Exterior Elevated Elements Inspection Program (E3)
Owners of multi-unit buildings with exterior elevated elements which are located more than six feet above adjacent grade, such as decks or stairways, must hire a licensed professional to perform a safety inspection and submit an Inspection Certificate.
Owners of buildings with three or more dwelling or sleeping units must hire a licensed professional to inspect the building’s exterior elevated elements to ensure they are in a general safe condition and free of deterioration that could pose a safety hazard. Complete the inspection and submit an Inspection Certification form by May 31, 2022, or submit an Exemption Declaration if the requirement does not apply to your property.
Hire a professional to do an inspection and submit an Inspection Certification
If you own a building with three or more dwelling or sleeping units that has exterior elevated elements which are located more than six feet above adjacent grade, you will need to comply with this program. To comply, follow the steps below:
- Hire a licensed professional to perform an inspection
- Have your licensed professional fill out an Inspection Certification
- Submit the Certification by email, by postal mail or online
- By email: E3@cityofberkeley.info
- By mail:
Housing Code Enforcement
Exterior Elevated Elements Program
1947 Center Street, 3rd Floor
Berkeley, CA 94704
- Request to submit online
• Complete Online Form Request
• You will receive an email from Docusign within 72 hours with access instructions
• Access the property specific form, complete and submit
If the inspection found issues that need correcting, you may need to apply for a building permit (refer to the permit requirements handout for details). Follow the steps and deadlines below:
- Apply for a permit to correct the issue within 60 days of submitting the certification.
- Complete all corrective work within 90 days of obtaining the permit.
- Once work is complete, get a second inspection and submit a new Inspection Certification form.
The requirement applies to multi-unit residential buildings with exterior elevated elements
The requirement applies to all residential buildings with three or more sleeping or residential units. This includes:
- 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 non-transient with more than 16 occupants)
- Residential Assisted Living Facilities and Social Rehabilitation Residential Facilities
This requirement applies to all exterior elevated elements, which are defined as:
- weather-exposed (i.e., not interior)
- extend beyond exterior walls
- located more than six feet above adjacent grade
- wood or steel framed (not concrete)
Examples of exterior elevated elements include elevated wood and metal decks, balconies, decks, landings, stairway systems, walkways, guardrails, and handrails. Fire escapes are not included, since they are inspected annually by the Fire Department.
If the requirement does not apply to you because of the building type or because your building does not have exterior elevated elements, fill out and submit an Exemption Declaration form.
Answers to questions about this program can be found under Frequently Asked Questions.
Hire a licensed professional to inspect the exterior elevated elements
To comply with the requirement, hire a licensed professional to perform the inspection and fill out an inspection certification form.
The City of Berkeley cannot provide recommendations for licensed professionals, but the Directory of Licensed Professionals provided by the Berkeley Property Owners Association may be a helpful resource. Licensed professionals include the categories below, with current licensure in California:
- Licensed general contractors
- Licensed structural pest control operators
- Licensed architects
- Licensed civil engineers and licensed structural engineers
The licensed professionals will follow the Inspection Guidelines to check that exterior elevated elements are in 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.
Get a re-inspection every five years
Properties with exterior elevated elements are required to submit and inspection certification form verifying the property is in compliance by May 31, 2022 and every five years thereafter.