The recent tragedy in Surfside, Fla., has significantly impacted our firm and the communities we serve. Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers remain with the victims and families affected by the Champlain Towers South collapse.
In the aftermath of this horrific catastrophe, many condominium association directors, members and managers have raised various questions concerning the safety and stability of their own buildings. Our firm’s other South Florida community association attorneys and I have been responding to many of these inquiries regarding the process of assessing building structural and mechanical elements, and undergoing any repairs and restorations as needed.
Because buildings age and mature differently, with possible conditions developing at different points of a building’s lifespan, associations must assess the structural integrity of their buildings and keep up with proper maintenance protocols, even in advance of the triggering of the 40/50-year recertification process. By doing so, associations can gather accurate snapshots of their buildings’ structural health, perform proactive repairs, and organize the funding necessary to move forward with large projects.
Many associations have never dealt with the decision-making and practical application that it takes to index a building or move forward with significant structural repairs. That is why it is imperative that they consult closely with highly qualified community association and construction attorneys with the necessary experience to help condominium associations navigate this process, which include:
- Vetting and hiring qualified vendors to examine buildings and perform necessary repairs.
- Evaluating engineers’ reports/findings.
- Developing plans for and properly implementing material alterations and capital improvements.
- Analyzing document requirements.
- Reconciling membership and attending meetings to discuss projects.
- Drafting meeting notices and preparing meeting packages.
- Determining special assessment requirements and the funding of reserves.
- Assisting with obtaining loans and appropriate insurance policies.
- Life and safety issues in buildings should always be a priority for all associations.
Having the right resources available can help condominium boards of directors to fulfill their fiduciary duties, ensure their buildings are adequately maintained and, most importantly, help keep their residents safe.
In the weeks and months to come, our firm’s other community association attorneys and I will continue our work with our clients, as well as our outreach to state and local lawmakers and policymakers, to share our insights and recommendations. We will provide updates and information on the reforms that are sure to come in this blog, and we encourage association directors, members and property managers to enter their email address in the subscription box on the right automatically receive all our future posts.