DeSantis signs safety bill after condo collapse – WSB-TV Channel 2

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – (AP) – Florida will require statewide recertification of condominiums over three stories under new legislation Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law Thursday in response to the collapse of the Surfside building that killed 98 people.

The governor’s signing came the day after the bill passed the House unanimously in a special session originally called to deal with skyrocketing property insurance rates. The condo security bill was added to the agenda on 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 other lawmakers next month to answer questions about the new law.

Recertification will be required after 30 years, or 25 years if the vessel is within 3 miles (5 kilometers) of the coast, and every 10 years thereafter. The Champlain Towers South was 40 years old and going through the 40-year recertification 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 counties with condominium recertification programs.

There are more than 1.5 million condominium units in Florida operated by nearly 28,000 associations, according to a legislative analysis conducted earlier this year. Of these, over 912,000 are over 30 years old and home to over 2 million people.

The bill would require condominium corporations to have sufficient reserves to pay for major repairs and conduct a study of reserves every ten years. It would also require condominium associations to provide inspection reports to owners, and if structural repairs are needed, work must begin within a year of the report.

Similar legislation failed in the regular session that ended in March.

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

While some Democratic lawmakers complained that the special session on insurance didn’t go far enough to help relieve landlords, they praised the addition of condominium safety legislation.

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