Florida Enacts Major New Reforms for Condominiums and Cooperatives in Response to Champlain Towers South Collapse 

On May 26, 2022, Florida Governor DeSantis signed Senate Bill 4 into law, imposing substantial new structural safety and reserve requirements on Florida condominiums and cooperative associations. The law is effective immediately and is intended to prevent further disasters like the Champlain Towers South collapse in Surfside, Florida. The new requirements include:

  • Milestone Inspections. Creation of Fla. Stat. Ch. 553 and amendment of Ch. 718/719, requiring submission to local building official of periodic “milestone inspections” of load bearing walls, structural members, and structural systems, sealed by a licensed architect or engineer, for any building three or more stories in height, except for a three story building with three or fewer single-family units.
    • For pre-turnover condominiums and cooperatives, the developer must obtain and provide the association with a milestone inspection at turnover.
    • For post-turnover condominiums and cooperatives with buildings with certificate of occupancies issued prior to July 1, 1992, the initial milestone inspection is due December 31, 2024, and every ten years thereafter.
    • For post-turnover condominiums and cooperatives with certificates of occupancy issued July 1, 1992 or after, milestone inspection due by December 31 of the year in which the building reaches:
      • 25 years of age, for buildings within 3 miles of coastline, or
      • 30 years of age, for buildings not within 3 miles of coastline
      • And every 10 years thereafter
    • Upon notification from enforcement agency of past-due milestone inspection, the association must submit the inspection report within 180 days.
    • Willful and knowing failure to obtain milestone inspections constitute a breach of officers and directors’ fiduciary duties.
    • The association must post (physically and on web site, if applicable) and provide a copy of the milestone inspections to each unit owner, regardless of findings.
    • Allows local enforcement agencies to prescribe timelines and penalties with respect to compliance with the requirements.
    • Repairs recommended pursuant to milestone inspection must commence within the earlier of 1) 365 days from submission of the report; or 2) such sooner period of time as designated by the applicable Board of County Commissioners. Failure to perform repairs within the mandated time period requires the local enforcement authority to conduct a review to determine if the building is unsafe for human occupancy.

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