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Florida condos should have more frequent inspections, Grand Jury says

The panel recommended building recertification inspections by an engineer every 10 years instead of the 40-year recertification.

MIAMI — A Florida grand jury has issued a lengthy list of recommendations aimed at preventing another condominium collapse like the one that killed 98 people in June.

In its Wednesday report on the Surfside collapse, the Miami-Dade County Grand Jury called on state and local officials to require condominium towers to have an initial recertification inspection by an engineer between 10 and 15 years after their construction and every 10 years thereafter.

Champlain Towers South collapsed on Jun. 24 as its 40-year recertification was due. Only Miami-Dade and neighboring Broward County require recertification; other Florida counties do not.

Additional recommendations made in the 43-page report:

  • Periodic inspections before recertification inspections are accepted
  • Requiring that condo towers be repainted and waterproofed every 10 years to prevent corrosion
  • Developing policies and procedures for regular and timely inspections to confirm that owners are conducting regular and routine maintenance and 
  • Holding licensed engineers or architects responsible for submitting false or misleading statements in connection to recertification reports.

It was also recommended to remove a provision of the Florida Condominium Act that allows condo boards to waive the obligation to fund reserves for condominium repairs.

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