Breaking Down The Benefits Of Balcony Inspections For Tenants

Chris Barnard
By - Chris Barnard
Last Updated - July 8th, 2024 12:43 PM
balcony-inspections-for-tenants

If you’ve ever owned or managed properties like transient or non-transient apartments, vacation rentals, etc., you already know the importance of balcony inspection. 

Nevertheless, as a tenant living in one such property, you’ll surely wonder what the benefits are for you. 

For starters, a routine balcony and deck inspection can enhance your overall living experience to a great extent. 

But that’s not it. 

You see, as a commercial real estate inspector, I’ve witnessed firsthand the importance of balcony inspections for tenant safety. Moreover, I’ve also seen how regular inspections have led to higher tenant retention, thanks to increased satisfaction. 

Curious how you stand to benefit from balcony inspections as a tenant?

Read on, as I’ve broken it down all.  

What is a rental balcony inspection in the first place? 

Before we have a look at the benefits that balcony assessments have to offer, let’s first understand what these inspections are all about. 

As the name suggests, a rental balcony inspection is an in-depth analysis of all such balconies and decks that you or any other occupant of the property can access. Herein, a licensed inspector assesses every component of the balcony including decking, attachments, fasteners, railings, attachments, and more. 

The objective here is to detect, flag, and address any potential hazards before they become serious and pose risks to occupants’ safety. In fact, this is exactly why DBPR HR-7020 regulations in Florida require all public lodging establishments, including transient and non-transient apartments to get one such inspection every three years. 

What are the benefits of balcony inspection for tenants? 

Now that you know what balcony inspections for rental properties are all about, let’s discuss the elephant in the room, i.e., how you can benefit from these inspections.  

All in all, here’s a list of balcony inspection benefits that I’ve compiled based on feedback from tenants like yourself: 

1. It’s a reassurance of safety

Safety is the foremost reason why balcony inspections are conducted, to begin with. 

You see, balconies and decks are such building structures that are the most susceptible to safety hazards. And this is backed by intermittent instances of balcony, deck, and railing collapses due to dry rot, rust, and corrosion. 

For instance, in the latest balcony safety incident, a balcony collapsed in Neptune Beach during the Fourth of July celebrations, injuring over eight people. 

Worse: This isn’t an isolated incident since such cases continue to be reported throughout Florida. 

Now, in this situation, regular balcony inspections bring even the smallest of problems to notice, ensuring timely fixes. As a tenant, such moves are sure to reassure you about the overall balcony safety.

2. Can save you from potential financial liabilities 

It is the property owner’s responsibility to get timely balcony inspections and undertake essential maintenance. 

However, a lot of lease agreements hold tenants liable for such defects or damages that happen during the lease period. And the same could apply to your rental’s balcony.

Now, there are two ways a balcony inspection can save you from such liabilities: 

A. An NNN inspection before the lease can help flag pre-existing balcony issues, ensuring you’re not held liable for them. 

B. If at all the balcony components have developed problems during your occupancy, regular inspections can help detect them early and prevent costly maintenance liabilities. 

3. It improves your quality of life 

Surprising as it might sound, balcony inspections are linked to improved quality of life.

How? 

You see, balconies are the perfect escape from our closed indoor settings while still being in the privacy of our homes. And to that end, balcony inspections ensure you make the most out of these spaces without any safety concerns whatsoever. 

In fact, a well-maintained balcony can easily become an extension of your living space, a spot for socializing, or even a small garden.

Sounds amazing, doesn’t it? 

4. Balcony inspections help increase energy efficiency 

Balcony inspections are crucial in improving your home’s energy efficiency. That’s because they help identify problems like cracks or gaps that might be causing air leaks and affecting the performance of the HVACs. 

Moreover, these inspections also assess balcony drainage to prevent water accumulation since it affects the building’s natural thermal properties. 

Not to mention, inspectors also evaluate the condition of building materials and their overall energy efficiency. 

All in all, the overall inspection process helps a great deal increasing your rental’s energy efficiency and bringing down your energy bills. 

5. It’s a guarantee for DBPR compliance 

As we discussed earlier, the DBPR HR-7020 regulations require all transient and non-transient apartments in Florida to get a balcony inspection every three years.

Now, if you’re residing in one such property, regular balcony inspections will ensure the building is code-compliant. 

And apart from safety, this will guarantee that local building officials will not order a property vacation or sealing. After all, as a tenant, you need peace of mind in terms of long-term uninterrupted occupancy. 

Also read: Balcony Inspection Checklist: All That You Need To Know

Balcony inspections: FAQs for tenants 

How often should your apartment’s balcony be inspected?

As per DBPR requirements, all transient and non-transient Florida apartments should have their balconies inspected every three years. 

Who pays for balcony inspections and repairs?

It is usually the property owner or manager who is responsible for hiring balcony inspectors and paying for the inspection. 

Talking about the cost of repairs, tenants might have to bear some responsibility depending on the lease terms. For instance, if balcony damages happened during your occupancy, you might have to pay for repairs. 

Can you be present during the balcony inspection?

Yes, you can. 

In fact, it’s a good idea to be present during the inspection and take note of defects or damages that the inspectors flag. This will help you calculate your exact liability (if any) based on the defects that pre-existed your occupancy. 

But that said, you should also allow inspectors complete access to the balcony and attachments and not interfere with their work. 

Read further: Apartment Building Inspection: An All-inclusive Guide 

Conclusion 

As you can see, the benefits of balcony inspections for tenants are plenty. In fact, be it increased safety, reduced costs, or avoiding unwarranted la bites, there are many ways these inspections increase your rental experience.

In short, although building owners are responsible for balcony inspections, tenants can make the most out of these too. 

Looking for one such inspection? 

You can get in touch with us and receive a free inspection quote

At FCBI, we are seasoned balcony inspection experts with experience spanning over two decades. And we’ve got your back with comprehensive inspections and post-inspection support. 

You can also read: Why Regular Balcony Inspections Are Crucial For Older Buildings

Chris-Barnard
Chris Barnard

Hi there! I am Chris Barnard, a licensed building inspector and the founder of Florida Commercial Building Inspectors. With over two decades in the inspection industry, I’ve delivered thousands of commercial and residential inspections across various states. During all these years, I’ve developed detailed insights on the ins and outs of building inspections, something I look forward to sharing with you through my blogs.

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