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SB-721 Contractors: decks and balconies: inspection.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 04/18/2017 04:00 AM
SB721:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  April 17, 2017
Amended  IN  Senate  March 27, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill No. 721


Introduced by Senator Hill
(Coauthor: Senator Skinner)

February 17, 2017


An act to add Section 7071.20 to the Business and Professions Code, and to add Section 4776 to the Civil Code, relating to contractors.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 721, as amended, Hill. Contractors: decks and balconies: inspection.

Existing

(1) 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 a property owner to conduct an inspection of decks, balconies, and elevated walkways more than 6 feet above ground level in a building containing 3 or more multifamily units an inspection of building assemblies, load-bearing components, and associated waterproofing elements, as defined, including decks and balconies by utilizing specified licensed architects, engineers, building inspectors, or a person licensed to perform these inspections by the Department of Consumer Affairs. The bill would require the inspections inspections, including any necessary destructive testing, to be completed by January 1, 2021, 2022, with certain exceptions, and would require subsequent inspections every 5 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 to be filed with the county recorder and made available, as specified. The be presented to the owner of the building within 45 days of the completion of the inspection. 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 90 days, unless an extension is granted by the local authorities, and would be required to comply with the latest edition of the California Building Standards Code and all local jurisdictional requirements. The bill would assess specified civil penalties against a property owner, in the form of a lien against the property, for failure to timely comply with these provisions, as specified. The bill would authorize local enforcing 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.
(2) The Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act defines and regulates common interest developments, which include community apartment projects, condominium projects, planned developments, and stock cooperatives. The act requires the homeowners association to maintain the common areas of the development.
This bill would require a homeowners association to conduct an inspection, as specified, by a licensee as specified or by a person approved by the Department of Consumer Affairs, of the load-bearing components and associated waterproofing elements of building assemblies, as defined, that the association is obligated to repair, replace, restore, or maintain. The bill would require the inspections, including any necessary destructive testing, to be completed by January 1, 2022, with certain exceptions, and would require subsequent inspections every 5 years, except as specified. The bill would require the inspection reports to contain specified items. The bill would require that the results of the report be used in calculating the reserve study for the development, as specified. The bill would require the inspection report to be presented to the association within 45 days of the completion of the inspection and would require a copy of the report to be maintained in the association’s records. 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 association within 15 days and emergency repairs be undertaken, as specified, with notice given to the local enforcement agency. Nonemergency repairs made under these provisions would be required to be completed within 90 days, unless an extension is granted by the local authorities, and would be required to comply with specified requirements, including the latest edition of the California Building Standards Code. The bill would, with regard to a condominium conversion, require an inspection be completed prior to the close of escrow on the first separate interest and would require the disclosure of the results of these inspections to the Bureau of Real Estate prior to the issuance of a final public report. A copy of the report would also be required to be sent to the local jurisdiction in which the property is located prior to the issuing of a final inspection or certificate of occupancy. The bill would authorize a local enforcement agency to recover its costs associated with enforcing these provisions. The bill would provide that its provisions do not apply to those areas constituting an individual owner’s separate interest, as defined.

Because

(3) 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 1.

 Section 7071.20 is added to the Business and Professions Code, to read:

7071.20.
 (a) Building assemblies that include load-bearing components in all buildings containing three or more multifamily dwelling units shall be inspected. The inspection shall be performed by an inspector who is a licensed architect, licensed civil engineer, licensed structural engineer, a certified construction inspector, building official, as described in Section 18949.27 of the Health and Safety Code, or other licensee specifically approved by the Department of Consumer Affairs as qualified to perform the inspection required by this section. The purpose of the inspection is to verify that all building assemblies, which include load-bearing components 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, without limitation, flashings, membranes, coatings, and sealants that protect load-bearing components from exposure to water and the elements.
(2) “Building assembly” includes, without limitation, any of the following: elevated exterior balconies, decks, porches, stairways, walkways, entry structures, and their supports and railings, carports, or other exterior structures designed for human occupancy or use and that rely in whole or in part on wood or wood-based products for structural support or stability.
(3) “Load-bearing components” are those components that deliver structural loads from the building, its contents, and its occupants to the foundation. Load-bearing components include, without limitation, decking, subfloors, beams, joists, girders, posts, columns, bearing walls, foundation elements, fasteners, brackets, and rods.
(c) The inspection required by this section shall at a minimum include:
(1) Identification of each building assembly 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 each building assembly by using methods that allow for a direct visual evaluation of the physical condition of the component.
(3) For any component of a building assembly that is not directly visible or accessible without opening or removing portions of the structure to allow a direct visual evaluation, and where there is no visible exterior evidence of damage or deterioration, an intrusive inspection, that allows a direct visual evaluation of a sample of the component that, in the opinion of the inspector, is conducted in a sufficient number of locations to allow the inspector to extrapolate the findings to all similar locations, may be utilized in the evaluation.
(4) An evaluation of the load-bearing components of each building assembly and associated waterproofing elements that addresses each of the following as of the date of the evaluation:
(A) The current condition of the building assembly.
(B) Whether the current condition of the building assembly meets its load requirements.
(C) Expectations of future performance and projected service life.
(D) Recommendations of any further inspection necessary.
(E) Recommendations of any necessary repair or replacement.
(F) An estimate of the cost of any recommended repair or replacement.
(5) A written report of the evaluation stamped and 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, building assembly 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, 2022, and by January 1 every five years thereafter. The inspector conducting the inspection shall produce an initial report pursuant to paragraph (5) of subdivision (c) and 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 whether 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. 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.
(e) The inspection of buildings for which a building permit application has been submitted on or after February 1, 2017, shall occur no later than five years following issuance of a certificate of occupancy from the local jurisdiction and shall otherwise comply with the provisions of this section.
(f) A building assembly that include load-bearing components found to be in need of repair or replacement, hazardous, structurally deficient, or noncompliant by the inspector, shall be corrected by the owner of the building. All necessary permits for repair or replacement shall be obtained from the local jurisdiction. All repair and replacement work shall be performed in compliance with all of the following:
(1)  The inspector’s recommendations, or with alternative recommendations by a licensed professional described in subdivision (a).
(2) Any applicable manufacturer’s specifications.
(3) The latest edition of the California Building Standards Code.
(4) All local jurisdictional requirements.
(g) (1) A building assembly 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. Repairs of emergency conditions shall be inspected by the inspector and reported to the local enforcement agency.
(2) The owner of the building requiring corrective work to a load-bearing component 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 60 days of receipt of the inspection report. Once the permit is approved, the owner of the building shall have 90 days to make the repairs unless an extension of time is granted by the local enforcement agency.
(h) (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 90 days, the inspector shall notify the enforcement agency, which shall send a 30-day corrective notice to the owner of the building or owner’s designated agent. 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 of two hundred dollars ($200) per day until the repairs are completed.
(3) In the event that a civil penalty is assessed pursuant to this section, a building safety lien shall 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.
(i) (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 city 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.
(j) The continued and ongoing maintenance of building assemblies that include load-bearing components and associated waterproofing elements, in a safe, functional, and sanitary condition, shall be the responsibility of the owner of the building. To determine ongoing compliance with this subdivision, the enforcement agency shall have the authority to require reinspection of those structures.
(k) If the property was inspected within three years prior to January 1, 2018, by an inspector as described in subdivision (a) and a report of that inspector was issued stating that the load-bearing components 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 five years from the date of that report.
(l) Local enforcement agencies shall have the ability to recover enforcement costs associated with the requirements of this section.
(m) This section shall not apply to an association of a common interest development, as defined in Sections 4080 and 4100 respectively, of the Civil Code, that complies with the provisions of Section 4776 of the Civil Code.

SEC. 2.

 Section 4776 is added to the Civil Code, to read:

4776.
 (a) At least once every five years, the board of directors of a common interest development shall cause to be conducted a reasonably competent and diligent inspection by an inspector who is a licensed architect, licensed civil engineer, certified construction inspector, licensed structural engineer, building official, as described in Section 18949.27 of the Health and Safety Code, or other licensee specifically approved by the Department of Consumer Affairs as qualified to perform the inspection required by this section, of the load-bearing components and associated waterproofing elements of building assemblies that the association is obligated to repair, replace, restore, or maintain. The purpose of the inspection is to verify that all building assemblies, which include load-bearing components 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.
(b) For purposes of this section, the following terms have the following definitions:
(1) “Associated waterproofing elements” include, without limitation, flashings, membranes, coatings, and sealants that protect load-bearing components from exposure to water and the elements.
(2) “Building assembly” includes, without limitation, any of the following: elevated exterior balconies, decks, porches, stairways, walkways, entry structures, and their supports and railings, carports, or other exterior structures designed for human occupancy or use and that rely in whole or in part on wood or wood-based products for structural support or stability.
(3) “Load-bearing components” are those components that deliver structural loads from the building, its contents, and its occupants to the foundation. Load-bearing components include, without limitation, decking, subfloors, beams, joists, girders, posts, columns, bearing walls, foundation elements, fasteners, brackets, and rods.
(c) The inspection required by this section shall at a minimum include:
(1) Identification of each building assembly 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 each building assembly by using methods that allow for a direct visual evaluation of the physical condition of the component.
(3) For any component of a building assembly that is not directly visible or accessible without opening or removing portions of the structure to allow a direct visual evaluation, and where there is no visible exterior evidence of damage or deterioration, an intrusive inspection that allows a direct visual evaluation of a sample of the component that, in the opinion of the inspector, is conducted in a sufficient number of locations to allow the inspector to extrapolate the findings to all similar locations, may be utilized in the evaluation.
(4) An evaluation of the load-bearing components of each building assembly and associated waterproofing elements that addresses each of the following as of the date of the evaluation:
(A) The current condition of the building assembly.
(B) Whether the current condition of the building assembly meets its load requirements.
(C) Expectations of future performance and projected service life.
(D) Recommendations of any further inspection necessary.
(E) Recommendations of any necessary repair or replacement.
(F) An estimate of the cost of any recommended repair or replacement.
(5) A written report of the evaluation stamped and signed by the inspector presented to the board 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, building assembly 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, 2022, and by January 1 every five years thereafter. The inspector conducting the inspection shall produce an initial report pursuant to paragraph (5) of subdivision (c) and 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 whether preventing occupant access or emergency repairs, including shoring, are necessary shall be provided by the inspector to the association and to the local enforcement agency within 15 days of completion of the report. The report shall be permanently maintained in the records of the association. 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, to be submitted to the local jurisdiction.
(e) The inspection of buildings for which a building permit application has been submitted on or after February 1, 2017, shall occur no later than five years following issuance of a certificate of occupancy from the local jurisdiction and shall otherwise comply with the provisions of this section.
(f) A Building assembly that include load-bearing components found to be in need of repair or replacement, hazardous, structurally deficient, or noncompliant by the inspector, shall be corrected by the association. All necessary permits for repair or replacement shall be obtained from the local jurisdiction. All repair and replacement work shall be performed in compliance with all of the following:
(1)  The inspector’s recommendations, or with alternative recommendations by a licensed professional described in subdivision (a).
(2) Any applicable manufacturer’s specifications.
(3) The latest edition of the California Building Standards Code.
(4) All local jurisdictional requirements.
(g) (1) A building assembly that the inspector advices poses an immediate threat to the safety of the occupants, or finds that preventing occupant access or emergency repairs, including shoring, or both, are necessary, shall be considered an emergency condition and the association shall perform required preventive measures immediately. Repairs of emergency conditions shall be inspected by the inspector and reported to the local enforcement agency.
(2) If the building requires corrective work to a load-bearing component that, in the opinion of the inspector, does not pose an immediate threat to the safety of the occupants, the association shall apply for a permit within 60 days of receipt of the inspection report. Once the permit is approved, the association shall have 90 days to make the repairs unless an extension of time is granted by the local enforcement agency.
(3) Repairs required pursuant to this subdivision shall be considered an “emergency situation” as defined by subdivision (b) of Section 5610.
(h) (1) The association shall be responsible for complying with the requirements of this section.
(2) The continued and ongoing maintenance of building assemblies that include load-bearing components and associated waterproofing elements, in a safe, functional, and sanitary condition, shall be the responsibility of the association as required by the association’s governing documents. To determine ongoing compliance with this subdivision, the enforcement agency shall have the authority to require reinspection of those structures.
(i) Local enforcement agencies shall have the ability to recover enforcement costs associated with the requirements of this section.
(j) If, in the inspector’s opinion, any of the components or building assemblies evaluated require repair or replacement in accordance with this section, or have a projected service life of less than 30 years, the reserve study required by Section 5550 shall consider that opinion in preparing the reserve funding evaluation.
(k) For condominium conversions proposed for sale after January 1, 2018, the inspection required by this section shall be conducted prior to the first close of escrow of a separate interest in the project. 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 Bureau of Real Estate by the converter 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, 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.
(l) This section shall not apply to an individual owner’s “separate interest,” as defined by Section 4185, in a “planned development” as defined by Section 4175.

SECTION 1.Section 7071.20 is added to the Business and Professions Code, to read:
7071.20.

(a)(1)All buildings containing three or more multifamily dwelling units that have an existing balcony or other elevated walking surface exposed to water, including, but not limited to, rain, snow, or irrigation, with structural framing that is protected by an impervious moisture barrier shall be inspected. For purposes of this section, balconies or other elevated walking surfaces less than six feet above grade are not included. The inspection shall be performed by a licensed general contractor, structural pest control licensee, licensed architect, licensed engineer, a certified construction inspector, or building official as specified in Section 18949.27 of the Health and Safety Code, or other licensee as approved by the Department of Consumer Affairs. The purpose of the inspection is to verify that all of the balconies and other elevated walking surfaces covered by this section are in generally safe condition, adequate working order, and free from hazardous dry rot, 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.

(2)Building elements, including the walking surface, structural frame and connector hardware, weatherproofing, landings, stairway systems, guardrails, handrails, and any other elements critical to the safety of the balcony or elevated walking surface, found to be in need of repair or replacement, hazardous, structurally deficient, or noncompliant shall, upon determination by the licensed professional, be corrected by the property owner or person or company responsible for management or operation of the building.

(3)If corrective work is required, a property owner shall apply for a permit within 60 days of receipt of the inspection report. Once the permit is approved, the property owner or owner’s designated agent shall have 90 days to make the repairs.

(4)All necessary permits for repair or replacement of exterior balconies and elevated walking surfaces shall be obtained from the local jurisdiction. All repair and replacement work, including installation and inspection of impervious moisture barrier systems, must be performed in compliance with manufacturer’s instructions, the latest edition of the California Building Standards Code, and all local jurisdictional requirements.

(5)The property owner shall be responsible for complying with the requirements of this section. The person or business performing the inspection shall be hired by property owner or by the person or company responsible for the management or operation of the building.

(b)The inspection shall be completed by January 1, 2021, and every five years thereafter. The licensed professional conducting the inspection shall produce an initial report that states the condition of the building features and recommendations for repair, conditioning, or replacement and a final report indicating that all of the required repairs have been completed. A copy of the final report shall be submitted to the county recorder for recordation. Local enforcing agencies may determine the information to be provided in the report and require a copy of the initial or final reports, or both, to be submitted to the local jurisdiction in lieu of recordation.

(c)(1)Multifamily buildings of three units or more for which a building permit application has been submitted on or after February 1, 2017, are exempt from the inspection certification requirements for a period of five years following issuance of a certificate of occupancy from the local jurisdiction.

(2)These multifamily buildings of three units or more shall comply with the inspection and documentation requirements described in subdivision (b), which shall be completed before the end of the sixth year following the issuance of the certificate of occupancy and every five years thereafter.

(d)The continued and ongoing maintenance of balconies and elevated walking surfaces and parts thereof, in a safe and sanitary condition, shall be the responsibility of the property owner or the property owner’s designated agent. To determine ongoing compliance with this subdivision, the enforcing agency shall have the authority to require reinspection of those structures.

(e)Local enforcing agencies shall have the ability to recover enforcement costs associated with the requirements of this section.

(f)(1)A property owner or the owner’s designated agent shall not be required to produce a new inspection report of the multifamily building if both of the following are met:

(A)The multifamily building was inspected by a licensed professional, described in subdivision (a), within three years prior to January 1, 2018.

(B)The inspection was performed by a licensed professional, described in subdivision (a), and the inspection report states that the decks, balconies, elevated walkways, or other related exterior elevated elements are in proper working condition and do not pose a threat to the health and safety of the public.

(2)If the above requirements are met, a property owner or the property owner’s designated agent shall file a copy of the final inspection report to the county recorder. Beginning five years after the completion of the inspection, these multifamily buildings of three units or more shall be reinspected and a new inspection report filed with the county recorder and every five years thereafter.

(g)(1)If a property owner or an owner’s designated agent does not comply with the inspection or repair requirements after 60 days, the enforcing agency shall send a 30-day corrective notice certified mail to the owner or owner’s designated agent. If within 30 days of the date of the notice, the inspection is not completed, the owner of the multifamily building shall be assessed a daily civil penalty of one hundred dollars ($100) per day, which shall constitute a lien against the property, until the inspection is complete.

(2)If a corrective notice is sent under this subdivision, the property owner or the owner’s designated agent shall have 60 days from the completion of the inspection to complete the repairs, unless an extension of time is granted by the local enforcing agency. If the repairs are not completed within the designated time, the property owner shall be assessed a civil penalty of one hundred dollars ($100) per day, which shall constitute a lien against the property, until the repairs are completed.

SEC. 2. SEC. 3.

 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.