CAI’s Government and Public Affairs Committee is considering policy reform recommendations that address building inspections, reserve studies, and reserve funding plans in the wake of the devastating collapse of Champlain Tower South condominium in Surfside, Fla., in late June.

Immediately following the tragedy that claimed 98 lives, CAI convened a special meeting with expert attorneys, builders, reserve analysts, and insurance professionals. Three task forces were appointed with the purpose of identifying recommendations for public policy reform as well as best practices and guidance for local, state, and federal legislators as they discuss solutions to prevent this type of disaster in their districts.

The task forces were focused on: building inspections and maintenance; reserve study and funding plans; and insurance and risk management. These task forces, which contained between 50 and 300 participants from across the country and from different disciplines, are asking CAI’s Government and Public Affairs Committee to consider the following high-level topics.


  • Developers will provide a preventive maintenance schedule including all components that are the responsibility of the community association, not just the components included in the reserve study.
  • All multifamily residential buildings of concrete, load-bearing masonry, steel, or hybrid structural systems such as heavy timber and those with podium decks will include a baseline inspection and regular inspections based on specific intervals. The protocol for these building inspections can be found in the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Guideline for Structural Condition Assessment of Existing Buildings (SEI/ASCE 11-99) or other industry standards. The initial baseline inspection is identified as the preliminary assessment within this guide. If necessary, a detailed assessment as defined within this guide may be required.

Committee proposals also included specifics regarding communication and disclosure to homeowners, residents, and local governments, as well as proposals authorizing community association boards to administer special assessments if funding is needed in an emergency.

Engaging in discussions to determine whether or not state law should mandate or oppose:

  • Regular reserve studies for all community associations.
  • Reserve funding.
  • Disclosure, including summary of reserve study, current funding, and funding plan during annual budgeting.
  • Allowing owners to waive/opt out of state law reserve study and funding requirements.
  • Funding for emergent life-safety repairs by authorizing the association governing board to approve a special assessment or borrow funds without a vote of the membership.

The CAI Board of Trustees, Government and Public Affairs Committee, and members of state legislative action committees were presented with the task forces’ public policy reform recommendations during the 2021 CAI Annual Conference and Exposition: Community NOW, in Las Vegas last week.

Within the next 30 days, Government and Public Affairs Committee members, legislative action committee members, members of CAI’s three membership representation groups, and fellows in the College of Community Association Lawyers will be invited to indicate support or opposition of each policy recommendation. The Government and Public Affairs Committee also will reconvene to vote on the recommendations.

Within the next 60 days, the CAI Board of Trustees will be presented with the Government and Public Affairs Committee’s recommendations for consideration and vote.

CAI thanks the three task forces for their work on these important projects. They were given a 30-day goal of developing possible recommendations, meeting weekly for four weeks. The groups’ team leaders also connected weekly to ensure their work was not overlapping and to share progress. There were plenty of conversations and different perspectives, which CAI believes contributed to the quality of these recommendations.

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