On June 24th of 2021, the industry awoke to the tragic news of Surfside. In the immediate months following, Community Associations Institute (CAI), various industry leaders and state legislators came together to discuss solutions, and eventual legislation that would help avert similar tragedies in the future. In May of 2022, Senate Bill 4-D: building safety, was passed and put into law.
Since Surfside, condominiums throughout the nation have been evacuated as a result of safety concerns. Horizon West (Waukesha, WI), Port Royale (Miami Beach, FL), Renaissance Tower (Myrtle Beach, SC), and Camelback Village (Olney, MD) to name a few. Many states, and in some cases, counties, have taken action to address theever increasing issue of aging infrastructure.
Since Surfside, the following states have either presented or will be presenting legislation on the topic of building safety:
HB22-1387: Common Interest Communities Reserve Funds was introduced in April of 2022. While the intent of the Bill was to ensure that common interest communities have adequate reserve funds, it was vetoed on May 27th, 2022. Had it been signed into law, the Bill would have established requirements for periodic reserve studies as well as a baseline scope of work for each level of reserve study service. Furthermore, declarants would have been required to turn over a reserve study and the recommended level of reserves at the time of transferring ownership to the association.
SB212: An Act Requiring Condominium Reserve Fund Allocations was introduced in January of 2023. If signed into law, the Bill will require associations to perform a reserve study and subsequently allocate the appropriate percent of annual assessments into the association’s reserve fund.
Delaware – New Castle County (Passed)
Resolution No. 22-185, introduced in September of 2022, established a task force to review issues related to condominium and common interest community buildings and structures. The task force is expected to present a final report of its work, including findings and recommendations, to the New Castle County Council by May of 2023.
HB 4158, regarding statutory disclosure requirements, was introduced and signed into law in 2022. The Bill requires associations that have a professional reserve study, to make it available to its unit owners.
SB 4D: Building Safety, was signed into law in May of 2022. The Bill established statewide structural integrity reserve study and funding requirements for condominium associations and cooperatives. It also establishes requirements for periodic Milestone Inspections. Check here to see if and when your community is required to comply with the new structural integrity reserve study requirements.
SB 154: Condominiums and Cooperative Associations amends the SB 4D SIRS and reserve funding requirements. Associations that are subject to a SIRS are required to base a budget adopted on or after January, 1, 2025, on the findings and recommendations of the association’s most recent SIRS for any structural component that has a remaining useful life of no more than 25 years. The amended bill removes floors and foundations from the required scope of work but expands the scope of work to include load-bearing walls, primary structural members and systems, and exterior doors. Furthermore, Reserve Specialists (RS) and Professional Reserve Analysts (PRA) are qualified to perform or verify the visual inspection portion of the SIRS.
HB 107, pertaining to reserve study and reserve fund requirements. Signed into law in 2022, the Bill establishes statewide reserve study and funding requirements for condominium associations, cooperatives, and homeowners associations. The new legislation is similar to that of Montgomery County and Prince George’s County as it mirrors the legislation that was previously passed in these jurisdictions. Check here to see if and when your community is required to comply with the new requirements.
New Jersey (Introduced)
S2760/A4384, concerning structural integrity regulations for certain residential buildings, was introduced in June of 2022 with the assistance of the CAI’s New Jersey Legislative Action Committee. The bill addresses the topics of reserves and building inspections. The New Jersey Legislative Action Committee is actively lobbying for this critical piece of legislation.
New York (Introduced)
Bill A00889, introduced in January of 2023, establishes a property tax credit for class two cooperative and condominium buildings that are designated as safe following a facade safety program inspection. The legislation would amend New York City’s administrative code to abate and reduce taxes by an amount that is equal to all costs of a facade inspection safety program. Abatement would be re-evaluated every five years after such inspections occur.
SB863, introduced and sign into law in April of 2023, establishes statewide reserve study requirements for condominium and unit owners associations. The purpose of the new law is to provide board of directors with an understanding of the reserve funds required to minimize the need for special assessments. Learn more about SB863.
SB 740, enacted in 2022, requires the Department of Professional and Occupation Regulation to establish a group to study the state’s current laws addressing standards for structural integrity and maintaining reserve funds. The group is due to present a report to the state senate and House Committees on General Laws on April 1st.
As it stands today, condominium and homeowner associations in Virginia are required to conduct a professional reserve study at least every five years. In the years between studies, associations are required to review their latest study and make any necessary adjustments to ensure sufficient reserve funds.