25/05/2022

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Making a New Home

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

4 min read

Also: An HOA board made a decision to alter trim hues for 108 neighborhood homes. Is that a substance alteration – one thing associates ought to vote on?

STUART, Fla. – Concern: Our HOA board has made a decision to alter the trim shade of all 108 homes. The structures are off white, and the trim has been a variation of light blue since they have been built in 1990. They now want to paint turquoise, peach, yellow, lime green or grey. The CC&R’s state the HOA maintains the exterior of homes and paints every seven years. My argument is that this is a substance alteration and ought to not be authorized. Help me if you can or guide me in the appropriate course. – N.D., Melbourne

Remedy: Property owner Associations are controlled by Chapter 720, Florida Statutes. Chapter 720 does not comprise any requirement that substance alterations be permitted by a vote of the homeowners. You may be wondering of Chapter 718, Florida Statutes which governs condominiums. So, with no statutory requirement for operator approval of the shade alter, it would be a board selection unless your governing documents present some kind of restriction.

You ought to go through your governing documents comprehensively to determine if there are any limitations with regards to shade modifications to the homes. If you have been a condominium, then the Statute, 718.113, needs a seventy five% approval of the full voting interests to make the shade alter unless the Declaration of Condominium gives or else.

Concern: In the course of the latest lockdown, people listed here and in numerous, possibly all, Florida communities have been deprived of amenities. In our circumstance, fees to help our two clubhouses and affiliated services (particularly sporting activities courts, swimming pools, and gymnasium with locker rooms), are itemized at roughly 31% of our full quarterly fees. The management business did keep a skeletal personnel, and all typical expenses (e.g. h2o, electrical, upkeep of two swimming pools and two scorching tubs, and more) experienced to have been considerably decreased. These amenities have been closed for 3 months.

When I emailed the on-site manager about a proration of fees, the answer was NO! Our board of administrators features associates of the builder’s business, the management business, and no people as the affiliation has not been turned above to people however. Is there a precedent or statute for proration of fees in this circumstance? Would it be legal to withhold the 31% if I have been to place it in an escrow account? – A.C., Port St. Lucie

Remedy: The unexpected emergency powers statutes for condominiums, cooperative and property owner associations give the board the authority to shut or regulate entry to the amenities in purchase to avert the transmission of COVID-19. Though this may appear to be unfair, you should notice that the board of administrators has a fiduciary responsibility to avert or restrict legal responsibility. Closing the amenities is in the best fascination of the overall wellbeing of the homeowners and lowers the legal publicity of the affiliation.

The cost of sustaining and insuring the amenities does not end just due to the fact they are closed. So, no you simply cannot lawfully withhold the payment of assessments due to the fact the amenities have been closed by the board in response to the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic.

An additional way to think about it is that you simply cannot withhold paying out your taxes due to the fact some govt products and services or structures have been closed owing to the pandemic. Putting your assessment payment in an escrow account would not end the affiliation from recording a lien from your unit for unpaid assessments, so I would not suggest that training course of motion unless you have a court docket purchase permitting you to do it.

Concern: The time remaining in isolation has specified me way too considerably time to ponder products of minor to no worth. This remaining a person: My wife and I not long ago purchased a unit in a 26-ground rental constructing on the Gulf Coastline in Southwest Florida. We ordered a “unit” insurance coverage plan covering personal assets ($21,000), reduction of use ($eight,four hundred) and dwelling ($116,000).

My dilemma to you is: If a hurricane ought to damage the exterior of the constructing, the COA has a plan covering this damage, but if the constructing is destroyed requiring a complete rebuild, am I covered for the value ($325,000) of our personal unit less than the COA plan? – N.P., SWFL

Remedy: Portion 718.111(11) Florida Statutes covers a condominium associations insurance coverage requirement. It needs the Association to insure the condominium constructing for one hundred% of its substitute cost centered on an appraisal of the constructing performed no much less usually than every 3 years.

Richard D. DeBoest II, Esq., is co-founder and shareholder of the Regulation business Goede, Adamczyk, DeBoest & Cross, PLLC. The info provided herein is for informational applications only and ought to not be construed as legal suggestions. The publication of this posting does not make an attorney-customer connection among the reader and Goede, Adamczyk, DeBoest & Cross, PLLC or any of our attorneys. Viewers ought to not act or chorus from performing centered on the info contained in this posting without to start with getting in touch with an attorney, if you have queries about any of the challenges lifted herein. The selecting of an attorney is a selection that ought to not be centered only on ads or this column.

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