Condo boards can re­quire unit owners to re­place their wa­ter heaters ev­ery 10 years to avoid po­ten­tial dam­ages

Sun Sentinel Broward Edition - Homespot - Broward East - - CONDO & H.O.A LAW - Michael Bo­gen de­votes his legal prac­tice to rep­re­sent­ing hun­dreds of con­do­minium and home­owner as­so­ci­a­tions. Bo­gen, who is ad­mit­ted to prac­tice law in Florida, Wash­ing­ton, D.C., and Ne­vada, also is ad­mit­ted be­fore the United States District Court in the S

Q. Our board has per­mit­ted gen­eral prox­ies to be used in vot­ing on a num­ber of items for our condo as­so­ci­a­tion. Is this legal?

A. The use of a gen­eral proxy is not per­mit­ted to vote on as­so­ci­a­tion mat­ters. There are two types of prox­ies, gen­eral and lim­ited. A gen­eral proxy al­lows the proxy is­suer (the owner) to per­mit the proxy holder to vote on the owner’s be­half for any mat­ter. A lim­ited proxy only per­mits the proxy holder to vote on a spe­cific item or items. Both types of prox­ies­may

be used for pur­poses of es­tab­lish­ing a quo­rum and may specif­i­cally state that “This proxy is to be used for quo­rum pur­poses only.”

Q. Our board re­cently passed a rule re­quir­ing all owners to re­place their wa­ter heaters af­ter being used for 10 years. Is this legal?

A. If, in the wa­ter heater in­dus­try, it is known that once a wa­ter heater turns 10 years old that it is­more prone to leak­ing or mal­func­tion­ing, then the board would have a good rea­son

to pass such a rule for the pur­pose of pre­vent­ing dam­age to the com­mon el­e­ments and units of the as­so­ci­a­tion. It prob­a­bly would be a valid rule; how­ever, I would rec­om­mend that the lan­guage of the rule be im­ple­mented into an amend­ment to the as­so­ci­a­tion’s dec­la­ra­tion.

Q. How does a fin­ing com­mit­tee func­tion? Does a fin­ing com­mit­tee act on rec­om­men­da­tions from the board?

A. When an owner vi­o­lates a rule, the board first should

hold a board­meet­ing and vote on fin­ing the owner, state how much the owner is being fined, and the rea­son. A fine may not be more than $100 per oc­cur­rence or per day and may not ex­ceed $1,000 in the ag­gre­gate, mean­ing that if the owner vi­o­lates a rule 11 times at $100 per oc­cur­rence, the max­i­mum fine would be $1,000. Then, a hear­ing of the fin­ing com­mit­tee, also called the griev­ance com­mit­tee, must be held and a let­ter must be sent to the owner. It must be sent at least 14 days in ad­vance of the hear­ing at which such owner is in­formed that

he or she­may make their case to the com­mit­tee as to why they should not be fined. The com­mit­tee has the ultimate de­ci­sion re­gard­ing whether the owner will be fined.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.