A recent article in the Palm Beach Post chronicled the early signs of the financial strains that Florida condominium associations are beginning to experience. Unfortunately, these early issues involving increased insurance costs represent just the beginning, and things are indeed expected to get worse in the months and years to come.
The article discusses how the 51-year-old Portofino South Condominium in West Palm Beach (pictured below) received a renewal quote from its insurer with an 82 percent increase over the prior year. It had expected an increase of around 25 percent, which was what it got for 2021, so the board of directors had to call a special meeting to increase the association’s annual budget and hike up its monthly dues for its owners.
Mary McSwain, who bought her one-bedroom unit in January, told the Post’s Kimberly Miller that her dues are going from $914 a month to $1,347.
“And it’s likely to get more expensive for owners under the new condo law approved during a special legislative session,” the article reminds readers.
Indeed, while most of those safety provisions do not become effective until 2024, the law will require significant new inspection and maintenance measures on older condos three stories or higher, as well as dedicated reserves to pay for structural repairs.
For the owners at Portofino, the news is even worse. State law now requires it to install a new fire-sprinkler system by Jan. 1, 2024, and that is expected to cost its unit owners more than $7 million.