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Q & A

The primary differences between SB 326 and SB 721 are whom they affect, the frequency, and who can perform the inspection. The multi-point inspection, and process are fairly similar. SB 326 applies to Homeowners Associations / HOA’s and requires inspections every nine (9) years while SB 721 applies to Landlords / Apartments of buildings with at least three multi-family dwelling units and requires inspections every six (6) years.

Exterior Elevated Elements or EEE’s is defined as – “the following types of structures, including their supports and railings: balconies, decks, porches, stairways, walkways, and entry structures that extend beyond the 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 relay in whole or in substantial part on wood or wood-based product for structural support of stability of the exterior elevated elements.”

The final report will advise the owner/association on repairs or maintenance that need to be made to ensure the safety of the EEE. This will be passed on to the owner/association, to allow them to assess the damages and budget for any necessary repairs.

There are two types of repairs that may need to be made:
1. Non-emergency repairs: the Owner or HOA Board of Directors are notified
2. Emergency repairs: the Owner or HOA Board of Directors are notified and the report is provided to the Local Building and Safety Department

Other Requirements
• Contractors serving as inspectors cannot perform the report’s needed repair items for the building. Avoids ‘Conflict of Interests’

• Building owners must apply for permits on non-emergency repairs within 120 days of receiving the report. When a permit is approved, the owners have 120 days to complete the repairs.

• Inspectors shall notify local enforcement if the building owner doesn’t comply with the repair requirements within 180 days. The owners can be assessed a civil penalty if the repairs aren’t completed within 30 days of the notice and could lead to a building safety lien on the property.

The law requires that the inspector report hazardous conditions that pose a life safety threat to the local building official. Property owners/HOA’s will have anywhere from 15 to 120 days to address any necessary repairs depending on the condition of items inspected and deemed unsafe.

DETERMINATION THAT AN EXTERIOR ELEVATED ELEMENT IS FAILING – Needs shoring and immediate repair. The local building department must be notified within 15 days

Any emergency repairs must be done immediately and if an area is considered dangerous then immediate barriers must be installed to prevent access.

Any recommended minor repairs have to be done within 120 days. Minor repairs will be followed up on and if not done, the inspector is required to submit a failure to complete repairs to the governing local agency at 180 days.

Depending on the number of EEE © to be inspected, S.C.D.I. may need access/be on the property from one to three days.

During the Phase One visual inspection, if the inspector observes conditions suggesting any compromise to the structural integrity such as the waterproofing systems, thereby creating the potential for damage to the load-bearing components, the inspector will suggest a Phase Two inspection.. The inspector shall exercise their best professional judgment in determining the necessity, scope, and extent of any further inspection.

The Homeowners Association (HOA) and Property Owners are liable for unperformed inspections, the deadline is January 1st, 2025 for completion.

Lawmakers included harsh penalties for non-compliant facilities.

These penalties include the following:

Fines of Up to $500 Per Day. Non-compliant facilities could face penalties of $100-$500 per day for every day they are not in compliance with the requirements of SB 326 & 721.

Assessment of Safety Liens. If a civil fine or penalty is assessed, the local jurisdiction can choose to issue a safety lien against the facility. If a building owner refuses to pay non-compliance fines, the local jurisdiction can satisfy the lien through foreclosure.

Recovery of Enforcement Costs. Under SB 326 & 721, local enforcement agencies can recover enforcement costs from landlords, property owners, and property managers.

Impacts on a HOA or Landlord’s Insurance Eligibility. If a facility does not comply with SB 326 & 721, it may impact the HOA and landlord’s insurance eligibility and make it more difficult (or impossible) to secure adequate insurance coverage.

The EEES subject to the new requirements includes those with a walking surface elevated more than six feet above ground level, designed for human occupancy or use, and supported by wood or wood- based products.

SB 721 mandates that a statistically significant sample of EEEs must be inspected (with a minimum of 15% of all EEEs) sufficient enough to ensure 95% confidence that the results from the sample are representative of the entire structure, with a margin of error no larger than plus or minus 5%.
SB 721 language has a minimum of 15% of EEEs be inspected. Our recommendation will be that a sampling of 25% of all EEES have a Phase One Visual Inspection be performed.

New construction for which a building permit application was submitted after January 1, 2020, must have the inspections completed within 6 years of the issuance of the certificate of occupancy.

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