2 Investigates: Missing, incomplete safety inspections after Berkeley balcony collapse

BERKELEY, Calif. (KTVU) -- A series of documents involving communication between the City of Berkeley and property managers of the Library Gardens apartment complex reveal concerns about missing and incomplete self-inspection reports required for every unit of the development. 

While the city has since received some corrected records before a July 2nd deadline, they're still being checked for accuracy.

The City of Berkeley requires property managers of all apartment complexes to fill out an annual self-inspection form for every unit and maintain the records for tenants and others to view.  UC Berkeley students, Brandon Basa and Hewitt Chang, say they moved onto the fourth floor of the Library Gardens just days after the balcony collapse that killed six people and injured seven others.

The new tenants say managers provided free pizza and other food for concerned tenants, but they never showed them any safety inspection records. 

According to documents reviewed by 2 Investigates, a safety inspection report for Basa and Chang's unit is "missing."

"That's kind of scary, actually," said Basa.

Communication from the apartment complex property manager, Greystar, to the City of Berkeley identified several units in need of re-inspection and many others for which an inspection report could not be found.

"We will be reviewing their forms," said Berkeley spokesman, Matthai Chakko.  "(Greystar) submitted some forms today and we'll be making sure that it's complete and accurate."

Prior to July 1st, city officials say Greystar provided the wrong inspection records, failing to use the form required by the city. In a letter to Greystar, the city noted that the self-inspections were also missing required signatures and dates.

Property managers with Greystar declined KTVU's request for an interview, but a spokesperson emailed the following statement:

"The safety of our residents and their guests is our highest priority. Immediately following the accident, experts from leading engineering firms were engaged to evaluate the building.  The experts have confirmed that the building is safe. In the days following the accident we provided the City of Berkeley with various documents, including providing 2014 inspection documents for both unit 405 and unit 305.  Additionally, we are completing 2015 unit inspections at Library Gardens in accordance with the City’s Rental Housing Safety Program.”

On Wednesday, visitors from Ireland who came to see the scene of the tragedy that claimed the lives of several Irish students said all parties involved need to be more forthcoming.

"You can't just let a balcony fall, people die and get seriously injured and don't be accountable for it," said former student, Clara Garry.  "If it goes unnoticed, it might happen again."

 

 

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