing of the notice at least six days prior to an intended entry is presumed reasonable notice in the absence of evidence to the contrary.(2) If the purpose of the entry is to exhibit the dwelling unit to prospective or actual purchasers, the notice may be given orally, in person or by telephone, if the landlord or his or her agent has notified the tenant in writing within 120 days of the oral notice that the property is for sale and that the landlord or agent may contact the tenant orally for the purpose described above. Twenty-four hours is presumed reasonable notice in the absence of evidence to the contrary. The notice shall include the date, approximate time, and purpose of the entry. At the time of entry, the landlord or agent shall leave written evidence of the entry inside the unit.(3) The tenant and the landlord may agree orally to an entry to make agreed repairs or supply agreed services. The agreement shall include the date and approximate time of the entry, which shall be within one week of the agreement. In this case, the landlord is not required to provide the tenant a written notice.(e) No notice of entry is required under this section:(1) To respond to an emergency.(2) If the tenant is present and consents to the entry at the time of entry.(3) After the tenant has abandoned or surrendered the unit.
Article 2.2 (commencing with Section 17973) is added to Chapter 5 of Part 1.5 of Division 13 of the Health and Safety Code, to read:
Article 2.2. Exterior Elevated Elements: Inspections.
(a) Exterior elevated elements that include load-bearing components in all buildings containing three or more multifamily dwelling units shall be inspected. The inspection shall be performed by a licensed architect; licensed civil or structural engineer; a building contractor holding any or all of the “A,” “B,” or “C-5” license classifications issued by the Contractors’ State License Board, with a minimum of five years’ experience, as a holder of the aforementioned classifications or licenses, in constructing multistory wood frame buildings; or an individual certified as a building inspector or building official from a recognized state, national, or international association, as determined by the local jurisdiction. These individuals shall not be employed by the local jurisdiction while performing these inspections. The purpose of the inspection is to determine that exterior elevated elements and their associated waterproofing elements are in a generally safe condition, adequate working order, and free from any hazardous condition caused by fungus, deterioration, decay, or improper alteration to the extent that the life, limb, health, property, safety, or welfare of the public or the occupants is not endangered. The person or business performing the inspection shall be hired by the owner of the building.(b) For purposes of this section, the following terms have the following definitions:(1) “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.(2) “Exterior elevated element” means the following types of structures, including their supports and railings: balconies, decks, porches, stairways, walkways, and entry structures that extend beyond 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.(3) “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.(c) The inspection required by this section shall at a minimum include:(1) Identification of each type of exterior elevated element that, if found to be defective, decayed, or deteriorated to the extent that it does not meet its load requirements, would, in the opinion of the inspector, constitute a threat to the health or safety of the occupants.(2) Assessment of the load-bearing components and associated waterproofing elements of the exterior elevated elements identified in paragraph (1) using methods allowing for evaluation of their performance by direct visual examination or comparable means of evaluating their performance. For purposes of this section, a sample of at least 15 percent of each type of exterior elevated element shall be inspected.(3) The evaluation and assessment shall address each of the following as of the date of the evaluation:(A) The current condition of the exterior elevated elements.(B) Expectations of future performance and projected service life.(C) Recommendations of any further inspection necessary.(4) A written report of the evaluation stamped or signed by the inspector presented to the owner of the building or the owner’s designated agent within 45 days of completion of the inspection. The report shall include photographs, any test results, and narrative sufficient to establish a baseline of the condition of the components inspected that can be compared to the results of subsequent inspections. In addition to the evaluation required by this section, the report shall advise which, if any, exterior elevated element poses an immediate threat to the safety of the occupants, and whether preventing occupant access or conducting emergency repairs, including shoring, are necessary.(d) The inspection shall be completed by January 1, 2025, and by January 1 every six years thereafter. The inspector conducting the inspection shall produce an initial report pursuant to paragraph (4) of subdivision (c) and, if requested by the owner, a final report indicating that any required repairs have been completed. A copy of any report that recommends immediate repairs, advises that any building assembly poses an immediate threat to the safety of the occupants, or that preventing occupant access or emergency repairs, including shoring, are necessary, shall be provided by the inspector to the owner of the building and to the local enforcement agency within 15 days of completion of the report. Subsequent inspection reports shall incorporate copies of prior inspection reports, including the locations of the exterior elevated elements inspected. Local enforcement agencies may determine whether any additional information is to be provided in the report and may require a copy of the initial or final reports, or both, be submitted to the local jurisdiction. Copies of all inspection reports shall be maintained in the building owner’s permanent records for not less than two inspection cycles, and shall be disclosed and delivered to the buyer at the time of any subsequent sale of the building.(e) The inspection of buildings for which a building permit application has been submitted on or after January 1, 2019, shall occur no later than six years following issuance of a certificate of occupancy from the local jurisdiction and shall otherwise comply with the provisions of this section.(f) If the property was inspected within three years prior to January 1, 2019, by an inspector as described in subdivision (a) and a report of that inspector was issued stating that the exterior elevated elements and associated waterproofing elements are in proper working condition and do not pose a threat to the health and safety of the public, no new inspection pursuant to this section shall be required until January 1, 2025.(g) An exterior elevated element found by the inspector that is in need of repair or replacement shall be corrected by the owner of the building. No recommended repair shall be performed by a licensed contractor serving as the inspector. All necessary permits for repair or replacement shall be obtained from the local jurisdiction. All repair and replacement work shall be performed by a qualified and licensed contractor in compliance with all of the following:(1) The recommendations of a licensed professional described in subdivision (a).(2) Any applicable manufacturer’s specifications.(3) The California Building Standards Code, consistent with subdivision (d) of Section 17922 of the Health and Safety Code.(4) All local jurisdictional requirements.(h) (1) An exterior elevated element that the inspector advises poses an immediate threat to the safety of the occupants, or finds preventing occupant access or emergency repairs, including shoring, or both, are necessary, shall be considered an emergency condition and the owner of the building shall perform required preventive measures immediately. Immediately preventing occupant access to the exterior elevated element until emergency repairs can be completed constitutes compliance with this paragraph. Repairs of emergency conditions shall comply with the requirements of subdivision (g), be inspected by the inspector, and reported to the local enforcement agency.(2) The owner of the building requiring corrective work to an exterior elevated element that, in the opinion of the inspector, does not pose an immediate threat to the safety of the occupants, shall apply for a permit within 120 days of receipt of the inspection report. Once the permit is approved, the owner of the building shall have 120 days to make the repairs unless an extension of time is granted by the local enforcement agency.(i) (1) The owner of the building shall be responsible for complying with the requirements of this section.(2) If the owner of the building does not comply with the repair requirements within 180 days, the inspector shall notify the local enforcement agency and the owner of the building. If within 30 days of the date of the notice the repairs are not completed, the owner of the building shall be assessed a civil penalty based on the fee schedule set by the local authority of not less than one hundred dollars ($100) nor more than five hundred dollars ($500) per day until the repairs are completed, unless an extension of time is granted by the local enforcement agency.(3) In the event that a civil penalty is assessed pursuant to this section, a building safety lien may be recorded in the county recorder’s office by the local jurisdiction in the county in which the parcel of land is located and from the date of recording shall have the force, effect, and priority of a judgment lien.(j) (1) A building safety lien authorized by this section shall specify the amount of the lien, the name of the agency on whose behalf the lien is imposed, the street address, the legal description and assessor’s parcel number of the parcel on which the lien is imposed, and the name and address of the recorded owner of the building.(2) In the event that the lien is discharged, released, or satisfied, either through payment or foreclosure, notice of the discharge containing the information specified in paragraph (1) shall be recorded by the governmental agency. A safety lien and the release of the lien shall be indexed in the grantor-grantee index.(3) A building safety lien may be foreclosed by an action brought by the appropriate local jurisdiction for a money judgment.(4) Notwithstanding any other law, the county recorder may impose a fee on the city to reimburse the costs of processing and recording the lien and providing notice to the owner of the building. A city may recover from the owner of the building any costs incurred regarding the processing and recording of the lien and providing notice to the owner of the building as part of its foreclosure action to enforce the lien.(k) The continued and ongoing maintenance of exterior elevated elements in a safe and functional condition in compliance with these provisions shall be the responsibility of the owner of the building.(l) Local enforcement agencies shall have the ability to recover enforcement costs associated with the requirements of this section.(m) For any building subject to the provisions of this section that is proposed for conversion to condominiums to be sold to the public after January 1, 2019, the inspection required by this section shall be conducted prior to the first close of escrow of a separate interest in the project and shall include the inspector’s recommendations for repair or replacement of any exterior elevated element found to be defective, decayed, or deteriorated to the extent that it does not meet its load requirements, and would, in the opinion of the inspector, constitute a threat to the health or safety of the occupants. The inspection report and written confirmation by the inspector that any repairs or replacements recommended by the inspector have been completed shall be submitted to the Department of Real Estate by the proponent of the conversion and shall be a condition to the issuance of the final public report. A complete copy of the inspection report and written confirmation by the inspector that any repairs or replacements recommended by the inspector have been completed shall be included with the written statement of defects required by Section 1134 of the Civil Code, and provided to the local jurisdiction in which the project is located. The inspection, report, and confirmation of completed repairs shall be a condition of the issuance of a final inspection or certificate of occupancy by the local jurisdiction.(n) This section shall not apply to a common interest development, as defined in Section 4100 of the Civil Code.(o) The governing body of any city, county, or city and county, may enact ordinances or laws imposing requirements greater than those imposed by this section.
No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because a local agency or school district has the authority to levy service charges, fees, or assessments sufficient to pay for the program or level of service mandated by this act, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code.