Ma­te­rial al­ter­ations to condo’s com­mon el­e­ments typ­i­cally re­quire ap­proval from condo own­ers

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 South­ern and Mid­dle Dis­tricts of Florida. He is as­sis­tant ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Condo Coun­cil, which pro­vides ed­u­ca­tion to over 1,000 as­so­ci­a­tion mem­bers.

EMAIL: col­[email protected] Law.com How long in real estate? 21 years What made you get into real estate? I love help­ing peo­ple to find homes, and sell them. What sep­a­rates you from other Real­tors? I work 24/7, I am al­ways avail­able to an­swer ques­tions and show prop­erty. Which neigh­bor­hoods/ar­eas are your spe­cial­ties? Wa­ter­front homes from Har­bor Beach to Hills­boro Mile De­scribe your work- Q. We re­cently re­ceived a no­tice from our board of direc­tors to paint the win­dow frames on the ex­te­rior of our unit. All own­ers in our build­ing re­ceived this no­tice. Isn’t the as­so­ci­a­tion sup­posed to paint ev­ery­thing on the out­side of the build­ing? A. If you are re­fer­ring to main­te­nance paint­ing, then I would have to review the as­so­ci­a­tion’s dec­la­ra­tion to see who is re­spon­si­bil­ity for main­tain­ing the win­dow frames. I would sug­gest first look­ing at the “Main­te­nance” sec­tion of your as­so­ci­a­tion’s dec­la­ra­tion. If the board wishes the own­ers to paint the ex­te­rior win­dow frames a dif­fer­ent color, then this gen­er­ally would ing style: Al­ways avail­able What ad­vice do you have for buy­ers? Look at ev­ery­thing in your price range so you can be ed­u­cated in the area that you are look­ing in, so when you make an of­fer, you feel com­fort­able that you are not just jump­ing in without know­ing the mar­ket. What ad­vice do you have for sell­ers? When look­ing at of­fers that you are given, don’t be in­sulted if you think they are low. Just make a counter of­fer and don’t take it per­son­ally. re­quire a prior owner vote to change the color. If the as­so­ci­a­tion does not have any sec­tion that deals with “al­ter­ations” or “ma­te­rial al­ter­ations” to the ex­te­rior of the build­ing, Florida law states that 75 per­cent of the own­ers must ap­prove the color change. The most­com­mon­pro­vi­sions I have seen in the dec­la­ra­tion is a re­quire­ment that ap­proval of a ma­jor­ity to 75 per­cent of the own­ers is re­quired to make “ma­te­rial al­ter­ations” such as changes to the color of the ex­te­rior of the build­ing. Q. An owner in­stalled a cam­era on the ex­te­rior wall out­side his unit and the cam­era also faces in­to­my­back pa­tio. Is this le­gal? Are you in­volved in any char­i­ta­ble or­ga­ni­za­tions? 4KIDS of South Florida and Cal­vary Chapel, Fort Laud­erdale What’s one thing peo­ple would be sur­prised to know about you? I used to sing pro­fes­sion­ally. CALL San­dra Taglia­monte, One Sotheby’s In­ter­na­tional Realty, (954) 818-4219 • EMAIL staglia­[email protected] one­sothe­bysre­alty.com • VISIT Taglia­mon­teTeam. com A. Most likely it’s not rec­om­mend the work­ing le­gal. Most asit out with the owner and so­ci­a­tion gov­ern­ing let­ting them know about doc­u­ments pre­vent the your con­cerns. in­stal­la­tion of a cam­era

Q. be­cause such an in­stal­laOur condo bal­co­tion has been deemed a nies need re­pairs “ma­te­rial al­ter­ation” to the due to the age of com­monele­ments. Any the build­ing. How­ever, not time there is a “ma­te­rial all units have bal­conies. al­ter­ation” made to the The board is pass­ing a com­monele­ments, such spe­cial assess­ment to pay as an ex­te­rior wall of the for the bal­conies where build­ing, ap­provals of all own­ers must pay the own­ers usu­ally are re­gard­less of whether or re­quired. I would send a notwe­have a bal­cony. Is cer­ti­fied let­ter to your asthis le­gal? so­ci­a­tion in­form­ing them

A. of the in­stal­la­tion and a In most cases, let­ter to your neigh­bor bal­conies are telling them that the cam­con­sid­ered part of era is in­trud­ing on your the lim­it­ed­com­monelepri­vacy. If the cam­era ments in a con­do­minium. does not come down, I There are three types of would dis­cuss this with a prop­erty that com­prise com­mu­nity as­so­ci­a­tion the con­do­minium: First, at­tor­ney. Be­fore do­ing there are the “com­mon any of the above, I al­ways el­e­ments,” those parts GARRETT A. FOSTER DEB­O­RAH DOCHERTY TRACY KOLODY ARIEL GON­ZA­LEZ TANYA PLATH of the condo prop­erty that are shared among all own­ers. For ex­am­ple, the roof is acom­mon el­e­ment since the roof is shared by all own­ers. A lobby is con­sid­ered part of thecom­monele­ments be­cause ev­ery­one uses the lobby. Sec­ond, is the part of the condo prop­erty that con­sti­tutes the condo units. The in­te­rior of a unit gen­er­ally is con­sid­ered “the unit” and not part of thecom­monele­ments. Your car­pet, paint, kitchen cab­i­nets, and in­te­rior are all part of the unit. Third, “lim­it­ed­com­mon el­e­ments” are a part of thecom­monele­ments used solely by ei­ther one or a few own­ers. In this case, we­can as­sume the bal­cony is part of the com­monele­ments; how­ever, 954-425-1642 954-425-1029 954-425-1695 954-425-1053 954-425-1517 the bal­cony is only used by the owner of the unit where the bal­cony is at­tached. No other owner can just come along and say that they will use your bal­cony. The gen­eral rule is that all own­ers share in the ex­pense of re­pair­ing thecom­monele­ments, in­clud­ing the lim­ited com­monele­ments. How­ever, your dec­la­ra­tion of con­do­mini­um­may­have a clause re­quir­ing the owner to re­pair any of the lim­ited com­monele­ments that are at­tached to the unit, such as a bal­cony. I would rec­om­mend re­view­ing your dec­la­ra­tion first and hav­ing a com­mu­nity as­so­ci­a­tion at­tor­ney review your as­so­ci­a­tion’s gov­ern­ing doc­u­ments if you wish to pur­sue the is­sue fur­ther.

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