Wasp spray is simplest answer to pest question
Q: I live on the bottom floor of a two-story condo. There are wasp nests on the outside of my bedroom windows. When I notified the management, they said our fees did not cover pest control. Does this constitute pest control or managing the outside of the building? There are nests on the outside windows of the upper story. Do they expect us to deal with those also?
A: I cannot place blame on the manager or your board since I do not know what your documents state. The solution is simple: Purchase some wasp spray and ask one of your neighbors, or maybe a board member, for help. Wasp spray has a nozzle that will reach several feet and should be able to reach the second floor. Outside on the second floor does not worry me, but if a nest were near your front door there is reason for concern.
Condo owner responsible for paint and wallpaper
Q: Our condominium documents say that our limited common property begins on the "interior surface of the perimeter wall." We are having a discussion as to the meaning. Does this mean the painted surface or does it include the unfinished drywall? Reading it literally it sounds like the painted surface. Please clarify.
A: If you are referring to the common area, the association would be responsible for the wall and paint. If you are addressing walls in a unit (and thus the drywall inside the unit), the association is only responsible for the unfinished drywall inside the unit. It is not the responsibility of the association to put wallpaper or paint on the walls; that is the owner's responsibility. For specifics, talk to your insurance agent.
Understanding the committee selection process
Q: Could you kindly tell me how committee members get chosen? For example, does the board of a condominium identify and select the chairman of the committee? Can the chairman choose who will be on his committee? Is it necessary for the board to approve each committee member? Are there statutes that talk to this point?
A: Florida Statute 617.0825 is the source for answers to questions about committee creation, duties, members and responsibilities. In brief, the board has the responsibility to create a committee, but not necessarily to approve the members of the committee. I prefer that a board approve a committee and provide a policy of operations. In other words, the board establishes a problem and asks the committee to search for solutions. Keep in mind that a committee is usually a fact-finding group, not a policy- or rule-enforcement agent.
Realtors can be dual licensed as association managers
Q: As a real estate agent, I have been seeing more and more active Realtors being hired as community association managers. In some cases, there is no conflict. But some condominium managers battle you every step to a closing or a lease. The conflict of interest is obvious. Do you think an active Realtor should be a manager?
A: It is not illegal for a manager to be licensed both as a manager and a Realtor. However, I feel that it can violate the fiduciary relationship. The person serving as a manager must display either the primary duties of that office or as an agent and should disclose the dual roles.
President can vote on all issues but shouldn't cast tie-breaker
Q: In the state of Florida is the president of the board of directors of a cooperative required to vote on every issue requiring a vote?
A: There is no document, book or law that says a president of a homeowners association, condominium or cooperative cannot vote, make motions or other required duties of a director in association meetings. Normally, the president was first elected as a director by the members and as such has a responsibility to the members. That includes voting on motions and resolutions that involve the operations of the association. The president does not cast a tie-breaker vote but should vote on all matters because he or she is first a director with responsibilities to the members.
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.