Newsletters

SUMMER 2002

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: Oceanview Park and Venetian Park Condominiums in Hallandale, Bayshore Yacht & Tennis Club Condominium in North Bay Village, Penn Manor, The Sails and Parkview Plaza Condominiums in Miami Beach, Stratford Towers in North Miami Beach, and Captain's Paradise Condominium in Golden Isles. 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.

SPECIAL ASSESSMENTS

The failure of an association to properly reserve funds for future repairs will inevitably lead to a special assessment when an expensive repair suddenly becomes a necessity for the association. Florida condominium associations are required to provide written notice of any meeting at which non emergency special assessments will be considered by mailing or delivering the notice to the unit owners and by posting the notice conspicuously on the condominium property not less than 14 days prior to the meeting. In Star Lakes Estates Association, Inc. vs. Auerbach, The Third District Court of Appeals held that where the Condominium Associations fails to prove that it mailed notice of the special assessment to the Condominium unit owners the Association is not entitled to a Summary Judgment in its lien foreclosure action.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT

For the second time, on July 5th, 2002 Eric Glazer had the honor and pleasure of appearing on television on the 6:00 CBS News as a legal correspondent regarding the question of a landlord's illegal attempt to force a tenant to pay excess water and sewer charges which the landlord said was attributable to her unit.

ESTOPPEL, WAIVER AND LACHES

Associations that fail to enforce restrictions contained in their Declaration or Rules and Regulations may be forever barred from enforcing their restrictions against a unit owner who the Association knows to be in violation for an extensive period of time. For example, associations that knowingly allow a dog to reside in a unit for two years notwithstanding a restriction against pets, may be permanently prevented from demanding the dog's removal. However, the Association will not be prevented from enforcing its restrictions based upon the developer's failure to enforce the restrictions prior to turn over of control of the Association from the developer to the unit owners.

CONDO QUICK QUIZ

Question: Paul Polooza is a unit owner in Sink or Swim Condominium. Paul is disgusted with the current political climate in the condominium and decides to lease his pristine unit to Larry Lessee. The problem is that Paul's wife Pearl Polooza loves the condo's peaceful pool and pleads with Paul to place his plans to lease to Larry on pause. Paul assures Pearl that even if they lease their unit to Larry, they can still utilize the condominium's picturesque pool any time they want after they leave because they're still the owners of the unit. Is Paul correct?

Answer: Maybe. Fla. Stat. 718.106 provides that when a unit is leased, a tenant shall have all use rights in the association property and those common elements otherwise readily available for use generally by unit owners and the unit owner shall not have such rights except as a guest, unless such rights are waived in writing by the tenant.

CONDOS & HOA'S: THE DIFFERENCES

Generally speaking, in a condominium the unit owners own their unit and an undivided share of the common elements. In a homeowners' association the unit owner owns the home, but the association owns the common elements. Moreover, Florida condominiums are far more regulated by statute than homeowners' associations. For example, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation oversees the administration of condominiums while the Florida legislature specifically found that "it is not in the best interest of homeowners' associations or the individual association members to create or impose a bureau or other agency of state government to regulate the affairs of homeowners' associations." In an HOA, if the governing documents provide, an association may suspend, for a reasonable period of time, the rights of a member or a member's tenants, guests, or invitees, or both, to use common areas and facilities. This is not permitted in a condominium. In an HOA, unit owners can vote for directors by proxy whereas the condominium statutes disallow proxy voting. In a condominium, certain legal disputes between unit owners and the association must first proceed to arbitration whereas arbitration is not required in HOA disputes. Lastly, condominium associations are required to obtain competitive bids on contracts that exceed 5% of the budget while competitive bidding is not required in an HOA.

A Publication for clients, family and friends of:

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

Eric M. Glazer, Esquire
Michael A. Rajtar, Esquire

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

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.