Aerial photo of a Florida condominium by Building Mavens

Here are some common questions about the newly instituted Florida Structural Integrity Reserve Studies:

1. When must a Structural Integrity Reserve Study be completed?

  • 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?

  • It 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:
    • Roof
    • Load-bearing walls or other primary structural members
    • Floor
    • Foundation
    • Fireproofing and fire protection systems
    • Plumbing
    • Electrical systems
    • Waterproofing and exterior painting
    • Windows
    • 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.

About the Author

Portrait photo of Scott Harvey-Lewis of Building MavensScott Harvey-Lewis is the owner and President of Building Mavens, a leading Milestone Inspections and Engineering Consulting firm based in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. He is a distinguished forensic engineer with over 18 years of experience. Holding a master’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Florida and a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the Florida Institute of Technology, Scott’s expertise is fortified by his Licensed Professional Engineer status in Florida and LEED Accredited Professional designation.

With a comprehensive background spanning public and private projects, Scott’s proficiency encompasses structural engineering design, construction oversight, and forensic analysis. His role involves investigating structural failures, construction defects, and code compliance to ensure project integrity while upholding safety standards and building codes. Beyond his investigative prowess, Scott is a skilled design engineer, contributing to diverse architectural facets including building envelope systems and designs for various materials. His extensive portfolio includes projects ranging from residential designs to commercial structures like warehouses and piers. Across all phases of project development, from conception to inspection, Scott’s dedication to innovative and compliant engineering solutions shines through.

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