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The Florida government has signed an apartment security bill after a building collapsed

Tallahassee, Florida – Florida will require re-certification of condominiums throughout the state over three floors under the new legislation. Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a law Thursday in response to the collapse of the Surfside building, which killed 98 people.

But while the measure was welcomed by lawmakers, Surfside senator Jason Pizo, a Democrat, warned that there was still much to be done – and the state did not have enough civil engineers to handle the workload needed to make sure all states are high-rise property is safe.

“Tell your nephews, daughters and sons to study engineering,” Pico said.

The governor’s signature came a day after the House of Representatives unanimously passed the bill during a special session initially called to tackle soaring property insurance rates. The condominium safety bill was added to Tuesday’s agenda and passed immediately by the Senate.

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Re-certification will be required after 30 years or 25 years if the building is within 3 miles (5 km) of shore and every 10 years thereafter. Champlain Towers South was 40 years old and undergoing the 40-year re-certification process required by Miami-Dade County when it collapsed last June.

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

There are more than 1.5 million condominiums in Florida, managed by nearly 28,000 associations, according to a legislative analysis conducted earlier this year, of which more than 912,000 are over 30 and home to more than 2 million residents.

Pizzo said there are about 650 certified civil engineers in Florida. And there is a great demand for them only in new construction. Most of the provisions of the law will come into force in 2024, so there is time to prepare, Pico said.

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“We will return to the regular session at least one more time before anything really starts, which gives enough time to adjust, correct, hear the public and the people on the ground,” said Pico, who is hosting a public forum on the new law with others. legislators next month.

He said the state department for business and professional regulation did not have enough staff to deal with the regulation of the apartments.

“They operate on bare bones,” he said. “When it comes to life safety issues, I’m just not comfortable that the same agency that licenses manicurists also licenses building engineers … They have to have good resources.”

The bill will require condominium associations to have enough reserves to pay for major repairs and conduct a reserve survey every decade. In addition, condominium associations will be required to provide reports of owner inspections and, if structural repairs are required, work should begin within one year of the report.

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Such legislation failed during the regular session, which ended in March.

Meanwhile, a final settlement agreement is expected on Friday, which will pay at least $ 96 million to homeowners with apartments in the Surfside building, but whose families have not lost their lives.

The condominium law was attached to a bill that would prohibit insurers from automatically denying coverage due to the age of the roof if the roof is less than 15 years old. Homeowners with roofs 15 or older will have the right to be inspected before insurers deny them coverage.

While some Democratic lawmakers complained that the special insurance session was not enough to help relieve homeowners, they praised the addition of condominium safety legislation.

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

The Florida government has signed an apartment security bill after a building collapsed

Source link The Florida government has signed an apartment security bill after a building collapsed

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