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Condo attorneys, at your service _ no charge

Put your paper down, put on some comfortable clothes and walking shoes, and leave immediately for the Bayfront Center in St. Petersburg.

Why? Because that once-a-year opportunity to get answers to many of your condo questions is going on today.

The Suncoast Chapter of the Community Associations Institute is presenting its annual program. Informational sessions begin at 9 a.m. The trade show exhibitors open at 8:30 a.m.

Just think of all those condo attorneys available at no fee. The 9 a.m. legal panel and the 2 p.m. Legal Q&A roundtable discussions are perfect opportunities to raise those important questions.

Current concerns of insurance and disaster planning will be covered in several sessions. Two sessions speak directly to aging residential communities: "rehabbing older buildings" and "landscaping." Additional issues will be presented, with at least three different topics available during each time segment (see schedule inside.)

There is no way that you can better protect your investment in your condominium property than by becoming active and informed.

Fortunately that has not been as difficult this past year. In 1993 the Legislature decided to wait a year before considering changes in the condo law. This has given us a year to adjust to the 1991 and 1992 changes.

However, the requirements are so complex that even experienced condo attorneys admit that a straightforward answer is not always possible.

New rules have been adopted by the Bureau of Condominium, new cases have been heard by various courts, and your declaration of condominium, bylaws and rules (your "condo docs") may conflict with the state requirements, resulting in more issues.

So hurry down to the Bayfront Center today to learn more, and watch for this column in future Home&Garden sections.

M. Diane Hodson is an attorney serving on the Florida Advisory Council on Condominiums. She does not practice condominium law and is not employed by the State of Florida or any other public agency. Write her at 6860 Gulfport Blvd. 288, South Pasadena 33707 with your issues and concerns involving changes in condo law, which she will share with the advisory council.