Virtual Private Provider Inspections

We had an advocacy team who worked on the changes to the private provider statute (Section 553.791, Florida Statutes) to make private provider inspections better for homeowners and those of us who serve them.  We believe the changes that help clarify for building officials best practices for virtual/electronic and in-person private provider inspections that you see in the bill will streamline the efficiency of the building permit inspection process.

Senate Bill 1146:

  • Expressly authorizes private providers to conduct virtual building inspections
  • Allows private provides to submit various inspection forms, records, and reports electronically to local building departments and utilize electronic signatures
  • Allows private providers to conduct “single-trade inspections,” as defined in the bill
  • Creates a “qualified private provider” registration process and providing that a qualified private provider, as defined in the bill, does not need to include information other than the services to be performed in their written notice to the local building official that a private provider has been contracted to perform inspections
  • Authorizes a private provider to conduct emergency inspection services without first notifying the local building official.

Senate Bill 1382:

Requires local building code enforcement agencies to allow requests for inspections to be submitted electronically. Such requests for inspections may also be submitted in person in a non-electronic format at the building official’s discretion. The bill defines the term “virtual inspection” and provides that any government entity with the authority to enforce the Florida Building Code may perform virtual inspections, except for certain structural inspections, at their own discretion. The bill requires a local enforcement agency to refund 10 percent of the permit and inspection fees to a permit holder who fails an inspection if the inspector or building official fails to provide a reason based on compliance with code or ordinance for why the work failed inspection within five business days after the inspection. If any permit and inspection fees are refunded, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation surcharges must be recalculated to reflect the refund.