The following is a Community Associations Institute press release dated 5/27/22 and comes as recommended reading from Senior Partner Charlie Perkins:
CAI applauds the Florida legislature for unanimously passing comprehensive and meaningful condominium safety measures to support the 9 million Floridians living and working in community associations.
Last week, the Senate voted 38-0, and the House voted 110-0, to support the legislation after a powerful and heartfelt standing ovation for state Rep. Daniel Perez (R-Miami-Dade County), the bill's sponsor in the House. Governor DeSantis signed the bill. CAI representatives were in Tallahassee during the legislature's special session and were the only ones to speak on behalf of the new bill.
The legislation includes a framework largely based on CAI public policy recommendations for:
- Building inspections as structures reach 30 years old and every 10 years thereafter.
- Mandatory reserve study and funding for structural integrity components (building, floors, windows, plumbing, electrical, etc.).
- Removal of opt-out funding of reserves for structural integrity components.
- Mandatory transparency—providing all owners and residents access to building safety information.
- Clear developer requirements for building inspections, structural integrity reserve study, and funding requirements prior to transition to the residents.
- Engagement of the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation and local municipalities to track condominium buildings and the inspection reporting
Associations will have two years to comply with these requirements. Since the June 24, 2021, partial collapse of the Champlain Towers South Condominium Association in Surfside, where 98 people perished and many others lost their homes, CAI has been committed to creating solutions to make sure similar tragedies never happen again.
Following the collapse, CAI members and volunteers worked closely with Florida Sens. Jason Pizzo (D-Miami-Dade County), Jennifer Bradley (R-Orange Park), and Rep. Daniel Perez to lead the efforts to pass this important legislation.
“We are very pleased that Florida policymakers passed this comprehensive legislation that will make certain that no matter where a condominium or cooperative is located in the state, they will be periodically inspected with information shared with unit owners, local building officials, and prospective buyers," says Dawn M. Bauman, CAE, CAI's senior vice president for government and public affairs.
CAI will continue working with policymakers to support condominium communities as they navigate these new requirements. In addition, CAI will use components of the Florida legislation as model language for other states in the U.S. as they consider adopting similar measures.
“Florida lawmakers made a remarkable step toward supporting the millions of Floridians who call a condominium home," says Thomas M. Skiba, CAE, CAI's chief executive officer. “After the Surfside tragedy, CAI vowed to lead the conversation and dedicate our industry knowledge and resources to lawmakers and policymakers with the goal of creating common sense legislation that would positively impact these communities. We commend the Florida legislature on their action to address condo safety, and we look forward to the work ahead."