Structural Integrity Reserve Study
Need a structural integrity reserve study? We can help! In May 2022 Florida Senate Bill 4D was introduced and establishes state wide structural integrity reserve study and funding requirements. Our experienced team can make sure you are fully compliant with these new laws. We are up to date with all the new laws and is ready and able to help you get up to date with these new statutes. Below we have listed guide to the new SIRS (Structural Integrity Reserve Study).
What is a Structural Integrity Reserve Study?
Structural Integrity Reserve Study examines your Building condition and calculates the funds you would need to have in order to maintain your building or carry out any repairs that you may need to complete. The Florida Structural Integrity Reserve Study also known as the SIRS is part of the new senate bill SB 4D which will be affecting many condominium owners in all of Florida. Since condominiums are such a popular housing option for many Americans, particularly in Florida, learning about the new laws being put in place should be at the top of your to-do list. Whether you are a building owner or a resident these new inspection laws will have a big impact on your association fees and building maintenance costs. The maintenance and repair of common areas can quickly add up during these inspections especially if your building has not been well maintained or you live near the coast. To ensure that condominiums are adequately funded for future major repairs and replacements, many states have enacted laws requiring “reserve studies.” Here, we will discuss Florida’s “Structural Integrity Reserve Study” law, Florida SB 4D, and its importance for condominiums in Florida.
Elements covered in the Structural Integrity Reserve Study
WHAT is A STRUCTURAL RESERVE STUDY FOR?
The purpose of the “Structural Integrity Reserve Study” law is to ensure that condominiums have adequate funds set aside to pay for future major repairs and replacements. This is important because, unlike a single-family home, condominium ownership is shared among multiple unit owners. Therefore, major repairs and replacements, such as concrete repairs, must be shared among all unit owners. Without adequate funding, the cost of these repairs could fall on individual unit owners, causing financial strain and potential conflict.
The reserve study also serves as a way for the condominium board to plan for future expenses and prioritize maintenance and repair projects. By knowing what major repairs and replacements are on the horizon, the board can allocate funds accordingly and ensure that the common areas are well-maintained and safe for all residents.
ALL Elements covered in the Structural Integrity Reserve Study
The study must encompass, at a minimum, the structural components of the following systems: Roofs, Load-bearing walls, Primary structural members, Floors, Foundations, Fireproofing and Fire protection systems, Plumbing, Electrical systems, Waterproofing and exterior painting, Windows, and Mechanical systems.
Additionally, any item with a deferred maintenance expense or replacement cost greater than $10,000, which if not repaired or replaced could adversely impact the building’s structural integrity, must be included in the study.
As SB-4D is a recently introduced legislation and may be necessary to undertake further efforts to adhere to modifications to the law as fresh guidance is issued by the Florida Legislature, Florida Building Commission, and Florida State Fire Marshall.
In Summary, several elements are covered in the Florida Structural Reserve Study. These elements include the following:
- Structural Systems
- Electrical Systems
- Windows & Exterior Doors
- Fireproofing & Fire Safety
- Exterior Painting & Water Proofing
Along with these elements, any structural element that can affect the integrity of the building and is over $10,000 is also included in the Florida structural reserve study.
WHAT IS A Reserve FunD?
What is a reserve fund and how does it relate to the Structural Reserve Study? The “Structural Integrity Reserve Study” law requires that condominiums establish and maintain a reserve fund to pay for major repairs and replacements of common areas. The reserve fund is funded through annual contributions from the unit owners, and the amount required is determined by a reserve study. The reserve study is a visual inspection of the common areas and a review of any existing reserve funds. Based on this inspection, the study determines the reserve funds required for future major repairs and replacements of the common area.
Fiduciary and Financial requirements
From December 31, 2024, it is mandatory for unit-owner-controlled associations to appropriately finance items specified in the structural integrity reserve study. Utilizing or reducing these funds is strictly prohibited and must only be used for the particular item mentioned in the study. If an association does not complete the structural integrity reserve study, it will result in a violation of a board member or officer’s fiduciary responsibility. Moreover, it will be considered a breach of the director or officer’s fiduciary duty if the association does not finance reserves correctly concerning the items specified in the Structural Integrity Reserve Study. Failure to comply with SB-4D may lead to personal liability for board members.
WHAT IS SB 4D?
SB 4D is a new Florida statute that was put in place so that Condo Owners Associations have the funds available in advance for long-term maintenance of the building and also have funds in case a critical structural element of a building needs to be replaced or repaired. Similar to the process of the 40-year recertification required by any buildings in Florida over three stories high. This includes Miami-Dade, Broward County, Palm Beach County, Jacksonville, and Tampa. This law will affect residents state-wide and is something you need to be well informed of.
BENEFITS OF A STRUCTURAL INTEGRITY RESERVE STUDY
In addition to the financial benefits, the reserve study can also provide peace of mind for condominium owners. Knowing that the condominium is adequately funded for future major repairs and replacements can alleviate concerns about unexpected expenses and allow residents to enjoy their homes without worrying about potential financial burdens.
WHO CAN PERFORM A STRUCTURAL INTEGRITY RESERVE STUDY?
A Structural Integrity Reserve Study can be performed by any Florida-certified engineer. We have been doing building certifications for over a decade and have dedicated hundreds of hours to ensure our clients are fully compliant with the new SB-4D statute. We are professionally licensed engineers and our experienced team of engineers and reserve study analyst would be happy to help you complete your SIRS.
How much does a structural integrity reserve study cost?
It all depends on the company completing the Structural Integrity Reserve Study. The price of a SIRS varies based on the amount of buildings, the size of the buildings, how many units are in the building, and the complexity of completing the SIRS. You can expect to pay anywhere between $2,000-$100,000 for a structural integrity reserve study in Florida.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON THE STRUCTURAL INTEGRITY RESERVE STUDY
In conclusion, the “Structural Integrity Reserve Study” law is an important requirement for Florida condominiums. It ensures that adequate funds are set aside for future major repairs and replacements, provides a way for the board to plan for future expenses, and can provide peace of mind for condominium owners. By requiring reserve studies, states are helping to ensure that condominiums are well-maintained and safe for all residents.