Florida is home to over 1.5 million condo units, with 28,000 condo associations across the state, and nearly a year after the Champlain Tower collapse in Surfside, Florida, stricter condo regulations have been put in place to mandate more frequent condo inspections.

Previous laws stated that buildings over three stories had to go through the recertification process after 40 years but this bill now requires recertification to happen at the 30-year mark, or the 25-year mark if the building is 3 miles or less from the coast, and then every 10 years after that. In addition to these updated requirements, the law also requires buildings to have a reserve fund for major repairs and any major repairs that are found must begin within a year of the findings. There will be two phases of inspections for recertification. The first will be a visual inspection from a licensed architect or engineer and if considerable issues are found, the next phase of the more in-depth inspection will be conducted.

Earlier this year, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac updated their lending guidelines in response to the tragedy in Surfside. Lenders must ask specific questions and if the answer is yes to any of them, lenders need to have a Maintenance/Special Assessment addendum completed and signed by the HOA. From there, the HOA or property manager must confirm if the repairs have been completed. For more info on these lending guidelines, click here.

With these added rules and regulations, current owners and future buyers can rest a bit easier knowing that these buildings will now be much more regulated, and additional safety requirements are now put in place. In the future, we may see HOA fees increase to supplement the new regulations, but will ultimately allow these associations to provide even more to protect residents.  

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