DeSantis signs condo collapse safety bill

TALLAHASSEE, FL. — Florida will require a statewide recertification of condos higher than three stories under new legislation Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law Thursday in response to the law Surfside building collapse that killed 98 people.

The governor’s signature came the day after the House of Representatives unanimously passed the bill during a special session originally called to address skyrocketing property insurance rates. The Condominium Security Act was put on the agenda Tuesday and immediately passed the Senate.

“We owe the public a very detailed explanation of each section,” Democratic Senator Jason Pizzo said in a text message. Pizzo, who represents Surfside, plans to hold a public forum with fellow lawmakers next month to discuss questions about the new law.

Recertification is required after 30 years or 25 years if the building is less than 5 kilometers from the coast and every 10 years thereafter. The Champlain Towers South were 40 years old and undergoing the 40-year recertification process required by Miami-Dade County when they collapsed this past June.

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At the time, Miami-Dade and Broward counties were the only two of the state’s 67 counties to have condominium recertification programs.

According to a legislative analysis conducted earlier this year, there are more than 1.5 million condominiums in Florida operated by nearly 28,000 associations. Of these, more than 912,000 are older than 30 years and house more than 2 million inhabitants.

The bill would require homeowners’ associations to have sufficient reserves to pay for major repairs and conduct a reserve survey every ten years. It would also require homeowners’ associations to provide owners with inspection reports, and if structural repairs are required, work must begin within a year of the report.

Similar legislation fell through during the regular session, which ended in March.

The condominium measure was attached to a bill that would ban insurers from automatically denying cover based on the age of a roof if the roof is less than 15 years old. Homeowners with roofs as young as 15 could get an inspection before insurers deny them coverage.

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While some Democratic lawmakers complained that the special session on insurance didn’t go far enough to exonerate homeowners, they hailed the addition of condo safety legislation.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, transcribed or redistributed without permission.

https://www.local10.com/news/national/2022/05/26/desantis-signs-bill-addressing-safety-after-condo-collapse/ DeSantis signs condo collapse safety bill

Sarah Y. Kim

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