Summary Update* Recent Changes to Florida Condominium Law

December 29, 2023


As many of you are aware, the tragic Surfside condominium collapse that occurred over two years ago in Florida sparked significant legislative changes aimed at preventing such devastating events from happening again. I wanted to share some crucial updates regarding the condominium laws in Florida that have been implemented in response to this incident.

Mandatory Changes in Condo Law:

  1. Milestone Inspections:
    • Condominium associations and cooperatives with more than three stories are now required to conduct milestone inspections and structural integrity reserve studies.
    • The milestone inspection involves a thorough physical examination to assess a building’s structural integrity. The inspection report identifies structural deterioration, unsafe conditions, and recommends necessary repairs.
    • Initially, these inspections were mandated for buildings occupied for 30 years or more, or 25 years or more within three miles of the Florida coastline. Senate Bill 154 has since refined this, allowing milestone inspections every 30 years without a coastal proximity distinction. Local agencies may enforce a 25-year requirement based on environmental conditions.
    • The first milestone inspection must be completed by December 31 of the year the building turns 30 and every ten years thereafter. Buildings with occupancy certificates issued before July 1, 1992, must have their initial inspection by December 31, 2024. Other buildings must comply with deadlines based on their age.
  2. Structural Integrity Reserve Study:
    • This study estimates future major repair costs for common elements of condominiums or cooperatives with three or more stories.
    • It identifies inspected common areas, estimates their remaining useful life and replacement costs, and recommends annual reserve amounts.
    • Required at least every ten years, developers must conduct this study before transferring association control to unit owners, providing crucial information about future potential assessments.

Extensions for Inspections:

In instances where milestones or reserve studies cannot be completed by the deadline, arrangements exist for potential extensions. Local law enforcement agencies can grant extensions if contracts for inspections are in place, but completion is unfeasible by the deadline. This allows for reasonable extensions for diligent efforts made towards compliance.

These changes are significant steps toward ensuring the safety and structural integrity of condominiums and cooperatives in Florida. They aim to provide transparency to owners and buyers, promoting informed decisions and safeguarding against potential hazards.

Should you have any questions or need further clarification on these new regulations, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Best regards, Iva Pearce

This summary is based on my own research of the new changes for condominiums.

Article provided by Realtor Association of Sarasota and Manatee