'It takes a tragedy': Florida's hands-off approach to condo regulations tested after Surfside

Except for a brief window that lasted barely two years, the state has had no oversight of the condition of aging condominium buildings in nearly 60 years of condo construction in the Sunshine State.

No post-construction inspection requirements. No enforcement measures to repair potentially life-threatening structural damage. No requirement to maintain a contingency fund for emergency repairs.

A USA Today Network-Florida review of state statutes governing the condo industry found those gaps and other deficiencies. “There are no regulations,” said Eric Glazer, a Hallandale Beach lawyer with 30 years of condo law experience.

That’s because the Florida Legislature is reluctant to pass laws that slow down condominium construction and sales, says Glazer, who also has a condo blog and weekly one-hour radio show about condominium law.

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What we know Friday:Extensive concrete damage reported at Surfside last fall. Death toll at 18; dozens still missing

Why did the Surfside condo collapse? Engineers point to inspections, maintenance

“Florida will do anything to help developers build and sell units and all responsibility is passed onto the unit owners after the sale,” Glazer said. “There is almost a hands-off approach when it comes to structural integrity.”

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