Can a Condo Unit Owner Sue the Association in Florida?
More and more often, Florida condo unit owners are pursuing lawsuits against condo boards over various restrictions regarding various things such as pets, discrimination, and many others.
If you feel you have a reason to file a lawsuit against your Condominium Association (COA), condominium lawyers are ready to assist you. Remember, condo rules and regulations in Florida vary, but an experienced attorney will know how to act.
You can contact Ferrer Law Group now for more information.
Do Condo Unit Owners Sue Condo Associations?
Condo unit owners can recover reasonable attorneys’ fees and additional amounts decided by the court as necessary and reasonable to reimburse their share of the assessments levied to cover the defense of the lawsuit.
Condo residents can file lawsuits against the COA but there is a requirement to keep current with their condo fees and assessments, even if they feel they shouldn’t pay them. Payment to the opposing party is necessary even if it feels unjust.
Florida condominium association law states that all COAs must ensure all common areas are functioning and well-maintained. This includes roofs, stairwells, electrical wiring, and plumbing. If the COA fails to maintain any of the common elements, that results in damage to a owner’s unit, then the owner can file a lawsuit against the condo association.
Many lawsuits filed are due to the condo board’s decisions to spend money on maintenance and repairs but these repairs are never completed, and therefore condo owners file a lawsuit against the condo association to require these repairs to be completed. Also, when the condo owners do not believe the condo Board is properly engaging in the maintenance and repairs of the common elements, they tend to complain which may lead to the owner’s filing a lawsuit.
Are Associations Held Responsible?
COA is responsible for things depending on the circumstances. Charges to COA can be discriminatory practices if they have failed to make reasonable accommodations. Under state laws and the federal Fair Housing Act, (FHA) the COA liability can consist of actual damages. The COA can also face punitive and compensatory damages.
What Would be the Reasons to Sue an Association?
There are many reasons you may decide to take legal action against your condo association. There are legal rights for condo owners in Florida. Some reasons to file a lawsuit include but are not limited to:
- Contract Violations – Property owners and COAs should follow their own governing documents and rules. If the association fails to do so, you may be able to sue to enforce your rights, as set forth in the governing documents.
- Discrimination or Harassment – Condo rules and regulations must comply with both Federal law and Florida condo law. For example, since many condos have a no-pet policy, there have been many lawsuits filed over unfair restrictions regarding pets. Some COAs have a weight limit or other restrictions on pets if allowed — pet restriction cases filed under the federal Fair Housing Act.
However, if these rules have certain characteristics such as marital status, race, the number of kids you have, etc. — the rules are not allowed under housing discrimination laws.
- Remodeling Disputes – Maybe you want to remodel your condo unit but your COA says you cannot. If your COA is not willing to bend, you may take legal actions to see if you can remodel your condo unit the way you would like.
- Repairs – You are paying your dues to the COA for a reason. If they are slow to make the necessary repairs, it may take a lawsuit, to get them moving.
How an Attorney Can Help a Condo Unit Owner
All condo owners must be vigilant when it comes to protecting their rights, even if this means you must go through condominium law attorneys. Condo lawyers specialize in disputes that involve community associates or common interest developments.
If you own or lease a condo, you have rights. When an association violates those rights, you have the right to fight back. You can now enjoy the full use of your condo unit, protect the value of your investment, and even get repayment of exorbitant association fees with the help of an attorney.
Your attorney will help you hold the association guilty of discrimination or harassment, protect your home from eviction or foreclosure, and much more. They will also make sure they have all necessary documents such as the condominium forms.
Do the right thing today by reaching out to Ferrer Law Group for assistance.
Legal Disclaimer: The materials within this website are for informational purposes only. They are not legal advice and should not be used as such. Transmission of the information in this website is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Internet users and readers should not act upon this information and should seek professional legal counsel.