Q. I am a resident (not a board member) of an HOA community, which has a pool. The rules and the posted signs say no alcoholic beverages or glass containers. In the past year or so, the community pool has become a “party spot” for young people. They (probably some are underage) cart in multiple coolers of beer and spend the afternoon drinking, including bottles in the pool.. There is no on site security. As a resident, do we share the liability in the event of an accident? I know the HOA carries insurance but doubt if it is aware of the alcohol use and no enforcement of the rules. Is there liability for regular homeowners like me or is the liability just for the board members?
You have a right to be concerned. If the association is sued by someone who is injured, all owners will have to pay their fair share of any claim not paid by insurance. There is another problem in that Florida laws restrict glass containers from the pool deck. I am sure that if your county swimming pool inspector was aware of the violation, he or she would close your pool. To a degree that is good, but at the same time the association could be fined as well.
Here is what I suggest: Take pictures of the teens and send a letter to the board with the photos. Ask it to take action on the violation. Also, call the county health department and ask to talk with the pool inspector. As for the board, it needs to find out who the parents are and notify them of the violation. The board must take positive actions to restrict the teens from bring bottles and beer to the pool area. If it gets bad, call the police.Q. Our condominium documents say that the association is responsible for the undecorated and unfinished surfaces of the perimeter walls, floor and ceilings surrounding the condominium unit. It refers to the areas of maintenance such as roof, gutter, downspouts, exterior building surfaces, trees, landscaping and other improvements. It says that exterior maintenance shall not include glass surfaces. To me, perimeter walls would include window repairs and replacement, but not cleaning windows. Windows are not referred in any other section of the documents. My windows leak but the board will not make repairs. It is saying that owners are required to purchase caulk and do our own waterproofing. I have sent a certified letter to the board and it will not make the repairs. I have talked to an attorney and he does not want to deal with my “small” problem. Can you provide me with any guidance?
Door and window maintenance requirements are different for each condominium. There is no standard answer for this question. If the documents are not clear, then an attorney must review the documents and publish a policy for the board and members to understand. If the board is unwilling to review the matter, then you have the option of engaging an attorney or do the work yourself. There is a third option. You can talk to your neighbors and attempt to elect a new board that is more understanding to the problem.
Q. I am a new condominium director and have tried to find the answer to my question in the statutes without success. We have a problem with floors in two units heaving up. The problem seems to start on the balconies. Both units are asking the association to pay to level the floors. To make matters worse, the balconies are cantilevered off the building. Our building is 38 years old and it may be possible that the balconies are the cause of this problem. This seems to be a gray area falling between the condominium and the owner’s responsibility. Can you help me as to who pays for the repairs?
You are lucky that this has not been a problem years earlier. The problem is called spalling. It is a typical balcony problem in Florida because our buildings are constantly exposed to the harsh coastal elements. Concrete floors and balconies develop cracks and water seeps in. In the concrete are embedded iron rods called rebars, and over time they rust and expand. This expansion by the rust opens the cracks wider, allowing more water to enter. Spalling and deteriorating concrete are not only a nuisance but a liability that could jeopardize the safety of the residence. It is a board’s and association’s responsibility to repair the problem. But that it is not a simple fix, as it will be very expensive.Immediately engage an engineer to inspect the building and provide a bid specification sheet to offer to balcony repair specialists. Take action immediately, as any delay will cost even more.