Florida Condo Legislation

by Susan Reilly on 7/10/2023

After the 2021 Surfside, Florida condo disaster new legislation mandates new standards, but is it too big of a problem to repair?

By: Think Realty | Susan Reilly | Jun 4, 2023

The Champlain Towers South disaster in Surfside, Florida, in June 2021, was just that. A disaster. In one of the worst building collapses in U.S. history, 98 residents lost their lives in the middle of the night in a building they thought of as their secure home.

The facets of this story are deep and tangled, creating myriad complexities and viewpoints.

What Caused the Collapse?
The cause of the collapse is still being analyzed and investigated to determine exactly why a portion of a 12-story, 136-unit building could be reduced to rubble in seconds. The destabilization of a building like the one in Surfside may be due partly to the saltwater environment itself; concrete, rebar, and salt are a corrosive combination. But it is generally believed the overwhelming responsibility for the collapse may stem from years of neglect and deferred maintenance as well as potentially poor initial design and construction.

Future Prevention?
In 2023, two years later, Florida condominium owners and associations are still awash with the aftermath. Legislation passed in May 2022 sought to prevent another collapse through formal regulation that mandates standards of inspections, preventative maintenance and repair, and how to fund paying for it all.

Florida Senate Bill 4-D has two Parts. Part One is the “Milestone Inspection” architects or structural engineers perform on condos at least three stories high at either 25 or 30 years past initial certificate of occupancy for the structural integrity of the building (25 or 30 years is dependent on the proximity to a coastline). The legislation applies to all condos of this height, whether coastal or interior. The initial inspection must be completed by Dec. 31, 2024, and repeated every 10 years.

To read the full article written by our very own SUSAN REILLY, click HERE