New Law Requires Condo Associations to Conduct Structural Inspections and Maintain Reserves-For Condo’s Three Stories or More High
The Engage Estero organization would like to keep owners and HOA’s informed of the following new legal requirements for condominiums which have three stories or higher.
by Patricia Sjolander, Consultant to Engage Estero
New Law Affecting Multistory Condos
A new law has been passed in Florida that requires condominium and cooperative associations to conduct comprehensive structural inspections (called Milestone Inspection Reports) and maintain reserves for future capital expenditures and deferred maintenance. This law was passed in response to the tragic collapse of the Champlain Towers South condominium building in Surfside, Florida in 2021.
This new law applies only to buildings that are at least three stories high.
What Does This Mean for You?
- If you are a condominium or cooperative owner, this law means that you will have to pay more in assessments to cover the cost of the inspections and the reserves. Although this may be a small price to pay to ensure the safety of your building and your neighbors. (not part of the law)
- Unit owners will be notified by their HOA that an inspection report is required within 14 days of receiving the notification from the local enforcement agency.
- The findings in the inspection report will be sent to unit owners within 45 days of completion. (not part of the law)
What Can You Do? You can contact your condominium association to learn more about the new law and how it will affect you. You can also attend association meetings and vote on issues related to the inspections and reserves.
Here are some additional details about the new law:
The inspection must include:
- A visual inspection of the exterior and interior of the building
- An assessment of the building’s structural integrity
- A review of the building’s maintenance records.
If the inspection finds any defects, the association must:
- Repair the defects in a timely manner.
- File a report with the state.
It applies to buildings that are at least 30 years old.
The inspections must be performed by professional engineers or architects.
The reserves must be sufficient to cover the cost of repairs necessary to maintain the structural integrity of the building.
Existing associations must meet the new requirements by December 31 in the year the building reaches 30 (or 25 years based on local conditions, such as proximity to saltwater). The law also specifies that a structural integrity reserve study must be conducted by a “qualified engineer” and must include the following:
- An assessment of the structural integrity of the building.
- An estimate of the cost of repairs to maintain the structural integrity of the building.
- A recommendation for the amount of reserves that should be maintained to cover the cost of repairs.
- The structural integrity reserve study must be completed by December 31, 2024.
For additional insights into the new law and the reasons behind it please click on this link to a Forbes article.
Be Informed, Get Engaged, and Make an Impact!
Engage Estero is an all-volunteer, nonpolitical, nonprofit Community Engagement Association. We exist to inform citizens of significant community issues and encourage citizen engagement to impact the quality of life in greater Estero favorably.