SB154/Milestone Inspections

By: Erum S. Kistemaker, Managing Partner (Attorney), Juris Doctorate

  • A milestone inspection is a mandatory inspection that is required when a condominium
    reaches a certain age. The association is required to visually inspect all buildings, three
    stories or more, for substantial structural deterioration per SB 4D that was passed in
    the 2022 legislative session. If any is detected, the association must perform testing
    and/or repairs. SB-4D set the initial deadline for milestone inspections as December 31,
    2024, or by the end of the year in which the condominium turns 25 or 30 years old,
    depending on its vicinity to the coastline. According to some experts, this instantly
    triggered the inspection requirement for over 20,000 condominiums across the
    state. Therefore, making Compliance by December 31, 2024 UNreasonable or
    UNachievable under SB 4-D. For example, milestone inspections had to be performed
    directly by a limited pool of licensed architects or engineers *WHICH HAS BEEN
    CHANGED UNDER SB 154. In addition, the 25-year deadline for certain coastal
    condominiums had already passed, or the method of computation caused the
    inspection outside date to be sooner than the end of 2024. SB 4-D also permitted local
    enforcement agencies to send compliance notices, but it was unclear whether the
    notices could effectively shorten or extend the statutory deadlines. Causing numerous
    concerns with enforcement and implementation of the milestone inspection
    RECEIVE THESE NOTICES FROM THE CITY OF DAB. SB 154 attempts to address these
  • First, milestone inspections can now be performed by a “team of professionals” working under a licensed architect or engineer.
  • The initial deadline for condominiums reaching 30 years old between July 1, 2022
    and December 31, 2024, was extended to December 31, 2025. This addressed the deadlines that had already passed, or those with outside dates sooner than December 31, 2024. Therefore, the notices become moot.
  • SB 154 also removed the strict 25-year deadline for coastal condominiums, and instead, authorized local enforcement agencies to impose a 25-year deadline for any applicable condominium because of local circumstances, such as the proximity to saltwater.
  • SB 154 revised the notice procedure for local enforcement agencies, which can now extend the milestone inspection deadline for a condominium that shows
  • good cause (e.g., a pending contract for a milestone inspection that cannot be reasonably completed by the deadline).

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Condo Safety Law Glitch Bill, SB 154 – Summary 

Seen as a “glitch bill,” SB 154, which recently passed, is a legislative means to resolving certain issues that came from the previous years legislative session’s SB 4D.

Last year one of the significant updates to the Florida Condominium Act, SB 4D is viewed by many experts as a crucial step toward preventing another catastrophic incident similar to the Surfside tragedy. This year, SB 154 attempts to clarify ambiguities in SB 4D. Why SB 154 is considered a glitch bill.

The following is a summary of the key provisions of SB 154:

  1. Community Association Managers: The law removes the term “that has a building on the association’s property” from the requirement for community association managers to comply with certain provisions relating to mandatory structural inspections.
  2. Milestone Inspections: The law revises milestone inspection requirements, focusing on residential condominium and cooperative buildings. It clarifies responsibilities, cost-sharing, and reporting requirements for associations. It also provides an option for local enforcement agencies to set a 25-year inspection requirement based on environmental conditions.
  3. Flood Insurance: The law exempts certain units from flood insurance requirements if they are insured for personal property under a flood master policy or if they are located above specific floors based on their position within a special flood hazard area.
  4. Access to Records: The law clarifies that both association members and their authorized representatives have the right to inspect official records of the association, and the association cannot choose who has this right.
  5. Reserves and Structural Integrity Reserve Study (SIRS): The law introduces an alternative funding method for multicondominium associations to fulfill reserve funding obligations. It revises requirements for reserve funding, SIRS recommendations, and reserve assessments. Certain buildings and portions/components may be exempt from SIRS requirements.
  6. Dispute Resolution: Starting July 1, 2027, the law expands mediation options for condominium and cooperative unit owners, allowing them to utilize the mediation process for certain structural and life safety inspection disputes.
  7. Maintenance Obligations of the Association: The law specifies maintenance responsibilities for condominium and cooperative associations, including the repair and replacement of applicable property. After turnover of control, the association must maintain property as specified by the developer until new maintenance protocols are obtained.
  8. Presale Disclosures: Developers must provide prospective buyers with statements regarding milestone inspections, SIRS, and reserve studies, if applicable. The law introduces additional presale notice requirements in contracts to ensure buyer awareness.

The law is effective immediately, except for the dispute resolution provision, which takes effect on July 1, 2027.

To access our Facebook Live video on the topic – click here –