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Apartment Balcony Inspections in Orange County and Los Angeles: What You Need to Know About SB 721

If you’re like most good apartment building owners or managers, you want to make sure your tenants are safe and comfortable in their units. You fix the things that need fixing and make improvements and upgrades to your buildings when necessary. You work hard to keep your tenants happy so they’ll stay long term.

When it comes to any balconies in your apartment buildings, you probably have them visually inspected for damage whenever a tenant moves out. However, Senate Bill 721 (SB 721), passed by the California legislature in 2018, now requires that apartment balconies be inspected on a regular basis. The first deadline for the balcony inspections is January 1, 2025. Any apartment building in California with three or more units must have all of their “exterior elevated elements” inspected by a qualified professional, or face potentially steep fines. Exterior elevated elements include structures such as balconies, exterior stairways, and elevated walkways, entryways, and decks. If any of these are supported at least partially by a wooden structure, they fall under SB 721.

The January 1, 2025 deadline may seem like a long way off, but that date will be here before you know it. It would be wise for apartment complex owners to schedule their balcony inspections now, rather than waiting until the end of 2024 to start the process.

Who to Call for Apartment Balcony Inspections in Orange County or Los Angeles

According to SB 721, those who are qualified to complete the required balcony inspections are certified architects, structural engineers, and contractors with at least five years of experience. However, most of these busy professionals won’t want to take time away from their regular work to complete balcony inspections and write inspection reports that comply with SB 721. Many of them likely won’t even be familiar with SB 721 and what it requires.

Apartment building owners in Orange County and Los Angeles should look for a company that specializes in compliance issues, such as Diamond Touch Strategies (DTS). DTS is well versed in what SB 721 requires of apartment building owners. They have put together a team of qualified inspectors who can complete apartment balcony inspections in Orange County and Los Angeles. Their inspectors are licensed professionals who understand the requirements of SB 721. DTS also has contractors on their team who can repair any damage that is found during the inspections.

Jim Diaz, founder of DTS, had this to say about SB 721 compliance: “As a company that specializes in helping small businesses stay in compliance with city, county, and state regulations, DTS is uniquely qualified to handle everything that is required to ensure your apartment building is in full compliance with SB 721. We will work with you to make sure all inspections, reports, and repairs are completed in a timely manner so you can avoid fines and ensure that your apartment building’s balconies are safe for your tenants.”

The penalties for noncompliance with SB 721 will be different in every local jurisdiction, but apartment building owners can expect that they will be significant. Some jurisdictions may charge apartment building owners upwards of $100 per day, per balcony that is not inspected by the deadline. There may be additional fines levied if any needed repairs are not completed in a timely manner. Get your apartment building’s balconies inspected today and avoid costly fines!

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