Surfside collapse spurs Palm Beach County to strengthen building safety policies

Stricter building inspection policies are moving closer to fruition in Palm Beach County after the deadly condo collapse in Surfside.

County commissioners are scheduled to discuss implementing enhanced inspection measures for buildings during Tuesday’s County Commission meeting. Officials last discussed the issue on Aug. 17, with commissioners in support of stronger policies to safeguard older and taller buildings.

Broward and Miami-Dade counties require structural and electrical safety inspections for condo buildings every 40 years. Inspections are carried out every 10 years, and building owners must make corrections on any issues that are found.

Palm Beach County, however, has no such law. Currently, inspectors approve new buildings, then inspect again if someone files a complaint or alerts them of potential unsafe buildings.

The ordinance requires safety and structural inspections for every building older than 30 years. Building owners will be responsible for the cost of improvements, meaning assessments and condo fees are likely to increase for residents.

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