New Florida Building Laws Effective July 1, 2016

Daniel Pascale

By: Daniel T. Pascale, Esq. Office Locations in Delray Beach, FL and Coral Gables, FL

Florida bills effective July 1 revise some rules in Fla.’s building code, regulate private-residence elevators and authorize officials to create fumigation rules.

SB 1602 creates rules for new elevators in private residences, saying they must:

  • Meet minimum distance requirements between the hoistway (elevator shaft) doors and the edge of the landing sill for swinging and sliding doors
  • Have doors or gates that can withstand a force of 75 pounds
  • Meet minimum distance requirements between the landing door and the car door or gate
  • Include a device that stops downward motion of the elevator car under certain circumstances

HB 535 makes a number of changes to Florida’s building code. The bill creates more than 30 changes to the building code, and Floridians who may be impacted are encouraged to read the full text. Some examples:

  • Employees of apartment communities with 100 or more units are exempt from contractor licensing requirements if making minor repairs to existing electric water heaters or existing electric heating, ventilation and air conditioning if they meet certain criteria and the repair parts cost less than $1,000
  • Allows some low-voltage landscape lighting to be installed by a non-licensed electrical contractor
  • Confirms that a specific type of pool alarm meets the safety requirements for residential pools – a type of alarm that’s placed in the pool and makes a sound when it detects an accidental or unauthorized entrance into the water
  • Requires a contractor and alarm system monitoring company to tell a property owner about any obligations to register their alarm system, if applicable
  • Exempts Wi-Fi smoke alarms and those that contain multiple sensors, such as those combined with carbon monoxide alarms, from a 10-year, non-removable, non-replaceable battery provision
  • Requires the Florida Building Code to mandate two fire service access elevators in all buildings above a certain height

HB 1205 could lead to changes in Florida fumigation procedures. However, the bill itself only empowers the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to adopt safety procedures for residential structures before reoccupation. While the law is effective July 1, it will have no impact on fumigation rules unless the department acts on it.

Attributed to: 2016 Florida Realtors