Q & A Responses to Reader Inquiries

We receive a number of reader inquiries on a weekly basis.  In most cases a response to the inquiry is included in the comment field itself, after the relevant blog post.  Here are a few of the inquiries received in the last week, with our responses:

QUESTION: How can I learn if my townhouse is FHA certified?

RESPONSE: Go to this website to look up your community: https://entp.hud.gov/idapp/html/condlook.cfm

QUESTION: We are an 11 unit condominium. Must we send a 60 day first notice of our Annual condominium meeting? Do current Florida condominium statutes and bylaws govern our procedures?

RESPONSE: Section 718.112(2)(d), Florida Statutes allows an association of 10 or fewer units to vote for different election and voting procedures. Generally statutes relating to remedies or procedure will override conflicting governing documents. Condominium elections must be held in compliance with the statutes and yes, the first notice must be furnished to the members at least sixty (60) days in advance.

QUESTION: We need the legal ability to remove a owner who fails to follow condo laws, rules and regulations – not abiding by the 55 and older rule – having a grandson live there. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

RESPONSE: If the community qualifies as Housing for Older Persons (HOPA), then the association can proceed by filing a lawsuit (if in the jurisdiction of the 4th DCA) or file a Petition for Arbitration with the Division of Florida Condominiums, Time Shares and Mobile Homes.
The governing documents must clearly define the occupancy restrictions. Our Firm has successfully handled several cases involving violations of age restrictions.

QUESTION: I am a property manager and hear of associations with rules and guidelines that are not equal. I have found a condo association that allows owners to have pet but renters can not. Can they do this? Would this fall under a discrimination to renters?

RESPONSE: An analysis must be done to determine whether rules and regulations are valid and enforceable in any particular case. I am aware of at least one arbitration decision that upheld a rule prohibiting tenants to bring pets on to the property.

Remember, the information on this site is general in nature and not intended as legal advice.  We try to point you in the right direction, but encourage you to discuss the specific facts and circumstances of issues impacting your association with counsel.

5 Comments

  1. 8 unit condo assoc. Each owner is a director, thus 8. 1 couple owns 3 units and blocks most votes, and happen to be VP and Treasurer. They installed a brick patio directly in front of 1 of their units on assoc. common area without approval. Urged by other owners President sent letter stating patio is illegal and must be removed. They refuse and President is stalling because he is intimidated by their 3 votes. Pres. even had owners vote if this should be allowed with remaining owners voting for removal. How do we proceed?

  2. How can we make or insist that our 8 unit association operate in complete adherance to Florida Statutes and our Condo Docs? The officers operate of their own accord. Rules are not enforced or applicable to certain owners. Voting issues arise at every juncture. One couple owns 3 of 8 units and has the voting rights of a fourth out of state owner. This couple installs plants, alters common areas, purchases materials and items without approval and demands reimbursement, and completely disregards rules, statutes, and bylaws. HELP

  3. For violations associated with statutory financial requirements (budgets, reserves, financial statements, etc.), owners can seek help from the Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares and Mobile Homes.

    Every owner has a private right of enforcement – they have to file a lawsuit seeking compliance with the governing documents or the statutes.

    The association can seek to enforce violations such as owner modifications to common areas by filing a Petition for Arbitration with the Division. Arbitration through the State is not available for disputes between unit owners though.

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