Departments

Association Required to Show Management Company Mismanaged Funds

Facts: A management company sued an association for failing to pay management fees and reimbursements for property repairs. During the course of their relationship, the board began to suspect that the management company was accepting money for repairs that never occurred. The association terminated its contract with the company.

Require Contractors, Maintenance Staff to Follow New Lead Paint Rule

New Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules are set to take effect in April 2010. If you manage a condo building that was built before 1978 and has not been certified as lead-free, you should be aware of the new rules.

Association May Have to Count Member’s Votes

Facts: According to an association's bylaws, a member cannot stand for election for the board of directors at the annual meeting if the member is engaged in litigation, arbitration, or mediation against the association.

Association May Be Liable for Slip-and-Fall Injury

Facts: A member sued his condominium association, the management company, and a snow removal company for injuries sustained when he slipped on a recently plowed pathway to his garage. The association had hired the snow removal company to clear snow from the community's common areas. Included in the common areas was a driveway leading to the member's garage.

Condo Project Manager to Plead Guilty in Asbestos Case

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The project manager for a condo conversion project in Florida has agreed to plead guilty to a federal crime for helping cover up asbestos violations.

Management Company Not Deemed a Debt Collector

Facts: A member failed to pay his $200 monthly assessment because he felt the association was not properly handling his complaints involving water, rodent, and trash issues. The association's board of directors' secretary contacted the association manager and asked him to call the member to resolve the member's issues. The manager called the member while he was at work.

Members Not Liable for Assessments Relating to Common Facilities

Facts: Two members claimed that they did not know a homeowners association existed when they purchased their respective homes. The property deeds make no mention of the association, and the deeds contain no restrictions that require the owners to become members.

In addition, the association's governing documents state that any owner within the community “may become a member” of the association “upon submitting a letter of application and being accepted by a majority vote of the membership.”

Association Not Liable for Accidentally Discarding Member’s Personal Property

Facts: A member of a cooperative sued her association and its officers for the removal and destruction of the contents of a storage bin located in the basement of the co-op. As a cooperative housing corporation, each member or shareholder is issued a proprietary lease through which he or she pays maintenance fees to the association.

2010 Outlook Grim for Florida Community Associations

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Results of the most recent survey of Florida's community association members show no immediate end in sight to mounting foreclosure-related financial pressures that have resulted in increasing budgetary restraints and falling property values in community associations across that state.

Association Reasonably Denied Member’s Accommodation Request

Facts: A condo association's governing documents prohibits members from keeping pets on the premises. The association sued a member and sought a court order preventing him from keeping a pet in violation of the governing documents. During the course of the trial, the member raised numerous counterclaims, but stated that he was not requesting an accommodation under the Fair Housing Act (FHA). However, he stated that he will claim the need for an accommodation under the FHA in the event a court holds valid the restrictive covenant prohibiting pet ownership.