The deadly building collapse of Champlain Towers South forced many condo owners to start asking questions. The disaster also highlighted a need for change.
Starting in 2025, Florida law will require condo boards to set money aside to cover future major repairs. NBC 6’s Sasha Jones reports
“To add a structural
element to it that will require a different skill set from
people who are used to looking at buildings and saying,
'there is a crack there, you need to fix it,' and there’s no
cash flow or budget management expertise in that,” Nordlund
The law now requires an engineer or architect to do a visual inspection during the study. Nordlund said this will raise the overall cost of the survey.
But despite these drawbacks, he said mandatory reserve studies are a step in the right direction.
“We've done statistics and analysis on this, and Florida is unique,” Nordlund said.
His company recently looked at condo associations that have less than 30% of the recommended funds in their reserves, and they found Florida had 50% more of these associations than any other state.
“The most important thing is for community association leaders not to wait,” said Lisa Magill, a condominium and planned development law attorney.
Condo boards and residents should start taking action now, she said.
“Immediately establish a relationship or interview with several engineering firms so they can have an understanding of your building, give you a priority list so that you tackle some of the necessary repairs on your own timeline,” Magill said.
Magill said condo boards should also start looking at funding options like loans. Condo associations have until the end of 2024 to complete the structural integrity reserve study.