Condo Maintenance Costs Soar Due to SB4-D

Few real estate professionals and associations have been fully transparent about the effects of “The Surfside Bill” also known as SB 4-D, which passed earlier this year. With the 2023 condo budget fast approaching, many homeowners find themselves sticker-shocked and wondering why no one gave them a heads-up as to what to expect.

Among the main changes regarding building safety inspections, the bill outlines  the following:

  • All condos and co-ops must complete a structural integrity reserve study every ten years. This reserve study must state the estimated remaining useful life and replacement cost of the roof, load-bearing walls, floor, foundation, fireproofing and fire protection systems, electrical systems, waterproofing and painting, windows, plumbing, and any deferred maintenance item with a deferred maintenance cost that exceeded $10,000.
  • Prohibits the reducing, waiving, or use of reserves for another purpose for those items required in the structural integrity reserve study.
  • Requires associations to fund the required amounts listed in the reserve study.
  • All condominium and cooperative associations with buildings over three stores must have a “milestone inspection” of the structural integrity by an engineer or architect once a building reaches 30 years of age and every ten years after that or once a building reaches 25 years and every ten years after that for buildings that are located within a three-mile radius of the coastline.
  • All buildings which received their certificate of occupancy before July 1st, 1992, are to have a milestone inspection no later than Dec 31st, 2024.
  • Phase one of the milestone inspection must commence within 180 days after receiving written notice from a local law enforcement agency.
  • Phase two of the milestone inspection will be required if phase one determines that there is evidence of “substantial structural deterioration”
  • Implants require that reports are provided to local building officials as well as unit owners.
  • Local enforcement agencies must review and determine if a building is safe for human occupancy if an association fails to submit proof that repairs are underway within 365 days of receiving the phase two report.

For a full text of the bill and legislative staff reports, please visit www.flsenate.gov.

What does this all mean? In short, get ready to open up your checkbooks. Expect hefty maintenance increases for 2023 and higher possibilities of special assessments and immediate work needing to be done.

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