A Sign of The Times: An Unexpected Cost of $6,500 Would Put Most Florida Homeowners Into Debt

June 16, 2022

Home Ownership is a Dream many Americans pursue with great desire, vigor and of course, a Tight Budget above all. For many the rate of inflation has but home ownership out of reach or made their monthly budget much tighter than expected. Any Homeowner will have learned that Unforeseen Costs are part of a Package Deal when it comes to maintaining a Property, however, sometimes these costs can rack up thousands in Monetary Value.

If these Funds are not readily available (even though they're impossible to predict), it may mean Owners having to take out a Loan or try to fork out savings to meet these Unexpected Property Regulation Costs. After a challenging two years of a Pandemic-Affected Economy, this could render Property Owners in serious Debt.

A Survey of 4,076 Homeowners and Landlords by: www.DeckandBalconyInspections.com revealed that, on average, Florida Homeowners said $6,500 in Unexpected Property Regulation Costs would put them into Financial Debt. Considering some Maintenance Fees can rack up several thousands - depending on the size of the Home - this figure might not even be the worst case scenario.

The Survey also asked Landlords if they feel there should be a Federal Law introduced to protect them against Surprise Property Regulations that could Cost a Significant Value in Maintenance. Over 4 in 5 (83%) Landlords in Florida believe that a Federal Law should be implemented to protect them from Unexpected Regulations that could Cost Thousands in Property Maintenance Fees. At first glance, it might seem preposterous for Landlords to demand Federal Protection from Unforeseen Costs, but digging deeper into the issue, they may have two solid arguments at their disposal.

As of Saturday, January 1st, 2022, the ‘No Surprises Act’ came into effect. This Federal Law protects people covered under Group and Individual Health Plans from receiving Surprise Medical Bills for things like Emergency Services, even if these Services were Out-Of-Network and received without Prior Authorization. But, as aforementioned, Expensive Medical Bills are not the only costs with which people may be unexpectedly hit: for example, in 2015, California Authorities introduced a new ‘Balcony Inspection Law’ (following a Tragic Balcony Collapse in Berkeley). This Law, which came into effect in 2019, states that certain Structures with Wood Balconies, Decks, Stairs and Walkways will require a Deep Dive Inspection for Safety Purposes and Owners have until January 1st, 2025 to complete all Initial Inspections. While these Laws are, of course, necessary for Safety and Security Reasons, Landlords and Homeowners also risk the potential of running into Thousands of Dollars in Property Maintenance Fees. Those who Own Properties near the Ocean or in more Wet Winter Weather Conditions have a higher chance of being hit with these Costs, given the Increased chance of Property Damage due to these Factors.

Moreover, with Climate Change having a strong influence in Extreme Weather such as: Natural Disasters and Unpredictable Storms, it is likely that Homeowners and Landlords in The Sunshine State will be burdened with Increased Costs to make their Properties more Resistant to Climate Change-Related Factors – something they argue that they are not responsible for. Therefore, it makes sense why over 1 in 3 (32%) Aspiring Landlords who were surveyed, admit the prospect of Climate Change-Related Property Costs dissuades them from doing so.

Owning a Property comes with vast responsibility and when there are Tenants involved, there can be Hidden Costs involved such as Repairs to: Damages, Leakages, Electrical Faults and other Unpredictable Frustrations. Nearly 1 in 3 (30%) of Landlords said they’ve personally been hit by Substantial Surprise Costs for a Property that they Own.

The Survey also found that 78% of Current Landlords said if they got hit with a Surprise Bill of Over $20,000, they couldn’t afford to cover the Costs without going into Debt. In fact, 43% of Homeowners and Landlords said they think the Government should cover all Costs should Climate Change-Related Regulations about Property Maintenance be introduced into Law.

‘The risks of Climate Change are, unfortunately, both unavoidable and unpredictable,’ says Dan Cronk, Owner & CEO of: www.DeckandBalconyInspections.com. ‘When it comes to Maintaining Properties, it’s important to keep Up-To-Date in Terms of Inspections, so as to reduce the chances of running into any Unexpected Fees along the way.’