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DeSantis won’t commit to review of aging buildings after Surfside tragedy
Posted by: p8712
Date: July 07, 2021 05:18PM
Of Course

Quote

TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Ron DeSantis said Wednesday that condominiums in Florida are “kind of a dime a dozen, particularly in southern Florida,” but he would not commit to any state action to address concerns about the aging buildings, suggesting that Champlain Towers South “had problems from the start.”
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Re: DeSantis won’t commit to review of aging buildings after Surfside tragedy
Posted by: pdq
Date: July 07, 2021 05:25PM
The free market will take care of all this.

RollingEyesSmiley5
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Re: DeSantis won’t commit to review of aging buildings after Surfside tragedy
Posted by: Speedy
Date: July 07, 2021 06:14PM
Don’t need no more stinkin regulations.



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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Re: DeSantis won’t commit to review of aging buildings after Surfside tragedy
Posted by: Ted King
Date: July 07, 2021 06:22PM
Quote
p8712
Of Course

Quote

TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Ron DeSantis said Wednesday that condominiums in Florida are “kind of a dime a dozen, particularly in southern Florida,” but he would not commit to any state action to address concerns about the aging buildings, suggesting that Champlain Towers South “had problems from the start.”

The anomoly defense. A reactionary favorite.



e pluribus unum
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Re: DeSantis won’t commit to review of aging buildings after Surfside tragedy
Posted by: C(-)ris
Date: July 07, 2021 07:03PM
Quote
pdq
The free market will take care of all this.

RollingEyesSmiley5

The owners of the individual condos are the ones responsible. They elect their condo/HOA board and are the ones who are financially responsible for all the repairs to be done. There isn't a corporate entity that owns the condo, it is everyone who purchased a unit that shares the ownership.

Sounds like the unit owners weren't doing their due diligence and the board didn't want to be the bearer of bad news that every person who had a condo needed to fork over $100k for repairs. Elections matter, even for an HOA/Condo board.



C(-)ris
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Re: DeSantis won’t commit to review of aging buildings after Surfside tragedy
Posted by: mattkime
Date: July 07, 2021 07:07PM
Quote
C(-)ris
The owners of the individual condos are the ones responsible. They elect their condo/HOA board and are the ones who are financially responsible for all the repairs to be done. There isn't a corporate entity that owns the condo, it is everyone who purchased a unit that shares the ownership.

Sounds like the unit owners weren't doing their due diligence and the board didn't want to be the bearer of bad news that every person who had a condo needed to fork over $100k for repairs. Elections matter, even for an HOA/Condo board.

Show me a condo board where people would easily agree to such repairs knowing what they knew.
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Re: DeSantis won’t commit to review of aging buildings after Surfside tragedy
Posted by: C(-)ris
Date: July 07, 2021 07:16PM
Quote
mattkime
Quote
C(-)ris
The owners of the individual condos are the ones responsible. They elect their condo/HOA board and are the ones who are financially responsible for all the repairs to be done. There isn't a corporate entity that owns the condo, it is everyone who purchased a unit that shares the ownership.

Sounds like the unit owners weren't doing their due diligence and the board didn't want to be the bearer of bad news that every person who had a condo needed to fork over $100k for repairs. Elections matter, even for an HOA/Condo board.

Show me a condo board where people would easily agree to such repairs knowing what they knew.

They wouldn't. That is an inherent problem Condos and Co-Op buildings. They all(The Board and the owners who elected them) all want to pass the buck down the road and none of them want to be on the hook for a huge repair bill in the 100s of thousands of dollars per unit.

The point of an elected board is to represent the owners of the units. I bet that if this had gone to a vote from every condo owner(instead of the board) before the collapse they would have all voted to delay the repairs and get more information and wait. Same thing the condo board did.

Nobody wants a $100k repair bill, necessary or not, the owners would have been fighting against it. Many probably couldn't afford the bill either or wouldn't spend a dime of their money on the building. Same people who complain that the outside has to be painted or a parking lot resurfaced. The owners are their own worst enemies.



C(-)ris
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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/07/2021 07:18PM by C(-)ris.
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Re: DeSantis won’t commit to review of aging buildings after Surfside tragedy
Posted by: Speedy
Date: July 07, 2021 07:20PM
That’s why we have state inspections. At least this will make it harder for DeathSantis and his ilk to rid the state of condo regulations.



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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Re: DeSantis won’t commit to review of aging buildings after Surfside tragedy
Posted by: DeusxMac
Date: July 07, 2021 07:28PM
Quote
C(-)ris
Many probably couldn't afford the bill either...

This factor should NOT be ignored nor underestimated. How many here could come up with $100,000* for home repairs even if told it was necessary?




*Assumes this number is in the ball park for this building.
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Re: DeSantis won’t commit to review of aging buildings after Surfside tragedy
Posted by: S. Pupp
Date: July 07, 2021 07:54PM
Of course he doesn't want to take preemptive action. Each tragedy is a good photo opportunity.
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Re: DeSantis won’t commit to review of aging buildings after Surfside tragedy
Posted by: JoeH
Date: July 07, 2021 07:59PM
Quote
DeusxMac
*Assumes this number is in the ball park for this building.

That number is actually in the ballpark. A $15 million repair plan was in the works, they building his listed as having 136 units.
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Re: DeSantis won’t commit to review of aging buildings after Surfside tragedy
Posted by: C(-)ris
Date: July 07, 2021 08:25PM
Quote
DeusxMac
Quote
C(-)ris
Many probably couldn't afford the bill either...

This factor should NOT be ignored nor underestimated. How many here could come up with $100,000* for home repairs even if told it was necessary?




*Assumes this number is in the ball park for this building.

The HOPE would be that the owners would either have been setting money aside for this OR the Condo board would have been. But that requires foresight and that the people buying units understood the potential problems and costs that could come along. I gather that most people buying a condo don't think they are going to run into a $100k bill all of a sudden despite it being a very real possibility.

Since that wasn't the case, if they didn't have the $100k either the individual owners would have to take out a home equity loan, personal loan, or construction loan OR hopefully the Condo board could work with a lender to secure financing at a good rate for the project and enter into a contract with the owners for repayment with the unit as equity.

Either way, not a good solution. The Condo board should have been assessing higher fees the entire time and setting them aside for 40/60/80/100 year restoration work, not just normal wear and tear. Big buildings are exponentially more expensive to restore than individual units. Sure the yearly costs are a bit lower, but major renovation work like a roof or structural work is astronomically expensive.



C(-)ris
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Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/07/2021 08:29PM by C(-)ris.
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Re: DeSantis won’t commit to review of aging buildings after Surfside tragedy
Posted by: space-time
Date: July 07, 2021 08:59PM
Quote
JoeH
Quote
DeusxMac
*Assumes this number is in the ball park for this building.

That number is actually in the ballpark. A $15 million repair plan was in the works, they building his listed as having 136 units.

don't forget that many projects run over budget, so this could easily ballon into $150k per unit.

besides, depending on the scope and extent of the repairs, some units may not be usable during the construction period, which could take months for such a project.
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Re: DeSantis won’t commit to review of aging buildings after Surfside tragedy
Posted by: Speedy
Date: July 07, 2021 09:12PM
This was in the high rent district. The money was there, the will to spend it was not.



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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Re: DeSantis won’t commit to review of aging buildings after Surfside tragedy
Posted by: RgrF
Date: July 07, 2021 09:52PM
Never been in a condo so I'm unfamiliar with the workings. Why wouldn't the association carry insurance to cover this sort of need?
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Re: DeSantis won’t commit to review of aging buildings after Surfside tragedy
Posted by: space-time
Date: July 07, 2021 10:01PM
insurance is for unexpected loss, such as fire, earthquake, not for maintenance and repairs.

the condo association (or any Home Owners Association in general) needs to save money for these kinds of repairs, but in most cases they don't and they end up with an "assessment" to cover this cost.
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Re: DeSantis won’t commit to review of aging buildings after Surfside tragedy
Posted by: mattkime
Date: July 07, 2021 10:39PM
Quote
C(-)ris
They wouldn't. That is an inherent problem Condos and Co-Op buildings.

How do you resolve the situation? You're not wrong, but heaping blame on the owners isn't helpful - particularly when you admit that _any_ condo board would have this problem.



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Re: DeSantis won’t commit to review of aging buildings after Surfside tragedy
Posted by: RgrF
Date: July 07, 2021 11:05PM
Quote
space-time
insurance is for unexpected loss, such as fire, earthquake, not for maintenance and repairs.

the condo association (or any Home Owners Association in general) needs to save money for these kinds of repairs, but in most cases they don't and they end up with an "assessment" to cover this cost.

I have homeowner's insurance that specifically indentures me against structural failure, why is that not available for condo owners. Unwilling to subject themselves to inspection or pay the premium?
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Re: DeSantis won’t commit to review of aging buildings after Surfside tragedy
Posted by: Speedy
Date: July 07, 2021 11:27PM
Unwilling to pay the premiums. The condo wasn’t built on pilings driven to bedrock and it was built on an island beach.



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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Re: DeSantis won’t commit to review of aging buildings after Surfside tragedy
Posted by: Lemon Drop
Date: July 08, 2021 08:30AM
Later in the article DeSantis says

"... I think this building had problems from the start, let’s just put it that way,’' the governor answered. “... So I wouldn’t jump to conclusions about it but, at the same time, if there is something identified that would have implications broader than Champlain Towers, then obviously we’re going to take that and act as appropriate.”

So he's not ruling out state level action, just saying they need more info about what happened in Surfside.

Miami is already doing local reviews of older highrises and has evacuated at least one other older building in that area due to deferred maintenance on structural problems.

I don't fully understand why, in the era of climate change, anyone would move to Florida. But if people are going to keep buying and living in those places, better do super duper due diligence before buying and constantly while living there or owning.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/08/2021 08:32AM by Lemon Drop.
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Re: DeSantis won’t commit to review of aging buildings after Surfside tragedy
Posted by: deckeda
Date: July 08, 2021 09:08AM
Does not compute. Condo or townhouse owners do not own the roof nor the underlying structure. They own the box they live in, their parking space and maybe a portion of stairway (“rentable space”) or patio. The HOA pays for the rest.

Or does the paperwork say owners are responsible for a certain area of parking garage and roof? No.

But let’s step back and say owners would obviously have to approve a large renovation. And they refused. At what point does the government say, “Hey, pay up because it’s unsafe or we’ll remove you all by force.” Never? It’s just treated as if it was just one big house?
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Re: DeSantis won’t commit to review of aging buildings after Surfside tragedy
Posted by: Lemon Drop
Date: July 08, 2021 09:44AM
Quote
deckeda
Does not compute. Condo or townhouse owners do not own the roof nor the underlying structure. They own the box they live in, their parking space and maybe a portion of stairway (“rentable space”) or patio. The HOA pays for the rest.

Or does the paperwork say owners are responsible for a certain area of parking garage and roof? No.

But let’s step back and say owners would obviously have to approve a large renovation. And they refused. At what point does the government say, “Hey, pay up because it’s unsafe or we’ll remove you all by force.” Never? It’s just treated as if it was just one big house?

Who pays for what is all outlined in the CC&R's of the building so buyers need to read that very carefully.

Roofs and parking garages and pools are usually common elements whose upkeep is paid for by the association.

Local building inspectors are supposed to keep an eye on high rises and they can condemn the building if they have evidence that it has become unsafe. The inspector in Surfside will no doubt be sued, could even be held criminally liable depending on how this investigation goes.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/08/2021 09:45AM by Lemon Drop.
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Re: DeSantis won’t commit to review of aging buildings after Surfside tragedy
Posted by: Acer
Date: July 08, 2021 11:38AM
$100-150K must be approaching market value for a unit in these condos, especially older buildings. Close to the point of just walking away rather than sign on to a repair bill, which can only get larger as more work is uncovered.
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Re: DeSantis won’t commit to review of aging buildings after Surfside tragedy
Posted by: Lemon Drop
Date: July 08, 2021 11:41AM
Quote
Acer
$100-150K must be approaching market value for a unit in these condos, especially older buildings. Close to the point of just walking away rather than sign on to a repair bill, which can only get larger as more work is uncovered.

They were going for $700k and up before the collapse.

Still, the new assessments were huge and they just had a prior big assessment in the past few years. That's part of why residents were rebelling against this latest one.

Goes without saying, but something was extraordinarily wrong with this building.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/08/2021 11:46AM by Lemon Drop.
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Re: DeSantis won’t commit to review of aging buildings after Surfside tragedy
Posted by: Acer
Date: July 08, 2021 04:29PM
Quote
Lemon Drop
Quote
Acer
$100-150K must be approaching market value for a unit in these condos, especially older buildings. Close to the point of just walking away rather than sign on to a repair bill, which can only get larger as more work is uncovered.

They were going for $700k and up before the collapse.

Still, the new assessments were huge and they just had a prior big assessment in the past few years. That's part of why residents were rebelling against this latest one.

Goes without saying, but something was extraordinarily wrong with this building.

Well, guess I am out of touch about condo prices. Yikes.
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Re: DeSantis won’t commit to review of aging buildings after Surfside tragedy
Posted by: p8712
Date: July 08, 2021 06:24PM
Quote

$100-150K must be approaching market value for a unit in these condos, especially older buildings.

That's what a cheap, 40 year old condo runs in St. Pete. If you're lucky (and not too picky).
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Re: DeSantis won’t commit to review of aging buildings after Surfside tragedy
Posted by: C(-)ris
Date: July 08, 2021 07:15PM
Quote
deckeda
Does not compute. Condo or townhouse owners do not own the roof nor the underlying structure. They own the box they live in, their parking space and maybe a portion of stairway (“rentable space”) or patio. The HOA pays for the rest.

Or does the paperwork say owners are responsible for a certain area of parking garage and roof? No.

But let’s step back and say owners would obviously have to approve a large renovation. And they refused. At what point does the government say, “Hey, pay up because it’s unsafe or we’ll remove you all by force.” Never? It’s just treated as if it was just one big house?

They don't "own" it, but they are required to be members of the association and pay fees/dues/maintenance to the association. HOAs and associations aren't funded by anything other than the people who live in them.

The city could condemn the building and everyone would be forced to move out. The goverment wouldn't force anyone to pay. They just prevent anyone from living there or entering the building until the repairs are made.

At that point the Association would have to either vote to fix the issue and everyone would have to pay their part OR they could vote to not fix it and eventually the building would be razed by the city and the owners would be sent a bill for the demolition.



C(-)ris
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Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/08/2021 07:19PM by C(-)ris.
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Re: DeSantis won’t commit to review of aging buildings after Surfside tragedy
Posted by: AllGold
Date: July 08, 2021 10:26PM
Seems like a failure of the building inspection process.



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Re: DeSantis won’t commit to review of aging buildings after Surfside tragedy
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: July 09, 2021 11:59AM
Quote
AllGold
Seems like a failure of the building inspection process.

Yes. And at this point, we don't know what was out of code / not up to code at the time of construction. And perhaps we never will, but they've got a lot of people on it. DeSantis is not wrong to reject additional regulations at this point (FLA already has some of the most stringent in the country, apparently) but he should have said something similar to "let's see what the investigation finds, and let's continue to inspect additional buildings in this area for similar signs of deficiencies." Just because he's an azzhole on most things, doesn't mean he's wrong on everything.
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Re: DeSantis won’t commit to review of aging buildings after Surfside tragedy
Posted by: davester
Date: July 09, 2021 04:02PM
Quote
AllGold
Seems like a failure of the building inspection process.

Actually it was a failure of the Florida legislature that repealed a law requiring condo reserve funds be based on periodic engineering inspections. Because that law was repealed in 2010, the
Surfside condo HOA only had a microscopic reserve fun inadequate to repair the building, so they didn't. Here's an article on this: [www.msn.com] . It's just the same tired old "no taxes" "no regulations" trope that the Republicans push everywhere. Good ol' boy DeSantis has doubled down on the "we don't need to change anything or do inspections" point of view of the legislature.



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/09/2021 04:22PM by davester.
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