DeSantis signs off on condo safety changes, amends inspection requirements

by | Jun 9, 2023

  • Gov. Ron DeSantis signed Senate Bill 154 into law, broadening structural inspection regulations on condominium and cooperative buildings in Florida.
  • The legislation eases the time-sensitivity of inspection requirements, mandates flood coverage in residential policies, and introduces changes to reserve funding requirements for associations.
  • The measure allows buildings within three miles of the coastline to be inspected after they have been occupied for 30 years while granting local officials the jurisdiction to require inspections after 25 years of occupancy depending on local environmental factors.

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed Senate Bill 154 into law on Friday, amending preexisting regulations on condominium buildings in Florida, focusing largely on milestone inspection requirements, flood insurance coverage, and reserve funding.

The legislation modifies milestone inspection requirements for buildings with three or more stories, limiting standing requirements to buildings that include residential condominiums or cooperatives. It also eliminates the requirement of inspections every 25 years for buildings near the coastline but allows local authorities to set an equivalent requirement if deemed necessary.

Previous requirements called for condominium buildings three stories or higher to undergo inspections after being occupied for 30 years, or 25 years if they were located within three miles of a coastline. After the initial inspection, the buildings were required to undergo the process every 10 years.

The law further stipulates that all owners of mixed-ownership buildings with condominium or cooperative ownership are responsible for ensuring compliance and sharing inspection costs. Additionally, buildings reaching 30 years of age before December 31, 2024, are required to undergo a milestone inspection before that date.

The measure also revises flood insurance coverage requirements, mandating that all personal lines residential policies issued by Citizens Property Insurance Corporation must include flood coverage, though unit owner policies are exempted.

“These measures will help to protect hundreds of thousands of Floridians living in condo buildings just like the Champlain Towers South,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava.

The bill also introduces changes to reserve funding requirements for condominium and cooperative associations. Associations subject to the structural integrity reserve study (SIRS) requirement must base their budgets, adopted on or after January 1, 2025, on the findings and recommendations of the most recent SIRS.

Under the law, the Florida Building Commission is tasked with establishing a building safety program within the Florida Building Code. The commission must determine the minimum requirements for the program, including inspection criteria, testing protocols, standardized forms adaptable to electronic formats, and record maintenance requirements by the end of 2024.

Friday’s bill signing is based upon legislation drafted last year that originally implemented structural inspection and financial reserve requirements for condominium associations, serving as a response to the Surfside building collapse that killed 98 people in 2021.


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