MY APOLOGIES TO THE FAMILIES OF THE VICTIMS
Eric Glazer, Esq.
Published March 14, 2022
Today, I feel sadness for the victims in Surfside and their
families. I said a million times on the air and in columns that
they did not die in vain. I swore that as a result of their
deaths, The Florida Legislature would ensure that at least some
forms of reserves would be mandatory, that inspections by
building officials would become mandatory, that the calculation
of reserve studies would be done by experts who have no
financial interest in the outcome and that of course, education
of Board members would become mandatory. I was wrong.
The Republican DOMINATED House and Senate could not come to
terms on a single piece of condominium legislation on any of
these life safety issues even though both the House and The
Senate are completely in the hands of the same party, the
Republicans. Republicans control the Senate 24 Ė 15.
Republicans control The House 78 Ė 41. Not even on
non-controversial categories like education for board members
and whether or not there should be mandatory inspections of
buildings by building officials could they agree upon.
You know that I have been trying to keep all of you up to date
on what was going on in Tallahassee this week. With two days
left in the session, my educational component was pulled from
the bill. I was told by Senator Bradleyís office that it had to
be removed in order to get the safety bill passed in The House,
as per Representative Daniel Perez. Does anyone else find
it beyond incredible that Representative Perez represents Miami,
the same place where the Champlain Towers fell, and according to
Senator Bradleyís office, he wanted mandatory education removed?
The Senate apparently caved to the Houseís requirements and
passed a bill 38 to zero, that would have still allowed
owners the ability to waive reserves as usual; a majority of a
quorum. It also would have removed the educational requirement
for directors. However, it would have required mandatory PHASE
One and/or Phase 2 inspections throughout the state after 30
years by an architect or engineer ; 25 years on the coast. It
would have required the association to provide these engineering
or architectural reports to all of the owners. Knowing the
clock was ticking, the thought was, at least letís pass some
safety bill, and The Senate did so unanimously; obviously with
strong bi-partisan support. Now, the members of The House of
Representatives should have had the ability to vote on the same
bill right? Wrong. Instead, The Speaker Chris Sprowls never
even let it get to a vote. Just like that any potential for new
safety laws or education of members was declared dead, even
though there were two days left in the session.
Our state just suffered the worst non terrorist or war related
collapse of a residential building perhaps the world has ever
seen. You would think that our leaders would make sure to lock
themselves in a room until and unless some safety measures
regarding our condominiums be passed. Instead, with two days
left in the session, any attempt at coming up with a bill was
As all of you know, I am a Republican. Today however, I have no
problem in letting all of you know just how much The Republican
Party let you down. They canít blame The Democrats for this
one. Despite the fact that the tragedy caused us to examine
what we already knew, that buildings donít get inspected,
reserves donít get funded, emergency repairs donít get made and
the members of the board are not required to learn a thing;
your Republican dominated legislature let you down big time;
especially The House of Representatives and allowed these
dangerous measures to remain for at least another year.
I often refer to the blog I wrote in May of 2018, imploring The
Florida Legislature to require at least some form of mandatory
reserves. I stated:
like it or not, some form of reserves should be mandatory and
not subject to being waived. There, I said it. Letís
streamline the way reserves are calculated. Letís get rid of
the ďlife expectancyĒ formula the state says you should follow
but nobody does. Itís a joke anyway. We all know the truth
that the life expectancy of the roof somehow gets longer, the
closer you get to the original estimate of how long it was going
to last. Five years ago it had a five year life expectancy.
Money is tight, so today it has a new 10 year life expectancy.
Somehow, like fine wine, the roof got better with age. We all
know that happens, and it happens every day. So how about we
make things simple. Letís just say every condominium must
contribute 10% of its annual budget to reserves for roof,
plumbing, electrical, structural and painting. It all goes into
one pot and it can be used for any repair necessary for those
categories. It canít be waived. If however an association
wants to contribute more, they can.
At the time I wrote that, the statute did not mention that
reserves for ďstructuralĒ are required. I sure wish structural
reserves were required at The Champlain Towers. And by the
wayÖ..the 10% formula is being used by Fannie Mae and Freddie
Mac, wanting to make sure condominiums are putting away at least
that amount each year for reserves, before they will guarantee a
The Republicans in The Florida Legislature should be ashamed of
themselves for walking away without some sort of a deal. If he
has the power to do so, I urge Governor DeSantis to order The
House and The Senate back into session and donít let them walk
away unless a deal gets done. He cannot allow another Champlain
Towers to happen in this state. The consequences to him
personally would be devastating. After practicing in this area
for 30 years now, Iím telling you for sure and for certain,
that without immediate changes to the law, another Champlain
Towers tragedy is not too far behind. Does anyone really think
that the situation at Champlain Towers, the dragging of the feet
to make repairs due to not having enough reserves on hand, is
unique to that one building? Of course itís not. That building
just happened to go first.
HOA & Condo Blog
Eric Glazer graduated
from the University of Miami School of Law in 1992 after
receiving a B.A. from NYU. He has practiced community
association law for three decades and is the owner of
Glazer and Sachs, P.A. a five attorney law firm with
offices in Fort Lauderdale and Orlando.
Eric is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in
Condominium and Planned Development Law.
Since 2009, Eric has been the host of Condo Craze
and HOAs, a weekly one hour radio show that airs at 11:00 a.m.
each Sunday on 850 WFTL.
Eric is the first attorney in the State of
Florida that designed a course that certifies condominium and
HOA residents as eligible to serve on a Board of Directors and
has now certified more than 20,000 Floridians all across the
state. He is certified as a Circuit Court Mediator by The
Florida Supreme Court and has mediated dozens of disputes
between associations and unit owners. Eric also devotes
significant time to advancing legislation in the best interest
of Florida community association members.