TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — In response to the Surfside condominium collapse that killed 98 people, the Florida House unanimously passed a bill Thursday that would require statewide recertification of any condo building above three stories high.
The bill would require recertification after 30 years, or 25 years if the building is within 3 miles (5 kilometers) of the coast, and every 10 years thereafter. The Champlain Towers South was 40-years-old and was going through the 40-year-recertification process required by Miami-Dade County when it collapse last June.
At the time, Miami-Dade and Broward counties were the only two of the state’s 67 that had condominium recertification programs.
“Anything that could have been thought of was definitely put in with a lot of thought and a lot of love to make sure that what happened at Surfside will never happen again,” said Republican Rep. Daniel Perez, who chairs the committee that sponsored the bill.
Among other provisions in the bill are a requirement that condominium associations notify residents of when buildings need to be recertified and to give them inspection reports.
It also requires associations to every 10 years study the reserves available to pay for structural damage.
“This bill doesn’t guarantee that it will never happen again, but it goes a long way to making sure that we’re going to ask people to be responsible, we’re going to look for these problems and we’re going to do our best to make sure, that if at all possible, this is never repeated,” said Democratic Rep. Joe Geller, whose district includes Surfside.
Republican House Speaker Chris Sprowls praised Perez for his work on the bill after the vote.
“I went down to Surfside and you greeted me there. And I know you spent days with the families at the site of Surfside, with the members of the clergy who were comforting the loved ones of those who had been lost there. I know how deeply personal this is to you and everyone from South Florida and I just want to congratulate you,” Sprowls said.