By Alexander Barthet

This is the last year for Florida residential condominiums to opt-out of statutorily mandated fire sprinkler retrofitting. If an association fails to hold the required meeting or doesn’t obtain the required approval from a majority of unit owners to forego the retrofitting, then that association must submit a building permit application on or before December 31, 2016 so as to proceed with needed, and undoubtedly expensive, retrofitting which in turn must be completed by December 31, 2019.

Association managers and lawyers are busy dealing with this critical requirement. They need to gather their unit owners for a properly noticed meeting to vote on the retrofitting of the fire sprinkler systems in their buildings, servicing both the common elements and the individual units. Specific notice and compliance rules must be met and eventually the opt-out vote must be reported to the Division of Florida Condominiums. Associations can call a special meeting if they subsequently decide to rescind their opt-out vote.  But time is running out for all this to happen.

If fire sprinkler retrofitting hasn’t already been an agenda item on a condominium association board meeting, it needs to be, soon.

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