19/05/2021

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Condo Q&A: Should Monthly Fees Drop If Amenities Are Closed?

4 min read
Also: An HOA board made a decision to modify trim colours for 108 neighborhood residences....

Also: An HOA board made a decision to modify trim colours for 108 neighborhood residences. Is that a material alteration – some thing users should vote on?

STUART, Fla. – Dilemma: Our HOA board has made a decision to modify the trim colour of all 108 residences. The structures are off white, and the trim has been a variation of mild blue because they ended up developed in 1990. They now want to paint turquoise, peach, yellow, lime eco-friendly or grey. The CC&R’s state the HOA maintains the exterior of residences and paints each and every 7 years. My argument is that this is a material alteration and should not be permitted. Help me if you can or lead me in the suitable route. – N.D., Melbourne

Remedy: House owner Associations are controlled by Chapter 720, Florida Statutes. Chapter 720 does not include any need that material alterations be permitted by a vote of the entrepreneurs. You might be imagining of Chapter 718, Florida Statutes which governs condominiums. So, with no statutory need for owner acceptance of the colour modify, it would be a board decision unless your governing paperwork offer some variety of restriction.

You should read through your governing paperwork comprehensively to establish if there are any limitations pertaining to colour improvements to the residences. If you ended up a condominium, then the Statute, 718.113, necessitates a 75% acceptance of the overall voting passions to make the colour modify unless the Declaration of Condominium supplies usually.

Dilemma: In the course of the latest lockdown, people listed here and in several, maybe all, Florida communities have been deprived of features. In our case, fees to assist our two clubhouses and involved services (specifically athletics courts, pools, and health club with locker rooms), are itemized at roughly 31% of our overall quarterly fees. The management firm did retain a skeletal employees, and all typical expenditures (e.g. water, electrical, routine maintenance of two pools and two warm tubs, and more) experienced to have been considerably reduced. These features ended up closed for a few months.

When I emailed the on-site supervisor about a proration of fees, the respond to was NO! Our board of directors features users of the builder’s firm, the management firm, and no people as the association has not been turned about to people but. Is there a precedent or statute for proration of fees in this case? Would it be legal to withhold the 31% if I ended up to put it in an escrow account? – A.C., Port St. Lucie

Remedy: The emergency powers statutes for condominiums, cooperative and home owner associations give the board the authority to close or control entry to the features in buy to stop the transmission of COVID-19. Whilst this might appear unfair, you should understand that the board of directors has a fiduciary obligation to stop or limit liability. Closing the features is in the very best fascination of the overall health and fitness of the entrepreneurs and lessens the legal exposure of the association.

The value of maintaining and insuring the features does not halt just for the reason that they are closed. So, no you are not able to legally withhold the payment of assessments for the reason that the features have been closed by the board in reaction to the unparalleled COVID-19 pandemic.

Another way to consider about it is that you are not able to withhold spending your taxes for the reason that some federal government products and services or structures have been closed thanks to the pandemic. Placing your evaluation payment in an escrow account would not halt the association from recording a lien from your unit for unpaid assessments, so I would not recommend that program of motion unless you have a court buy making it possible for you to do it.

Dilemma: The time getting in isolation has specified me way also a great deal time to ponder items of minor to no value. This getting one particular: My spouse and I not too long ago purchased a unit in a 26-floor rental developing on the Gulf Coast in Southwest Florida. We purchased a “unit” insurance coverage policy covering personal house ($21,000), loss of use ($8,400) and dwelling ($116,000).

My question to you is: If a hurricane should problems the exterior of the developing, the COA has a policy covering this problems, but if the developing is ruined necessitating a finish rebuild, am I protected for the worth ($325,000) of our specific unit beneath the COA policy? – N.P., SWFL

Remedy: Area 718.111(eleven) Florida Statutes addresses a condominium associations insurance coverage need. It necessitates the Association to insure the condominium developing for one hundred% of its substitution value centered on an appraisal of the developing executed no much less frequently than each and every a few years.

Richard D. DeBoest II, Esq., is co-founder and shareholder of the Legislation firm Goede, Adamczyk, DeBoest & Cross, PLLC. The data supplied herein is for informational functions only and should not be construed as legal tips. The publication of this report does not develop an attorney-consumer connection involving the reader and Goede, Adamczyk, DeBoest & Cross, PLLC or any of our attorneys. Readers should not act or refrain from acting centered on the data contained in this report devoid of initially speaking to an attorney, if you have questions about any of the issues lifted herein. The selecting of an attorney is a decision that should not be centered exclusively on advertisements or this column.

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