MANDATORY BUILDING INSPECTIONS Ė PART TWO
Eric Glazer, Esq.
Published June 13, 2022
So last week we discussed the fact that the change in the law
will now require every condominium building in the state that is
3 stories or higher and at least 30 years old (25 years old if
within 3 miles of the coast) to undergo a Phase One inspection,
every 10 years, by a licensed architect or engineer who is
looking for visual signs of structural damage to the building.
Now if Iím the guy doing the Phase One Inspection, itís pretty
likely that Iím going to find something that requires a Phase
Two inspection. Why not? Is it worth the potential liability
for saying the building is fine and then someone is injured or
killed because of a structural defect? Of course not. So count
on lots of Phase Two Inspections. Here is what that entails:
Ė Only If found to be necessary after the Phase One Inspection
(b) A phase two of the milestone inspection must be performed if
any substantial structural deterioration is identified during
phase one. A phase two inspection may involve destructive or
nondestructive testing at the inspector's direction. The
inspection may be as extensive or as limited as necessary to
fully assess areas of structural distress in order to confirm
that the building is structurally sound and safe for its
intended use and to recommend a program for fully assessing and
repairing distressed and damaged portions of the building. When
determining testing locations, the inspector must give
preference to locations that are the least disruptive and most
easily repairable while still being representative of the
structure. An inspector who completes a phase two milestone
inspection shall prepare and submit an inspection report
pursuant to subsection (8).
(8) Upon completion of a phase one or phase two milestone
inspection, the architect or engineer who performed the
inspection must submit a sealed copy of the inspection report
with a separate summary of, at minimum, the material findings
and recommendations in the inspection report to the condominium
association or cooperative association, and to the building
official of the local government which has jurisdiction. The
inspection report must, at a minimum, meet all of the following
(a) Bear the seal and signature, or the electronic signature, of
the licensed engineer or architect who performed the
(b) Indicate the manner and type of inspection forming the basis
for the inspection report.
(c) Identify any substantial structural deterioration, within a
reasonable professional probability based on the scope of the
inspection, describe the extent of such deterioration, and
identify any recommended repairs for such deterioration.
(d) State whether unsafe or dangerous conditions, as those terms
are defined in the Florida Building Code, were observed.
(e) Recommend any remedial or preventive repair for any items
that are damaged but are not substantial structural
(f) Identify and describe any items requiring further
THE ASSOCIATIONíS RESPONSIBILITY
(9) The association must distribute a copy of the
inspector-prepared summary of the inspection report to each
condominium unit owner or cooperative unit owner, regardless of
the findings or recommendations in the report, by United States
mail or personal delivery and by electronic transmission to unit
owners who previously consented to receive notice by electronic
transmission; must post a copy of the inspector-prepared summary
in a conspicuous place on the condominium or cooperative
property; and must publish the full report and inspector
prepared summary on the association's website, if the
association is required to have a website.
(10) A local enforcement agency may prescribe timelines and
penalties with respect to compliance with this section.
(11) A board of county commissioners may adopt an ordinance
requiring that a condominium or cooperative association schedule
or commence repairs for substantial structural deterioration
within a specified timeframe after the local enforcement agency
receives a phase two inspection report; however, such repairs
must be commenced within 365 days after receiving such report.
If an association fails to submit proof to the local enforcement
agency that repairs have been scheduled or have commenced for
substantial structural deterioration identified in a phase two
inspection report within the required timeframe, the local
enforcement agency must review and determine if the building is
unsafe for human occupancy.
The bottom line is that if forced to do a Phase One inspection,
you can ensure you will be required to do a Phase Two
Inspection. The Phase Two Inspection will be costly and the
architect or engineer performing the study has full reign over
the property. What they say needs fixing, needs fixing. And
what do they have to lose in stating that certain structural
repairs should be made? On the other hand, they have a lot to
lose if they donít recommend a fix and catastrophe strikes.
Rest assured that Phase Two Study will require repairs and they
wonít come cheap.
Next week we discuss the new laws regarding Mandatory reserves.