Florida Structural Integrity Reserve Study Requirements

Structural Integrity Reserve Study and Funding Requirements for Florida Condos and Cooperatives

Introduced and signed into law in May 2022, Florida Senate Bill 4-D establishes statewide structural integrity reserve study and funding requirements for condominium associations and cooperatives. Because structural integrity reserve studies are new to the industry, there is currently much uncertainty around the new requirements and the potential for changes at the upcoming legislative session. Reserve Advisors is taking a multi-faceted approach to address the new legislation, ensuring we are able to support our clients moving forward.

Product Development

We’ve established a team of Professional Engineers dedicated to developing 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 change. The structure of our team and product will be flexible, allowing us to adapt to potential 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 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, load-bearing walls, primary structural members, floors, foundations, fireproofing and protection systems, plumbing, electrical systems, waterproofing and exterior painting, windows, 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 Surfside Response Bill

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 must be conducted by a Florida licensed Professional Engineer or Architect

Frequency

A study is required prior to the developer turning over control of the association to the unit owners and 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

Associations must fund reserves as determined by the most recent structural integrity reserve study. Members cannot waive funding for the components found within the study nor can they vote to use those funds for another purpose after 12/31/2024.

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

Florida Senate Bill 4-D Frequently Asked Questions

As the law currently stands, it is likely your existing reserve study does 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.

While our team takes into consideration each of the building components that apply to the structural integrity reserve study and we have a team of Florida licensed Professional Engineers, we want to ensure that the services we offer, meet the requirements set forth by state legislators. While we have not conducted a structural integrity reserve study to date, our team is working diligently to develop a solution that complies with the new legislation.

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.

While we are uncertain as to how the requirements will be monitored and/or enforced, one thing is 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.

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 Senate Bill 4-D establishes requirements for registering 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.

Before You Go...

Sign Up

Subscribe to Receive Product Updates

Register with The Bureau of Compliance
Download Florida Senate Bill 4-D
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

Sign up for our Newsletter