Appellate Court Confirms Right of Condominium Association Members to Cancel Cable Television Contracts Entered Into By Developer Prior to Turnover. Nontheless, exercising this right provided by Florida Law may not be so easy.
By now you probably heard that a Florida appellate court ruled a condominium association may use Section 718.302, Florida Statutes, to terminate a cable agreement entered into by the developer prior to turnover. Section 718.302, Florida Statutes, states that any contract made by a developer prior to turnover that provides for the “operation, maintenance, or management of a condominium association or property serving the unit owners of a condominium…may be cancelled by unit owners other than the developer…by concurrence of the owners of not less than 75% of the voting interests other than the voting interests owned by the developer…”
In Comcast of Florida, L.P. vs. L’Ambiance Beach Condominium Association, Inc., No. 4D08-2326 ,Comcast argued that cable agreements are not for the “operation, maintenance, or management” of the association or property serving the unit owners and thus, Section 718.302 did not apply. Comcast also argued that Section 718.115(d), Florida Statutes, which is specific to television programming, was the only statute that should apply to canceling cable agreements.
The court rejected Comcast’s arguments. The court concluded that because the agreement provided for cable television service for all unit owners, the cost was part of the monthly maintenance fee, and the service provider was required to service and maintain the cable television, the agreement was one for the “operation, maintenance, or management” of the cable television services. Therefore, the agreement could be cancelled by a vote of 75% of the voting interests.
This case is beneficial to condominium residents in several respects, primarily as a result of the issues concerning ownership, use and control of the wiring throughout the property.
Nonetheless, an association in the Naples area understands how difficult it is to actually effectuate termination. The Association must pay Comcast $10,000 a month on behalf of 330 units, when many of them are not occupied and the owners are not paying assessments or maintenance fees. While Comcast’s spokesperson said the company is reviewing the appellate decision, it did not necessarily agree that the decision applied statewide the Collier Citizen reported.
Another warning – look at the contract to see whether Florida Law even applies. Recently I have seen several contracts for television programming service (whether cable or satellite) and contracts for office equipment such as copiers and computers that contain what is known as a “choice of law” provision. This provision states that the contract is governed by the law of a particular jurisdiction (other than Florida) and any dispute regarding the contract (intending to include disputes over cancelation) must be brought and litigated in that jurisdiction.
Please let us know if you have questions regarding your contracts and do NOT sign any contract that is governed by law other than Florida Law.
Cable ContractChoice of Law
Yolanda Del ValleSeptember 16, 2009
What about the Apartment Conversions where there is a Laundry contract for 40 years and once they became condos the laundry company does not keep up with the maintenace, upkeep, or has working machines. The association also loses money every month do to the contract. Can this also be cancelled, by the association?
tinawilsonsnoopyOctober 24, 2009
Searcing for comcast promotions or savings not advertised elsewhere
I’m new in my area and could do with some assistance in choosing the best extras from Comcast, my local provider, or whether it would be best to go separate for my phone, internet, and TV service. Many companies off a lot different features and products, but Comcast has the most. I’m just not sure which way is the best way to go – breaking them up with different providers or combining all three digital services through Comcast. Although i just heard that the phone service provider in my local area offers digital TV, I think it’s way too costly. Satellite looks like the lowest price at first but as soon as you start adding channel packages the rates go up quickly. For not much more money over Comcast’s big basic lineup you can have the huge digital expanded tier. The variety of HD channels is bigger at Comcast than what you can get through satellite I want to be prepared for HDTV even though I don’t have one yet. Another service that Comcast offers is an unlimited flat rate national phone service that offers both local and long distance calling. The area telco is advertising new bargains in order to more successfully compete, but I have not been offered the flat rate national calling as of this time. Their service is fine, but I would love to get a predictable bill every month. At the present time, I have DSL as my broadband connection. Usually it works well enough, but the cable internet that my friends have works a lot faster. I’m a computer and xbox gamer so I could use some extra speed. In addition to their other services, Comcast also offers a fast high speed connection. When I desire very fast download speeds I can order a faster service over the basic tier. If I order Comcast’s triple-play bundled service packages, it seems that it may give me some big savings by purchasing them all together. Can anyone with prior experience of these give me any helpful hints?
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Alex OliveraDecember 20, 2009
Can the internet be classified as a common expense despite owners voting against it?
psch167March 9, 2013
This maybe old news but we have been trying for sometime to find away out of our contract with Comcast.We are an HOA.. Hidden down deep in our contract was an option to renew for 5 more years. They sent us a notice of this(not by registered mail which is required in the contract) and we are stuck with it. Would this case law apply to an HOA as well as the Condo Association?
Pete Schofield, President, Cascades in Estero HOA.