Question: I’m new to the board of my condominium association. I was just copied on a lengthy opinion letter from the association attorney. There are several references to various court decisions. There are also references to arbitration decisions. What is an arbitration decision? A.Z. (via e-mail) Answer: Since 1992, all condominium “disputes” (as that term… Continue Reading
The Board of Directors has the responsibility and authority to maintain the common elements of a condominium. On the other hand, Section 718.113(2)(a), Florida Statutes, requires 75% of the entire membership to approve a material alteration or substantial addition to the common elements, unless the declaration provides for an alternative approval method. The determination of… Continue Reading
Arbitration Ruling Finds Unit Owner Actions “Repugnant” but Not a Violation of Documents The arbitration case of Majestic Shores Condominium Association, Inc. v. Carillo, describes what is all too often experienced by condominium directors. The association filed the petition for arbitration with the Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares and Mobile Homes claiming that abusive and… Continue Reading
Is a condominium or homeowners association entitled to protect its name and logo from use by others?
Determining who won an arbitration is only the first step in determining how much will be awarded in legal fees and costs. Reasonableness is the key to that determination.
There are different laws governing condominiums, cooperatives and homeowners’ associations in Florida. This post explains a few of those differences.
Portions of the property in a community association may carry tax obligations. Under most circumstances the association can apply for nominal valuation of the property.
One of the principles I learned when I first became a member of this Law Firm has now been called into question, at least somewhat, by a new ruling issued by the Fourth District Court of Appeal. I initially learned that the obligation of the association to maintain and care for the property is completely independent… Continue Reading
The Cohn decision follows long-standing precedent in Florida regarding the applicability of statutory amendments to condominium or community association operations. If the governing documents of the association contain “magic language” incorporating statutes (in this case, the Condominium Act) as amended from time to time, statutory changes impact operations, rights and obligations of owners, the association governing the owners and, in some cases, third… Continue Reading
Appellate Court Allows Homeowners to Build and Maintain Structure on Lot Despite Recorded Restrictions. We’ve discussed the Marketable Record Title Act (MRTA) on this site in the past in the post entitled: HOA Leaders Need to Understand MRTA. Please refer back to that post for background information concerning this important issue. There are several appellate decisions involving MRTA issues,… Continue Reading
Sometimes a case is too urgent to wait for the arbitration process to unfurl. In such a situation, a party must still file for arbitration and then ask the arbitrator to stay the arbitration so relief can be sought in court.
Arbitration is not binding unless the parties agree or fail to seek a trial de novo. In a trial de novo the arbitrator’s decision while admissible is not binding on the judiciary. Enforcement of the arbitrator’s ruling is through the judiciary.
There are times when a person’s “day in court” is not immediately available in the condominium setting in light of the arbitration [§718.1255] provision in the Condominium Act. This post is one of three which will be address different aspects of arbitration. This post defines disputes which require arbitration and gives insight on the general arbitration process.
Parton v. Palomino Lakes Property Owners Association, Inc. While the legal process may seem slow and involve a significant amount of paperwork, this case shows what can happen if owners and directors decide to take enforcement matters into their own hands. The Partons owned a lot within the Palomino Lakes Community, subject to the… Continue Reading
Fourth District Court of Appeal Enunciates Two-Pronged Test to Evaluate Decisions Made by the Board of Directors of a Community Association. The officers and directors of community associations have a fiduciary relationship to the members (owners), as stated in §718.111(1)(a) and §720.303(1), Florida Statutes. The directors are obligated to discharge their responsibilities in good faith. … Continue Reading
I talked about the distinction between a carrier’s duty to defend and the duty to indemnify early in the year in connection with the U.S. District Court’s ruling that a D&O policy did not provide coverage for claims of breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract and negligence. In Eastpointe Condominium I Asn. Inc. v. Travelers Casualty & Surety Company an owner sued the… Continue Reading
Fourth District Court of Appeal Rules that Lender Cannot be Compelled to Pay Assessments Prior to Acquisition of Title. Deutsche Bank National Trust v. Coral Key Condominium Association (at Carolina), Inc. and Luna, Opinion April 14, 2010. An earlier post discussed the Third District’s appellate ruling in the U.S. Bank National Ass’n v. Tadmore case which held that the… Continue Reading
Appellate Court sides with Homeowner in Parking Enforcement Litigation. Owner Permitted to Park Large Pick-Up Truck in Driveway. Eagles Master Association, Inc. v. Vizzi – link to Summary Judgment Ruling. Interpreting governing documents of condos & HOA is tricky sometimes. While there is an emphasis on the ‘plain meaning’ of the words – sometimes the… Continue Reading
Fourth District Court of Appeal Affirms Ruling Invalidating Amendments to Master Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions Governing the Ironhorse Community. With the economy the way it is, country clubs are losing members while costs continue to rise. The costs associated with maintaining and operating a golf course and related club facilities, including the clubhouse, restaurant, etc., as well… Continue Reading
Appellate Court Allows Owner to Seek Injunctive Relief and Reverses Award of Attorney’s Fees and Costs. In Mitchell v. Beach Club of Hallandale Condominium Association, Inc., 17 So.3d 1265 (Fla. 4th DCA 2009), the Fourth District Court of Appeal ruled that a condominium owner has the right to proceed with a lawsuit aimed at preventing… Continue Reading
Just how far can a Board go in placing restrictions upon an owner’s ability to smoke in a condominium association?
Developer’s Challenge to Notice of Meeting not Proper Defense to Construction Defect Claim Lake Forest Master Community Association, Inc. v. Orlando Lake Forest Joint Venture, et al., Case No. 5D08-2096 Lake Forest Master Community Association, Inc. (“Lake Forest”) filed a lawsuit for construction defects against the Developer, after the membership voted in favor of doing… Continue Reading
Federal Court Rules in Favor of Condominium Association in Pet Accommodation/Disability Claim.
A. Facts: In this case, the Cypress Bend IV Condominium Association (“Association”) filed a petition for arbitration against unit owners Cheryl Pepper and Richard Frisbie (“Respondents”). The Association alleged that the Respondents violated Article XIII, Section E of the Declaration of Condominium (“Declaration”) and Federal Law by installing a satellite dish on the common element… Continue Reading