July 2, 2022

Volume XII, Number 183

Advertisement
Advertisement

July 01, 2022

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis

June 30, 2022

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis

June 29, 2022

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis
Advertisement

Governor DeSantis Signs Senate Bill Establishing Building Safety Act for Condominium and Cooperative Associations

Introduction

Yesterday, the Governor signed into law Senate Bill 4-D, passed during special legislative session and which is effective upon becoming law. This Bill is a response to the Surfside collapse last year and modifies Florida Statutes Chapters 553, 718, 719 and 720. 

The Bill established a statewide structural inspection program, requiring Condominium and Cooperative Associations to conduct Milestone Structural Inspections of their buildings and to perform Structural Integrity Reserve Studies in order to ensure that Condominium and Cooperative buildings are safe for continued use.

A. Milestone Structural Inspections

A Milestone Structural Inspection is a structural inspection of a building conducted for the purposes of determining a buildings’ life safety and structural component integrity or adequacy. 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 each building within its community that is three (3) or more stories high. This inspection must occur by December 31 of the year in which the building turns thirty (30) years old and must be conducted every ten (10) years thereafter.

For Condominiums located within three (3) miles of the coastline, each building within the community that is three (3) or more stories high, must be inspected by December 31 of the year in which the building turns twenty-five (25) years old, and then subsequently every ten (10) years thereafter.

If an Association is older than thirty (30) years old (e.g. the building’s certificate of occupancy was issued on or before July 1, 1992), the Association must conduct a Milestone Structural Inspection of the 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 record of the Association. The Report must be maintained by the Association for fifteen (15) years. A Tenant of a Unit has a right to inspect an Association’s Milestone Structural Inspection Report, and a prospective purchaser of a Unit has a right to inspect an Association’s Summary of the Report.

It is a breach of an Officer or Director’s fiduciary duties if an Officer or Director willfully and knowingly fails to have a Milestone Structural Inspection performed, when necessary. 

B. Structural Integrity Reserve Study and Reserve Funding Requirements

A Structural Integrity Reserve Study is a study of an Association’s reserve funds which are designated for future major repairs and replacements of the Common Areas. The Structural Integrity Reserve Study must consist of a visual inspection of the Common Areas by a licensed engineer or licensed architect and has several required components identified in the new bill.

An Association must have a Structural Integrity Reserve Study completed every ten (10) years, with the initial Structural Integrity Reserve Study by December 31, 2024. As of December 31, 2024, an Association may no longer refuse to fund (may not waive) or underfund the reserves for items required to be included in a Structural Integrity Reserve Study. Furthermore, as of December 31, 2024, for items required to be included in a Structural Integrity Reserve Study, an Association may no longer use those itemized reserve funds (or any interest accruing thereon) for other purposes, and an Association may only use those itemized reserve funds for their designated purposes.

A Structural Integrity Reserve Study is an official record of the Association, which must be maintained 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 prospective purchaser of a Unit is entitled to a statement stating that the Association has not completed the Study.

It is a breach of an Officer or Director’s fiduciary duty if the Association fails to complete a Structural Integrity Reserve Study, as necessary.

Conclusion

Please be aware that each Association must provide certain information about its buildings to the Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes on or before January 1, 2023. Also, be aware that this Bill may establish different regulations and requirements for Associations that are still controlled by a Developer. 

©2022 Roetzel & AndressNational Law Review, Volume XII, Number 147
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

About this Author

Ashley D. Lupo Shareholder Roetzel & Andress LPA
Shareholder

Ashley helps her clients run their associations efficiently and cost-effectively. Clients – many of whom she has represented for more than 15 years – rely on her practical and clear communication to structure and guide their day-to-day operations while laying the groundwork for a future clear of unexpected costs and complications. Ashley is Board Certified in Condominium and Planned Development Law by The Florida Bar Board of Legal Specialization and has met the rigorous standards for experience and professionalism set in this area of law by the Florida Supreme Court....

239-649-2736
Kennedy J. Rub Associate Roetzel & Andress LPA
Associate

As a member of Roetzel’s Real Estate Practice Group, Kennedy deals primarily in Condominium and Homeowner Association Law. Kennedy focuses on preparing amendments, contracts, and governing documents for her clients.

She enjoys the challenges that drafting document provisions provides and digs deep for the most effective language. Working directly with her clients, Kennedy performs legal research and addresses the legal issues for the real estate industry and community associations she serves.

239-261-3659
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement