It took public pressure, but the Florida Legislature and Governor Ron DeSantis eventually implemented changes to improve condominium security.
Recertification of all buildings of at least three stories will be required after 25 years for coastal structures and 30 years for all others, to begin with.
But security comes at a price, and condominium councils will impose that price on residents – thanks to numerous appraisals and higher maintenance fees.
There has been a lot of talk about the financial strain these assessments will put on people on fixed incomes.
This is why communication between the syndicates of co-ownership and the residents must improve.
Closures during the peak of the COVID pandemic have prompted condo boards to try more high-tech communication and meeting methods. Some worked better than others. For example, some Zoom meetings have been interrupted by arguments and other interference.
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But neither is the “return to normal”. Although some condominium board meetings have resumed as normal, this does not help housebound residents, the elderly or both, or those vulnerable to illness who do not feel comfortable. to sit side by side with neighbors who are not wearing masks. This is no way to communicate important decisions to tenants. And in most scenarios, a meeting can attract dozens of people but affect hundreds.
The turn of the 21st century has brought new technologies – and prompted many local, state and national governments to adopt them. For example, meeting agendas and memos from local governments have been online for years. Years ago, many municipalities began to feature commission/council meetings on local cable channels. Even before COVID, a number of these meetings were already featured on government websites. Broward County and most of its municipalities are part of these governments.
It should not be any different for syndicates of co-ownership.
There are various forms of online technology that can be used to ensure that a meeting runs smoothly and is not interrupted by a hacker, heckler or other disturbance. There are also ways to do this for free – so another charge doesn’t have to be passed on to residents.
In fact, Florida condominium law in Florida statutes states that condominium association meetings may be held by video or other technological means. Associations should start from there.
Especially after the reforms that have taken place in Tallahassee, residents have a right to know – by any means available.
Sylvia Gurinsky is a tourist guide and writer who lives in Davie.