All Florida condominiums should be familiar with the building inspection process. For instance, both Dade and Broward Counties have specific building recertification requirements. In essence, all condominium structures must have a thorough inspection performed by a licensed engineer to examine any potential safety or structural vulnerabilities within 40 years after a building’s construction date, and every 10 years thereafter. Thus, buildings will have a 40-year inspection and a recertification at 50 years and so on. This inspection will include the main components of a building, including roofing systems, electrical systems, the foundation, floor systems, and the like. A report will be produced and provided to the county for review.

Further, the legislature recently passed SB 4D, which includes a requirement for “milestone inspections” for all buildings above three stories. These milestone inspections must occur by December 31st of the year the building turns 30 (or 25 if the building is within three miles of a coastline), and every 10 years thereafter. Like the county mandated 40-year inspection, the milestone inspections must be performed by a licensed engineer or architect and must result in a formal report given to both the association and the local government building official.

Phase one of a milestone inspection will include a visual examination, including the major structural components, and the engineer or architect will provide an assessment of the structural conditions. If there are no signs of substantial structural deterioration, there is no need to proceed to phase two. Phase two occurs where substantial structural deterioration is observed, and may include destructive testing, which can be as extensive or limited as necessary to fully assess structural distress. Importantly, a director/officer who knowingly fails to have a milestone inspection performed breaches their fiduciary duty.

Whether it be county or state mandated, these inspections/recertifications play an important role in the integrity of a building, and therefore, the safety of its residents. If you have any questions about these requirements for your building, contact an attorney at the Whisler Law Firm today to discuss.