Efforts underway to hold city and condo associates accountable for building collapse

As rescue workers continue to search through the rubble of the Champlain Towers South condo building, South Florida lawmakers are trying to push legislation aimed at preventing another similar tragedy.

“Legislation is being looked at on reserves and the recertification process,” Miami-based attorney David Haber, who is helping push the changes, told Yahoo News. Haber, the founder of a firm that specializes in construction law, real estate law and community association law, is fighting to change how condominium safety is governed following the devastation in Surfside, Florida, a beachfront community near North Miami.

Currently, Miami-Dade County requires that buildings 40 years or older get recertified to ensure safety for continued use. In its 40th year, the Champlain Towers South condo association approved a $15 million assessment in April that residents would be responsible for paying. But the long wait period for recertification along with lax enforcement from the local government proved to be detrimental.

“You have to remember that condominium association board directors are volunteers, and the more liability you give them, the less likely someone is willing to serve on a board. So you have to be careful about making it too stringent to serve on a board,” Haber said. “At the same time, we currently have what’s called the business judgment rule, which says that a board member can be liable if their actions rise to the level of willful, wanton or intentional misconduct, so that’s the standard for which they can have some liability.” Haber went onto say.



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