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Building Inspection Division

The City of Lakeland's Building Inspection Division is dedicated to maintaining the safety of homeowners and businesses in Lakeland. We provide inspection services on residential and commercial buildings to ensure compliance with the minimum standards, pursuant to the Florida Building Code. This enforcement ensures the health, safety and welfare of Lakeland's citizens.


Milestone Inspections

On May 26, 2022, Governor Ron DeSantis signed Senate Bill 4D (SB4D) into law (Chap 2022-269, Laws of Florida).

This bill emphasizes building safety inspections for condominiums and cooperative association buildings. The law requires that a condominium or cooperative have a "milestone inspection" performed on each building that is 3 stories or greater by December 31st of the year the building reaches 30 years of age, and again every 10 years after that.

Exemptions: These requirements do not apply to a single-family, two-family, or three-family dwelling with three or fewer habitable stories above ground.

To reach compliance:

  • Phase one milestone inspection must be performed, signed and sealed by a licensed State of Florida engineer or architect.
  • The report must certify that the building is structurally sound, or identify the areas suspected of not being structurally sound.
  • At minimum, the report shall include a summary of findings and any recommended action/remediation/repair and shall state if unsafe conditions were observed.
  • If structural issues are found, a more detailed phase two milestone inspection will be required
  • Repairs outlined in the phase two milestone inspection report must commence within 365 days of the City of Lakeland Building Division receiving the phase two milestone inspection report.

It is important to note that if your board fails to perform these legally required inspections and/or any corrective actions identified in the milestone inspection phase two report within 365 days, the City of Lakeland is authorized under this bill to take enforcement action up to and including prohibiting occupancy to gain compliance.

  • Excerpt from F.S. 553.899

    Read the full Statute here. Read the excerpt below:

    A milestone inspection consists of two phases:

    (a) For phase one of the milestone inspection, a licensed architect or engineer authorized to practice in this state shall perform a visual examination of habitable and non-habitable areas of a building, including the major structural components of a building, and provide a qualitative assessment of the structural conditions of the building. If the architect or engineer finds no signs of substantial structural deterioration to any building components under visual examination, phase two of the inspection, as provided in paragraph (b), is not required. An architect or engineer who completes a phase one milestone inspection shall prepare and submit an inspection report pursuant to subsection (8).

    (b) A phase two of the milestone inspection must be performed if any substantial structural deterioration is identified during phase one. A phase two inspection may involve destructive or nondestructive testing at the inspector’s direction. The inspection may be as extensive or as limited as necessary to fully assess areas of structural distress in order to confirm that the building is structurally sound and safe for its intended use and to recommend a program for fully assessing and repairing distressed and damaged portions of the building. When determining testing locations, the inspector must give preference to locations that are the least disruptive and most easily repairable while still being representative of the structure. An inspector who completes a phase two milestone inspection shall prepare and submit an inspection report pursuant to subsection (8).

    (8) Upon completion of a phase one or phase two milestone inspection, the architect or engineer who performed the inspection must submit a sealed copy of the inspection report with a separate summary of, at minimum, the material findings, and recommendations in the inspection report to the condominium association or cooperative association, and to the building official of the local government which has jurisdiction. The inspection report must, at a minimum, meet all of the following criteria:

            (a) Bear the seal and signature, or the electronic signature, of the licensed engineer or architect who performed the inspection.

            (b) Indicate the manner and type of inspection forming the basis for the inspection report.

            (c) Identify any substantial structural deterioration, within a reasonable professional probability based on the scope of the inspection, describe the extent of such deterioration, and identify any recommended repairs for such deterioration.

            (d) State whether unsafe or dangerous conditions, as those terms are defined in the Florida Building Code, were observed.

            (e) Recommend any remedial or preventive repair for any items that are damaged but are not substantial structural deterioration.

            (f) Identify and describe any items requiring further inspection.

    (9) The association must distribute a copy of the inspector-prepared summary of the inspection report to each condominium unit owner or cooperative unit owner, regardless of the findings or recommendations in the report, by United States mail or personal delivery and by electronic transmission to unit owners who previously consented to receive notice by electronic transmission; must post a copy of the inspector-prepared summary in a conspicuous place on the condominium or cooperative property; and must publish the full report and inspector-prepared summary on the association’s website, if the association is required to have a website.

    (10) A local enforcement agency may prescribe timelines and penalties with respect to compliance with this section.

    (11) A board of county commissioners may adopt an ordinance requiring that a condominium or cooperative association schedule or commence repairs for substantial structural deterioration within a specified timeframe after the local enforcement agency receives a phase two inspection report; however, such repairs must be commenced within 365 days after receiving such report. If an association fails to submit proof to the local enforcement agency that repairs have been scheduled or have commenced for substantial structural deterioration identified in a phase two inspection report within the required timeframe, the local enforcement agency must review and determine if the building is unsafe for human occupancy.


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To better serve you, ePlan is now the exclusive method for plans submission, review and approval.

Paper plans for site plans and permits requiring signed and sealed drawings are no longer being accepted. 

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Express Permitting

A graphic for Express Permitting. The three headers are Express Permitting, Processing, and Turnaround. Express Permitting has a small graphic of a building inspector cartoon in front of a cartoon house and the text says "Window and Door Replacement, Nonmetal Roof, Residential Electrical, Residential Plumbing (including irrigation), Demolition, Sewer Cap, and Residential Mechanical. The Processing section has a blue timer with the time 30 on it, and the text says "When applying for an express permit online, we're committed to review your complete application in 30 minutes or less! That's our pledge!" The Turnaround section has a signed permit document with the word approved stamped in green and the text says "While Express Permitting doesn't necessarily mean express approval, we will work hard to make the process efficient and as timely as possible.

Contractors & Repair Info After Declared Emergency: 

Protect Your Home & Business From Unlicensed Activity!

In the aftermath of emergency, many Lakeland-area homes and businesses need storm-related repairs and qualified contractors are in high demand. Unfortunately, these are prime conditions for scam artists and unlicensed contractors to take advantage of property owners.

Avoid becoming a victim of unlicensed activity:

  • Know if your repair requires a state contractor's license
  • Get more than one estimate
  • Verify the contractor's license and permit
  • Report unlicensed activity

Find more information and tips here.

Not sure what work needs to be done? 

The My Safe Florida Home Program, administered by the State of Florida, Bureau of Emergency Management, is offering free hurricane home inspections to owners of any site-built, single-family residential Florida property constructed before 2008. The owner will receive an inspection report and recommended improvements.

Homeowners can register using the My Safe Florida Home Participant Portal.

 Verify a License

The Building Inspection Division is committed to protecting homeowners and businesses from unlicensed activity. Florida's Department of Business & Professional Regulation can assist you in verifying a license to prevent scammers and keep you safe. 

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Protection Against Termites

Effective May 9, 2022, all new Residential Construction will require proof of termite treatment, pursuant to 2020 FBC R318 Protection Against Termites. The Final Treatment Certificate is to be uploaded into iMS attachments and the BLDG TERMITE CERT Inspection scheduled, prior to scheduling the Building Final. 

This inspection is for certificate verification only and is performed in-house. The Building Final will not be issued until the Final Termite Treatment Certificate is on file. Please contact our office at 863-834-6012 if you have any questions.

Building Permit and Inspection Utilization Report

Per FS Chapter 553.80 (7)(b)

1. Direct and indirect costs incurred by the local government to enforce the Florida Building Code, including costs related to:
a. Personnel services costs, including salary and related employee benefit costs incurred by the local government to enforce the Florida Building Code. $2,407,489
b. Operating expenditures and expenses. $934,530
2. Permit and inspection utilization information, including:
a. Number of building permits applications submitted. 10,468
b. Number of building permits issued or approved. 9,937
c. Number of building inspections and reinspections requested. 44,197
d. Number of building inspections and reinspections conducted. 44,228
e. Number of building inspections conducted by a private provider. 422
f. Number audits conducted by the local government of private provider building inspections. 0
g. Number of personnel dedicated by the local government to enforce the Florida Building Code, issue building permits, and conduct inspections. 25
3. Revenue information, including:
a. Revenue derived from fees pursuant to paragraph (a). $2,949,933
b. Revenue derived from fines pursuant to paragraph (a). $0
c. When applicable, investment earnings from the local government's investment of revenue derived from fees and fines pursuant to paragraph (a). $70,957
d. Balances carried forward by the local government pursuant to paragraph (a). $1,293,793
e. Balances refunded by the local government pursuant to paragraph (a). $0
f. Revenue derived from other sources, including local government general revenue. $0

*Data is from: 10/1/2021-9/30/2022


Staff is dedicated to helping you make the transition smooth. Group and one-on-one training is available free of charge. 

Please contact eplanhelp@lakelandgov.net for assistance or for more information.

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