Seeking relief from noisy AC units
Q: I live in the topmost floor of our condominium. Unit air conditioners are installed on the roof of the building, and some are extremely noisy. The sounds are coming into our unit. Our property manager says the condominium is not responsible for the units and each owner would be responsible. He says we must seek relief from the owners. Since the air conditioners are sitting on the roof, is not the association responsible?
A: Read your documents; most have a section that says owners have the right of quiet enjoyment or some similar wording. Send this information in a letter to the board of directors that explains your noise problem. Often AC units on the roof are placed on a stand mounted on shock absorbers. In most associations, those stands would be the association's responsibility. The board should at least take responsibility to notify the owners of the noisy AC unit and request that they take action to have the unit checked by a qualified technician.
Outing deadbeats to other owners
Q: Several members of our condo association board are curious whether the board can publish, in the monthly board minutes, the names of owners who are delinquent. I understand that liens, foreclosures and bankruptcies are public information, so is it appropriate for us to publish these unit numbers and owners' names in the monthly treasurer's report? Like many condominium associations, we are experiencing substantial financial distress due to non-payment and some board members think the other owners should know who the "deadbeats" are. What is your advice?
A: While posting delinquent accounts is not necessarily illegal, it might not work — the delinquent owners might not respond to the pressure — and likely will cause bad feelings among neighbors. If someone wants to know who the "deadbeats" are, the financial records will name the delinquent owners and are official records of the association. Members have the right to inspect all official records. The board should publish a general statement about the number of delinquent accounts but not the details.
Cutting service to delinquent units
Q: With so many foreclosures, is it legal for a condominium to withhold services? We have a couple of units that have been delinquent for several months. The condominium budget pays for cable TV, and we would like to cut this service to the delinquent units.
A: Florida Statute 720, the homeowners association act, allows cutting of services, but Florida Statute 718, the condominium act, does not. I suggest you pose the question to your attorney.
Richard White is a licensed community associations manager. Write to him at 6039 Cypress Gardens Blvd., No. 201, Winter Haven, FL 33884-4115 or e-mail him at CAMquestions@cfl.rr.com. Please include your name and city.