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What’s New? A Legal Update

Last year’s legislative special session – in May of 2022 – marks one of the most important changes to the Condominium Act since its inception in 1963. This new bill is 88 pages in its entirety, so we want to be clear that we’re only skimming the surface here. It will be important for your association’s board to familiarize themselves with these new regulations as well as meeting with your association attorney to discuss the ways it will impact you specifically.

Four Big Ticket Items

  • Structural Integrity Reserve Study (SIRS)
    This requirement will apply to building 3 stories in tall or higher. The goal is to make sure that associations are financially prepared to fund repairs which will be necessary in order to maintain structural integrity. This will be done on a 10 year rotation. If your building is already 10 years old or older your first SIRS must be completed no later than December 31, 2024. You must maintain the record of this study for 15 years, and it must be available to any owner/resident/prospective buyer to review.
  • Milestone Inspection
    These inspections will occur on a 30 year rotation. Unless your property is within three miles of the coast in which case it is every 25 years. Again, if you building has already reached milestone age your first inspection must be completed by December 31, 2024. There are two phases to the Milestone Inspection. The first is a visual inspection by an engineer or architect. They will do a detailed walk through of both habitable and non-habitable areas. This will include all major structural components and assess the current quality of their condition. If their visual inspection doesn’t identify any substantial structural deterioration anywhere phase two is not necessary. However, if they do identify areas of concern phase two may involve both nondestructive and destructive testing of these areas at the discretion of the inspector. Repairs identified in the final inspection report are required and cannot be deferred.
  • Mandatory Reserves
    Essentially this part of the legislation is in place to ensure that associations are legally obligated to maintain funds for required repairs and use them for their intended purposes. Associations will be required to raise their reserve funds to match needed repairs identified in SIRS. Further, they will not be permitted to repurpose those funds for any other use.
  • Report to the Division of Condominiums
    A list of details about your property must be reported to the Division and they are required to complete and post a list of buildings three stories or higher on their website. These will be searchable by county making the information easily accessible. The details you will need to provide are: number of three story or taller buildings, the number of units in each of those buildings, the buildings’ addresses including the county in which they are located.

Some technical issues in this new legislation have been identified, and will likely be addressed in another session. However, we do not expect to see any big changes. They will just be clarifying language and correcting any inconsistencies. This is a lot of big things happening at once and discussing it with your attorney is important. If you don’t already have one my office is here to help, give us a call.

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