Governor DeSantis Signs Senate Bill Establishing Building Safety Law for Condominium and Co-op Associations | Roetzel & Andress
Yesterday the Governor signed into law Senate Bill 4-D, passed in a special legislative session and which comes into force as soon as it becomes law. This bill is a response to the collapse of Surfside last year and amends Sections 553, 718, 719 and 720 of Florida’s statutes.
The bill established a statewide structural inspection program, requiring condominium and co-op associations to perform milestone structural inspections of their buildings and conduct integrity reserve studies. structural to ensure condominium and co-op buildings are safe for continued use.
A. Stage Structural Inspections
A stage structural inspection is a structural inspection of a building performed for the purpose of determining life safety and the integrity or adequacy of structural components of a building. A milestone structural inspection must be performed by a licensed engineer or licensed architect.
An association is required to perform a milestone structural inspection for every building in its community that is three (3) stories or higher. This inspection must take place no later than December 31 of the year in which the building reaches the age of thirty (30) years and must be carried out every ten (10) years thereafter.
For condominiums located within three (3) miles of the coast, each building in the community of three (3) stories or more must be inspected by December 31 of the year in which the building turns twenty-five (25) years old, then every ten (10) years thereafter.
If an association is over thirty (30) years old (for example, the building occupancy certificate was issued on or before July 1, 1992), the association must perform a milestone structural inspection of buildings within its community before December 31, 2024.
The Association is responsible for all costs associated with performing a milestone structural inspection. The Milestone Structural Inspection Report is an official Association document. The Report must be kept by the Association for fifteen (15) years. A tenant of a unit has the right to inspect an association’s structural structural inspection report, and a prospective buyer of a unit has the right to inspect an association’s report summary.
It is a breach of an officer’s or director’s fiduciary duties if an officer or director willfully and knowingly fails to have a milestone structural inspection performed, if required.
B. Structural Integrity Reserve Study and Reserve Funding Requirements
A structural integrity reserve study is a study of an association’s reserve funds that are earmarked for future major repairs and replacements of common areas. The structural integrity reserve study must consist of a visual inspection of the common areas by a licensed engineer or architect and includes several required elements identified in the new invoice.
An Association shall have a Structural Integrity Reserve Study conducted every ten (10) years, with the initial Structural Integrity Reserve Study no later than December 31, 2024. As of December 31, 2024, an association can no longer refuse to fund (cannot waive) or underfund reserves for items to be included in a Structural Integrity Reserve Study. In addition, effective December 31, 2024, for items required to be included in a structural integrity reserve study, an association may no longer use these detailed reserve funds (or any interest accrued thereon) to other purposes, and an association may only use those of the reserve funds detailed for the purposes assigned to them.
A Structural Integrity Reserve Study is an official record of the Association, which shall be retained by the Association for fifteen (15) years. A prospective purchaser of a unit has the right to inspect an association’s most recent Structural Integrity Reserve Study. If an association has not completed a structural integrity reserve study, the potential purchaser of a unit is entitled to a statement that the association has not completed the study.
It is a breach of fiduciary duty of an officer or director if the Association fails to complete a structural integrity reserve study, if required.
Please note that each corporation must provide certain information about its buildings to the Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes by January 1, 2023. Also be aware that this bill may establish different regulations and requirements for corporations. which are always controlled by a developer.