Panel makes building safety recommendations as more condo owners see their buildings in a different light after Surfside – CBS Miami

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Since Surfside’s sudden and deadly collapse, condo owners like Daisy Colon have seen their apartment building in a different light.

“It made me take a closer look at what I hear and question what I see,” she says.

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Its building one block from the beach in Fort Lauderdale is 50 years old and while there is great attention to maintenance, there are unexpected costs.

“We all had to pay because some units didn’t impact Windows, so we all got evaluated,” she says.

Such evaluations may become more frequent in the future.

If the Florida legislature promulgates the general recommendations of the Broward Condominium Structural Problems Committee, which were passed on Friday.

The panel consisted of county and city leaders, state lawmakers, an engineer, and condominium representatives.

They met for 25 hours over several weeks to address concerns that became evident after the Surfside disaster. Specifically, the allegations that structural problems with the South Champlain Towers have been ignored.

Among the panel, the recommendations are to “recertify” condos after 30 years, then every ten years thereafter to ensure that they are structurally sound. Condominium boards should keep
reserve funds for concrete and structural issues.

If a board chooses not to hold reserves, they will need to do a reserve review every 36 months

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Insurance for condominium buildings would become compulsory.

Currently, insurance is optional.

Broward Mayor Steve Geller, who chaired the committee, said that while condo owners might see some financial impact, it will be cheaper in the long run.

“It’s cheaper for people to spend money on maintenance now instead of waiting and incurring higher costs later,” he says.

The man who oversees hundreds of oceanfront condos on the GALT Ocean mile in Fort Lauderdale didn’t want the recertification changed to 30 instead of the current 40.

“The more inspections, the higher the costs,” said Fred Nesbitt. “An engineering study costs at least 25 thousand dollars”

Nesbitt is also concerned about escalating insurance costs which now consume a quarter of its budget.

Daisy Colon says anyone who lives in a condo may have to get used to paying more.

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“We all want safety, whether it’s walking down the street or living in this building,” she said.

About Jean R. Manzer

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