The SB 326 balcony bill is confusing enough, but it becomes even more complicated when scam artists seek to use that confusion to benefit themselves. Case in point, one certain “deck inspectors” website was recently found to be advertising “Professional Inspection Services” using their CSLB issued contractors license #745936 to infer that they were a licensed balcony inspection company. Clicking on the link will take you to CSLB’s website.
We call this fraud. Implying that you are something that you are not, and foisting that fraud onto consumers needs to be criminalized under SB326. Worse yet, further research into this individual and company reveals that the shareholder of the waterproofing company has a license under his name, where CSLB lists in large red font to click here for Complaint Disclosure information. Click the link to see who the person is. CSLB doesn’t list the violations, but we have the complaint paperwork here.
Even worse, we caught this company using a civil engineer to sign a balcony inspection report when only a structural engineer can sign it. That matter is being investigated by the Board of Professional Engineers. We found that the individual who signed the report didn’t even put his license number on the report, rather he used someone else’s license number. Searching his name, we found his license which clearly shows he is a civil engineer.
The public expects balcony inspectors to be ethical and professional. With grifters like this individual in the industry, goodwill will be quickly eroded and the public won’t know who to be able to trust. That’s why this week I’ll be speaking at the CLAC,the lobbying arm for CAI in California, meet your legislators webinar to advocate to strengthen the bill with civil and criminal penalties for fraud and to ban contractors from inspecting balconies under the bill. They have clear ethical issues in bidding repairs and performing inspections. Home inspectors are banned from bidding on any work they may find is needed in the course of doing a home inspection. The same needs to apply to the balcony inspection industry.
If you are looking for a balcony inspector we have firms listed on this site that are not bidding on repairs. We suggest that to help protect your HOA from fraud and unethical inspectors that you ask them to sign a no conflicts of interest disclosure. Insist that they cannot bid for repairs. Get three bids using a scope of work. Have your attorney review any contract before signing it.
Ashley Donohoe, Olivia Burke, Eoghan Culligan, Niccolai Schuster, Lorcán Miller, Eimear Walsh and Aiofe Beary, who was badly injured but survived the initial fall, sadly passed away recently. Seven lives cut short. Six lives permanently altered.
Last weekend I was in Berkeley. I stayed right around the corner from 2020 kittredge Street where the balcony collapsed. I was looking for a place to park my vehicle and they have a parking area there. It didn’t even strike me at the time when I drove in and parked that this was holy ground.
I walked outside of the garage and was on the sidewalk… I looked at it and then I looked up. When the place was library gardens there were two decks, one of which fell. As I walked down that sidewalk where they lay I trembled.
The Berkeley deck collapse was entirely preventable…and must not happen ever again. I call upon every state in the nation to implement deck inspections. Lives are at stake.
I am a balcony inspector; the company that I work for does inspections under the two balcony bills. I speak often with other people in my industry including other balcony inspection company inspectors. We pretty much all agree that there is a lot of confusion amongst owners boards of directors and even the attorneys on interpreting the language in the balcony bills.
SB 326 regulates balcony inspections for condominiums. It requires inspections every 9 years by a structural engineer or an architect. It also requires a much higher percentage of balconies be inspected as opposed to what is required for apartment balcony inspections.
SB 721 regulates balcony inspections for apartments. Under this bill a general contractor can perform balcony inspections.
The North American Deck & Railing Association (NADRA) has declared May as “Deck Safety Month”, although IMHO, every month should be Deck Safety Month.
Rarely does a day go by without my Google alerts, “deck collapse” & “deck fire” sending me an email about another balcony collapsing somewhere or someone’s grill or fire pit on their deck was the cause of a major house fire.
Two weeks ago the headlines were about the Malibu balcony collapse, where 16 people fell to the rocks 15 feet below while at a house party on the coast. Fortunately no one died. This time. Six years ago, six students died and seven were seriously and permanently injured…broken backs, crushed lungs, featured bones, when the balcony they were standing on to take a picture for a birthday celebration suddenly collapsed.
QUESTION. Does Civil Code §5551 apply to co-ops? -Maury J.
RESPONSE: Good question. A stock cooperative is a common interest development governed by the Davis-Stirling Act. Section 5551(l) of the Civil Code states that inspections of elevated wooden structures apply to multi-family structures with three or more units. If a co-op’s buildings are multi-family structures with three or more units, it would seem to apply…