Month: January 2013
Does a community association have the right to demand rent from an owner’s tenant? Yes—at least in Florida.
Especially during the last economic downturn, associations have struggled to collect assessments from owners. In an effort to stabilize property values, the Florida legislature has empowered condominium and homeowners associations to demand rent from tenants occupying property where the owner is delinquent on his or her monetary obligations to the association.
After a spate of pit bull terrier attacks in recent years, many community associations have questioned the wisdom of permitting members to keep pit bulls and other so-called “restricted breed” dogs, including German shepherds, rottweilers, and Doberman pinschers, as pets. Frequent reports of dog attacks have also reignited the debate between pit bull critics and supporters of the breed. Critics say that while pit bulls don’t bite as often as other dogs, their jaw strength and behavior when they do attack make them the most dangerous of all breeds.
Q: Our homeowners’ association recently acquired a vacant lot with no mortgage through foreclosure. We plan to sell it. Does the association need to pay assessments on a lot that it owns?
Don’t try to influence your association’s election by stating that if a certain person is elected, you or your management company will cancel its contract. While it’s not illegal to seek to influence association elections, generally it’s inappropriate for community association managers, whether they’re on-site employees or representatives of a management company, to try to sway an election.
Facts: A member of a condominium association sued the association, alleging that its property manager, its manager’s employees, and the employees of a contractor performing balcony work in the building had made misrepresentations regarding the project. The member later requested that the trial court allow him to amend, or change, his original lawsuit to add a claim for punitive damages—that is, damagesawarded by the court against a defendant as a deterrent or punishment to redress an egregious wrong.
Facts: A worker was injured while using a nail gun to install base moldings in a condo unit when a nail ricocheted and struck his eye. The worker sued the condo association, including its board and manager, for negligence and labor law violations. The worker claimed that the association was the "owner" of the unit because the association owned the land beneath the building, and that the board and the manager were its “agents” as a result.