OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. – Repair work on dozens of Osceola County condos where buildings have been deemed unsafe has stopped due to issues with permits, according to officials.
The repairs at Images Condominium are on hold for now. Osceola County officials issued a stop-work order on Friday after they said the contractor hired by the condo association didn’t pull permits. Officials said they want to make sure the work is done correctly because the fear is unlicensed work could make the problems worse.
Kyle Beasley lives in one of the buildings deemed unsafe. He said he was frustrated to learn about the stop-work order.
“This is like a big operation. They should be working through the proper channels, and they should be ahead of this and not trying to do it halfway,” Beasley said.
Beasley said he is choosing to stay in his unit, even though the county said people are entering at their own risk.
“Most of the damage is around the walkways, so I’m not really too concerned about the structure of the buildings themselves, but it is still a little unsettling that there is that possibility that it could collapse,” Beasley said.
According to the county, the walkways in three buildings are in danger of collapse.
County records show on April 20, 2021, an architecture firm sent an email to the condo association telling them they found cracked walkways and rotted wood frames. The firm said these areas are unsafe.
“Our walkway it’s slanted, it’s like slanting downward, almost like a 45-degree angle,” Beasley said.
County officials said they will speed up the permit process when the contractor applies, but as of Friday afternoon, county officials said they haven’t submitted a request for permits.
The attorney representing the condo association sent News 6 the following statement:
“Images Condominium is aware of the notice provided by the Osceola County Building Department on Wednesday, June 30th. Images takes this matter very seriously, and there is nothing more important than the safety and welfare of our residents. We are working diligently with all parties, including Osceola County, to address any and all concerns. The Association has retained structural engineers and building contractors to investigate and make repairs throughout the condominium. The Association will take all measures necessary to ensure that the building is structurally sound and safe for its residents.”
The condo association attorney didn’t immediately respond to News 6′s question about the stop-work order.
Beasley questions why it took so long for the association to start making repairs.
“They should have done this two months ago when they had that information, but then they waited and put a band-aid on it. I just want this to be resolved as quickly as possible,” he said.
County officials said they started inspecting the other buildings in the complex on Friday. News 6 is waiting to learn if they found more structural damage.
According to county records, prior to Wednesday, there were no code violations reported for the previous 10 years.