A Florida law intended to prevent tragedies like the Surfside condominium collapse will place a huge financial burden on condo associations and strain architecture and engineering resources in the state.
The law requires that by the end of 2024 condominiums that are at least three stories tall and within 3 miles of the coast be inspected by a licensed engineer or architect when they are 25 years old and buildings more than 3 miles inland at 30 years old. The law will be financially burdensome for many associations, especially older ones.
Condo associations had been allowed to waive reserve funds for maintenance, but will now be required to have enough money in their reserves by 2025 to fund all repairs needed to maintain their buildings’ structural integrity. This work could easily run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
What’s more, thousands of condos will need to have inspections over a short period. It will be difficult, if not impossible, for architects and engineers to get to all that work done within the prescribed deadline.
The law applies to 1.5 million condos operated by nearly 28,000 associations. Some older properties in the most desirable coastal areas are expected to be targets for developers because owners will not be able to absorb the cost of capital assessments to make extensive repairs. Developers would demolish old properties and build new luxury properties on site.