The Florida Legislature recently passed a bill to beef up building inspection requirements for many of the state’s condominiums.
The bill, which is expected to be signed by the governor, will require milestone inspections of condominiums three stories in height or taller within three miles of the coast when the buildings reach 25 years of age, and of buildings more than three miles inland when they reach 30 years of age. Buildings will then be required to have an inspection every 10 years thereafter with inspection records made available to buyers, renters, and unit owners.
The bill’s passage comes nearly one year after the Champlain Towers South condominium collapse in Surfside, Fla., killed 98 people. Following the building collapse, the International Code Council, the National Institute of Building Sciences, the Building Owners and Managers International (BOMA), and the Building Officials of Florida (BOAF) created a group of experts to advise policymakers and create guidelines that could be used to help prevent future catastrophic building collapses. The work of this group informed the crafting of the bill.
Forty percent of Florida jurisdictions have no property maintenance code in place or have adopted a property maintenance code developed in the late 1970s. Only about 3% of Florida jurisdictions have implemented a periodic recertification or inspection safety program for existing buildings.