Apartment and multi-family living in general, is a growing trend in the US and Florida. According to the National Multi-family Housing Council, over 60 million people in the United States now live in “For Rent” apartments. That’s about 20% of the entire US population. In Florida, over 2.6 million people make their homes in apartments and the trend is increasing.
Apartment complexes can be separated into two distinct types when they are built: developer-owned and speculative. When a developer plans on building and retaining ownership of an apartment project they almost always use the best building materials available in order to insure a safe, durable, and low maintenance structure that will last a long time and continue to perform as a fruitful investment over the years. In short, they are in it for the long haul.
Speculative apartment projects, those built by a developer who plans on selling them as quickly as possible, are built with speed and low cost in mind. The quicker the developer can build and sell the project to outside investors, the quicker he can get away from the high maintenance costs and looming safety issues that come from inferior materials.
That’s why it pays to know what your apartment is constructed with before you sign a lease. Typically a developer in Florida who retains ownership of the complex will use concrete block construction in order to insure the safety of his investment as well as the safety of his renters. Safety in terms of fire, storms, termites, mold and rot are not issues in an apartment built with concrete block. Unfortunately you as a renter might not be aware that your apartment home is constructed with wood products that don’t protect against all of the dangers of living in Florida.
Did you know that in fire condition tests conducted by Underwriters Laboratories results showed that lightweight construction (wood) collapsed in only six minutes. When automatic sprinkler systems were employed collapse time grew to 14 minutes but that is still hardly enough time to get your family and treasured belongs out of harms way.
In 2015 alone there were more than 95 thousand reported apartment fires and over $1.2 billion in property damage, 3000 civilian injuries and over 400 deaths. Property damage, injury and death have been growing yearly since 2013.
These fire safety statistics when combined with the very real threats of hurricanes, termites and mold should cause even the bravest of us stop and ask, ‘What’s this apartment built with”?
Want more proof? Please take a couple of minutes to view the following video.