Can condo board close Jacuzzis?
Q: When I purchased my condominium a few years back, we had two large pools and each pool deck had Jacuzzis. Several years back the board closed one of the Jacuzzis. The current board is planning to close the other Jacuzzis to save money. Can the board vote on closing this common element without a members' vote?
A: There are several sections in the condominium act that refer to common areas and changes. FS 718.104, 105 and 106 are the most common sections that provide guidance on this subject. It is the obligation of the board to maintain the common areas. They do not have the right to alter, modify, add, subtract or transform existing common elements. Only the members have that right by voting to change the common elements. Caution should be used if common elements are eliminated or closed, as one owner may have purchased for the simple reason of the one common element. In your case, that was the Jacuzzi.
Take firm action to put an end to leaks
Q: My upstairs neighbor's bathroom leaks and has not been repaired in three years. The condominium board says that it cannot help. The manager offers no solution or help. An attorney says at best I could only sue for damages. On one occasion, the repairs cost me thousands. Surely there must be a remedy to help.
A: The upstairs unit owner is responsible for the repairs to stop the leak. The lower unit would be responsible for repairs to that unit. The condominium would be responsible for the drywall repairs. All parties should have insurance to cover losses and repairs. I would notify the upstairs owner and the condominium by certified mail of the past problems. Warn them that their failure to make the necessary repairs will force you to take legal action to recover losses if the problem is not repaired. Since the condominium does have responsibility for its possible damage repairs (the drywall), and I am sure the documents have some reference to this matter, the board must take action to prevent a recurrence. The board should notify the upstairs owner to make repairs. If no action is taken and you have future damage from a leak, you have strong grounds to sue not only the upstairs owner but also the condominium. Talk to your insurance agent, who can also provide assistance.
Richard White is a licensed community associations manager. Write to him at 6039 Cypress Gardens Blvd., No. 201, Winter Haven, FL 33884-4115. Please include your name and city.