South Florida’s Building Safety Program is in effect for Miami-Dade and Broward counties. It generally applies to all buildings greater than 3,500 square feet (2,000 square feet in Miami.) One-or-two unit residential homes are exempt. The program requires properties to be thoroughly inspected for structural, mechanical and electrical defects once they reach their 40-year anniversary and every 10 years after that.
The appropriate Code Compliance office sends a notification letter to the property owner that a deadline for the inspection is approaching. The owner has 90 days to complete the inspection and 60 days to complete repairs. Architects or engineers must be involved, and there are recertification companies that specialize in recertifications.
As good as this sounds, the June 2021 collapse of a Surfside condominium tower sent shock waves through the country. Preliminary investigations have determined that some townships may not follow up once the Notice of Required Inspections is sent to the property owner. There are reports that some HOAs never submit the completed inspection report back to the compliance office. Other reports have found that required maintenance affecting the stability and safety of buildings have been indefinitely delayed either due to a lack of reserve funds and/or the residents' unwillingness to pay a special assessment fee. It has been suggested that this was the case in Surfside.
My previous blog reports on the tightening of loan funding in response to the Surfside condominium collapse and the fear that bad practices may be prevalent throughout the country.