As you may be aware, the deadline for condominium associations to vote to forego retrofitting with a fire sprinkler system is rapidly approaching.
Section 718.112(2)(l), Florida Statutes, requires certain condominium associations to retrofit their common elements, association property, and units with a fire sprinkler system in accordance with Chapter 633 (“Florida’s Fire Prevention Code”) and any other code, statute, ordinance, administrative rule, or regulation relating to a fire sprinkler system. Compliance may require substantial costs. To the extent an association falls within the statutory requirement to retrofit its fire sprinkler system and does not desire to undertake such project, the association can opt out of the requirement to retrofit. Continue reading
Frequently, the governing documents of condominium associations contain limitations on the ability of owners to lease or sell their property, such as provisions requiring owners to obtain the Association’s approval before such leases or sales may take place. Although these provisions are often very important to the association’s ability to protect its members’ happiness and property values, associations should be aware of certain drawbacks when considering the inclusion of such limitations in their governing documents. Continue reading
Many community associations are presented with requests for accommodating service animals and emotional support animals. It can be difficult to navigate through the various laws. There are specific obligations required of housing providers under the Fair Housing Act (“FHA”) and, if applicable, the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). Continue reading
Generally speaking, condominium associations have the legal obligation to maintain insurance on all of the condominium improvements, with some exceptions. Chapter 718 of the Florida Statutes (the “Condominium Act”), expressly excludes the following from an association’s insurance responsibility:
[A]ll personal property within the unit or limited common elements, and floor, wall, and ceiling coverings, electrical fixtures, appliances, water heaters, water filters, built-in cabinets and countertops, and window treatments, including curtains, drapes, blinds, hardware, and similar window treatment components, or replacements of any of the foregoing which are located within the boundaries of the unit and serve only such unit. Such property and any insurance thereupon is the responsibility of the unit owner. Continue reading
Jonathan Ellis, Partner and Community Associations Practice Administrator was named Top Lawyer by Tampa Magazine in Community Association Law.
Jonathan’s litigation experience includes handling matters in the areas of general commercial litigation, arbitration, business disputes, health care, professional malpractice, real estate litigation, collection and appeals. Continue reading
Condominium associations are often faced with the difficult task of determining whether a particular project is a material alteration of the common elements, requiring unit owner approval, and whether that material alteration falls within the maintenance exception to the requirement of unit owner approval. Continue reading
Two of the fundamental purposes of a community association are to provide an enjoyable place for its members to live and to protect the value of its members’ properties. In furtherance of these goals, many community associations’ declarations include provisions limiting or requiring pre-approval from the association before a member may lease or sell his unit, so that the prospective purchasers or tenants can be screened to ensure compatibility with the community. While these provisions are generally “recognized as a valid means of insuring the association’s ability to control the composition of the [community] as a whole,” Aquarium Foundation, Inc. v. Sholom House, Inc., 448 So.2d 1166, 1167 (Fla. 3d DCA), in some cases Florida courts have refused to enforce them as an “unreasonable restraint on alienation.” Continue reading