Condo collapse prompts statewide condo law task force led by West Palm Beach attorney

The Surfside condo collapse is prompting a push for sweeping statewide condo law reform to prevent another mass casualty collapse.

The Florida Bar confirmed with CBS12 News that it has organized a condo law task force.

After this catastrophic collapse, a legal task force is investigating Florida’s laws surrounding condominiums; reviewing state law that does not specify deadlines for a 40-year recertification, a process that could take years because repairs are often extensive and expensive.

It’s the same process that Champlain Towers South was undergoing when it collapsed.

how the condo collapse prompted a statewide condo law task force led by an attorney{ } in West Palm Beach. (WPEC)

“We’re going to examine the inspection requirements and whether they need to be uniformed statewide,” said Bill Sklar, chairman of the statewide condo law task force. “Why wait 40 years for this recertification process? Why not at 10 or 20-year period?”

But here’s the thing: re-certifications are only required in two counties in Florida: Miami-Dade and Broward, not Palm Beach County nor the Treasure Coast.

Compounding the challenges within the condo regulatory sector, reserve funds that are set aside for building maintenance oftentimes are not collected by condo associations.

Sklar hopes to change that.

“Should it be discretionary or should there be requirements? There should be stricter requirements,” he said.

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“Guess what? Now we know that a building can fall,” said Eric Glazer, a condo law expert and attorney. “Now we’re now all on notice that a building can fall.”

Glazer represents condo associations and condo owners.

“There’s really little to no enforcement at all,” he said. “It’s time to require funding of reserve accounts. Do not let people kick the can down the road.”

So the statewide task force is combing through about 150 pages of legislation, looking to tighten policies that they say have plenty of wiggle room.

“A very large group of lawyers felt that there’s a compelling need to look at the laws, the regulations, the issues to assure that a building is well maintained and not placed at risk structurally and then when people go to sleep at night, they don’t have to be concerned that this type of tragedy would occur,” Sklar said.

The governor’s office says Gov. Ron DeSantis will “consider any fact-based, evidence-driven policy recommendations” from the task force because no family should have to face such tragedy.

“Unfortunately, it took a tragedy to make sure that changes are going to be made to condominium law going forward,” Glazer said. “And that’s the only words of comfort I can give to the victims in this tragedy.”

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