New Changes in Florida Law Regarding Building Structural Assessments and What They Mean for Your Building

You spend your working life creating an environment for people to call home, only to get a call in the early hours of the morning informing you your worst nightmare has come to life: a considerable part of your building has suddenly collapsed, and lives were lost. While this might sound like something from a movie, this very thing happened in June 2021 at the Champlain Towers in Surfside, Florida. What's worse, the collapse was ultimately due to negligence and neglect, so it was entirely avoidable.

As a result, in early 2022, Florida implemented new structural assessment regulations requiring that buildings undergo routine inspections to ensure the safety of those within a building. While the process is proving to be a slow-moving one at first, there have already been several buildings around South Florida that have been deemed unsafe and evacuated as a result.

Scheduled maintenance inspection. Shot of a managers inspecting factory machinery.

As a building owner or property manager, it’s imperative to understand these new laws and how you are affected so your building remains compliant. If you’re unaware of the new regulations or would like to know more about how they may affect you, we’ve broken down the recent Florida structural assessment laws and what they mean for your condominium buildings.

Florida’s New Building Structural Laws

All residential building owners, property managers, and condo association board members are required to familiarize themselves with the new Florida statute passed in 2022 to remain compliant and protect the buildings’ residents. The regulations introduce new structural inspection requirements, including milestone recertification inspections and structural integrity reserve studies.

Milestone Inspections

Associations for all Florida condo and co-op buildings with three or more stories must conduct structural inspections at certain building age milestones. Residential buildings within three miles of the coast will be required to undergo milestone inspections once they reach 25 years of age, and ones further than three miles will be required to undergo an inspection at 30 years of age. These inspections precede building recertification and include two possible phases – Phase 1 and Phase 2.

Inspection Timeline Requirements

Property owners must schedule milestone inspections on qualifying buildings according to the given deadlines:

  • Buildings with Certificates of Occupancy (COs) issued before July 1, 1992, must conduct milestone inspections by December 31, 2024.
  • Buildings within three miles of the coast with COs issued on or after 1992 must conduct milestone inspections by December 31 of the year the building turns 25.
  • Non-coastal buildings with COs issued on or after the 1992 date must conduct milestone inspections by December 31 of the year the building turns 30.
  • Building associations must provide milestone inspection reports to the appropriate enforcement agency within 180 days of receiving a past-due notice.

Structural Integrity Reserve Studies and Reserve Funding Requirements

Building structural assessments in Florida also include structural integrity reserve studies conducted every ten years. These studies include visual building inspections conducted by a structural engineer or architect followed by a survey of an association’s reserve funds for future repairs.

Structural integrity reserve studies target all significant elements within a condominium or cooperative building, including:

  • The roof
  • The building’s foundation
  • Floors
  • Load-bearing walls
  • Windows
  • Waterproofing
  • Exterior paint
  • Fireproofing
  • Fire protection systems
  • Electrical systems
  • Plumbing

Professional engineers or architects must conduct these inspections to identify any structural problems. However, specific systems, such as electrical and plumbing systems, may be inspected or tested by other qualified professionals, such as licensed electricians and plumbers.

As of December 31, 2024, associations can no longer refuse to fund or underfund the reserves for repairs needed within the Structural Integrity Reserve Study.

Lawmakers hope these frequent inspections and stricter regulations governing reserves will help prevent the financial disaster that led to the Champlain collapse. The Surfside condominium had conducted a reserve study in 2020, but contention on how to fund the more than $15 million of needed improvements resulted in postponing the structural repairs. It quickly became too late to prevent the tragic collapse, and Florida lawmakers don’t want it to happen again.

Required Reporting

Once the reserve study inspection takes place, the building association must prepare a report that includes:

  • An estimate of the remaining life of common building areas
  • An estimate of the cost to make all expected future repairs

Building associations must make these reports accessible on their websites (if they have one) and to all unit owners and renters. Reports must remain in association records for a minimum of 15 years.

Inspection Updates for Florida Condo and Apartment Buildings

The new law mandates periodic building structural assessments. Florida condo associations must conduct milestone inspections for building recertification, which include Phase 1 and Phase 2 inspections as prescribed by the new regulations.

  1. Phase 1 inspections include visual assessments of buildings by licensed architects or engineers. A Structural engineer will thoroughly assess the building – from top to bottom, inside and out to detect any issues. If this phase identifies any structural issues, additional inspections become necessary.
  2. Phase 2 inspections are conducted if problems are discovered during Phase 1. Phase 2 will define the severity of the problem and begin planning for repairs. The degree of Phase 2 depends on the scale of the issue(s) found.

Lawmakers hope to avoid repeating the Surfside disaster through milestone and reserve study inspections. Still, some professionals have expressed concerns that even these new regulations are insufficient. They worry that going a decade between reserve studies gives associations too much time to stray financially.

Keep this thought in mind when examining your association’s reserves and planning for the future. As the Champlain collapse illustrates, procrastination can lead to severe and tragic consequences.

Florida’s New Regulations for Residential Buildings

In addition to requiring structural assessments for Florida buildings standing three stories or taller, the new law introduces several regulations. These regulations include:


Before 2022, Florida condo associations could pool funds and vote to use reserve funds for various purposes. Now, condo associations must calculate these reserves using the most current structural integrity reserve study and may only use the funds for structural repairs and improvements.

This rule aims to ensure building managers have enough funds to cover structural repairs and improvements when necessary. Associations cannot waive the collection of reserves for structural repairs referenced within the study’s report.


When areas in the building require repairs, condo associations must notify all residents, including owners and renters. When selling units, owners must also provide specific reports to potential buyers, including copies of the milestone inspection and the most recent reserve study.


The new Florida statute aims to ensure fund availability when repairs become necessary by mandating a new reserve study every ten years. Condominium and co-op building developers must conduct these studies before transferring the association to unit owners.


The new Florida statute does not outline specific penalties for non-compliance. Instead, it leaves penalty decisions to local agencies, such as local building authorities. Condo associations may face penalties for failing to recertify buildings with milestone inspections or otherwise showing non-compliance.


The new Florida statute grants enforcement authority to the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, which will enforce the requirements of milestone and reserve study inspections.


Condo associations must provide unit owners, building officials, and potential buyers with recertification and reserve study reports. Developers must also provide reserve study reports for all qualifying buildings before turning over the property.


Financing repairs proves challenging for some condo associations. With this new law, associations cannot waive reserves for structural improvements. New regulations also prohibit pooling reserves.

How to Prepare for Florida’s New Structural Safety Laws

Given the breadth of these new regulations, remaining compliant with all applicable laws may sometimes seem daunting. If you’re part of a condo or co-op association in Florida, consider the following tips to prepare for the new building safety laws:

  • Register all owned buildings with three or more stories. Associations that existed before July 1, 2022, have until January 1, 2023, to register with the Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes. They must report the number of buildings with three or more stories, how many units they have, these buildings’ addresses, and their counties.
  • Consider your timelines. Review timeline information, and determine how your association will comply with the laws. Remember, your timeline depends on the ages of your buildings and their nearness to the coast.
  • Contact your local building authority. Call your local building authority to schedule appropriate inspections to meet your deadlines. Inspectors will likely be busy, so don’t delay scheduling your milestone inspections and structural integrity reserve studies.
  • Consider report distribution plans. Consider how you will distribute inspection reports to residents, where you will put these reports on your website, and how you will reliably keep these records for 15 years. Put a plan in place early so you’re prepared to complete the first report.
  • Examine your reserves. Look at the association’s reserve funds, and consider how to raise more if they do not sufficiently cover expected costs. Raising association fees may be unpopular, but you can benefit from explaining the new requirements to residents and why the reserve funds must increase. Associations and unit owners must recognize the importance of reinvesting in the property to protect everyone’s safety.
  • Explore financing options. Your association may consider lines of credit or loans to help finance building improvements. The new Florida statute offers room to raise needed funds by giving associations two years to raise funds after conducting the reserve study.

Avoid Penalties and Schedule A Structural Assessment Today

If your building’s structural assessment identifies electrical problems, you need an experienced team to address them promptly. With more than 30 years of experience servicing Florida condos and commercial buildings, Suncoast Power is qualified to assess, identify, and repair any electrical issues that may result in your building failing a structural assessment.

We are a full-service commercial electrical contractor specializing in cabling, wiring, lighting, low-voltage electrical, circuit breaker and panel upgrades, generator installation, and a wide range of other electrical services.

Give us a call today at 754-200-5872 or fill out our online contact form to speak with a member of our team about scheduling a consultation.