Florida Structural Integrity Reserve Studies – FAQs
Here are some common questions about the newly instituted Florida Structural Integrity Reserve Studies:
1. Who must complete a Structural Integrity Reserve Study?
- Must be completed for buildings three (3) stories or higher in height every ten years and completed by December 31, 2024, for associations existing on or before July 1, 2022, which unit owners control.
2. Are developers required to perform this study?
- Developers must perform this study before turning the association over to unit owners.
3. Who can perform the reserve study?
- May be performed by any person qualified to perform such study. However, the visual inspection portion of the study must be performed by a licensed engineer/architect.
4. What should the Structural Reserve Study Include?
- Must identify the common areas being visually inspected, state the remaining expected useful life and replacement costs, and provide a recommended annual reserve amount that achieves the replacement or deferred maintenance costs of elements being visually inspected by the end of remaining useful life.
- Regarding reserves, the amount reserved for an item will be determined by the most recent structural integrity reserve study.
5. Can an Association waive Reserves?
- Effective December 31, 2024, members may not vote to waive reserves, provide less reserves, or use reserves for any purpose other than their intended purpose for the following items:
- Load-bearing walls or other primary structural members
- Fireproofing and fire protection systems
- Electrical systems
- Waterproofing and exterior painting
- Any other items requiring replacement/repair costs that exceed $10,000 and the failure to replace or maintain the item negatively affects the above items as determined by a licensed engineer/architect
6. Will a Developer be able to Waive Reserves?
- Developer-controlled associations may not vote to waive reserves or reduce funding of the reserves.
7. Who could get in trouble if reserves are not collected?
- Associations that fail to complete a structural reserve study will breach the officers’ and directors’ fiduciary relationship to the unit owners.
8. Who can receive and review the study?
- A copy of this study is considered an official record, is open to inspection by association members/authorized representatives, and must be kept by the association for 15 years.
Building Mavens is a multi-disciplinary engineering boutique specializing in milestone inspections and capital improvement projects.