Florida – When condo boards and residents clash, legal bills mount
Article Courtesy of The Herald-Tribune
By Paul Sullivan
Published April 7, 2019
Florida has a long history of condo craziness, amplified by Del Boca Vista episodes of “Seinfeld,” but no state with condos is immune to it.
|My mother-in-law recently regaled me with a tale of intrigue, money and power in her South Florida homeowners association.|
Seeking to raise about $6 million to refurbish the 20-year-old community, the association’s board had voted to assess each homeowner $7,000. But a group of vocal residents fought back, setting up a power struggle.
This conflict is nothing new to anyone who has dealt with a condominium board or homeowners association, which has well-defined obligations to the residents. As the overseer, it hires workers to cut the lawn, take out the trash, clean lobbies and common areas and maintain pools, tennis courts, golf courses and other amenities. If the elevator breaks or the roof leaks, the board gets it fixed.
But if it wants to do something cosmetic — renovate the lobby, add pickle ball courts or install a fitness center — the board needs to put its idea to a vote of the residents.
And for good reason. These expenses can add up quickly. Redoing a lobby can cost each owner $30,000 or more. In luxury developments, which typically have fewer owners, special assessments for a big project can top $100,000 per home. And that’s on top of common fees, which can outpace even a wealthy person’s retirement income. Read more: