Brief History of Building Recertification’s in Florida

Yes, the 40 Year Recertification Ordinance was initially adopted by the Miami-Dade County Commission around 1975. At that time a Structural Inspection was the single requirement. However in 2001 the current law was enacted.

Today’s current requirements adopt the Florida Building Code and continue the requirement a building in Miami-Dade County after its 40th year (and every 10 years thereafter) be recertified by a registered Florida Engineer or Architect for structural and electrical safety. This Ordinance applies to all of unincorporated Miami-Dade County and the incorporated Cities within the County. Single family homes, duplexes and minor structures are normally exempt from this Ordinance.

Now, Broward County and Soon Palm Beach County have followed Miami-Dade’s lead and have adopted similar Recertification Programs of their own.

The 40 Year Recertification is set-up like this:
When a qualifying building reaches its 40th year, the Code Compliance Section of the County or City in which the building is located mails out a "Notice of Required Inspection" to the Property Owner.

  • From the date of this notice, the property Owner usually has 90 days during which to complete the required inspection
  • Under some circumstances, an extension may be granted by the specific municipalities Building Official
  • Normally an extension such as this is only granted when the request is made in writing and supported by a “valid reason"
  • For additional information regarding this issue, contact our office or your municipal building department

After your Recertification Inspection, normally one of two things occurs:

  • Based on the result of this inspection, the building will be structurally and electrically recertified for ten (10) years.
  • We issue our reports, you submit one to the municipal building department with their required filing fee and we will see you again in ten years.


- OR -

  • Based on the result of this inspection, the building will require improvements in order bring the building up to a safe condition where it can be recommended for Recertification.
  • If improvements are required, the Property Owner will most often given a “Reasonable Amount of Time”, usually 120 – 150 calendar days to complete the required improvements and have the building re-inspected.
  • However this time maybe reduced depending upon the usage of the building and/or the type of discrepancies identified. After repairs have been completed, a follow-up report is then submitted by the Inspecting Engineer stating that these improvements have been made and the building is recommended for recertification.

For the Recertification process, the County has issued required "Minimum Guidelines for Building Structural and Electrical Recertification" which Professional Engineers are required to follow. Our office will complete the required forms issued by the Municipality.

As a side bar, it is important to note that, in some cases, buildings older than 40 years have never been sent a Notice of this required rectification. It is incumbent on the Property Owner to acquire this initial recertification whether a notice has been sent of not. Additionally, it is the responsibility of the Property Owner to recertify their building every 10 years thereafter. Buildings not properly recertified can pose a liability to Owners in the event of a failure or accident.

An interesting after thought to the Recertification Process is that in recent years, a requirement under Item # 19 of the "Minimum Electrical Requirement" is being enforced for minimum parking lot and alley lighting as adopted under Miami-Dade County Code Sec 8C-3. To fulfill this requirement, our engineers will return to the building at night and utilizing a certified meter, we actually take parking lot light intensity measurements to determine the properties' compliance.

Now having read all this, aren’t you glad you asked …. ;-(