Making Sense of the New SIRS Requirements

Making Sense of the New Structural Integrity Reserve Study (SIRS) Requirements

A Resource Guide for Condominium Association Boards

By David Ward, PCAM & Doug Weinstein / Published January 2024

Photo by Images

If you have been a board member of your Florida condominium association over the past two years, you likely have heard countless discussions, attended webinars, and listened to live presentations about the new structural integrity reserve study (SIRS) legislation in Florida. All the news, focus, and attention stems from two main pieces of legislation: Senate Bill 4-D (SB 4-D) and Senate Bill 154 (SB 154). Despite the coverage and discussions, the details of the recent legislation are technical, lengthy, and challenging to understand when it comes to the impact on an individual condominium association.

     This article dives into the legislative components that will impact all condominiums: the SIRS and the respective implications for all condominium boards of directors and unit owners, including changes to reserve funding.

Questions that will be answered in this article include the following:

  1. What is a SIRS?
  2. What are the key components and requirements of the SIRS, including deadlines and how to hire professionals and budgeting?
  3. What are the overall implications to board members and unit owners?

What is a Structural Integrity Reserve Study (SIRS)?

     A SIRS is now required by all condominium associations as they provide a comprehensive assessment of the association’s structural components, their expected lifespans, and the corresponding reserve funds required for maintenance, repairs, and replacements.

Key Components of the SIRS

  1. Deadlines & Frequency
         Under the new legislation, the SIRS must be completed by December 31, 2024, for all condominium associations existing on or before July 1, 2022. For any condominium that is three stories or higher, a SIRS must be conducted every 10 years, in addition to existing reserve studies.
  2. Critical Structural Components
         In addition to standard reserve items, such as cooling towers, elevators, paving, etc., associations must now include an evaluation of the structural elements and electrical and mechanical systems. This approach aims to provide a more accurate representation of the association’s overall structural health. The following is the detailed list of required structural components that must be addressed by the SIRS:

    1. Roof
    2. Load-bearing walls or other primary structural members
    3. Flooring
    4. Foundation
    5. Fireproofing and fire protection systems
    6. Plumbing
    7. Electrical systems
    8. Exterior painting and waterproofing
    9. Windows and exterior doors (that are the responsibility of the association)

         Any items that have a deferred maintenance expense or replacement cost that exceeds $10,000, and where the failure to replace/maintain such item negatively affects the items listed above, as determined by a licensed engineer or architect.

  3. Hiring and Engaging the Right Professionals
         Recognizing the complexity of structural assessments, both SB 4-D and SB 154 mandate that a SIRS be conducted by qualified professionals. The visual inspection portion of the SIRS must be performed or verified by a Florida-licensed engineer or architect, or a person certified as a reserve specialist or professional reserve analyst. Engaging professionals with the required qualifications ensures that the assessments are thorough, accurate, and compliant with the new legislative requirements.
         Associations that engage professionals with a proven track record of conducting similar studies will be best positioned. A successful and astute board of directors will also seek legal guidance from their association attorney, as appropriate, to ensure their association is in compliance with SIRS requirements and to review the SIRS report, funding schedule, and annual budget. It is also prudent that your association’s legal counsel review any agreements with your preferred SIRS provider before executing the contract.
  4. Financial Planning, Reporting, and Budget Implementation 
         The legislation emphasizes the importance of financial planning based on the findings of the structural integrity reserve study. Condominium associations are now required to incorporate the study’s results into their budgetary considerations. This includes identifying necessary structural reserve funds and developing a strategic plan for the allocation of these funds over the life span of the study period. Additionally, associations must provide a summary of the study’s results to unit owners within 30 days of completion.
          Once the study is complete, the next step is to integrate its findings into the association’s annual budget planning. This process involves working closely with your management team and a reserve study expert to determine the appropriate reserve fund allocations over the study period.
         Due to the new legislation, many associations will be required to raise their reserve funding and therefore raise their monthly maintenance fees (also known as HOA fees). Additionally, the ability or option of the membership to vote on partially funding or fully waiving reserves that are specifically related to the structural or SIRS components will no longer be permitted as of January 1, 2025. This new requirement presents a radical change to how many condominium associations have been operating and drafting combined operations and reserve budgets on an annual basis.
         As a best practice, boards should communicate the association’s financial plans clearly to unit owners, outlining the anticipated costs and the rationale behind the newly proposed budget.
  5. Review, Improve, or Create Robust Maintenance and Repair Protocols.  
         The SIRS is not a one-time requirement, but rather a way to outline ongoing maintenance and repair protocols. Boards should adopt proactive measures to address identified issues promptly, ensuring that the association’s structures are well-maintained and comply with safety standards—preventive maintenance is key to potentially enhancing the life of both SIRS and non-SIRS components.
         Engaging qualified professionals and integrating study findings with comprehensive financial planning are also critical in navigating the new legislation. Sharing routine maintenance updates with unit owners will take things a step further by creating a sense of transparency and building trust within the community.
         Although the recent legislative changes introduced through SB 4-D and SB 154 will have significant implications on condominium association boards in Florida, understanding and proactively addressing the requirements outlined in these bills will allow boards to enhance the safety, integrity, and long-term sustainability of their communities.

     If your condominium association falls into the 25 to 30 years or older category, you can find more information regarding the milestone certification process on our resources page at

David Ward, CAM, PCAM

Director of Business Development, AKAM-Southeast

     David Ward is the director of business development for AKAM-Southeast. David has over 10 years of experience as a licensed CAM, including eight years serving as an on-site general manager for luxury high-rise condominiums in Fisher Island, Key Biscayne, Miami, and Miami Beach.

Doug Weinstein

Senior Vice President of Operations, AKAM-Southeast

     Doug Weinstein is the senior vice president of operations for AKAM-Southeast. Doug has over 30 years of experience working with AKAM on all things building operations in both New York and Florida.