Panel releases safety recommendations for Florida condominiums

On Behalf of | Jan 3, 2022 | Construction Law |

When buildings are constructed and maintained in Florida, safety is a fundamental need. Unfortunately, that is frequently ignored or pushed to the side for myriad reasons. Often, finances come into play. Combining that with a lack of oversight and limited clarity about the law can lead to damage, defects and danger. A worrisome example of this came about in June of 2021 when a condominium collapsed. As the cause or causes are being investigated, the state is seeking answers as to how to avoid a similar collapse. It is important for contractors and those involved in real estate to be aware of the recommendations to protect their customers and themselves.

Grand jury wants updated rules for condominium inspections

According to a Florida grand jury, a litany of safety implementations should be put into effect to avoid another catastrophe. To ensure that buildings remain structurally sound and are safe, the grand jury said engineers should conduct inspections of condominiums between 10 and 15 years after they have been built. After that, it should be done every 10 years. Some Florida counties only require inspections every 40 years. Others have no such requirements at all.

The condominium that collapsed had been built in 1981 and was just about to be up for its re-inspection. It is not known precisely why the condominium collapsed, but there was structural damage that had already been discovered and would have cost around $15 million to fix. Water damage is believed to be a culprit as the property was near the ocean. Costs were the catalyst for the repeal of a 2008 rule that condominiums that were more than three stories needed to be inspected every fifth year. Waterproofing and repainting every 10 years to keep structures from becoming corroded was another recommendation. Others targeted architects and engineers who did not give truthful reports when they conducted inspections with suspensions for violations. Their licenses would be in jeopardy for two offenses.

Keeping up to date with the regulations is imperative with construction and real estate

Contractors and those involved in real estate should take lessons from the condominium collapse and the costly aftermath when they are building, repairing, maintaining and selling these properties. Those who were harmed or lost a loved one in these types of incidents will inevitably try to hold someone responsible for it. If there were allegations that the property was defective or the construction was shoddy with negligence and a lack of oversight, it could result in long-term problems. To comply with the current law and future changes that may be on the horizon, it is imperative to have professional guidance with construction law, real estate law and condominium safety.