CONDO LIVING JUST GOT MORE EXPENSIVE… AND FOR GOOD REASON!
Is your home really your castle? The answer is “it depends.”
If you own a condominium in Florida, brace yourself for the impact of the new law signed by the governor on May 26, 2022. Your home is frequently referred to be “your castle.” A new Florida law may certainly make the expense feel like the price of a castle.
Many condo owners are in a panic because many experts believe that the new law has changed condo law living forever. In addition to skyrocketing rental hikes, condo living ownership will become more expensive than ever because new laws intended to protect the owners from a future collapse, thought by many to be long overdue, will definitely have a brazen financial impact.
As a result of the tragic collapse of the Champlain Towers in Surfside, Florida legislatures passed news laws in an attempt to prevent another catastrophic incident. A copy of the 2022 legislation can be found at
A summary of the main components to the new law are outlined below.
1. Creating Fla. Stat. s. 553.899 which provides for mandatory structural inspections, known as “Milestone Inspections” for condominiums and cooperatives for buildings that are: (1) three stories in height or more, (2) when the building is 30 years of age; and (3) then every 10 years thereafter; with the exception that if a building is within three (3) miles of the coastline, then the inspection must be done by 25 years of age instead of 30 and then every 10 years thereafter.
2. The “Milestone Inspection” must be complete by December 31, 2024, if a building is built before July 1, 1992, as delineated in the certificate of occupancy. Said inspection has two phases. The first phase requires a licensed architect or engineer to conduct a visual examination of both habitable and non-habitable areas of the major structural components of the building and provide a qualitative assessment. If there are no signs of substantial deterioration, then phase two is not required. If there are signs of substantial deterioration that are identified by the inspector, then phase two will involve further testing involving destructive or nondestructive testing.
3. Associations will have 180 days after receiving the notice requirement to complete phase one of the milestone inspection which requires the submission of a report to the local enforcement agency, by a licensed engineer or architect.
4. A copy of the inspector’s summary must be distributed to each owner, by the association, by mail and post a copy in a conspicuous place. If the association is required to maintain a website, then posting on the website is further required.
5. Failure to complete a structural integrity reserve study pursuant to this paragraph will be considered a breach of an officer’s and director’s fiduciary relationship to the unit owners under Florida Statute s. 718.111(1).
6. Waiver of reserves is no longer an option. Effective December 31, 2024, owner-controlled associations may not waive reserves or use them for other purposes.
7. Any association existing before July 1, 2022, must have a structural integrity reserve study completed by December 31, 2024.
8. Structural integrity reserve study means “a study of the reserve funds required for future major repairs and replacement of the common areas based on a visual inspection of the common areas… At a minimum, a structural integrity reserve study must identify the common areas being visually inspected, state the estimated remaining useful life and the estimated replacement cost or deferred maintenance expense of the common areas being visually inspected, and provide a recommended annual reserve amount that achieves the estimated replacement cost or deferred maintenance expense of each common area being visually inspected by the end of the estimated remaining useful life of each common area.”
9. Disclosures prior to sale are now required. Each unit owner, prior to the sale of his or her unit is required to provide each prospective purchaser who has entered into a contract for the purchase of a condominium unit, at the seller’s expense, a current copy of all of the following:
1. The declaration of condominium.,
2. Articles of incorporation of the association
3. Bylaws and rules of the association.,
4. Financial information required by s. 718.111.,
5. A copy of the inspector-prepared summary of the milestone inspection report as described in ss. 553.899 and if applicable.
6. The association’s most recent structural integrity reserve study or a statement that the association has not completed a structural integrity reserve study.
7. The document entitled “Frequently Asked Questions and Answers” required by s. 718.504.
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