Senate Bill 4D, which passed in May 2022, introduces a series of building safety inspection requirements for condominium and cooperative association buildings. It aims to strengthen the rights of unit owners and potential unit owners by granting them increased access to information about the condition of these buildings. Furthermore, it amends the requirements for associations to fund reserves for the ongoing maintenance and repair of these buildings.
The new legislation mandates that condominium and cooperative association buildings of three stories or more have a “milestone inspection” of their structural integrity. This inspection must be carried out by a certified architect or engineer when the building reaches 25 years of age, and every 10 years subsequently, if the building is situated within three miles of a coastline.
Milestone Inspections are to be carried out in two phases. Phase One involves a visual inspection, to be completed by an architect or engineer. If this initial phase reveals evidence of “substantial structural deterioration”, a Phase Two milestone inspection becomes necessary.
In addition to this, the bill demands that condominium and cooperative associations conduct a Structural Integrity Reserve Study (SIRS) for every building within an association that is at least three stories high. The deadline for these studies is set to the end of 2024.
The SIRS must include a visual inspection, provide an estimation of the remaining useful life, and give an estimate of the replacement cost of the elements that make up the SIRS.
As for the funding of reserves intended for the continued maintenance and repair of condominium and cooperative buildings, the bill stipulates that all items falling under the SIRS elements need to be fully funded by the time their life expectancy expires. Importantly, it prohibits associations from taking out loans for these items.
Elements That Make Up SIRS
- Structure, including load bearing walls and primary structural members and systems as defined in s 627.706.
- Fireproofing & Fire Safety
- Electrical Systems
- Exterior Painting & Water Proofing
- Windows and exterior doors
- Other elements over $10,000 that have an impact on the structural integrity of the building
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