More Condominium Regulations Get Senate Committee Approval

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Some aspects of state condominium regulation have remained essentially unchanged for 60 years.

But on Tuesday the Senate Committee on Regulated Industries passed two bills in half an hour that would impose new rules on these entities that have been mostly left to self-regulation.

With deliberate speed – and in the shadow of the Condo disaster by the surfSB 1702 and SPB 7042 received the unanimous approval of the committee. Mandatory requirements for inspections and maintenance of existing buildings would exist in state code under these bills. Another inspection requirement was repealed in 2010, shortly after it was enacted in 2008.

SB 1702 would require multi-family buildings over three stories that are 30 years old to be inspected, and then once every 10 years thereafter. Buildings within three miles of the coastline would be inspected after 20 years and every seven years thereafter.

This latest bill would require the same inspections at the same intervals and would include three-story buildings. SPB 7042 goes further in its draft regulations, adding rules on information provided on the reserves of condominium associations, inspection reports and reserve obligations of financing associations.

“There are nearly 1,600,000 condominiums in Florida, and of those, nearly 106,000 are 50 years old or older,” Sen said. Kathleen Passidomo. “This problem will increase.”

Analysis of SB 1702 found that the legislation would lead to increased costs for apartments and condominiums. Broward and Miami-Dade counties currently require inspections at the 40-year mark of a multifamily building, and based on that experience, those inspections cost up to $20,000 to $40,000 to inspect a 15 to 20 story condominium, and between $2,000 to $4,000 to inspect a small commercial building. Any remedial work to address issues identified during the review would add to this cost.

Sen. Daryl Rousson wanted to know if there were enough building inspectors, enough licensed architects or licensed engineers to meet the demand for inspections that this legislation would create.

Passidomo said the inspection industry is already preparing to respond.

“Some of our big universities are producing engineers and architects and I think that will get more people interested in the profession,” she said.

Whitney Dutton, owner of the Dutton Group at ReMax First in Fort Lauderdale, predicted that if these bills go into effect, out-of-state owners who may not visit their condo regularly could see large increases in maintenance costs or impending reassessments. .

“It will definitely increase inventory,” Dutton said. “A lot of those out-of-state owners who haven’t been to their condo in years or don’t go there regularly might decide to sell and cash in. We could see a major sale in some buildings. »

Neither bill has related legislation in the House. It was the first stop for the bill that also included reserve funding requirements and the second stop for the bill that focused primarily on inspections. The Senate Community Affairs Committee approved SB 1702 last week.

Travis Moorea lobbyist for the Community Associations Institute, said he wasn’t sure there could be anything more critical this session than this legislation.

“We have to make sure that what happened in June never happens again,” he said.


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