65% of People Who Live in Apartments Have Concerns About Structural Issues

Premise Data
3 min readJul 30, 2021

A Premise Data survey of people who live in apartments in the United States shows that people are becoming more aware of their living conditions.

By Fiore Riccobono, Communications Manager

As the country continues to mourn the tragic loss of life in a condo building collapse in Surfside, Fla., apartment dwellers are paying closer attention to their own living conditions.

Premise surveyed more than 1,800 people who live in either an apartment or a condo building across the US from July 4–7 about building safety.

We wanted to gauge:

  • How aware people are of potential structural issues in their homes.
  • What their concerns are.
  • If they feel as though there are appropriate measures in place to have those concerns addressed.

What we learned is that most people who live in these buildings have serious concerns about their homes. What’s more — apartment and condo dwellers feel as though enough isn’t being done in their homes to address structural issues.

Here’s what we found:

  • 65% have concerns about the building structure that they live in and its safety related to deteriorating materials or damage.
  • 47% have seen damage never get fixed.
  • 26% have seen damage fixed poorly.
  • 27% of people feel their issues get ignored by the powers that be or feel as though they have no way of raising those issues to the point where they get acted upon.

This makes us ask: Who is responsible for making sure residential buildings are safe? Premise CEO Maury Blackman, says it best, “It’s logical to wonder: What’s next? How many older buildings in the rest of Florida are in disrepair and in danger of another collapse due to their vulnerability to severe weather conditions?”

Building codes, state and municipal inspection programs, and state laws governing homeowners associations (HOAs) offer several lines of defense against structural failure. The codes in particular are stringent and have improved significantly in recent decades, as has the technology used to raise buildings.

While these safety nets failed the residents of Surfside, Premise Data has the technology to properly identify the concerns of others living in apartment, condominium, and other high rise buildings.

Cities can enlist gig workers to use their phones to inspect at-risk buildings. After all, buildings are designed to give warning signals before larger issues including, ultimately, collapsing arise.

The first step would be training condo residents on the potential signs that their building could be unsafe. Training on what to look for and where to go would be self-guided and straightforward.

Here’s how it could work:

  • Instructions on gig inspectors’ phones would help direct them to areas of the building that need to be photographed, how they need to be photographed, and other observations that they need to record.
  • All data from these surveys would be instantly transmitted to a data center and shared with relevant authorities.
  • With computer vision technology, authorities could identify particularly vulnerable buildings and schedule follow-up visits by professional engineers.

A sloped floor could indicate that a column has moved, while a door that will not close might mean the building’s frame is warped.

Teaching residents about these structural red flags and then empowering them to report what they perceive to be at-risk infrastructure could ease the concerns of the 65% of people who live in condos and prevent future tragedies.

Want to learn more about how Premise can turn your residents into your greatest allies when it comes to identifying issues in and around your developments? Get in touch with us today.