Florida Lawmaker Seeks Condo Rules Review in Wake of Collapse
(Bloomberg) -- Florida state Senator Jason Pizzo said state and county governments need to closely review condo association rules and regulations after the tragic collapse in Surfside.
Pizzo, a Democrat, said that among other things, lawmakers should consider expanding inspection requirements. He said condo associations generally have too little accountability, and currently there isn’t enough scrutiny in vulnerable coastal areas.
“The scope of inspection needs to be much greater and much more comprehensive, and it needs to be mindful of what it’s not right now, which is geographic specificity and particularity,” he said in an interview Monday near the site of the June 24 collapse in Surfside. “This building built somewhere else might not have the same concerns.”
At least 11 people have been confirmed dead, with 150 still unaccounted for, after the collapse of Champlain Towers South, officials said Monday night. The tragedy has raised questions about what more could have been done to maintain the structure and survey risks. It’s still far too early to know what triggered the collapse, but reports this week have revealed a building that delayed repairs on millions of dollars in serious damage identified years earlier.
Pizzo also said he was concerned about the incentive structure for condo associations. He said that condo association leaders can be encouraged to cut important maintenance fees to win elections, even if it’s not financially responsible for the building.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re in Jacksonville, if you’re in Naples, if you’re in Miami or somewhere in the Panhandle,” Pizzo said. “If you’re going to have a building that sits on top of soft soil, and you can’t be sure that 45 or 40 years ago that the inspection process, that the design, the materials and the construction process were not as state of the art and current as they are now or that followed after Hurricane Andrew, we should take a look at it.”
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