Everyone is required to stay home, except for essential needs. When out, protect yourself and those around you by wearing a face covering, staying 6 feet away from others, and washing your hands often. Learn more at cityofberkeley.info/covid19. City offices are closed to the public. Some services are available remotely.

The City of Berkeley Health Officer has ordered all residents to shelter at home, leaving only to receive or provide essential services, starting 12:01 am on Tuesday, March 17. See details of the Order, frequently asked questions, and recommendations from Berkeley Public Health at https://www.cityofberkeley.info/coronavirus.

City Council Live Stream: Please visit https://www.cityofberkeley.info/CalendarEventWebcastMain.aspx

ZAB Live Stream: Please visit http://www.cityofberkeley.info/Clerk/Commissions/Zoning_Adjustment_Board_Meeting_-_Video_Stream.aspx.

The City of Berkeley web site is undergoing scheduled maintenance starting on Friday night, September 13 and ending on Saturday afternoon, September 14. During this time, most web pages should be available, but some resources may become unavailable for short periods of time.

Looking for a live stream of the Zoning Adjustments Board (ZAB) meeting on 5/9/19, at 7:00pm? Please visit https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1UAnZ8kU8EWllREyOY7rwQ/. The normal viewing methods will not work this time due to a concurrent City Council Special Meeting at the same time.

Looking for a live stream of the Zoning Adjustments Board (ZAB) meeting on 2/28/19, from 6:00 to 11:00 PM? Please visit http://www.cityofberkeley.info/Clerk/Commissions/Zoning_Adjustment_Board_Meeting_-_Video_Stream.aspx. The normal viewing methods will not work this time due to a concurrent City Council Special Meeting at the same date and time.

PG&E is reporting a widespread outage affecting thousands of customers in Berkeley and many City buildings, including the Finance Customer Service Center and the Permit Service Center. Call respective City services for further details, or check the PG&E outage page. Power is expected to return by 12:45pm. Traffic lights that are not working should be treated as a four-way stop sign.

Translation Disclaimer

Housing Code Enforcement
Housing Code Enforcement

Exterior Elevated Elements (E3) Inspection Program

Pertaining to Balconies, Decks, Exterior Walkways and Stairways on Group R-1 and R-2 Occupancies

Section 601.4 to the Berkeley Housing Code requires inspection and certification of weather-exposed elevated elements. The requirement applies to R-1 and R-2 occupancies as defined by the 2013 California Building Code and identified below. Properties owners must retain the services of a licensed professional to inspect their property and submit an inspection certification verifying the property is in compliance by March 31, 2022. 

What is the inspection requirement? Property owners of all residential buildings containing three or more dwelling or sleeping units must have all projecting exterior elevated wood and metal decks, balconies, decks, landings, stairway systems, walkways, guardrails, handrails, or any parts thereof inspected by a licensed general contractor, or structural pest control operator, or licensed professional architect or engineer, verifying that the elements are in a general safe condition, adequate working order, and do not exhibit signs of deterioration, decay, corrosion or similar damage that could pose a safety concern and there is no evidence of active water intrusion in concealed spaces of the inspected elements. The licensed professional must submit an inspection certification form to the City after completing the inspection. The requirement applies only to areas that are located more than six feet above adjacent grade.

Owners whose licensed professionals submitted inspection certification forms indicating that corrective work was required MUST submit a second certification form once the work has been completed.

Read the Frequently Asked Questions

View or print a hard copy of the Inspection Certification or Exemption Declaration

To submit an Inspection Certification or Exemption Declaration form online submit an Exterior Elevated Elements Online Form Request Once the request is received an envelope will be created and you should receive an email from DocuSign within 72 hours with instructions to access the online form.  This form is specific to the property address provided on the request form.  Be advised that DocuSign will send reminder emails until the form is completed.  After 90 days the request/envelope will be voided.

A Directory of Licensed Professionals available for E3 inspections is available on the Berkeley Property Owner's Association (BPOA) website. (https://www.bpoa.org/doc/pdf/E3_Program_Directory_of%20_Licensed_Professionals_6_2021.pdf).

Review Guidelines for professionals completing Inspections. 

Click to view a large clear Picture of the Elements Covered by the Program, as shown in the image below. 

E3 Drawing (Updated 4/16)

Does this apply to my building? Yes, if your building is a Group R-1 or R-2 occupancy listed below with exterior elevated elements. The requirement applies to all residential buildings containing three or more dwelling or sleeping units. Please note, R-1 and R-2 occupancies as defined in the California Building Code do not correspond to Berkeley’s R-1 and R-2 zoning districts. The requirement applies to:

  • Apartment houses, tenants in common and live/work units  
  • Dormitories, fraternities, sororities, convents and monasteries
  • Hotels, motels and vacation timeshare properties
  • Boarding houses and congregate residences (transient with more than 10 occupants and nontransient with more than 16 occupants)
  • Residential Assisted Living Facilities and Social Rehabilitation Residential Facilities  

Enforcement for Failure to Comply: Code enforcement proceedings under BMC Chapter 19.40 will be initiated against property owners who do not file an Inspection Certification or complete corrective work within the established timeframe. If corrective work is required, owners must apply for a permit within 60 days of the date of the certification, respond to plan check comments within 10 days of the date of the correction letter, obtain a building permit within 10 days of notification of plan approval and complete all work within 90 days of permit issuance.

Permits: A building permit is required to repair most parts of a typical wood deck, guardrail or exterior stairway. For more information, review the Permit Requirements for Exterior Elevated Element Repairs handout.

Home | Web Policy | Text-Only Site Map | Contact Us
Housing Code Enforcement, 1947 Center Street, 3rd Floor, Berkeley, CA 94704
Questions or comments? Email: HCE@cityofberkeley.info Phone: (510) 981-5444
(510) 981-CITY/2489 or 311 from any landline in Berkeley
TTY: (510) 981-6903