Anticipated law changes could put Sarasota Condo owners in crisis due to insurance increases

Norton Hammersley Real Estate Law

After the shocking news of the Champlain Towers South condo collapse that killed 98 people in Surfside near Miami in June, the lack of Florida state regulations regarding inspections of condo towers became very clear.

Only two counties in all of Florida (Broward and Miami Dade) requirde the recertification of buildings, however that process only comes into play once a building has reached its 40th year.

Local and state government in the rest of Florida do not currently have any requirements regarding verifying the structural integrity of condo buildings but that is likely to change.

The Downtown Sarasota Condominium Association hosted a the panel discussion in October titled “Condos in Crisis: How Healthy is Your Building.”

While the collapse of the tower in Surfside was a major topic of discussion, condominiums are also facing several other challenges outside of potential new regulations and while increased regulation is speculative at the moment, insurance premiums are increasing already.

The Florida Bar created a task force after the Surfside condo collapse that finalized a report in October that it sent to the Legislature, recommending changes to state law.

That 170-page report included a breakdown of condo units in the state showing that of the 1.5 million condo units in the state, 912,000 are over 30 years old.

The report recommends requiring structural inspection reports for all condo buildings three stories or higher as well as limiting the ability for condo owners to waive reserve fund requirements and increase the ability of condo boards to levy special assessments on owners and borrow money to finance needed repairs.

As of now it is still unconfirmed how drastic eventual changes to state law will be as some politicians have expressed hesitancy fearing going too far with new regulations.

Norton Hammersley’s real-estate practice group provides comprehensive legal representation to individual and corporate clients in the acquisition, development and sale of residential and commercial real property, leasing and financing of single-family homes, multi-family projects, residential subdivisions, hotels, office buildings, condominiums, shopping centers and other real-property developments throughout Florida. The firm is well positioned to assist its clients with real-estate transactions, including closings, tax-deferred exchanges, construction development and land-use matters, mortgage transactions, and serve as agent for several state and national title-insurance underwriters.

Sarasota Real Estate Lawyer Norton Hammersley have extensive knowledge and experience with various lending and secured transaction matters, loan workouts, venture-capital financing and international banking matters, and regularly assist borrowers, commercial lending institutions, community banks, credit unions and holding companies in various loan and banking transactions.