For those of us in the business of building, we pride ourselves on constructing durable structures designed to last. But we are also realists. Even buildings made with the highest quality of materials and most experienced crew need upgrades and attention over time, especially as they near the 40-year mark.
Time, routine use, and Florida’s intense climate all take a toll on the integrity of a building. If those structural or mechanical issues are not routinely evaluated and addressed, we may sadly end up bearing witness to tragedies like the devastating condo collapse in Surfside.
What to Know about the 40-Year Recertification of Property
Several municipalities in Florida, including those in Miami-Dade and Broward counties, require a 40-year recertification of properties. Some properties are exempt, including single-family homes, duplexes, and other smaller buildings, but most other buildings will need to undergo a 40-year inspection – and then another recertification inspection every 10 years after that.
As your building turns 40, you will receive a Notice of Required Inspection from county or city code compliance officials. Property owners then have 90 days to get the building inspected by a qualified engineer or architect.
The architect or engineer will inspect the structural condition of the building including the foundations, roofing systems, framing system, bearing walls and more. They will also verify that all electric services, wiring, circuits, panels, and other electrical systems are in safe, working condition.
If any repairs are needed, the property owner has up to 150 days to complete the work after which the property must be reinspected and a new report issued. Failure to complete the 40-year recertification report leaves property owners liable for hefty fines and stiff legal penalties.
How to Plan and Budget for Recertification
The last thing you want is to be caught off guard by your recertification notice. As your building nears the 35-year timeframe, you should start thinking about what you might need to do in the next few years to obtain your recertification. Sometimes the upgrades required may be quite significant, especially if it’s structural.
Talk with an experienced professional to understand what you need to do to keep your building safe and habitable for its next phase of life. Inspections and construction upgrades are not something you can afford to cut corners on.
If you have questions about Miami-Dade and Broward counties’ recertification requirements or want to schedule a meeting to discuss your property, get in touch with our team at Seacoast Construction.
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