Governor signs new condominium legislation requiring inspections and reservations
Senate Bill 4D, which requires regular building inspections and compels condo corporations to maintain reservations, was passed unanimously by the Florida House and Florida Senate on May 24 and 25, respectively. Governor DeSantis signed the bill May 26.
The legislation includes the following:
- Building inspections for all condominiums are required when a building turns 30 years old and every 10 years thereafter. Condominium buildings within 3 miles of the shoreline must be inspected when the building turns 25 years old and every 10 years thereafter.
- Mandatory study of structural integrity reserves every 10 years to determine the amount of reserves required for future repairs and replacements
- Contingency funding required for structural integrity components (building, floors, windows, plumbing, electrical, etc.) based on Contingency Study.
- Removed the condo board’s right to waive reserve funding for structural integrity items.
- Mandatory Transparency – allowing all owners and residents access to building security information.
The inspection required by law, called a “stage inspection”, is a structural inspection by a licensed architect or engineer of a building, including an inspection of load-bearing walls and primary structural systems. Stage inspection consists of two phases. The first phase includes a visual examination of the habitable and non-habitable areas of the building. If no signs of significant structural deterioration are found in phase one, phase two of the stage inspection is not required. If structural deterioration is detected, a phase two inspection is required to determine if the building is structurally sound and safe and to recommend a program to fully assess and repair the distressed and damaged portions of the building. Condominiums for which a certificate of occupancy was issued on or before July 1, 1992 must complete a progress inspection no later than December 31, 2024. At the end of phase one or phase two of the inspection of At this stage, the architect or engineer must prepare an inspection report and summary providing an assessment of the structural condition of the building and including the information set out in the law.
In addition to the stage inspection, the law requires that the associations of co-owners carry out a study of the structural integrity reserve every 10 years. This study must include a study of the various components of the building, including the roof, load-bearing walls and other primary structural systems, floors, foundations, fireproofing and fire protection systems, plumbing, electrical systems , weatherproofing and exterior paint, windows, and for each component include the estimated remaining useful life and estimated replacement cost or deferred maintenance expense, and provide a recommended annual reserve amount that produces the cost estimated replacement or deferred maintenance expense for each component at the end of each component’s estimated remaining useful life. Effective December 31, 2024, all corporations controlled by owners of condominium units will be prohibited from waiving reserve requirements for items listed in the Structural Integrity Reserve Study.
The legislation went into effect upon its signature by the Governor. A full copy of SB 4D can be found here.