Structural Milestone Inspections or recertification is a prerequisite for all three-story or higher condo buildings 25 years or older, including cooperative buildings.
Talking about structural milestone inspection and recertification process for condos, its importance can’t be overstated, given that it involves the safety of hundreds of thousands of people. In fact, if data from the Community Association Institute is any suggestion, there are over 1.5 million condominium units across Florida. And among these condo units, 37 percent of them are situated in the two counties of Broward and Miami-Dade.
As such, you shouldn’t be surprised when we say that condo buildings are among the top priorities for structural engineer inspection and recertification.
More so, in the aftermath of the tragic Surfside condo collapse, the overall safety of condominium buildings has been into focus. After all, the Champlain Towers South building was undergoing structural inspections at the time of its collapse. Thus, the latest round of changes to the recertification scheme in Miami-Dade was much called for.
Now, if you are a member of your condominium board or association, the onus is on you to get a timely 40-year recertification inspection. Also, if your condo building is in Miami-Dade, you’ll need to comply with the new county rules calling for a 30-year recertification instead of 40.
1. What Are The New 30/40 Year Recertification Rules For Condo structural milestone inspections for Buildings?
Post the Surfside condo collapse, there had been strong demands to change the existing recertification inspection rules. And Miami-Dade County responded with a slew of changes to the 40-year structural inspection scheme, effective June 2022.
Among the key highlights of the changes in rules are a 40-year structural inspection requirement for all structures, condo included.
That means you’ll have to get your condominium building thoroughly inspected and recertified in its 30th year. Further, recertification of your condo building will be carried out every ten years thereafter, and so the name 30/40 year recertification.
But there’s a catch with the new Miami-Dade county rules, something you should be aware of.
- If your condo was built anywhere between 1983 and 1986 and has 40 year recertification due before March 31, 2024, the new rules won’t apply to it. Meaning, the building needs to get a recertification certificate in its 40th year.
- If the condominium was constructed between 1983 and 1992 and is about to turn 30 before March 31, 2024, a recertification will be done as per the new rules.
- If your condo building built between 1983 and 1997 is located within three miles of the coast, it needs a mandatory inspection and recertification before December 31, 2024. Also, for all condos within three miles of the coast, a 25 year recertification timeline will apply instead of 30.
The cost of 40 year recertification for condo buildings varies for different municipalities in Miami-Dade and Broward.
For instance, municipalities like Miami Beach, Miami, Surfside, Hialeah, etc., oversee the recertifications in their jurisdictions, and each levies a different fee for the process. For unincorporated areas of County’s Regulatory and Economic Resources department is in charge of overseeing recertification and charging a fee.
Recertification charges apart; your municipality may even charge you an additional fee for application, an extension of recertification, a late fine, and more.
Here’s a fee comparison of different municipalities for a better understanding:
While the municipality of Miami requires you to pay a fee of $276 for recertification, in Fort Lauderdale, you need to pay a $300 fee while submitting an inspection report.
Similarly, Fort Lauderdale levies a fee of $500 for every three months of extension, while Miami Beach charges a $600 fee for an extension of six months.
#3. Will 40 Year Structural Milestone Inspections Increase Your Monthly HOA Fee?
As an owner of a condo unit, your biggest question at the time of structural milestone inspections could be whether or not it’ll increase the monthly HOA fee.
That’s because the recertification process may involve extensive repairs on top of municipal and structural inspection fees, and as a homeowner, you may well have to contribute towards it.
Nevertheless, when it comes to the condo associations having to earmark a certain amount towards necessary repairs and other recertification costs, Florida’s laws are quite relaxed. As such, condo owners can have an HOA vote to not set aside an amount for recertification and thereby prevent an increase in their monthly association fee.
But the fact that you can keep your monthly HOA fee lower despite upcoming recertification can be equally problematic.
#4. How To Know If It’s Time For Your Building 40 Year Structural Inspections?
Much before your condo building turns 40; the county will send a notice of required inspection and recertification. In fact, as per the revised 40 year structural inspections scheme in Miami-Dade, the county will now send in the notice up to two years in advance.
That means the condo association will have enough time to complete the repairs, undergo the inspection process, and have an inspection report handy.
Also, since the new regulations consider the inspection reports valid for up to two years inspection, you can get an inspection done shortly after receiving the county’s notice. However, it is possible that a condo association doesn’t receive county notice. In such a situation, it is the responsibility of the association and its members to get the building recertified on time regardless.