40 Year Inspections for condos in Fort Lauderdale, Pompano Beach, Hollywood, and all other cities in Broward County
By: Denise and Melissa Stewart
As Realtors, we are Frequently asked if the condos we are trying to sell covered by the 40 Year Inspection rule. Generally the answer is YES, and it is always good to ask questions, rather than buy a condo, and get surprised by a special assessment for needed repairs.
The following Overview is from fortlauderdale.gov:
The 40-year or Older Building Safety Program was created in 2005 and is now in effect throughout Broward County. Modeled after Miami-Dade County’s program which has been in effect since the 1970’s, Broward’s program calls for structural and electrical safety inspection for buildings 40 years old or older and every ten years, thereafter.
Exempt from this program are:
- One- and two-family dwellings
- U.S. government buildings
- State of Florida owned buildings
- Schools under the jurisdiction of the Broward County School Board
- Buildings built on Indian reservations
- All buildings under 3,500 square feet
Both Broward and Dade County have had instances of structural building failures. This program helps minimize the possibilities of future building failure and better prepares us for hurricane winds.
Because of Hurricane Wilma, the worst storm to impact Broward County in 50 years, some cities could not implement the program in 2006. However, all jurisdictions are current with inspections and plan reviews and therefore are ready to implement the program in their respective city.
Please review the following information for:
- Detailed information about the program
- Structural and electrical report forms
- Guidelines for buildings to be inspected by design professionals hired by private building owners
Each municipality has the authority to establish a fee to review the Safety Inspection Reports. There is a $300.00 fee, at the time of submittal, for the City of Fort Lauderdale Building Department to review the reports.
After review of the reports, if the building is determined to be safe you will not be required to have another Building Safety Inspection for ten (10) years. In the event the report proves there are structural or electrical deficiencies, the owner shall have one hundred-eighty (180) days from the date of the report to obtain the required permit(s) and complete the necessary repairs.
If the 40-Year Building Safety Program affects your property, you will receive a certified letter with information about what you need to do.
For more information regarding the 40-Year or Older Building Safety Program, please email George Oliva at firstname.lastname@example.org or Tasha Williams at email@example.com or call at 954-828-5082.
If you have any questions, these are Frequently Asked Questions from the Fort Lauderdale Website:
40 YEAR RECERTIFICATION FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS What do I need?
Applicants must submit the following:
40 Year Building Safety Report Submittal coversheet.
1 Structural package: Minimum Inspection Guideline for Building Safety
1 Electrical package: Minimum Inspection Guideline for Building Safety.
Forms must be properly sealed/stamped by a Florida registered Architect or Engineer.
Forms must have an original signature. The architect/engineer is required to check the correct box for either “Repairs Required” or “No Repairs Required”.
$300 fee is required at time of submittal.
If you would like to have an approved copy sent back to you, please submit two packages for each discipline.
Packages with detailed information are located in the lobby of the Building Services Center or can be printed from at our website, http://www.fortlauderdale.gov/building_services/40year.htm. Mailed in reports will not be accepted. Packages must be submitted in person to 700 NW 19 Ave, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33311. At time of submittal you will receive a receipt for payment.
What if I no longer own that property? We will verify through the Broward Count Property Appraiser’s Office that there is a new owner and make changes in our database. If the BCPA still shows you are listed as the property owner, you will need to contact them directly to have it changed.
What if the building is not 40 years old? If you believe the building is not 40 years old you will need to contact us and we will research further with the Broward County Property Appraiser’s office to verify the age.
I did a complete interior demolition/renovation of my property. Am I exempt from the program? No. An inspection is needed to ensure the electrical and structural exterior of the entire building is in compliance with the 40 Year Building Safety Program. If the work was recently completed, the architect should be able to recertify the building on the required forms. The inspection will not be waived unless the ENTIRE building was demolished.
Will an inspector from the City come out? No. The City’s review is based totally on the architect’s report. Their seal certifies the integrity of the report. Repairs will be required as stated by the architect/engineer.
How long does it take for the recertification to be completed once submitted? Approximately two weeks.
Will I receive written certification when my property is in compliance? If recertification is accepted, your file is closed, nothing will be sent to you. You can check if your file has been closed via our website at www.fortlauderdale.gov. If repairs are needed, you will be sent written notification and you will have 180 days from the date of the safety report to permit repairs, complete repairs and submit the report again to the Building Department. There will be no additional charge for re-submittal of reports.
I will be demolishing the building in six months, do I still need to have the building inspected. Yes, especially if it is being occupied or still in use. Requests for an exception must be submitted in writing to the Building Official.
Does the building have to be brought up to today’s building code? No. This is a safety inspection of the condition of the building’s structure and electrical system. It determines that whatever is existing is safe. If repairs are required you may have to make repairs to meet the current code.
Emergency lights and fire alarms are required by today’s code. Will I be required to install these? This will be determined during the annual inspection by the City of Fort Lauderdale Fire Department.
Will an inspector come out to my building to make sure everything is now correct after repairs have been completed? No. The entire 40-year report, finding and corrective measures are all based of the integrity of the Architect’s report. Your architect or engineer should prepare a new 40-year Safety Inspection report to be submitted to the Building Department.
Can the City provide the names of Architects or Engineers we can hire? Unfortunately, we are not able to provide that information. Because we review the reports that are reports that are prepared by an architect or engineer, it would be a conflict of interest for us to provide a referral list.
We have included two websites that may be of assistance to you:
Do I have to hire a separate Architect/Engineer for Structural and another for Electrical? The architect or engineer you hire will be able to tell you if he/she is qualified to practice in both disciplines.
When do I use the Incidental Repair form? This form should be used under the following conditions:
The building has no immediate life safety threat OR where failure of a critical component is not imminent.
The repairs that important in maintaining the building's long-term safety.
The architect/engineer will provide a date and you must sign the form to acknowledge that the repairs will be done by this specified date. The form must be used in conjunction with the “Broward County Building Safety Inspection Report.”
When incidental repairs are the only repairs required, the report submitted to the Building Department must state “No Repairs are Required.” The report must have original signature and signed and sealed/stamped by the architect/engineer
What is required to submit a permit for structural and/or electrical repairs?
A permit application completed by a licensed and insured electrical contractor for the appropriate discipline.
Two sets of documentation detailing what repairs are required and the location of the repairs.
How do I know if a permit is required for repairs?
The architect/engineer or contractor that you hire should be able to answer this. If they are not sure, you can contact the Structural Chief at (954) 828-5255 or the Electrical Chief at (954) 828-5230.
General maintenance repairs that are $1500 or more in valuation will require a permit.
If you have any questions about a specific Condo building that you are interested in, please call Denise @ 954 881 9148 ar text firstname.lastname@example.org