South Florida residents must evacuate condo after officials deem it unsafe

CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. — Officials in a South Florida city declared a two-story condominium unsafe on Thursday, giving residents two weeks to evacuate the building.

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The city of Coral Springs said the 16-unit Villa Bianca condominium had a falling roof, inoperable windows, and electrical and fire safety hazards, the Sun-Sentinel reported.

City officials said most of the residents were renters and that only one unit was empty, the newspaper reported. The unit was vacant because of a fire in 2014, city officials said.

“The condominium failed to complete its 40-year building inspection, which was required in 2016,” city officials said in a news release. “At that time, failure to meet inspection requirements were brought before the special magistrate and a lien placed on the building.

“In the absence of an engineering report, and the building’s further deterioration, the city’s chief building official deemed the building to be unsafe and brought the matter in front of the special magistrate during an emergency hearing.”

Residents have until Aug. 5 to vacate the building, which was built in 1975, the Sun-Sentinel reported.

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The evacuation order was the first in Broward County since the collapse of the Champlain Towers South condominium in Surfside, south of Coral Springs in neighboring Miami-Dade County, the newspaper reported. At least 97 people were killed when the 12-story condominium partially collapsed last month.

According to WPLG, city officials said Villa Bianca lacks a formal condominium association, which is a violation of state law.

Phillex Anderson, 26, and her husband, Jacob Henning, 25, said they were aware of the condominium’s deficiencies. The couple cited bathroom leaks, exposed plumbing and wires and mold, the Sun-Sentinel reported.

The couple said they rent for $1,460 a month.

“To come up with that money again to go find a place to live,” Henning told the newspaper. “it’s going to take at least a few months to save that kind of money.”

City officials said staff members and an area charity were working with residents to find temporary housing, WSVN reported.