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Thursday, July 8, 2021

Florida Gov. DeSantis vague on further regulation of older buildings following Surfside condo collapse

Posted By on Thu, Jul 8, 2021 at 11:08 AM

  • Photo via Twitter/Ron DeSantis

Though he's spent the last two weeks at the site of a collapsed building that went without inspection for far too long, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis isn't sure that more inspections of aging buildings are the answer.

Saying that the Champlain Towers South building that collapsed on June 24 might have had "problems from the start," DeSantis was cautious about saying anything that might be taken as a commitment to action around the aging high-rises of Miami's '70s and '80s boom.

“We obviously want to be able to identify why did this happen,” DeSantis said following a briefing on Tropical Storm Elsa in Tallahassee. “Is this something that was unique to this building? Is it something that was unique to the person that maybe developed it — because obviously there are sister properties? Is it something that buildings of that age, that would have implications beyond that whether southern Florida or the entire state of Florida? I think we need to get those definitive answers.”

Only two counties in Florida require aging buildings to be recertified: Miami-Dade and Broward. Both of those counties require buildings over 40 years of age to undergo inspections. The condo building in Surfside was in the midst of its 40-year inspection when it collapsed.

No other counties in Florida have mandatory inspections of buildings beyond the building process.

In the wake of the collapse, aging Florida condominiums have been in the spotlight. Local municipalities in Miami-Dade have kicked their inspections into overdrive, finding several buildings that needed to be evacuated in the process.

Closer to home, in Kissimmee, a condo building was evacuated by order of Osceola County after breezeways between the buildings were found to be faulty. The building was inspected by a private firm at the request of the HOA. Their findings frightened them enough that they alerted county officials. 

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