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Florida lawmakers reach deal on condo reform following Surfside collapse

Final vote on legislation likely Wednesday
Surfside Collapse Site, July 5, 2021
Posted at 3:21 PM, May 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-24 19:37:44-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Condo reform following last year's deadly Surfside condo collapse is happening.

Lawmakers on Tuesday afternoon reached a deal on a bill that they plan to pass before the end of the week.

These changes to strengthen building inspections were something lawmakers tried to pass during the last legislative session, but time ran out before they could reach a deal.

RELATED: Judge OKs $83M for property loss in Surfside condo collapse

A Coast Guard boat patrols alongside a Miami-Dade County police boat, in front of the partially collapsed Champlain Towers South condo building, ahead of a planned visit to the site by President Joe Biden, on Thursday, July 1, 2021, in Surfside, Fla.jpg
A Coast Guard boat patrols alongside a Miami-Dade police boat in front of the partially collapsed Champlain Towers South condo building, ahead of a planned visit to the site by President Joe Biden, July 1, 2021, in Surfside, Fla.

That changed Tuesday afternoon as lawmakers officially expanded the focus of their special session on property insurance to include a near duplicate policy of last year's version in the Senate.

Multifamily buildings, three stories or more, need to have thorough inspections at 30 years — then every 10 years after that.

If the building is near a coastline, inspections start at 25 years.

This new bill also includes requirements that condos hold money in reserves for repair. It was the sticking point earlier this year.

State Rep. Daniel Perez, R-Miami, May 24, 2022
State Rep. Daniel Perez discusses how the new legislation will toughen inspection schedules for condo buildings in Florida.

"Most importantly this is a win for the families of Surfside. I have grown to have real relationships with them and what they went through is something that we never want to see again for any other family in Florida," state Rep. Daniel Perez, R-Miami, said. "I think we accomplish that by hopefully passing this bill this week."

A final vote on the bill will likely come Wednesday afternoon or evening.

The $2 billion property insurance reform — the original reason lawmakers are holding the special session — will likely get its final votes Wednesday as well.