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Documents should cover parking assignments

Question: I have asked our management to let me swap my parking space with an unassigned guest space and allow others in my row to move up one spot. I am told that individual spaces were assigned as apartments were sold and go with the unit as they are resold. My deed does not state this policy.

What do you advise? _ Tarpon Springs

Answer: The disposition of parking spaces should be specifically covered in your association documents, namely, the declaration and the prospectus. It may turn out that the board does have the power to reassign parking spaces but is fearful of starting something that might quickly get out of hand if everybody wants to change parking places.

Ask your management or attorney to clarify what you find in the recommended documents.

Obtain proper counsel

Question: There seems to be a conflict between the wording in our governing documents and the state statute under which our community association operates. We have no association attorney, so would you take a look at the attached pages and give me your opinion? _ New Port Richey

Answer: One of the major reasons an association needs an attorney is that the law, governmental rules and case law continue to redefine community association operation.

Your governing documents should be updated on a regular basis and, in between, questions like the one you have now that pertain specifically to your community should be defined by proper counsel. Sorry.

Splitting the fee

Question: One day I had a leak in the wall of my condo apartment. I notified the office, and the president called in a plumber who not only fixed the leak but also did a private job for me under the kitchen sink. I would not mind paying for the sink drain, but the president had the whole house-call bill charged to me.

How can we sort out who should pay for what? _ Hudson

Answer: It is not unusual for a plumber to charge a fixed amount for the basic house call and then add to it costs of parts and additional time needed to make complex repairs. Going solely on the facts you presented, I would say that, if the plumber charged only one basic house call fee, it would be proper for the fee to have been split between the association for the wall work and your unit for the sink work. Any additional time and charges spent on either the wall or the sink would be added to the respective bill.

Perhaps the plumber charged each of you the basic house call fee, in which case your problem is not with the condo at all.

Jack Holeman is a longtime condominium manager, owner and board member. He welcomes your questions. Write to Jack Holeman, Condo Line, the Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. Sorry, he can't take phone calls or provide personal replies. You can call the state Bureau of Condominium office in Tallahassee with your questions at (800) 226-9101 or (904) 488-0725 or call the Tampa bureau at (800) 226-6028 or (813) 744-6149 or write to the Bureau of Condominium, Correspondence Unit, 725 S Bronough St., Tallahassee, FL 32399-1033.