Newsletters

SPRING 2001

WELCOME ABOARD

While the firm practices in several areas of the law, such as commercial litigation in both the state and federal courts, bankruptcy and personal injury, the majority of the practice is devoted to the representation of condominium associations. This issue, the firm is proud to announce the following clients to our growing list of association clientele: Habana Condominium in Miami Beach, Lime Bay Condominium 1, 2 and 3 in Tamarac, Brookview Condominium in North Miami, Astor Condominium and Town and Country Condominium in Hollywood, Grace Villas III Condominium in Kendall and Meadowbrook Condominium in Hallandale. If we don't say it enough, we can assure you that we appreciate the business and the confidence placed in the firm.

WE'RE ON THE WEB

Check out our exciting and informative new website at: www.condo-laws.com where you can get copies of the firm's prior newsletters, send the staff or its attorneys e-mail, view a biography of the firm's attorneys, obtain a current list of condominium clients, get copies of published articles by the firm's attorneys, and more.

COMPETITIVE BIDDING

Florida law requires that all condominium contracts for the provision of services to be in writing. Also, if a contract for the purchase, lease, or renting of materials or equipment, or a contract for the provision of services, requires payment that exceeds 5 percent of the total annual budget of the association, including reserves, the association shall obtain competitive bids for the materials, equipment, or services. Notwithstanding this requirement, the association is not required to accept the lowest bid. Exceptions to the rule requiring competitive bids include contracts with employees of the association and contracts for the association's attorney, accountant and community association manager.

NOISE CONTROL

Most declarations of condominium contain provisions which prohibit unit occupants from creating a "nuisance" which prevents other unit owners from their right to peaceful and quiet enjoyment of their property. Examples of a nuisance include barking dogs, failure to properly sound-proof tile when required by the declaration or rules, the playing of frequent loud music and even appearing partially nude in the hallways. The association can file an arbitration action against the disruptive unit owner and obtain an injunction forcing compliance in addition to reimbursement of costs and attorney's fees.

THE OFFICICAL RECORDS

Often times, associations forget that Florida law requires the Association to maintain copies of virtually all documents relating to the operation of the condominium including but not limited to: copies of the plans, permits, warranties, and other items provided by the developer, a condominium, amendments, bylaws, articles of incorporation, current rules of the association, minutes of all meetings for the last 7 years, a current roster of all unit owners and their mailing addresses, unit identifications, voting certifications, and, if known, telephone numbers, all current insurance policies of the association, a current copy of any management agreement, lease, or other contract to which the association is a party, accurate, itemized, and detailed records of all receipts and expenditures, a current account and a monthly, bimonthly, or quarterly statement of the account for each unit designating the name of the unit owner, the due date and paid upon the account, and the balance due, all audits, reviews, accounting statements, and financial reports of the association or condominium, all contracts for work to be performed, all bids for work to be performed, for the past year, ballots, sign-in sheets, voting proxies, and all other papers relating to voting by unit owners, for the past year, a copy of the current question and answer sheet as required by Florida Statute 718.504 are related to the operation of the association. The records of the association which are related to the operation of the association. The records of the association must be made available to a unit owner within 5 working days after receipt of a written request by the board or its designee. This may be complied with by having a copy of the official records of the association available for inspection or copying on the condominium property. The right to make or obtain copies, at the reasonable expense, if any, of the association member.

CONDO QUIZ COLUMN

At Apathetic Acres Condominium, nobody is interested in running for the Board. To attract interest, the management company suggests that the newly elected President be excused from paying any monthly maintenance. The overwhelming majority of the unit owners think it's a great idea. Lucky Larry Windfall gets elected and as promised is excused from paying maintenance. To show his appreciation, he puts in 8 hours each day in the main office accepting calls, paying bills and taking care of the condo's business.

Question: Can Lucky Larry be excused from paying the monthly maintenance?

Answer: No. Fla Stat. 718.116 states that no unit owner may be excused from the payment of his or her share of the common expense of a condominium unless all unit owners are likewise proportionately excused from payment.

Hint: The Association could check and see if the by-laws allow an officer to be compensated. If so, the Association could pay Lucky Larry a salary in an amount equal to his monthly maintenance. However, if the By-laws do not allow for officers to earn compensation, they would need to be amended before Larry was entitled to receive any.