Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has signed into law a bill that introduces revisions to condominium safety requirements following the tragic collapse of the Champlain Towers South building in Surfside in June 2021. The initial condominium safety requirements were enacted in 2022 to address concerns surrounding condominium building inspections and financial reserves for condominium associations. This recent legislative session saw lawmakers revisiting the issue, culminating in the unanimous passage of Bill SB 154 in May of this year.
The impetus for the bill, in part, came from apprehensions voiced by condominium residents about the potential financial implications of the 2022 law. The revised bill addresses various aspects, including changes to “milestone” inspections for condominium buildings that are three stories or taller.
Under the 2022 law, inspections were mandated for buildings occupied for 30 years, or 25 years if the buildings were situated within three miles of a coastline. Following the initial inspection, these buildings were required to undergo the inspection process every 10 years.
The new bill introduces some flexibility to this requirement, permitting buildings within three miles of the coastline to undergo inspection after 30 years of occupancy. Additionally, the bill grants local authorities the authority to enforce inspections after 25 years of occupancy, contingent on “local circumstances, including environmental conditions such as proximity to saltwater.”
Furthermore, the bill empowers local officials to extend inspection deadlines when building owners have engaged contracts with architects or engineers, but the inspections cannot be completed within the stipulated timeframe.
These revisions reflect the state’s commitment to enhancing the safety and structural integrity of condominium buildings while taking into account practical considerations and local conditions.
Original Article By CBS Miami Team