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A Quick-Reference Guide to Complying with Florida’s New Condo Safety and Reserve Funding Legislation After SB-154 (2023) – The “Glitch Bill”*

The recent Florida condominium safety and reserve funding legislation has proved to be a source of confusion for many Florida condominium associations.The stakes are high since these statutes took effect as of July 1, 2022.In SB-154 (the "Glitch Bill"), the Legislature attempted to remove various ambiguities in the original legislation.For many condominium associations the clock is now ticking, and the professionals required to perform the new safety and reserve inspections are in very short supply.With that in mind, Tannenbaum Lemole & Hill has prepared a simplified "quick reference" educational guide for directors and managers.We recommend that boards and managers ultimately consult with association general counsel to ensure proper compliance with the new laws.

Milestone Structural Safety Inspection

What is it: A visual inspection of a residential condominium building for evidence of "substantial structural deterioration" or "substantial structural weakness."
By: A team of professionals under the direction of a Florida licensed engineer or architect.
For:Any building three-stories or higher that is subject, in whole or in part, to the condominium form of ownership as a residential condominium.
What's a "Story":Includes underground and/or ground floor covered parking levels.  Lofts and mezzanine levels may be included if defined as a "story" under the Florida Building Code.  Best to have an engineer or architect make that determination.
What's Inspected:For any residential condominium building three-stories or higher, at a minimum a Phase 1 visual inspection of the load-bearing elements and the primary structural members and primary structural systems as those terms are defined in Fla. Stat. 627.706.  If "substantial structural deterioration" or "substantial structural weakness" is found, a Phase 2 inspection (which may include destructive testing) and report will be required outlining the nature of the structural defects, whether the defects pose an unsafe or dangerous condition, and the professional's recommendations for remediating the defects.
When Due:Phase 1 reporting due by December 31 of the year in which the covered building reaches 30 years of age, measured from the date of issuance of the certificate of occupancy or completion.  Buildings completed prior to July 1, 1992 have until December 31, 2024.  Buildings reaching 30 years of age between July 1, 2022 and December 31, 2024 have until December 31, 2025.  The local building official can reduce the deadline to 25 years based on considerations such as "proximity to salt water."
Fequency:Every 10 years commencing with the initial Phase 1 Milestone Inspections
Report Disclosure:Every unit owner must get a copy of a report summary prepared by the engineer or architect performing the inspection, and it must be posted on the property.  If the condo is required to maintain a website, then the full report and summary must be posted on the website.  The report must be maintained in the official records for 15 years.

Structural Integrity Reserve Study (SIRS) 

What is it: A separate report from the Milestone report.  Its purpose is to define recommended reserves for replacement or major repairs of residential "condominium property" as set forth in Fla. Stat. 718.112(2)(g)
By: Must include a visual inspection of the "condominium property" by a Florida licensed engineer or architect, or a CAI certified Reserve Specialist, or an APRA certified Professional Reserve Analyst.  Actual reserve funding calculations can be made by other team members.
For:In buildings three-stories or high, the portions or components of the building that are submitted to the residential condominium form of ownership and which are maintained by the Association.
What's a "Story":Same definition as for Milestone Inspection.
What's Inspected: For any building three-stories or higher, a visual inspection of the "condominium property" to establish the estimated remaining useful life, the estimated replacement cost or deferred maintenance expense, and a recommended annual reserve amount for each item of the condominium property being visually inspected.  At a minimum, the SIRS must include a study of: roof, structure, including load-bearing walls and other primary structural members and primary structural systems as those terms are defined in Fla. Stat. 627.706, fireproofing and fire protection systems, plumbing, electrical systems, waterproofing and exterior paint, windows and exterior doors, and any other item that has a deferred maintenance or replacement expense that exceeds $10,000.00 and the failure to replace or maintain such item will negatively affect the other reserve items required to be included in the SIRS, as by the visual inspection portion of the structural integrity reserve study.
When Due:Effective July 1, 2022, by developers prior to turnover.  For owner-controlled associations which turned over prior to July 1, 2022, the first SIRS is due by December 31, 2024.  However, any Association required to complete the first Phase 1 Milestone Report by December 31, 2026 can also complete the first SIRS by the same date.
Fequency:Every 10 years measured from creation of the condominium.
Report Disclosure:Maintained in official records for 15 years.  If the condo is required to maintain a website, the SIRS must be posted on the website.

*This Quick Reference guide is for educational use only.It is not intended to provide legal advice and should not be used for that purpose.You should consult with an attorney to determine how these provisions apply to your specific condominium association.