Aging high-rise condos will have to undergo safety inspections while condo boards will have to save money for structural repairs if the governor signs a new condo safety bill that cleared the Legislature on Wednesday.
The bill is meant to prevent another catastrophe like last year’s collapse of the Champlain Tower South in Surfside, which killed 98 people.
During the regular session earlier this year, the bill failed to clear the legislature, but will now go to Gov. Ron DeSantis.
It was introduced unexpectedly on Tuesday afternoon after a few legislators, including sponsors from the House and Senate, reportedly met Monday night to hash out an agreement that could be passed during this week’s special session on insurance reform.
The Senate passed it Tuesday night and the House took it up Wednesday afternoon after passing a controversial package of property insurance reforms.
Approval of the condo safety bill was unanimous in both chambers.
If enacted, buildings three stories or higher will have to undergo structural safety inspections by the year they turn 30 and every 10 years afterward. If they were built before July 1, 1992, the first structural inspection must be performed before Dec. 31, 2024.
Buildings within three miles of the coast must be inspected before age 25 and every 10 years afterward.
Inspection reports must identify significant structural deterioration, whether the deterioration is dangerous or unsafe, and whether it should be repaired. Copies of the reports must be distributed to all condo unit owners.
Condo boards must conduct reserve studies every 10 years to determine how much money owners must be assessed to cover future repairs.