Senator Tries To Make Condo Boards Hurricane Ready

Article and Video Courtesy of 

CBS Channel 4 -- Miami/Ft. Lauderdale

  Evan Bacon Reporting


Sunrise, October 24, 2007

It was two years ago this Wednesday that Hurricane Wilma barreled into South Florida, leaving homes destroyed and many families homeless. CBS4 returned to some of the hardest hit condos, and found that not much has changed. But frustrated home owners could be in for some relief.

The drywall is up but the floors are bare; grout, tile and tools are stacked in the corner. Two years after Wilma and Eddie Garay still can't go home

"My life has gone down the drain, even my health, I don't have the same strength," said Garay.

Wilma's winds shredded rooftops and shattered windows. Where Eddie Garay lives, Sunrise Lakes, dozens of buildings were damaged. Condo owners have been frustrated over the pace and quality of repairs.

Many condo boards were not prepared to handle a major catastrophe like Wilma. Two years after the storm there's a move underway to change that.

State Rep. Julio Robaina wants to make condo law unit friendly. Among his proposals is opening up condo records and finances for owners, making it criminal for a condo board not to maintain their records, and insisting on routine inspections and maintenance evaluations.

"What we've done to deal with these contractors and vendors that may not be acting within the realms of the law, what we're doing is that we have a pilot fraud program," said Robaina.

Had laws been in place, residents at Southgate Gardens in Tamarac wouldn't be living like this: Two years after the storm, many units are still shells.

"And it was our ex board that are described as a group of mushy do-nothing people," said Myles Sockin.

Sockin lost his condo in foreclosure. The complex is not on its third contractor.

"It has destroyed many families' lives," said Sockin.

He says contractors need more accountability because in Florida, Hurricanes do not retire.

 Watch VIDEO

State Representative Julio Robaina (R-Miami)  created the pilot program "How To Catch The Thieves In Our Associations". See:




State Representative Julio Robaina revealed plans for the 2008 Condo Bill!


"My life has gone down the drain, even my health, I don't have the same strength," said Garay.