What is SB326?

The passage of Senate Bill 326 (SB 326) added new Civil Code § 5551 to the Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act and became effective on January 1, 2020. The new law makes it mandatory that a licensed architect or structural engineer conduct visual inspections, in the least intrusive manner possible, of exterior elevated elements at all common interest developments in the state of California.

The licensed architect or structural engineer is required to provide a stamped or signed inspection report to the HOA.

Exterior Elevated Elements refers to load bearing components and associated waterproofing systems, which includes balconies, decks, porches, stairways, walkways, and associated railings.

The Exterior Elevated Elements subject to the new requirements include 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.

Under SB 326, what number exterior elevated elements are required to be inspected and how often? The answer is not simple. SB 326 requires a random statistically significant sample of exterior elements sufficient “to provide 95 percent confidence that the results from the sample are reflective of the whole, with a margin of error of no greater than plus or minus 5 percent.”

Why was SB 326 Passed?
In a word – safety. Historically, balcony and deck failures have led to thousands of injuries each year. The intended goal of SB 326 is to identify any exterior elevated elements in decay or disrepair, make any necessary repairs, and prevent future failures.

When is action required?
For existing HOAs the first inspections must be completed by January 1st, 2025, and completed again, once every nine years, thereafter. New HOAs 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 and once every nine years thereafter.

How Can CORE Consulting Group Help You?

You can trust CORE Consulting Group to keep your HOA in compliance with inspection and reporting requirements established in SB 326. Please don't hesitate to contact us to discuss your needs, and we'll look forward to speaking with you soon!