Last month, we reviewed the requirements for mandatory structural milestone inspections for condominium and cooperative buildings of three (3) stories or more by 12/31/24 under Senate Bill 4-D of Florida approved in a special session of the Florida Legislature. this year in response to the collapse of the Surfside Tower in Miami last year.
Today we will look at three other major requirements of Senate Bill 4-D. Requirements for structural integrity reserve studies, removal of members’ ability to waive reservations, and jurisdiction of the Condominium, Timeshare and Mobile Homes Division to hear complaints about such building inspections and reserve studies.
For condominiums and cooperatives of three (3) or more stories, for associations existing on or before July 1, 2022 and before a developer can transfer an association to its members, a Structural Integrity Reserve Study must be completed before December 31, 2024.
The structural integrity reserve study must include a study of, at a minimum, the roof, load-bearing walls, soil, foundations, fire protection systems, plumbing, electrical systems, waterproofing , exterior paint, windows and any other element having a delayed effect. maintenance expense or replacement cost exceeds $10,000.
The study must be carried out by a qualified person and the visual inspection part must be carried out by an architect or an approved engineer. The study should identify the common areas inspected, the estimated remaining useful life and the estimated replacement cost or deferred maintenance expenditure of the inspected area, and provide a recommended annual reserve amount that meets the estimated replacement cost or deferred maintenance expenses by the end of the study. estimated useful life of the inspected area.
If an association fails to fulfill structural integrity, as required, such failure will be considered a breach of the officers’ or directors’ fiduciary duty to unit owners.
As of 12/31/24, members of an association controlled by unit owners cannot elect to provide no reserves or fewer reserves than required by the Integrity Reserves Study structural.
In addition, an association may not vote to use the reserve funds identified in the Structural Integrity Reserves Study, or any interest therein, for any purpose other than the intended purposes of the reserves such as identified in the study.
By 1/1/23, a condominium or co-op must provide the Condominium, Timeshare and Mobile Homes Division (Division), on a form provided on the Division’s website, with the number of buildings on the property that are three (3) stories or higher, the total number of units in all such buildings, the addresses of all such buildings, and the counties in which such buildings are located. The Division has jurisdiction to receive complaints related to mandatory milestone structural inspections and structural integrity reserve studies.
Many believe that these new Bill 4-D laws will be heavily amended in the 2023 regular legislative session to ease the heavy burden these laws place on Florida condominium owners who cannot afford reservations as well. important in order to avoid a large number of foreclosures and terminations of condominiums. this could happen if these laws are left as they are.
Rob Samouce is a senior attorney with the Naples law firm of Samouce & Gal, PA. He is a Florida Bar Certified Specialist in Condominiums and Planned Development and focuses his practice in representing Condominiums, Cooperatives, and Homeowners Associations = in all of their legal needs, including procedural governance of their associations, enforcement covenants, appraisal recoveries, contract negotiations and contract litigation, real estate transactions, general commercial law, construction defect litigation and other general civil litigation. This column is not based on specific legal advice to anyone and is based on principles which may change from time to time. If you have any questions about the column, Rob can be reached at www.SandGlawfirm.com.