This is required for all public lodging establishments, including hotels, apartments, and condos, that are three or more stories in height. The Florida Inspectors can help you get through this requirement.
The Florida Inspectors will visually inspect the balconies, including decking, wall attachments, ledger boards, railings and fasteners. In addition, all stairwell railings will be inspected. The Florida Inspectors will note the total number of units inspected as well as the total number of deficiencies. We will provide a general description of the types of deficiencies, and then it is the responsibility of the owner to make the repairs and have the Inspector re-evaluate the property.
Did you know? The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation regulates the required inspection of balconies/stairs/decks and railings open to public use. An inspection must be performed every three years and Form HR-7020 must be filed. A balcony is defined as any structure more than 17 feet above grade. Ground level or near ground level decks no more than three feet high are exempt from this inspection; however, this exemption does not relieve the owner from litigation in the event of a collapse. Any stairs and railings do require inspection. The number one cause of physical injury in each of these building appurtenances is railing failure or collapse.
The number two cause of injury is structural failure of the deck ledger board due to improper construction, fastening, wood rot or metal deterioration from rust. The third cause of injury is overloading the live load capacity of the structure (too many people).Hotels, motels, eating and drinking establishments or any business which provides an aboveground deck to its patrons, should take this inspection requirement seriously. If you own or operate or are considering acquisition, please have ‘The Florida Inspectors’ evaluate these critical building components.
The 2018 Florida Statues
509.2112 Public lodging establishments three stories or more in height: Inspection Rules.
The Division of Hotels and Restaurants of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation is directed to provide rules to require that:
(1) Every public lodging establishment that is three stories or more in height in the state file a certificate stating that any and all balconies, platforms, stairways, and railways have been inspected by a person competent to conduct such inspections and are safe, secure, and free of defects.
(2) The information required under subsection (1) be filed commencing January 1, 1991, and every 3 years thereafter, with the Division of Hotels and Restaurants and the applicable county or municipal authority responsible for building and zoning permits.
(3) If a public lodging establishment that is three or more stories in height fails to file the information required in subsection (1), the Division of Hotels and Restaurants shall impose administrative sanctions pursuant to s. 509.261.
(a) As provided in Section 509.2112, F.S., every public lodging establishment which is 3 or more stories in height must submit to the division a certificate stating that any and all balconies, platforms, stairways, and railways have been inspected by a person who, through education and experience, is competent to inspect multi-story buildings and found by such person to be safe, secure, and free of defects. The term “balcony” is defined as a landing or porch that is accessible to or used by the public and shall include those portions of a building which are unenclosed, except by a railing, guardrail system, balustrade, or parapet. It shall also include those portions of a building which are enclosed by screening or other non-permanent building material.
(b) It is the responsibility of the operator to verify the facts and credentials establishing the competency of the multi-story balcony inspector. Such verification shall be clearly stated on the applicable form.