Condo Owners Continue Fight as Reform Bills Move Through Tallahassee
Lawmakers said they are aware of condo owners' concerns and working on changes.

Article Courtesy of NBC Channel 6 South Florida

By Heather Walker

Published April 29, 2023


The fight from condo owners continues after a state law passed that increases the amount of money required in condo reserves. The law is aimed at preventing another Surfside collapse.

However, retired condo owners say it could force them to move because they can’t afford it.

NBC6 learned that lawmakers are aware of the concerns and working on changes.

Currently, two bills (Senate Bill 154 and House Bill 1395) are moving through Tallahassee. The bills could extend the deadline for condo reserves to increase by one year. Lawmakers said it’s the short-term fix that they can tackle during this session while they work on more long-term solutions.

“My message to them is hang on — help is coming,” Rep. Vicki Lopez said.

Lopez represents Brickell, Edgewater and part of downtown Miami where condos are prevalent. She introduced a bill in the House that will pair with a Senate bill to clarify the new law.

And the hope is to extend the deadline for reserves to 2025, which would alleviate some financial pressure for condo owners like Nola Senica.

Two bills moving through Tallahassee could extend the deadline for condo reserves to increase by a year.


“We have people here that live on social security, and when they raise those HOA fees, a lot of them are quite elderly and they are going to have to go somewhere — I don’t know where,” Senica said.

Senica has owned a condo in Margate for more than 15 years. She has been sounding the alarm since Senate Bill 4D passed, telling NBC6 that her quarterly condo payments will now have to increase by $400 or more to be in compliance with the new law that is aimed to keep residents safe from any building deterioration and prevent something like the Surfside collapse.

“We are so far inland from Surfside," Senica said. "We are not on a barrier island, and they are going to try to make one size fit all and it doesn’t work."

She said instead of saving her and her neighbors from a disaster; the new law is putting them in financial trouble. So, she reached out to NBC6 for help back in December of 2022. NBC 6 reached out to Florida lawmakers, who said they would work to fix that.

Four months later we checked back in. And lawmakers, including Lopez, said they will use this summer to work on more long-term solutions to solve condo owner’s concerns.

“I’m listening all the time and they have my commitment that I am in this with them,” Lopez said.

Senica believes it’s a step in the right direction but remains worried about having enough money to continue living in her condo.

“Please consider that fixed income is exactly that it’s a fixed income and when you are older. you don’t have a chance to go get another job to help pay for it,” Senica said.