The implementation of Florida Senate Bill 4-D (full Bill here) and Glitch Bill SB 154 (full Bill here) ushers in a new era of compliance and financial planning for Florida's condominium and cooperative associations. As the regulations take effect, associations are poised to encounter unique budgetary challenges, requiring proactive engagement and strategic decision-making. In part three of our coverage of these bills (read part 1, explaining the bills and part 2 discussing key aspects of milestone inspections and SIRS studies as part of our bill coverage if you missed them), we recap the critical deadlines and share our practical advice for associations as they navigate these changes.
Recap of Key Deadlines and Applicability for Senate Bill SB 4-D and Glitch Bill SB 154
The legislation introduces three primary requirements: new reporting of Design Verification Plan (DVP&R), milestone inspection reports, and structural integrity reserve studies (SIRS). Condominiums and co-ops with buildings three stories or taller fall under the scope of these requirements.
- DVP&R Reporting: All condos and co-ops three stories or taller were expected to comply by January 1. This reporting ensures transparency and clarity in the associations' budgets and financial planning.
- Milestone Inspection Reports: Condos and co-ops three stories or more, reaching 30 years of age, were mandated to undergo milestone inspection reports. Broward's building safety program accelerates this requirement to 25 years. Associations must comply by December 31, 2024, initiating comprehensive structural evaluations.
- Structural Integrity Reserve Studies (SIRS): Condos and co-ops under owner control as of July 1, 2022, regardless of age, must conduct SIRS for buildings three stories or more. These studies are designed to evaluate primary structural systems, plumbing, electrical, waterproofing, windows, doors, and other vital components. The deadline for compliance is December 31, 2024.
Financial Preparedness: Practical Advice
As associations brace for the financial implications of these requirements, proactive measures are paramount. As such, we strongly recommend the inclusion of and engagement with qualified professionals well in advance. Collaborating with engineers, reserve advisors, and legal experts helps associations align with compliance and strategic financial planning.
Associations are encouraged to assess their current budgeting practices. With a focus on fully funding reserves, it's essential to understand the meaning of "fully funded." Essentially, it involves setting aside funds in accordance with the expected replacement costs of various building components over their lifespans. This can vary based on the size of the association and the components involved.
While the legislation does allow for partial funding or waivers for non-structural components in some instances, associations need to weigh the benefits and implications. Associations are also reminded that for buildings three stories or taller, fully funding SIRS components is mandatory from December 31, 2024 onwards.
Collaboration and Expert Consultation
Florida Condo Inspection Bills SB 4-D and Glitch Bill SB 154 introduce a comprehensive framework for condo inspections that demand thorough understanding and careful adherence. Given their scope and complexity, associations are strongly encouraged to seek expert guidance, tailored to the specific needs of your buildings and communities. Engaging legal counsel, management teams, engineers, and reserve advisors will help associations make informed decisions that align with legal compliance requirements and the financial health of their respective communities while ensuring safety.
By taking proactive steps, embracing expert guidance, and making informed decisions, associations can manage these challenges efficiently and safely. Remember, the time to act is now, and collaboration will be key to successfully navigating this new regulatory landscape.
If you have questions about how to best prepare for budget adjustments and/or financial planning needs for your building, we encourage you to reach out to our team at Building Mavens. As South Florida's premiere Milestone Inspections, SIRS, and Engineering Consulting firm, we understand the legislation's nuances and deadlines, affording us the knowledge to help provide you with the inspections and guidance necessary to help you move forward with confidence and clarity. Contact our team today and let us seize this opportunity to build a safer and more secure future together.
About the Author
Scott 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.