Newsletters

SPRING 2003

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 and homeowners' associations. This issue, the firm is proud to announce the following clients to our growing list of association clientele: Casa Lolita Apartments in Fort Lauderdale, Fountainview # 2 Condominium and Michelle Condominium in North Miami Beach, Gables on the Green East and West Condominiums in Coral Gables, Victoria Towers Condominium and Hillcrest 2 Condominium in Hollywood, and Shalom House Condominium in Miami Beach. If we don't say it enough, we can assure you that we appreciate the business and the confidence placed in the firm.

CONDO QUICK QUIZ

Question: What records are not viewable by unit owners?

Answer: Documents that are attorney/client privileged, information obtained by the association in connection with approval, sale or transfer of a unit, and medical records of unit owners.

RECALLING THE BOARD

Unlike being appointed to the Supreme Court, a director on a condominium Board of Directors can be removed from office at any time. In general, a Board member or even the entire Board, can be removed in one of two ways. The first is through a recall meeting, which can be called by ten percent of the unit owners and a vote is then taken at the meeting if a quorum unit owners are present. The second method is a recall by written agreement, whereby a majority of the unit owners execute an agreement to recall a member or members of the Board and that agreement is then served on the Board. Either procedure is quite technical in nature and failure to follow the requirements of the Florida Administrative Code and Florida Statute 718 et. Seq. can render an attempted recall void and of no effect. Under either procedure, the Board of Directors must hold a meeting within five days of either the recall meeting or receipt of the written agreement in order to determine whether or not to certify the attempted recall of one or more of its members. If the Board fails to do so, the recall is automatically deemed to be in effect. I the Board decides not to certify a recall, the Board must file an arbitration petition within five business days. Failure to file the arbitration petition will also result in the recall becoming effective.

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.

FINANCIAL PLANNING

If you don't already know it, Boards of Directors should be on high alert as to the rising cost of insurance coverage across the entire state. Some insurance companies say that it may not be uncommon to see the cost of windstorm insurance coverage double over the prior year's premium. To make matters worse, our struggling economy may be the cause for condominium foreclosures being at an all time high with no end in sight. Moreover, as reported recently in several newspapers, as the condominiums get older the need for expensive repairs becomes more pressing. Associations would be wise to start preparing now for perhaps inevitable significant increases in the association's budget. To ease the financial burden, associations may wish to consider stricter enforcement of delinquent assessments and shopping around in advance for insurance quotes, prior to being forced to renew the association's policy due to time constraints. Of course, establishment of reserve funds prevents the need for special assessments.

THE ASSOCIATION'S BUDGET

Very often, Board members in a condominium or homeowner's association are under the misguided impression that the unit owners have a right to vote on the proposed budget for the association. This is not the case. The obligation and duty to prepare and pass a budget is solely that of the directors of the association. In condominiums only, if the budget exceeds the prior year's budget by 115%, the unit owners have a right to call a special meeting to have the Board consider an alternative budget. A substitute budget can be adopted at the special meeting by a majority of all voting interests. There is no similar right under Florida law for unit owners in a homeowner's association.

DEVELOPER WARRENTIES

In condominiums, developer's obligations do not end upon turnover. Florida law provides that the developer automatically provides certain warranties (a) As to each unit, a warranty for 3 years commencing with the completion of the building containing the unit;(b) As to the personal property transferred with each unit, a warranty equaling the manufacturer's warranty;(c) As to all other improvements, a 3-year warranty commencing with the date of completion of the improvements;(d) As to all other personal property, a warranty equaling the manufacturer's warranty; (e) As to the roof and structural components of a building or other improvements and as to mechanical, electrical, and plumbing elements serving improvements or a building, except mechanical elements serving only one unit, a warranty for a period beginning with the completion of construction of each building or improvement and continuing for 3 years thereafter or 1 year after owners other than the developer obtain control of the association, whichever occurs last, but in no event more than 5 years;(f) As to all other property which is conveyed with a unit, a warranty to the initial purchases of each unit for a period of 1 year from the date of closing of the purchase or the date of possession, whichever occurs first. The law also provides that the contractor, and all subcontractors and suppliers, grant to the developer and to the purchaser of each unit certain warranties as well

A Publication for clients, family and friends of:

Law Offices of Eric M. Glazer, P.A.

Eric M. Glazer, Esquire
Michael A. Rajtar, Esquire
Lourdes Sanchez-Barcia, Esquire

Corporate Place, 85th Floor
1920 E. Hallandale Beach Blvd.
Hallandale, Florida 33009
(954) 983-1112
(954) 333-3983 - facsimile

The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation. The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements. Before you decide, ask us to send you free written information about our qualifications and experience.