Prince George’s DPIE: Inspect Wooden Balcony Railings by Oct. 1

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The Prince George’s County Department of Permitting, Inspections and Enforcement (DPIE) issued a notice July 9 to all owners of multifamily dwellings requiring the inspection by October 1 of all balcony railings made primarily of wood. DPIE will require owners to provide copies of any applicable inspection certification letters as part of the rental license renewal process. The inspection is required pursuant to a state law enacted in 2014, which was opposed by AOBA.

What You Should Do to Comply:

1. Survey your multifamily properties to determine which have balcony railings that are primarily constructed of wood;

2. Hire for the required inspections:

a. A professional engineer licensed in Maryland who is experienced in the practice of structural engineering;

b. An architect licensed in Maryland who is knowledgeable in the design, construction and inspection of buildings; or

c. A qualified person with at least 5 years of experience in multifamily dwelling operations, upkeep and maintenance who is not your employee.

3. The inspection must certify that the wooden balcony railings comply with the Prince George’s County Housing Code, which has adopted by reference the International Property Maintenance Code . Relevant provisions of that code speak to unsafe structures (Sec. 108), component serviceability (Sec. 306) and guardrails (Sec. 307).

4. The inspector must provide a written certification stating that:

a. The balcony railings have been inspected;

b. The name of the owner of the multifamily dwelling;

c. The address of the multifamily dwellings;

d. The name of the inspector;

e. The date the multifamily dwelling was inspected; and

f. The results of the inspection.

5. The inspection must be performed by October 1, 2015, and every 5 years thereafter.

For further information, contact Ron Wineholt at .