Ever since the Surfside condo collapsed in Florida there has been much speculation as to what caused it and what needs to be done to prevent this from happening again. And predictably, the homeowners themselves were blamed for it. I have been involved with the policies and politics of HOAs and condos for well over 20 years, but this has always baffled me. Condos in particular have been sold as “care free living” so why blame the owners who were sold on the idea they didn’t have to do anything? And they are negligent for not having filled in cracks. What’s the rationale behind it or were they first in line without a lobby behind them to deflect the accusatory finger pointing at them? None of the reasons given for the tragedy made any sense to me at all. I thought we at least needed to know what caused the collapse before we could come up with a way to prevent it from happening again. Blaming the homeowners because they were not keen on funding repairs on something they no longer owned made no sense to me. As far as I am concerned it was just more evidence that the HOA and Condo concepts are flawed. That is a discussion for another time but one we definitely need to have.
In my experience we never had a vote as to whether we would fund the reserves. Silly me, I thought all HOAs and condos had to fund the reserves. Apparently that is not the case. Whoever dreamed this concept up should have ensured that the funds needed to maintain this terrific experiment were always available.
Julio Robaina joins me On The Commons. Julio is a former Florida legislator who promised he would always work for the HOA and condo homeowners and he has kept his promise. Even though he is not currently a legislator he is very much involved with drafting legislation to protect the owners from another similar disaster. I am really excited and impressed with some of the legislation he talked about. Finally some sensible ideas. I would love to tell you about them but I suggest you tune in and hear Julio explain them.