Mandatory Reserves for Condominiums and Cooperatives Three (3) Stories Or Higher Becomes Law

Len Wilder

As written about extensively, last year Governor DeSantis signed legislation into law that requires condominiums and cooperatives, three (3) stories or higher: (i) to conduct milestone inspections, (ii) conduct a structural integrity reserve study, and (iii) based upon those studies, to implement and collect mandatory reserves from each unit owner.   These requirements become effective December 31, 2024.  The well-intended purpose of this legislation is to prevent another Surfside tragedy by forcing condominiums and cooperatives to collect reserves to address structural issues over time as opposed to waiving reserves and delaying the need for collection of funds to address repair problems in a timely manner.  While Florida’s Condominium and Cooperative Acts always required the Board of Directors to calculate reserves, members were allowed by majority vote to waive or reduce reserves which resulted in many associations not having the funds to  address expensive and necessary repairs when required.   As new legislation, there are some glitches that have caused confusion for those condominiums and cooperatives that are less than three stories.  Whereas the law is clear that effective December 31, 2024, condominiums, and cooperatives that are three (3) stories or higher must conduct inspections, obtain reserve studies, and implement and collect mandatory structural reserves, questions have arisen if the mandatory structural reserve requirements are applicable to condominiums and cooperatives that are less than three (3) stories, or if said reserves may be waived or reduced by its members.   Attorneys are somewhat divided on this issue.  Whereas some attorneys view the mandatory reserve requirement to only be applicable to condominiums and cooperatives that are three stories or higher; other attorneys believe that collection of mandatory reserves is required of all condominiums and cooperatives associations, irrespective of height.   The latter position is shared by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares and Mobile Homes, which regulates condominiums and cooperatives.  When asked about two (2) story condominiums, the Division took the position that the height of a condominium has no bearing on the requirement of collecting reserves or on its ability to waive reserves.   Until such time as the legislature or...

Continue reading

Understanding Recent Changes in Litigation and Appeals 


In the Commercial Litigation and Appeals practice area, it is important to stay on top of new developments in the law and procedure, including changes to Florida Statutes, rules of procedure and new appellate court case law. This includes routinely reviewing new appellate opinions. I would like to discuss a couple of recent decisions that impact both litigation and appeals.  Generally, each party is responsible for their own attorney’s fees in litigation unless a statute or contract applies. Florida Statute § 768.79 creates a substantive right to attorney’s fees relating to a proposal for settlement or “PFS.” The purpose of a PFS is to encourage settlements and to act as a penalty against a party who rejects a reasonable settlement offer.  That statute is implemented by rule 1.442, which governs the form of such proposals. If a defendant serves a PFS, which is not accepted by the plaintiff within 30 days, the defendant shall be entitled to recover reasonable costs and attorney’s fees incurred by the defendant from the date of filing the offer, if the judgment is of no liability, or the judgment obtained by the plaintiff is at least 25% less than the amount offered in the PFS, and the court shall set off such costs and attorney’s fees against the award.  On the other hand, if a plaintiff serves a PFS which is not accepted by the defendant within 30 days, and the plaintiff recovers a judgment in an amount at least 25% greater than the offer, the plaintiff will be entitled to recover reasonable costs and attorney’s fees incurred from the date of serving the PFS.  As per the rule, a PFS must be in writing and must include a number of items. Currently, under the rule, a party serving a PFS must state the particularity of any relevant conditions, and to state the particularity of all non-monetary terms of the proposal. But recently, the Florida Supreme Court made an important change to the rule governing PFS. Effective July 1, 2022, this rule will no longer include the requirement that a PFS must state with particularity any...

Continue reading


Sachs Sax Caplan, P.L. is proud to be recognized by The Florida Bar for our commitment to hiring and developing Board Certified Attorneys.