The firm’s latest Miami Herald “Real Estate Counselor” column in today’s edition of the newspaper is authored by partner Marc A. Smiley and titled “Reserve Funding Requirements Are Growing Priority for Many South Florida Condominiums.” The article focuses on the new reserve study and funding requirements in Florida, and it begins with information on reserves from a new report issued recently by the Community Associations Institute’s Foundation for Community Association Research. Marc’s article reads:
. . . The report indicates that about $26.6 billion in assessments are contributed to association reserve funds for the repair, replacement, and enhancement of common property, e.g., replacing roofs, resurfacing streets, repairing swimming pools and elevators, meeting new environmental standards, and implementing new energy-saving features.
The new Florida condominium legislation requiring buildings three stories and taller to fund reserves and pass engineering inspections will account for many significant increases in association expenses for the state’s aging condo buildings. Such communities will likely be forced to increase their association dues from their owners in order to pay for ongoing operating expenses as well as long-term repairs and replacements.
For those condominium communities that find their reserves woefully underfunded and in need of significant increases, the boards of directors and property managers must communicate the severity of the situation and answer owners’ questions during their board meetings. Such a proactive approach will be necessary in order to effectively illustrate the true costs of maintaining the community and complying with the new funding and inspection requirements. All associations members will need to be made keenly aware of everything it takes to maintain their community’s standards while also setting aside enough funding for foreseeable long-term maintenance, repair and replacement costs.