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Florida Structural Integrity Reserve Study Requirements

What is a Structural Integrity Reserve Study?

A structural integrity reserve study is a non-invasive, visual inspection of critical infrastructure that relates to the safety of a building. The scope of work includes (at a minimum) roofs, structure, load-bearing walls, primary structural systems and members, fireproofing and protection systems, plumbing, electrical systems, waterproofing and exterior painting, common area windows, exterior doors, and any other items that have a deferred maintenance expense or replacement cost that exceeds $10,000 and the failure to replace or maintain such items negatively affects any of the above referenced building components. The study includes an analysis of reserve funds to offset future repair and replacement costs associated with the related infrastructure.

Play Video about Structural Integrity Reserve Studies

Our Approach to Addressing SIRS Legislation

Product Development

We’ve established a team of Professional Engineers dedicated to ongoing development of a structural integrity reserve study that fully complies with the legislation as it stands today.

Adaptability

We’re approaching the situation with an understanding that the law may continue to evolve. The structure of our team and product will be flexible, allowing us to adapt to future legislative changes.

Continuous Engagement

We are fully engaged with state legislators and industry leaders to ensure your association’s best interests are represented and taken into consideration with future legislative updates.

What You Need to Know

Who Needs One

Condominiums and cooperatives of 3-stories or more are required to conduct periodic structural integrity reserve studies

Qualifications

The visual inspection portion of the structural integrity reserve study or a verification of the SIRS must be conducted by a Reserve Specialist (RS), a Professional Reserve Analyst (PRA), or a Florida licensed Professional Engineer or Architect.

Frequency

An initial SIRS must be conducted by 12/31/2024 and updated every 10 years thereafter

Timelines

Associations existing prior to 7/1/2022 that are controlled by the unit owners have until 12/31/2024 to complete their initial structural integrity reserve study

Statutory Funding

Any budget adopted on or after December 31, 2024 requires that a SIRS be used as the basis for funding structural reserves.

An Official Record

The structural integrity reserve study is part of the association’s official record and must be held on to for 15 years

Fiduciary Obligations

Failure to comply with the structural integrity reserve study requirements is considered a breach of one’s fiduciary duty

SIRS Frequently Asked Questions

A reserve study (non-SIRS) may not fulfill the statutory requirements. While Reserve Advisors takes into consideration each of the building components that apply to the structural integrity reserve study, your existing study does not include language specific to the new legislation nor does it include a funding plan specific to the structural integrity components.

Yes, Reserve Advisors offers a SIRS that complies with the latest legislation and will continue to evolve our SIRS service to comply with future legislative requirements. Contact us today to discuss your SIRS needs.

Because structural integrity reserve studies are new to the market, it may be difficult to secure a contract for one at this time. Many firms, like ours, are actively developing a solution. However, we do anticipate that demand for these studies will exceed the available supply in the marketplace, so we recommend you maintain communications with firms that either conduct or will be conducting these studies to stay informed of your options. When the service becomes available, don’t delay, as there is no guarantee that the legislation will change. In the meantime, many associations are conducting traditional reserve studies for the first time, as these are a good first step to understanding potential shortfalls and communicating the true cost of ownership to the members of the community.

The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation has the authority to conduct procedural reviews to confirm whether inspections were performed and that they were performed by a qualified individual. While we do not know more specifics at this time, one thing is for certain….the Board has a fiduciary duty to serve in the best interest of its constituents. Not complying with the legislation is a breach of these fiduciary obligations. Furthermore, delaying the process leads many associations to underfunded reserves, deferred maintenance, and increasing difficulty getting back on track.

Any budget adopted on or after December 31, 2024 requires that a SIRS be used as the basis for funding structural reserves. Funding recommendations outlined in a study are the direct result of near-term project needs and the existing reserve balance. While the law specifically states that the association must attain the annual funding level set forth in the structural integrity reserve study, there may be cases where it is difficult if not impossible to do so without the use of additional assessments. We encourage you to meet with your provider to review their recommendations and any alternate options that may be available, which may or may not alleviate the ability to attain appropriate funding levels. In the event your association is still unable to meet its funding obligations, we encourage you to consult with legal counsel to better understand the risk associated with being non-compliant.

Florida Statute 718 requires registration with the Bureau of Compliance. Associations existing on or before 7/1/2022 are required to register with the Bureau of Compliance by 12/31/2022. The association needs to inform the local Bureau of 1) the number of buildings within the condominium associations that are three-or-more stories tall, 2) the total number of units in all such buildings, 3) the addresses of all such buildings, and 4) the counties in which all such buildings are located. Contact the Bureau today.

Appropriate allocation of existing reserve funds requires an analysis of the remaining useful lives and future cost of replacement for all of your community maintained assets. If a major structural project is necessary in year one and the existing reserve fund is only sufficient enough to address that project, 100% of reserve funds should be allocated to the structural component funding plan. Whereas, if elevator controls need replacement in year one and there are no near-term structural projects, the funds should be allocated to the non-structural funding plan.

Yes, a SIRS report will be structured differently. The report will consist of two expenditure tables and two reserve funding plans; one each for structural and non-structural components. Furthermore, the report will need to incorporate foundations, load-bearing walls, floors, unit windows, fireproofing, etc. to ensure compliance with the legislation.

The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation states that funding obligations are dependent on the SIRS provider’s recommendation. This may or may not require full reserve funding by 2025. If an item does have some useful life remaining, you will likely not need to have all of the funds on hand by 2025. View our blog to understand the many definitions of “fully funded”

If your community is not required to have a SIRS, it can continue to waive or partially fund reserves. However, effective July 1, 2023, waiver of reserves will require a vote of the majority of all of the voting interests. Prior to this date, reserves can still be waived by a majority vote at a duly called meeting of the membership.

The DBPR will rely on the SIRS to determine which components need to be reserved for. Reserves do not need to be maintained for components for which the remaining useful life can not be ascertained or exceeds 25 years.

No. Replacement schedules and costs are forecasted at the time of the study. Actual project timelines and costs may change as your property deteriorates over time. Components nearing the end of their useful lives should be monitored and periodically assessed by component-specific experts. These individuals will determine the actual need for replacement and the necessary scope and related cost. We encourage associations to follow through on the full scope of the project and to update the SIRS funding plan in the event project timelines and costs vary from the initial study.

Before You Go...

Request a SIRS Proposal
Register with The Bureau of Compliance
Frequently Asked Questions
Reserve Advisors understands that our community involves real people with real concerns for our future needs. They worked with us to ensure our reserve funding plan addressed our concerns while supporting our long-term needs. Where other firms are focused on the numbers, Reserve Advisors is focused on the client and the community they serve.
Susan Rak, Manager
Jensen Beach Country Club Association, Inc. | Jensen Beach, FL

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