structural integrity

Enforcement of new structural safety law examined

Joe Adams - Condo Q&A

Joe Adams – Condo Q&A

Q: In a previous column, you mentioned the new statute that deals with building inspections and reserves. I understand the reason for these changes, but do not understand how they are enforced or how extensive they are. Can you comment further on that? (SS, via e-mail)

A: This may be the most impactful change to the condominium statute since it was first enacted in 1963. In sum, there are three main new requirements in the new law.

First, all buildings of three stories or more must have a “milestone inspection” performed, and a “milestone inspection report” and separate “summary” prepared. The due date depends on the age of the building and its proximity to the coastline, although all pre-1992 buildings of three stories or more must complete these requirements before the end of 2024. The milestone inspection and report must be performed and prepared by a licensed architect or engineer.

Secondly, there must also be a “structural integrity reserve study” for buildings covered by the statute. This reserve study requires visual inspection by a licensed architect or engineer and requires a number of previously unregulated structural components of buildings to be addressed.

Finally, “fully funded” reserves must be set aside for those items covered by the structural integrity reserve study. These reserves cannot be waived or reduced by either the board of directors or the unit owners.

As to potential liabilities, the statute states that a licensed manager or management company must “comply” with the new law “as directed by the board.”

The statute also imposes breach of fiduciary duty liability on directors and officers for a willful or knowing failure to comply. Since directors have a fiduciary duty to comply with the law in general, it is hard not to conclude that

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