If you’ve lived in Miami and Fort Lauderdale for a while, you’ve probably heard someone, somewhere complaining about their building’s 40 years recertification. This provision, stating that condominiums that are older than 40 years need to undergo a property recertification, is inevitable. As such, it is important that the association board begin planning and budgeting for the moment when the condo will be subject to inspection by the municipal authorities.
What is 40 Year Recertification?
“As condominiums age, common element parts and equipment are replaced through assessments levied on the homeowners, so it is prudent for the property owner to maintain a portion of the maintenance as reserves so that the burden is alleviated when the need for repair or replacement arises. The same rule applies for the 40 Year Recertification of a condominium,” explains Vice Mayor Isaac Aelion, of Sunny Islands Beach, Florida in a release.
The “40-year rule,” as it’s commonly called, was instituted in the wake of several deaths from collapsed walkways and balconies in condominium buildings. Structural updates are necessary, as Florida condominiums are subject to intense heat, humidity, salt and extreme weather. This inspection covers all aspects of a building’s maintenance including, but is not limited to, structural elements, columns, roof sytems, plumbing, electrical, mechanical, fire alarms, fire sprinkler systems, elevators, exterior walls and paint, balcony structures, hallway and staircase railings, etc.
There are legal and municipal policies to consider as well. With so many details and objectives to fulfill, it is important to get sufficient legal advice before you proceed. Making sure that you are up-to-date with municipal and county processes prior to the inspection ensures compliance with all regulatory and legal obligations.
The best way to organize your preparation is by making a series of checklists that cover all aspects of updating your property as well as establishing deadlines for the completion of projects. Checklists provide easy-to-accomplish directives ensuring that your preparation plans are thorough and comprehensive, without being unnecessarily complicated.
Once the municipal regulations are satisfied, and your lists are in order, it is important to budget for necessary maintenance and start the bidding process for appropriate vendors. It is no easy task to negotiate and reach a budgetary consensus with what will likely be dozens of contractors and sub-contractors. Often times, approved budgets and timelines fail to accommodate the actual costs of the project. Furthermore, boards will try to procrastinate repairing big ticket items by approving only the most immediate and necessary repairs as a cost-savings strategy. The downside to this is that when those big-ticket items fail, associations must pay steep prices to restore functionality.
American Management Group is committed to keeping South Florida’s associations informed and compliant in all aspects of community management, including recertification requirements. With over 10 years in managing HOA’s, AMG is the logical next step in your association management needs. Schedule a consultation today to see how your community can benefit.