With the new state requirements for the funding of reserves taking effect in the next few years for many Florida condominiums, association boards of directors and property managers across the state are beginning their planning process by contracting for and implementing a structural reserve study. Such studies, which should be conducted by highly experienced and qualified specialists, closely examine the current physical and financial state of communities as well as the maintenance, repair and replacement costs of all their elements to provide specific recommendations for the long-term funding of reserves.
Given the increased focus on reserves in Florida and many other states, the Community Associations Institute released updated Reserve Study Standards in May to provide communities with an improved framework for effective planning. The organization, which is the leading voice for the associations industry, has been intensely focused on reserves and other condominium-safety initiatives for the last two years since the tragic partial collapse of Champlain Towers South that claimed 98 lives.
For the most part, the changes in the new standards emphasize structural maintenance and inspections. They are the result of the work of a task force that began reviewing the standards more than one year ago.
The revisions emphasize the importance of comprehensive structural inspections as part of the reserve study process. They recommend engaging qualified professionals to conduct thorough inspections that provide accurate and detailed assessments of the condition of structural components such as roofs, load bearing walls and building envelopes. The results should provide valuable insights into the condition and maintenance requirements of structural components to help communities ensure the long-term stability of their physical infrastructure.
The standards also encourage associations to develop and implement maintenance plans that address identified issues promptly and prevent the escalation of potential problems. They recommend proactive maintenance practices to enable associations to extend the lifespan of structural components, reduce the likelihood of costly repairs, and ensure the safety of community members.
The new standards also include recommendations for associations to provide opportunities for staff and board members to enhance their knowledge in structural assessments, maintenance strategies, and best practices. The goal for all these educational and informational efforts is for associations directors, property managers and other professionals to become capable of effectively managing structural assets and implementing proactive maintenance plans.
To review the new standards and many of CAI’s other resources and recommendations involving reserves and the structural integrity of condominiums, visit the organization’s website at www.CondoSafety.com.