If you’ve ever bought into a condominium or homeowners’ association you know that it’s important to see if there are any special assessments that are going to be charged to you or levied in the future. These assessments can be costly and may even sour your deal. Recently, on May 26, 2022, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed Senate Bill 4D into law which should make special assessments in condominiums less frequent. While making special assessments less frequent, this new law will increase regular condominium association fees. The Florida government decided to enact this new law as a response to the Champlain Towers tragedy to ensure structural safety when it comes to Florida’s condominiums.
This newly enacted law will require “milestone inspections” of load bearing walls, structural membranes, and structural systems for any building with 3 or more stories except for those with 3 or fewer single-family units. This program is being implemented as the Florida government feels a statewide structural inspection program for aging multifamily residential buildings is necessary to ensure that such buildings are safe for continued use. A building that fails its initial cursory milestone inspection will be required to submit to a substantial structural deterioration inspection to determine the building’s habitability.
Buildings within 3 miles of the coastline will be required to have these inspections when they reach 25 years of age, or by December 31, 2024, if they have already reached such an age. Florida condominium buildings beyond 3 miles from the coastline will be required to have these inspections when they reach 30 years of age or by December 31, 2024, if they have already reached such an age. After their first milestone inspection, Florida condominium buildings will be required to undergo a milestone inspection every subsequent 10 years. Florida has about half a million condominium units between 40 and 50 years old and more than 100 units that are 50 years or older.
Beyond milestone inspections, this new law requires a Structural Integrity Reserve study for future major repairs and replacements of the common areas. As of December 31, 2024, an Association may not refuse to fund, waive, or underfund the reserves for items required to be included in the Structural Integrity Reserve Study. This means condominiums will be required to keep adequate reserves for big ticket items such as roofs and concrete restoration instead of funding them through loans which is customary in many associations.
The Florida government, in enacting this law, is making sure condominium buildings are safe and habitable. Moreover, the government is ensuring that multifamily buildings can afford future renovations and the tenants are not blindsided by the costs or putting them off for future owners. All prospective purchasers will have a right to inspect an association’s most recent Structural Integrity Reserve Study and Milestone Structural Inspection report. While these reports may cause an immediate increase in condominium association fees, they will ensure building safety and bring down the likelihood of pricy special assessments.
If you are interested in finding an ideal South Florida condominium contact the Sarubbi Group today and allow one of our knowledgeable real estate professionals assist you in procuring the perfect property.
Written By Basil Sabbak, Real Estate Agent
Contact Basil via e-mail at Basil@thesarubbigroup.com
Last Updated July 15, 2022
This article is not intended to provide legal advice, and no information provided herein should be construed to be such. Should you have any legal questions regarding the topics discussed in this article, contact an attorney in good standing with the Florida Bar. The Sarubbi Group Palm Beach is a real estate brokerage specializing in the purchase and sale of residential units. The Sarubbi Group Palm Beach will not and does not give legal advice.