Florida Condo Owners: 3 Things You Should Know About Your HOA Rights as a Member of a Florida Condominium Association
Posted By Larry Tolchinsky on May 22, 2012
In Florida, condominiums are very, very popular. Accordingly, the Florida Legislature has passed lots of laws to govern how shared properties like condominium projects (including time shares) are to be managed and how those managers of the shared spaces and condo properties are to respect the rights of the individual unit owners and condo residents. These include:
- The Condominium Act, Chapter 718, Florida Statutes
- The Cooperative Act, Chapter 719, Florida Statutes
- The Florida Vacation Plan and Timesharing Act, Chapter 721, Florida Statutes
- Homeowners’ Associations, Chapter 720, Florida Statutes
It is not the responsibility of the Homeowners’ Association, Realtor, or Condo Board to educate the condo owner or unit resident on their rights. You cannot expect them to be helpful and explain your rights to you — and even if they did, would you really trust that you had all you needed to know? In these chaotic times, smart condo owners and unit buyers (and sellers) will take the time to educate themselves on what Florida law provides them in the way of legal protection regarding their condo property (and fees, dues, etc.).
Here are three things that every Florida condo owner and condo resident should know applies to them under Florida law:
1. About the Money: Unit Owners Get To Attend the Budget Meeting
In Florida, unit owners not only get to attend the budget meeting each year, the law also requires that they get two weeks notice (14 days) beforehand of the meeting, and that this notice needs to attach the proposed annual budget that will be discussed and decided upon at that meeting. See, Florida Statutes Section 718.112(2)(e); 719.106(1)(e)1. If you want to know about the moneys collected as well as the monies spent – and how much the project is in the black or in the red, then make sure that you attend the annual meeting on the budget.
2. Sharing Means Compromise – Your Freedom is Limited in Shared Living Communities
Florida law regarding condominiums recognizes that you are sharing the place with other owners, and compromise is a must for everyone. Accordingly, your property rights to do as you will with your condo will be limited to your unit and the common elements. Furthermore, there will be restrictions on lots of things (so check these out before you buy) including anything from pets at all to size or kind of pets; what kind of curtains or shades you can have; if you can rent your unit; and how many people can live in your condo. See, Florida Statutes Section 718.112(3)(b), 719.106(2)(b).
Does selective enforcement happen? Of course it does.
For details on what to do about selective enforcement in a Florida condo project or by a Florida HOA, read our post:
3. Have a Complaint? Well, Meetings Don’t Happen All The Time – Unless the Association Documents Provide For This.
Florida law does not make the Powers that Be have monthly meetings or even quarterly meetings. Only the once a year annual meeting is required under Florida law. So, don’t expect there to be any routinely scheduled meetings unless the condo project’s particular documentation provides for this.
What if you have a complaint or concern, does it mean that you have no option without a meeting? Must you file a lawsuit? Nope. For more on resolving condo disputes, read our post:
If you have questions or comments, please feel free to Chat with Larry in the comments below, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (954) 458-8655.