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Parking spaces can be reassigned

Question: I am a director of a condo and we have been discussing the matter of parking spaces. You did an article stating that the board of directors has the power to assign and reassign parking spaces. I was wondering if you could do another article on the same subject so I could use it as a reference. _ M. M. Answer: In June by the Sea North Association vs. Manfredonia, 397 So.2d 297, on petition for a rehearing, the issue was whether the board of directors of a condominium had the authority to assign individual parking spaces for the exclusive use of individual unit owners.

That case stands for the proposition that where the parking spaces are specifically designated as limited common elements they are appurtenances of the individual units and the board of directors has no right to reassign those spaces.

Where, however, the parking spaces are part of the common elements (and not designated as limited common elements), they are subject to continuing regulation by the board of directors. In the exercise of its reasonable discretion, the board may assign and reassign such spaces.

That was done in Porter vs. Hawk's Nest Inc. 659 S.W.2d 786, where the Missouri Court of Appeals ruled that the board of managers had the right to reassign an owner's carport, part of the common elements, to another owner.

Filling unexpired terms

Question: Can a unit owner be appointed by the board of directors of a condo to complete the term of a resigned director, which expires in two years. Or must this appointee stand for election at the next annual meeting? _ P. M.

Answer: The bylaws of condominiums generally provide that vacancies in the board of directors may be filled until the date of the next annual meeting by the remaining directors.

Effective July 1, 1991, Section 617.0809 of the Florida Not For Profit Corporation Act provides that a director elected or appointed to fill a vacancy shall be elected or appointed for the unexpired term of his predecessor in office. As of that date any by-law in conflict with the state law will be ineffective.

Is assessment illegal?

Question: Our cooperative is committed to an extensive maintenance program that involves replacing three old elevators, central air conditioning towers and much roof work.

The board of directors has approved an assessment of $600,000 and made the decision to make the assessment on a pro-rata basis according to the computation of each owner's carrying charge.

I am of the opinion that the method of assessment is illegal and that the law required assessments for repair of the building to be shared equally by each owner. Please advise me if I'm incorrect. _ C. M.

Answer: You are incorrect. Section 719.107 of the Cooperative Act of Florida states that funds for the payment of common expenses shall be collected by assessments against unit owners in the proportions or percentages set forth in the cooperative documents.

Equal voting rights for all

Question: In one of your columns in response to the owner of a two-bedroom apartment you stated that the law gives the 2 percent owner twice as much ownership in the common elements as a 1 percent owner.

Should not the additional ownership rights be reflected on one's voting rights? If I have a greater ownership interest, my vote should have greater value. _ N. R.

Answer: A unit owner with a 2 percent ownership interest in the common elements does not necessarily have greater voting rights than an owner of 1 percent ownership interest. The voting rights of unit owners must be set forth in the declaration of condominium and that document generally provides for equal voting rights regardless of different ownership rights.

Harry Wood, a retired lawyer, now is a consultant on condominium management. Address questions to: Harry Wood, Condominiums, c/o the St. Petersburg Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, Fla. 33731. The Florida Department of Business Regulation, Bureau of Condominiums, also handles questions concerning condominium rules and regulations. Phone (904) 488-0725.