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Does Your Association Allow You to Use the Clubhouse for Political Events?

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Florida Statutes allow the Condominium unit owners to use the common elements for the purposes for which the common elements were intended as long as their “use does not hinder or encroach upon the lawful rights of other unit owners.” The statute also permits the Board of Directors to create and adopt reasonable rules pertaining to the use of the common elements. If your community has such facilities, the Board (assuming it has rule making authority) should create guidelines addressing the proper private use of the facilities. For example security deposits for damage and clean up, room capacity limits; limiting the hours of operation; etc.

However, when it comes to using the common elements and/or recreational facilities for a political event, the statute is very specific as to the limitations, and restrictions which the Association may impose for this use. Holding political events are afforded a limited degree of protection under the Florida Condominium Act. Specifically, Section 718.123(1) states that “no entity or entities shall unreasonably restrict any unit owner’s right to peaceably assemble or right to invite public officers or candidates for public office to appear and speak in common elements, common areas, and recreational facilities.”

Keep in mind that while an association could probably decline a unit owner’s request to hold a private party in the recreational facility, if the rules would prohibit such an event, a condo owner’s right to invite public candidates to speak is protected by statute.

If you are considering adopting rules and regulations regarding the common elements or recreational facilities, it is important to seek the guidance of your Community Association attorney to ensure that the rules do not conflict with the governing documents or other Florida Statutes.

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