Mandatory Milestone Inspections
Mandatory Milestone Inspections Information
In December of 2022, The State of Florida enacted a new “milestone inspection” requirement for condominium associations or cooperative associations to ensure aging buildings remain safe for continued use. The hope is that a statewide mandatory structural inspection requirement will prevent a repeat of last year’s tragic collapse and loss of life in Surfside, Florida. Here are some things every condominium association or cooperative association board member needs to know about Florida’s new milestone inspection requirement. The full statute is 553.899 Mandatory structural inspections for condominium and cooperative buildings.
The new rule also mandates that condo organizations review their reserve money every ten years to ensure that they can cover substantial repairs and have the reserve set up by Dec 31, 2024. Arpin also offers the reserve calculations to implement compliance with the new mandate.
The milestone inspection is mandatory if your building is 3 stories or more. This does not apply to a single-family, two-family, or three-family dwelling with three or fewer habitable stories above ground.
The milestone is to determine the structural integrity of the structure.
Associated General Kinetics LLC can do all the structural and electrical portions of these milestone inspections, as well as determine what is or is not required for your buildings.
The South Florida Counties “40-year inspection” or “40-year recertification” is now integrated with the milestone inspection legislation in the state of Florida. Remember that counties have additional legislation and requirements that Arpin Associates, LLC will help you with.
Below are summaries of some of the legislation to help answer some common questions about the new milestone inspection legislation.
Associated General Kinetics LLC is an affiliate of Arpin Associates, LLC, and can help clarify your milestone inspection needs. We welcome your call and will make every effort to provide you with the accurate information you need. Contact us at 954-772-5345.
What is the milestone inspection?
A “milestone inspection” is a structural inspection of a building by a licensed architect or engineer, including its load-bearing walls and primary structural systems. Its purpose is to confirm the life safety and adequacy of the building’s structural components and determine its general structural condition as it affects building safety. A milestone inspection should include, to the extent reasonably possible, a determination of any necessary maintenance, repair, or replacement of any structural component of the building.
A milestone inspection consists of two phases:
In phase one of the milestone inspection, a licensed architect or engineer shall perform a visual examination of habitable and non-habitable areas of a building, including the major structural components of a building, and provide a qualitative assessment of the structural conditions of the building. If the architect or engineer finds no signs of substantial structural deterioration to any building components under visual examination, phase two of the inspection is not required. The architect or engineer who completes a phase one milestone inspection shall prepare and submit an inspection report to the condominium association or cooperative association, and to the building official of the local government which has jurisdiction.
Phase two of the milestone inspection must be performed if any substantial structural deterioration is identified during phase one.
When is milestone inspection required?
For the milestone inspection, the age of a building is based on the date the certificate of occupancy for the building was issued. If the date of issuance for the certificate of occupancy is not available, the date of issuance of the building’s certificate of occupancy shall be the date of occupancy evidenced in any record of the local building official.
A condominium association or a cooperative association must have a milestone inspection performed for each building that is three stories or more in height by December 31 of the year in which the building reaches 30 years of age, and every 10 years thereafter.
If the building is located within 3 miles of a coastline, the condominium association or cooperative association must have a milestone inspection performed by December 31 of the year in which the building reaches 25 years of age, and every 10 years thereafter.
If the building’s certificate of occupancy was issued on or before July 1, 1992, the building’s initial milestone inspection must be performed before December 31, 2024.
The condominium association or cooperative association must arrange for the milestone inspection to be performed and is responsible for ensuring compliance with the requirements of this section. The condominium association or cooperative association is responsible for all costs associated with the inspection.
Who can do a milestone inspection?
A licensed architect or engineer authorized to practice in Florida for the purposes of attesting to the life safety and adequacy of the structural components of the building and, to the extent reasonably possible, determining the general structural condition of the building as it affects the safety of the building, including a determination of any necessary maintenance, repair, or replacement of any structural component of the building.
Associated General Kinetics LLC, an affiliate of Arpin Associates, LLC, has engineers able to meet all milestone inspection needs and can answer your questions about this new legislation. Contact us at 954-772-5345.
What does a phase one inspection entail?
A milestone inspection consists of two phases. For phase one, a licensed architect or engineer performs a visual examination of a building, including its major structural components, and provides a qualitative assessment of the building’s structural condition. If no signs of substantial structural deterioration are found, then a phase two inspection is not required. “Substantial structural deterioration” means substantial structural distress that negatively affects a building’s general structural condition and integrity. It does not include surface imperfections (cracks, sagging, signs of leakage, peeling of finishes, etc.) unless they are a sign of substantial structural deterioration.
Typical proposal for a condominium complex in Broward County, Florida.
- Inspection of 30 Condominium buildings
- MILESTONE Structural report per S.627.706
- 2 site trips per building
- No per-incident fee
- Overview of the fire dept. life/health/safety codes NFPA 101 included
- Extra folios $186.00 ea
- Extra trips if necessary $124.00
- Board meetings included
- Inspection is done on-site with the building manager present
- Available for a preliminary meeting to determine and access SIRS (structural integrity reserve study) feasibility
- Separate milestone reports for each building
- Phase II inspection will be done if necessary
What can a phase two inspection entail?
A phase two milestone inspection must be performed if any substantial structural deterioration is identified during phase one. The inspection may be as extensive or as limited as necessary to fully assess areas of structural distress to confirm that the building is structurally sound and safe for its intended use and to recommend a program for fully assessing and repairing distressed and damaged portions of the building. The phase two inspection may involve destructive testing at the inspector’s direction, though preference must be given to locations that are the least disruptive and most easily repairable.
What should you expect to get after an inspection is completed?
What should you expect to get after an inspection is completed?
Upon completion of a phase one or phase two milestone inspection, the architect or engineer must submit a sealed copy of the inspection report to the condominium association, along with a separate summary of material findings and recommendations. A copy must also be furnished to the appropriate local building authority. The inspection report must include all the information required by the statute. Condominium associations must then distribute the inspector’s summary to each unit owner and post a copy in a conspicuous place on the condominium property.
The inspection report must, at a minimum, meet all the following criteria:
- Bear the seal and signature, or the electronic signature, of the licensed engineer or architect who performed the inspection.
- Indicate the manner and type of inspection forming the basis for the inspection report.
- Identify any substantial structural deterioration, within a reasonable professional probability based on the scope of the inspection, describe the extent of such deterioration, and identify any recommended repairs for such deterioration.
- State whether unsafe or dangerous conditions, as those terms are defined in the Florida Building Code, were observed.
- Recommend any remedial or preventive repair for any items that are damaged but are not substantial structural deterioration.
- Identify and describe any items requiring further inspection.
- The association must distribute a copy of the inspector-prepared summary of the inspection to all owners.
- If structural repairs are necessary, a phase 2 inspection must be done.
SB 4-D — Building Safety Legislation
SB 4-D — Building Safety
by Senator Boyd
This summary is provided for information only and does not represent the opinion of any Senator, Senate Officer, or Senate Office.
Prepared by: Appropriations Committee (AP)
The bill requires the Florida Building Code to provide that when 25 percent or more of a roofing system or roof section is being repaired, replaced, or recovered, only the portion of the roofing system or roof section undergoing such work need be constructed in accordance with the current Florida Building Code in effect at the time of such work. This new provision applies only to roof systems and roof sections built, repaired, or replaced in accordance with the requirements of the 2007 Florida Building Code or subsequent editions. The provision revises the current Florida Building Code which requires that not more than 25 percent of the total roof area or roof section, of any existing building or structure, may be repaired, replaced, or recovered in any 12-month period—unless the entire existing roofing system or roof section conforms to the current requirements of the Code.
The bill also provides building safety inspection requirements for condominium and cooperative association buildings, increases the rights of unit owners and prospective unit owners to access information regarding the condition of such buildings, and revises the requirements for associations to fund reserves for the continued maintenance and repair of such buildings.
Regarding building safety inspections, the bill:
- Requires condominium and cooperative association buildings that are three or more stories in height to have a “milestone inspection” of the buildings’ structural integrity by an architect or engineer when a building reaches:
- 30 years of age and every 10 years thereafter, or
- 25 years of age and every 10 years thereafter if the building is located within three miles of a coastline.
- Requires, if a milestone inspection is required and the building’s certificate of occupancy was issued on or before July 1, 1992, the building’s initial milestone inspection to be performed before December 31, 2024.
- Requires that a phase one milestone inspection must commence within 180 days after an association receives a written notice from the local enforcement agency.
- Requires a phase two milestone inspection if there is evidence of “substantial structural deterioration” as determined by a phase one inspection.
- Specifies the minimum contents of a milestone inspection report.
- Requires inspection report results to be provided to local building officials and the associations, and requires an inspector-prepared summary to be provided to unit owners by mail and by email to unit owners who have consented to receive notices by email.
- Requires that the contract between an association that is subject to the milestone inspection requirement and a community association manager (CAM) or CAM firm must require compliance with those requirements as directed by the board.
- Requires the local enforcement agency to review and determine if a building is safe for human occupancy if an association fails to submit proof that repairs for substantial deterioration have been scheduled or begun within at least 365 days after the local enforcement agency receives a phase two inspection report.
- Requires the Florida Building Commission to make recommendations to the Governor and Legislature regarding the inspection requirements in the bill and inspection for other types of buildings and structures that are three stories or more.
- Provides that a willful and knowing failure by an officer or director of an association to have a milestone inspection performed is a breach of the officer’s and director’s fiduciary relationship to the unit owners.
- Gives unit owners the right to inspect and copy, as official records, the milestone inspection report and all other inspection reports relating to structural or life safety, and gives renters the right to inspect the milestone inspection reports.
- Requires the developer’s turnover inspection report to comply with the milestone inspection requirements.
- Requires associations to report to the Florida Division of Condominiums, Timeshare, and Mobile Homes (division) the number of buildings that are three stories or higher in height and the total number of units in such buildings on or before January 1, 2023, and requires the division to publish that information on its website.
- Requires developer and non-developer unit owners to give prospective buyers of a unit a copy of the inspector-prepared summary of the milestone inspection report.
- Extends the jurisdiction of the division to investigate complaints to include complaints related to the procedural completion of milestone inspections.
Regarding the funding of reserves for the continued maintenance and repair of condominium and cooperative buildings, the bill:
- Requires condominium associations and cooperative associations to complete a structural integrity reserve study every 10 years for each building in an association that is three stories or higher in height.
- Requires associations existing on or before July 1, 2022, that are controlled by non-developer unit owners to have a structural integrity reserve study completed by December 31, 2024.
- Defines “structural integrity reserve study” as a study of the reserve funds required for future major repairs and replacement of the common elements based on a visual inspection of the common elements.
- Requires the study to include a visual inspection, state the estimated remaining useful life, and the estimated replacement cost of the roof, load bearing walls or other primary structural members, floor, foundation, fireproofing and fire protection systems, plumbing, and any item with a deferred maintenance or replacement cost that exceeds $10,000.
- Requires the visual inspection to be performed by a person licensed as an engineer or an architect. However, any qualified person or entity may perform the other components of a structural integrity reserve study.
- Requires a developer to have a structural integrity reserve study completed for each building in the association that is three stories or more in height before turning over control of an association to the non-developer unit owners.
- Provides that it is a breach of a board member or officer’s fiduciary duty if an association fails to complete a structural integrity reserve study.
If approved by the Governor, these provisions take effect upon becoming law.
Vote: Senate 38-0; House 110-0
This was copied from https://flsenate.gov/Committees/BillSummaries/2022D/html/2875 on Dec 1, 2022