Florida condominium safety law could ‘put a lot of people out of business,’ expert says

A new building safety law in Florida could put some homeowners out of business, an expert says.

The law project, SB 4-D, requires condominiums and co-ops three or more stories high and located within three miles of a shoreline to undergo a “stage inspection” of the structural integrity of the building by an architect or an engineer for buildings aged 30 years and every 10 years thereafter, or at 25 years and every 10 years thereafter. It also “increases the rights of unit owners and future unit owners to access information regarding the condition of these buildings, and revises requirements for associations to fund reserves for ongoing maintenance and repair. of these buildings.

The legislation, passed by the Florida Senate and signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis on May 26, was drafted in response to the June 24, 2021 collapse of Champlain Towers South, a 12-story, 40-year-old oceanfront condominium in Surfside, Florida, in which 98 people were killed.

A cyclist passes a makeshift memorial recognizing the victims of the partially collapsed Champlain Towers South building, as removal and salvage work continues at the site, in Surfside, Fla., July 13, 2021. (Lynne Sladky/AP Photo)

SB 4-D also requires condominium associations and cooperatives to perform structural integrity reserve studies every 10 years and include the estimated replacement cost of the roof, load-bearing walls, floors, foundations, plumbing fire protection systems or other primary structural elements with deferred maintenance or replacement costs that exceed $10,000. To ensure that funds for these repairs are available when needed, at least 50% of the total estimated cost should be maintained. To ensure compliance, the law provides that “it is a breach of a board member’s or officer’s fiduciary duty if an association fails to complete a reserve study of structural integrity”.

During his Monday appearance on Fox Business’ “Mornings with Maria,Pinion Enterprises Founder and CEO Joe Pinion said, “These costs are passed on to the consumer in one way or another.”

“Here comes the budget breaker,” he added. “This stipulation [was] put in place by Governor DeSantis to secure lives, but it will end up bankrupting a lot of people who didn’t see that 50% hit coming.

According to Pinion, this law has the potential to bankrupt Airbnb landlords and landlords who thought “real income will eclipse” the cost of their monthly rent or mortgage payment. However, Pinion did not explain how Airbnb landlords or landlords would be affected by a law’s requirements for condominiums and co-ops that are three or more stories high and located within three miles of a littoral.

Pinion, a New York Republican who lost his bid overthrowing Sen. Chuck Schumer (DN.Y.) in 2022, is again functioning for a seat in the US Senate in 2024.

In June 2022, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) National Construction Safety Team (NCST) prepared to test physical evidence he had gotten to the Florida site to determine the cause of the collapse.

“Chances are that we will eventually find out that it was several things. Each independently may not have caused the problem, but when they all occur at the same time, that’s what caused the problem,” Allyn Kilsheimer, one of the engineers investigating for the town of Surfside. says CBS Miami.

NIST expects their investigation to extend through at least September 2023. Anyone with photos or information is encouraged to forward them to NIST via their Data Submission Portal.

The Epoch Times contacted Florida Senator Jim Boyd, who sponsored the bill, as well as Pinion and Governor DeSantis’ office.

Patricia Tolson
Patricia Tolson, an award-winning national investigative journalist with 20 years of experience, has worked for news organizations such as Yahoo!, US News and The Tampa Free Press. With The Epoch Times, Patricia’s in-depth investigations into human interest stories, election politics, education, school boards, and parental rights have achieved international exposure. Send her your story ideas: [email protected]

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