- Danielle Wright
Special Session Update
Governor Signs Surfside Bill & Property Insurance Bill
Governor Ron DeSantis has just approved SB 4D and SB 2D following what had been a Special Session dedicated solely to the issue of Property Insurance. However, the Special Session on Property Insurance was expanded (only a few hours from concluding) to include the controversial Surfside legislation that failed to pass during the prior regular legislative session. This late expansion of the Special Session is largely why the Surfside legislation was unanimously approved. .... Although both bills take effect immediately, provisions relating to the Phase One milestone building inspection and acquiring a new, “structural integrity reserve study” take effect on January 1, 2025. Perhaps most importantly, condo associations will NO longer be able to waive or reduce reserves for certain structural items beginning on January 1, 2025. Below is a link to SB 4D Building Safety and an overview of what IS in the bill and what is NOT in the bill from this our previous update. Link below to see bill: https://flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2022D/4D/BillText/er/PDF The following provisions were NOT in the bill, as they had been previously. For example: The bill correctly clarifies that our CAMs work at the direction of the Board in carrying out their responsibilities. This was not in previous versions of the bill.
The bill does not require the manager to deliver the inspection report. The previous bill required the manager to provide the inspection report regardless of any Board direction or contract.
There is no one-size-fits-all reserve funding method (pooling vs. straight line) for our communities, as there had been in previous versions of the bill. (Unfortunately, the language is not entirely clear and will need to be tweaked next year)
Our managers do not have to provide a full report to unit owners via mail, just a summary page, keeping costs low. Originally, our managers had to provide the full report.
No additional disclosures are required in estoppel certificates, as there had been in the original bill.
Although not in the original bill, there is no prohibition on indemnification for management companies, as was recommended by the Florida Bar.
More specifically, the bill contains the following provisions:
Building inspections are mandated for Condos and Co-Ops that are 3 stories or more in height 30 years after the COO is issued. If within 3 miles of the coast, inspections are mandated 25 years after the COO is issued and then every 10 years after.
If a building is already over 30 years (or 25 if by the coast), the initial inspection must be done by December 31st, 2024.
The Inspections must be done by a licensed architect or engineer
Inspections are broken down into phases. Phase 2 only needs to occur if issues are found in the Phase 1 inspection.
The Engineer must submit the inspection report to the association and the local building official.
Association must give the inspection report to the owners.
Inspection reports are defined as official records and must be maintained and posted on a website, if applicable.
If The CAM or management firm has a contract with an association that is – or has buildings – 3 stories or greater in height, the CAM or Firm must act *as directed by the board* in complying with the requirements of building inspections. Previously, this was not in the bill.
As mentioned above, the bill prohibits unit owners from waiving or reducing reserves after December 31st, 2024 for certain specified components that are identified by a “structural integrity reserve study.”
Prohibits developers from waiving reserves.
Requires associations to conduct a “structural integrity reserve study” AT LEAST every 10 years and details at a minimum what must be included in the Reserve study.
These new reserve studies must have a visual site inspection performed by an architect or engineer. The other parts of the reserve study may be performed by anyone qualified to do reserve studies. This is an added complication and potentially added expense to the reserve study process that will have to be tweaked next year.
Failing to conduct this new reserve study would be a breach of the Board’s fiduciary duty to their unit owners.
Both the inspection reports and structural reserve study are to be provided to prospective buys in the non-developer discloser documents."
Information and summary provided by:
Mark Anderson Executive Director, CEOMC