The team at Property Force wants to extend our thoughts and prayers to the families of the 6 individuals who perished in the collapse of their San Francisco Bay Area apartment balcony last week. We also wanted to take a minute to inform both renters and owners of a few questions you should be asking of your own properties to insure you, your tenants and their guests are safe and secure.
Niall McCarthy A Burlingame lawyer who has represented 5 Bay Area families with similar balcony collapse lawsuits says that this was 100% avoidable and that the San Francisco Bay Area is a ticking time bomb with these types of structural deficiencies. With Berkeley building codes for balcony’s increasing from 60 pounds per square foot to 100 in 2007 it makes you wonder if Berkeley has known about this problem since then?
Bay Area Property Management firms and independent property owners can expect to see additional ordinances for rental properties with any type of cantilevered wood deck. A cantilevered wood decks supports extend directly off the side of the structure without any support from below, walls or poles. The issue with these decks is specifically the dry rotting of the wooden structure and supports that can go unseen. Due to the harm occurring within the wood itself it’s hard to visually inspect and identify. Having these decks structurally certified will add a big expense to investment owners and may even make these types of properties less desirable to lenders, buyers and renters in the future.
Hiring a structural engineering firm, building inspector or home inspector may be your next best step to ensure your investment and renters are structurally secure!