Before June 2022, Broward and Miami-Dade Counties required that all existing buildings, barring a few exceptions, be inspected once the building reaches 40 years old from the original occupancy date and again every 10 years thereafter. Although commonly referred to as 40-year building recertification in Florida, they are formally known as Building Safety Inspections in Broward County and as Recertification Inspections in Miami-Dade County. While the two programs are similar, with the primary purpose of determining whether the existing building is structurally and electrically safe for continued use through visual inspection, Miami-Dade has some additional inspection requirements such as guardrail certificates for properties abutting waterways and parking and garage lighting needs to meet the current Code.
After June 2022, following the State of Florida’s introduction of Milestone Inspections, Broward & Miami-Dade Counties revised their building safety inspection programs to require inspections once the building reached 30 years old from the original date of occupancy and again every 10 years thereafter. Additionally, Miami-Dade County requires infrared thermography inspections on electrical systems operating at 400 amps or more. From July 1, 2023, Broward County will require these thermography inspections as well.
In addition to Broward and Miami-Dade Counties, a few cities, such as Highland Beach and Boca Raton, have adopted similar building safety inspection and recertification programs.
Building Recertification Inspection Notice and Frequency
A building owner or condominium owner’s association must complete a Building Safety Inspection once the building is 30 years old from the original date of occupancy and every 10 years thereafter for the structure’s life.
For those properties that require certification, the property owners will receive a Notice of Required Recertification from their respective Municipality to commence the process. The recertification reports must be submitted within 90 days from the date of notice. In the event repairs are needed, the building owner has a total of 180 days from the date of the inspection report in which to complete the required repairs and correct the structural and electrical deficiencies.
Failure to obtain a Building Safety Inspection is a breach of the officers’ and directors’ fiduciary relationship with the unit owners.
Building Structural Reporting Process
If the building or structure in Broward and Miami-Dade Counties is not a “Threshold Building” (see definition in FAQs below), a Florida Licensed Professional Engineer or a Florida Registered Architect must prepare the reports.
If the building or structure in Broward and Miami-Dade Counties is a Threshold Building, then the structural report must be prepared by a Florida Licensed Professional Engineer specializing in structural design, while the electrical report must be prepared by Florida Licensed Professional Engineer specializing in electrical design. A self-qualification letter shall be submitted as part of the structural report for threshold buildings, stating that the engineer is a practicing structural engineer and has worked with buildings equivalent to the building being certified and shall be accompanied by proof of the engineer's state Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DPBR) structural specialization.
Broward County has an additional requirement for threshold buildings whereby the Structural Engineer must be certified as a “Special inspector” (see definition in FAQs below).
These reports must be signed and sealed by the respective structural and electrical Professional Engineers.
Whether you are a property owner, manager, or community association, Building Mavens’ licensed professionals are available to help you navigate and provide your Florida Building Recertification Service’s needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the definition of a Threshold Building?
A threshold building, as defined by the Florida Statutes (https://www.flsenate.gov/Laws/Statutes/2022/0553.71) means any building which is greater than three stories or 50 feet in height, or which has an assembly occupancy classification as defined in the Florida Building Code which exceeds 5,000 square feet in area and an occupant content of greater than 500 persons.
What is a Special Inspector?
A special inspector (SI), as defined by the Florida Statutes (https://www.flsenate.gov/Laws/Statutes/2022/0553.71) means a licensed architect or registered engineer who is certified under chapter 471 or chapter 481 to conduct inspections of threshold buildings. Additionally, the Florida Board for Professional Engineers specifies the requirements for Special Inspectors here: https://fbpe.org/licensure/licensure-process/special-inspector/
What buildings are exempt from building safety and recertification inspection?
In Miami-Dade County single-family residences, duplexes, and minor structures (defined as buildings or structures in any occupancy group having an occupant load of 10 or less, as determined by Table 1004.5 (FBC) Minimum Occupant Load of the Florida Building Code and having a gross area of 2,000 sq. ft. or less) are exempt.
In Broward County one and two-family dwellings, U.S. Government and State of Florida buildings, buildings built on Indian Reservations, school buildings under the jurisdiction of the Broward County School Board, fee simple townhouses as defined in the Florida Building Code, and minor structures (as defined above) are exempt.
Where can I find more information on the Broward and Miami-Dade County programs?
Here is a link to Broward County’s Building Safety Inspection Program: https://www.broward.org/CodeAppeals/Documents/Broward%20BORA%20Policy%2005-05.pdf
Here is a link to Miami-Dade County’s Building Recertification Program: https://www.miamidade.gov/global/economy/building/recertification.page
Here is a link to Miami-Dade County’s Municipal Code: https://library.municode.com/fl/miami_-_dade_county/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=PTIIICOOR_CH8BUCO_ARTIAD_S8-11EXBU