DeSantis signs condo reform bill — a response to Surfside building collapse — into law.

On June 24, the entire South Florida region commemorated one year since the fateful day that Champlain Towers South collapsed, claiming 98 lives. This was one of the deadliest building failures in US history.

While nothing can bring back the victims to their families, as a society, we can move forward and use this tragedy as a learning experience to make sure it never happens again.

Since the beginning of the Champlain Towers South collapse, the construction industry has been involved in identifying what went wrong to cause such a catastrophic event. Early findings showed that a lack of proper maintenance was the largest contributing factor. No matter how well designed, engineered and constructed a building is, it is the maintenance that is arguably the most important for its long-term viability.

In the wake of the Surfside tragedy, it also became wildly apparent that Florida needed stricter laws regarding the maintenance of condominiums. The Governor and Florida Legislature concurred and called a special session on May 25. As a result, SB 4-D passed, calling for stricter requirements for the inspection and maintenance of condominiums and other multi-story buildings throughout the state.

It has been signed into law by Gov. DeSantis.

The newly passed law will require inspections of high-rise buildings, three stories or higher located within three of the coast at 25 years of age and for those more than three miles inland, at 30 years of age.

Finally, the new law also requires inspections every 10 years thereafter, with inspection records made available to buyers, renters, and individual unit owners.

For buildings occupied before July 1, 1992, the first inspection must be completed by Dec. 31, 2024. Very important, after Dec. 31, 2024, condo associations will be prohibited from waiving the collection of reserve funds to pay for routine or additional maintenance and repairs.

I praise Florida’s legislature for coming together to pass these important reforms. The construction industry looks forward to working with building owners, management and condominium associations during the recertification process to ensure the utmost of safety and structural integrity of these structures.

The bottom line is we never want to have another Champlain Towers tragedy happen again and I believe, with the measures being taken, we are doing our part to help prevent any future disasters.