Florida’s SB 154 was signed into law in June of 2023 and elaborates on last year’s SB 4D. SB 154 revises the types of buildings which must have milestone inspections performed as well as expands upon the types of professionals who may perform the visual portion of the structural integrity reserve study. SB 154 also permits alternative reserve funding for multicondominiums of a certain size, if approved by the Division. Please see below, some of the more frequently asked questions regarding the new legislation.
Q: Is the building reporting form to submit an association’s building reporting information available?
A: Yes, the form can be found here.
Q: When will the building reporting database be operational and searchable?
A: The searchable database is presently operational and posted on the Division’s website.
Q: Do condos that have fewer than 3 stories need to submit their building information as part of the new building reporting requirements?
A: No, the building reporting requirements are only applicable to condominiums and cooperatives that are 3 stories or higher.
Q: What does the Division consider to be the date of the existence of the condominium? Is it when the declaration of condominium is filed with clerk of court, or is it when the filing to become a condominium is approved by the Division?
A: The Division considers the relevant date to be the date when the certificate of occupancy was issued for the condominium by your local building department or enforcement agency.
Q: Even though the initial January 1, 2023, deadline to submit building information has passed, should my condominium still report this information?
A: Yes, the Division is still accepting submissions to the database.
Q: What is a “procedural review” of inspections and who performs this type of review?
A: The Division will perform this review, which involves verifying whether the inspection was performed and whether it was performed by one of the licensed professionals detailed in statute. This review is not a substantive verification of the contents of the inspection report.
Q: What if I have substantive questions or a complaint related to either the milestone inspection (MI) or the structural integrity reserve study (SIRS) requirements? For example, it’s unclear whether the architect who performed either inspection adequately assessed whether the floor is in good condition, or that the engineer performed an inspection of all of the major structural components of the building.
A: The Division of Condominiums, Timeshares and Mobile Homes oversees the procedural requirements related to the SIRS when under unit-owner control.
Any complaints regarding architects or engineers related to the failure to properly perform the MI or SIRS inspections must be submitted to the Board of Architecture and Interior Design or the Florida Board of Professional Engineers, respectively.
As an important note, DBPR’s Division of Professions regulates building code administrators, inspectors, plans examiners and community association managers.
Q: What types of buildings or structures are excluded from the SIRS requirements?
A: The SIRS requirements do not apply to buildings less than three stories in height; single-family, two-family, or three family dwellings with three or fewer habitable stories above ground; any portion or component of a building that has not been submitted to the condominium form of ownership; or any portion or component of a building that is maintained by a party other than the association.
Q: What must be included in a SIRS?
A. The SIRS requirements are provided for in section 718.112(2)(g), Florida Statutes.
Q: How do I know if my association’s inspector is qualified to perform the SIRS?
A: A SIRS may be performed by any person qualified to perform such study. However, the visual inspection portion must be performed by a licensed professional engineer, a licensed architect, or a person certified as a reserve specialist or professional reserve analyst by the Community Associations Institute or the Association of Professional Reserve Analysts.
Q: How is the term “story” defined?
A: This term is defined according to the local building code, as applied to the structure being evaluated. Your local enforcement agency or local building official will make that determination and should be able to provide guidance as it pertains to your specific condominium or cooperative association.
Q: Can a MI or inspection for a similar local requirement, such as a re-certification inspection, substitute for a SIRS visual inspection?
A: An association that is required to complete a MI in accordance with section 553.899, Florida Statutes, on or before December 31, 2026, may complete the SIRS simultaneously with the MI. However, in no event may the SIRS be completed after December 31, 2026.
If the MI required by section 553.899, Florida Statutes, or an inspection completed for a similar local requirement, was performed within the past 5 years and meets the SIRS requirements, such inspection may be used in place of the visual inspection portion of the SIRS.
Q: Must an association’s reserve account have accumulated all of the funds necessary to account for the remaining useful life for each reserve component, by 2025?
A: Whether the full amount must be accumulated by 2025 will depend on the recommendation of the SIRS and the reserve needs of the association. This may or may not require full reserve funding by 2025. The amount to be reserved is computed using a formula based upon the estimated remaining useful life and estimated replacement cost or deferred maintenance expense of the reserve item. For associations that are required to perform a SIRS, the required funding amount each budget year would be based on the reserve funding schedule recommended by the SIRS.
The reserve funding requirements do not require that all reserves must be 100 percent funded as if the anticipated repairs or maintenance obligations of the association are immediately due. For example, if the amount of reserves are required to replace the roof in 10 years is “$10,000,” including any applicable inflation adjustments, the association is not required to have “$10,000” immediately reserved for the roof replacement. Instead, the association must be reserving sufficient funds each year to the have the required funding available at the time the roof replacement is anticipated. In this example, that would be $1,000 per year. This is what is generally considered to be full reserve funding. Of course, the reserve maintenance requirements and timeframes necessarily differ for each community.
Q: What reserves can my condominium or cooperative association waive?
A: For budgets adopted on or after December 31, 2024, a majority of the association’s total voting interests is required to waive reserves or to use reserves for another purpose. However, associations that are subject to the SIRS requirements may not waive reserves for the SIRS items delineated in ss. 718.112(2)(g) and 719.106(1)(k), F.S., relating to condominium or cooperative associations, respectively, or to use such reserves for other purposes.
Additionally, under certain circumstances, the Division may approve an alternative funding method for multicondominium associations operating at least 25 condominiums or more pursuant to section 718.112(2)(f)(2)(a), Florida Statutes.
Q: Is the pooling method of maintaining reserves still permissible?
Q: What if, after an inspection from a licensed engineer or architect, there is no problem noted with regard to a particular component? Will that component still need to be reserved for?
A: No, the Division will rely on the SIRS to determine the items for which there needs to be a reserve.
Moreover, with respect to items for which an estimate of useful life is not readily ascertainable or that have an estimated remaining useful life of greater than 25 years, an association is not required to reserve replacement costs, but an association must reserve the amount of deferred maintenance expense, if any, that is recommended within the SIRS.
Q: May a reserve schedule account for inflation?
All requests for publications, documents, forms, applications for licenses, permits and other similar certifications can be obtained by contacting the Customer Contact Center.
Chevonne Christian, Director
Division of Florida Condominiums,
Timeshares, and Mobile Homes
2601 Blair Stone Road
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0791