Following the collapse of the 12-story condominium in Surfside, Fla., the Florida Bar’s Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section has assembled an advisory task force to review the state’s condominium law and make recommendations to legislators, the governor and other officials on what should be done to prevent another catastrophic building failure.
Margaret “Peggy” Rolando, a partner in the Miami office of Shutts & Bowen LLP and a member of the Real Estate Practice Group, is a member of the task force. Peggy is Florida Bar Board Certified in Real Estate Law and in Condominium and Planned Development Law.
According to The Washington Post, members of the task force hinted that changes to safety certifications and inspection schedules are likely to meet the least resistance. Other considerations include expanding inspections to include geological and hydrological factors affecting building stability and structure, and periodic and comprehensive review of specific building elements such as concrete, rebar and electrical.
The Florida legislature requires condo associations to have financial reserves for painting, roof replacement, paving and any item where the deferred maintenance or replacement cost exceeds $10,000, Peggy told the news outlet. A majority of owners have the right to reduce or waive these statutory reserves. She stated that she sympathizes with unit owners who face unmanageable costs that can balloon from years of neglected or delayed maintenance.
“Mandatory reserves are probably the right thing to do fiscally,” Peggy said. “But when you’re dealing with human beings with myriad financial issues, do you want to force people into a situation where they can’t afford to pay and will have to sell their unit? There are no good answers.”
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- “Condo Collapse a ‘Wake-Up Call’ for Fla. Regulatory Overhaul,” Law360 (July 7, 2021)
About Margaret “Peggy” A. Rolando
Margaret A. (“Peggy”) Rolando is a partner in the Miami office of Shutts & Bowen LLP, where she is a member of the Real Estate Practice Group. A Martindale-Hubbell AV® rated attorney, Peggy is Florida Bar Board Certified in Real Estate Law and in Condominium and Planned Development Law. Peggy is a member of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers (ACREL) and is a past chair of the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section of The Florida Bar. She's also a long time active member of The Florida Bar Committee on Condominiums and Planned Developments. Peggy has been named one of the Best Lawyers in America® in real estate since 2010 and has been recognized by Chambers USA – America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Florida Super Lawyers, and Florida Trend Magazine’s Florida Elite in real estate. She was also listed among the Top 50 Women Lawyers in Florida and Top 100 Lawyers in Miami.