Milestone Inspections: What You Should Know

Milestone inspections play a crucial role in ensuring the integrity and compliance of condominium projects in Florida. As a property owner, investor, or business entity involved in condominium associations, understanding the significance of milestone inspections is paramount. For more information about how these inspections fit into the broader context of Florida condominium law, the FL condo lawyers at Ferrer Law Group are here to help.

What are Milestone Inspections?

Milestone inspections are detailed structural assessments mandated by Florida law for buildings three stories or taller. These inspections are critical for identifying and addressing potential structural weaknesses before they become serious safety hazards. Florida Statute 553.899 contains the specific requirements for milestone inspections:


Buildings reaching 30 years of age (based on the certificate of occupancy) must undergo an initial milestone inspection. Subsequent inspections are required every 10 years thereafter. Buildings located within three miles of the coastline must adhere to a stricter timeline, with initial inspections at 25 years of age. 


Milestone inspections usually consist of two phases:

  • Phase I: A licensed architect or engineer performs a thorough visual inspection of the building’s structural components. This includes examining elements like the foundation, floors, walls, roof, and other load-bearing structures for signs of deterioration, damage, or potential weaknesses.
  • Phase II: If the Phase I inspection uncovers significant structural concerns, a more comprehensive Phase II inspection is necessary. This may involve in-depth testing methods such as material sampling or non-destructive analysis to pinpoint the extent and severity of any structural issues.

Why are These Inspections Important?

Florida’s subtropical climate, with its high humidity, intense sunlight, frequent storms, and proximity to corrosive saltwater, can take a toll on building structures over time. Milestone inspections are essential for several reasons:

  • Safety First and Foremost:  The primary goal of milestone inspections is to safeguard lives. By proactively identifying potential structural weaknesses, these inspections help prevent catastrophic incidents that could endanger residents, tenants, and visitors. Proactive maintenance significantly reduces the risk of failures that could lead to injuries or loss of life.
  • Financial Responsibility: Regular structural assessments and timely repairs are more cost-effective in the long run. Milestone inspections can uncover issues while they are still relatively minor, preventing them from escalating into major – and far more expensive – structural problems. This proactive approach helps avoid costly emergency repairs and potential liability related to neglected maintenance.
  • Value Protection:  Property values are directly linked to building conditions.  A building with documented structural integrity and a history of proactive maintenance is more attractive to potential buyers. These inspections provide objective evidence of a building’s sound condition, protecting the investment of owners and helping ensure a higher resale value.
  • Potential Insurance Benefits: Some insurance carriers may offer discounts or more favorable terms for buildings that can demonstrate regular structural inspections and maintenance.

Milestone inspections go beyond merely fulfilling a regulatory requirement. They represent a sound investment in the long-term safety, financial well-being, and overall value of a building. If you have questions about milestone inspections or other aspects of condominium law, an experienced condo law attorney can provide guidance and help protect your interests.

Who is Responsible for Milestone Inspections?

In Florida, the building owner holds the ultimate responsibility for arranging and paying for milestone inspections. For condominium associations, this means the association board handles this task using condo fees collected from individual owners. Owners of commercial buildings and landlords of rental properties are also responsible for ensuring their buildings comply with milestone inspection requirements.

Do All Buildings Have to Undergo Milestone Inspections?

No, Florida Statute 553.899 outlines specific exemptions from required milestone inspections. Currently, single-family homes, duplexes (two-family dwellings), and buildings with fewer than three habitable stories above ground level are not required to undergo these inspections. However, it’s important to remember that Florida building regulations can change. Building owners, condo associations, landlords, and property managers should stay updated to ensure they understand the current laws and any potential future changes to milestone inspection requirements.

Ferrer Law Group: Assisting with Your Building’s Needs

These inspections aren’t just a box to check; they are an essential tool for responsible building upkeep. At Ferrer Law Group, our Miami-Dade county HOA lawyer helps clients ensure their building meets Florida’s structural safety standards and protect their long-term interests. If you have concerns about milestone inspections or other building-related legal matters, contact us today.

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