Since the building collapse in Florida I’ve seen posts online calling for sweeping legislation to require that associations fully fund their reserves. Before we overreact to an extremely rare tragic event, let’s all take a deep breath and think about a few things:
First of all, more than 99.99% of associations are not ocean front high rise condos. Should an association in Palm Springs that only maintains asphalt and vehicle gates have to change the way it operates because of what happened in Florida?
A reserve study is not a structural engineering evaluation, and there is no requirement that reserve study inspectors be trained in structural engineering. Reserve study inspections are not meant uncover structural deficiencies.
What is a bigger issue in this country, homeownership affordability or buildings collapsing? Requiring associations to fully fund reserves would force many associations to immediately raise their monthly dues by up to hundreds of dollars and cause major special assessments.
Maybe there is a need for new structural inspection requirements for certain types of buildings. Associations should absolutely conduct reserve studies regularly and use them to make informed decisions about how much to budget for reserves. But legislating that associations fund reserves to a certain level has never been required. Requiring fully funding reserves would likely cause millions of homeowner’s monthly dues to increase dramatically.