Florida ‘Surfside’ Condo Collapse Brings Changes to New Jersey

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The Condominium sector changed forever on Thursday, June 24, 2021 and few have realized it until now.

At 1:22 a.m., Champlain Towers South, a 12-story beachfront condominium building in the Miami suburb of Surfside, Florida, partially collapsed.

It resulted in the deaths of 98 people. This called into question whether regular and proper structural engineering inspections had been carried out for many years. It was built in 1981.

Naturally, the federal government has implemented a new form that must be completed before a condominium can be sold anywhere in America.

Few people, even in the real estate and mortgage industries, knew that these new required documents would arrive before the start of this year.

It requires the condo association or property management company to complete a 2-page form from the federal government.

It’s hard to imagine that this new form, which went into effect January 1, 2022, isn’t a direct result of the tragic collapse of Surfside, Florida Condominium.

Among many other specifics, the form requires the property to reveal the last date a structural engineer inspected the property.

That’s not to say that Atlantic City’s Ocean Club condominiums banned all their residents from using their balconies (yesterday) just because of this new (formal) requirement.

Still, that’s probably no coincidence either.

The letter from the Ocean Club, which you can read in full, is included in our report from yesterday (link below)…it outlines concerns about balcony material and the potential for falling pieces of concrete.

Here is a link to our previous coverage on the various findings resulting directly from a structural engineering report commissioned by Ocean Club Condominiums.

Read more: Atlantic City Ocean Club residents said they couldn’t use the balconies

Atlantic City Ocean Club Condominiums – TSM Harry Hurley

Atlantic City Ocean Club Condominiums – TSM Harry Hurley

The photo above is the view from the Ocean Club condominiums in Atlantic City. Yesterday all residents were advised in writing that they cannot use the balconies until further notice while the structural engineering issues are resolved.

We anticipate that you will see and hear a lot more about condominiums having structural engineers to inspect their properties.

For example, the Ocean Club Condominiums are now 40 years old. So, of course, it is necessary to evaluate different parts of the structure.

Ocean Club condominiums are almost exactly the same age as “Surfside” condominiums in Florida.

That’s not to say that Ocean Club Condominiums didn’t perform regular structural inspections. It has been a highly respected property for over 4 decades.

The fact is that all condominiums in the country will have to become regular structural inspection practitioners.

No one will want to put their name on a federal document and reveal that no structural engineer has ever inspected their property.

It can get a bit onerous and expensive, however, this process should already have taken place with great regularity everywhere.

And, in some cases, it has happened. In other cases, this new federal requirement will encourage others to avail themselves of this right without delay.

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