Mandatory Inspections of Balconies, Decks, and Other Exterior Elevated Elements (EEE)

By 2025, all elevated structural elements projecting from residential buildings must be inspected by a licensed architect or engineer to verify that they are in safe and good working condition.

As per Senate Bill 721 (2018) and Senate Bill 326 (2019), inspections will be required of all Exterior Elevated Elements (EEE) by 2025. EEE inspections, as well as any required maintenance or repair which is identified as a result of the inspection, are the responsibility of the private property owner.

Read more about the California State Balcony Inspection Law

What Buildings Must Be Inspected?

Buildings with 3 or more units that have:

  • Balconies, decks, porches, stairways, walkways, and entry structures that extend beyond the exterior walls of the building and that rely in whole or in substantial part on wood or wood-based products for structural support or stability; and
  • A walking surface that is elevated more than 6 feet above the ground level; and
  • Balconies designed for human occupancy or use.

What If Hazards are Found?

If the inspection reveals conditions that pose a hazard to the safety of the occupants, the inspection report must be delivered to the owner of the building within 15 days and emergency repairs must be undertaken, as specified, with notice given to the local enforcement agency for permitting. These bills also 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.

What If Owners Fail to Comply?

Code enforcement proceedings under the Oakland Municipal Code will be initiated against property owners who do not complete corrective work or if work is not completed on time.

Are Building Permits Required?

A Building Permit is required to repair most parts of a typical wood deck, guardrail or exterior stairway.

Please email for more information.

Additional Resources