Meet with board about violation
Q: We purchased our condominium about 20 years ago. We never received the documents as we purchased from a couple who were getting a divorce. Last week we received a rule violation letter. The letter referred to the house rules recorded two years ago. We never received a copy of these changes. What is our next step? Is the condominium responsible to give us a copy of the documents and the rules?
A: It is a seller's obligation to provide a set of the documents to a new owner. We know that sometimes this is not the case through neglect and then it becomes the obligation of the buyer to obtain a set of documents for their records. FS 718.501(1)(d) says that the condominium association must maintain a number of documents to provide copies for owners and buyers. They may charge the cost for printing and preparing the copies. This means that you can send a letter to the board and ask to purchase a set of the documents.
As to the "new" rules referred in the letter, enforceability would depend on several factors. Were the new rules reviewed by an attorney? Do the changes take away rights granted in the documents? Were the new rules approved by the members or just the board of directors and were the members properly noticed? I would suggest that you send a letter to the board and ask for a meeting to discuss the rule and the violation in an effort to determine the best method to correct the violation. At the same time ask for a set of the current documents and the rules.
Washer, dryer likely don't fit building
Q: We are a cooperative and in our building we have a laundry room where the cost has increased from 25 cents to $1.25 per load. We would like to install a washer in our unit but the board has advised us that we are not allowed to have our own washer and dryer. How can we contest this?
A: Most buildings were not constructed to provide the proper plumbing to allow the use of washers in the units. It may be almost impossible to vent the dryer to the outside. Sending a letter to the board will not solve your problem to allow an in-unit washer and dryer. As to the costs, I would expect that the replacement costs of the washers and dryers have risen over the years and the increase in cost is due to inflation.