Condo Line

Clothes dryer venting poses a problem

 

CAMquestion@cfl.rr.com

Q. I am a director on the condominium board. Many owners have installed clothes dryers on the second floor and are not vented through the roof to the outside. Are directors permitted to enter units to inspect for these? Can we require these owners to properly vent to outside the building? What are our options if the owners refuse?

A.J., Indian River Shores

There are a lot of problems with your situation and question. First, no condominium owner is allowed to use the common area for his or her own use. If you allow owners to cut through the roof to vent dryers, they will be using the roof for their own use. Does your building have the right plumbing to allow clothes washers? Most buildings were not plumbed for the extra drains or to include dish washers and garbage disposals. You will need to read your documents to see if they restrict washers and dryers and other such equipment. If they are not restricted in your documents, you should have a plumber inspect your system to confirm that washers and other equipment can be installed. Ask the plumber if the county codes would allow such equipment in the building. Check with your attorney, who can answer your question better than I can. It may be necessary to have the attorney enforce removal of the equipment or have it installed according to code. If you find it in violation of your documents or installed improperly, then the attorney can help to amend the documents.

Q. In the past you said that one of the duties of owners is to request from the board the right to make additions, changes, or modification to the exterior of their homes. You included additions to landscape as well as painting. Can you provide that information again?

L.F., Apopka

Subject to your documents, the board has the responsibility to maintain the association. That also means the responsibility to keep all the homes in a comparable appearance as to when they were built. Most HOAs require that the board establish an architectural review committee (ARC) to administer the policy of operations. It would monitor paint colors as well as landscapes that conflict with plans for the community. As an example, an owner could not remove the grass lawn and replace it with gravel unless he submitted to the ARC or board a request to make the change and received approval. In a condominium, no owner can use the common grounds for their personal use. That means that he or she must maintain the unit in a “same” condition. Neither can they plant flowers or shrubbery in the common area.

Q. I have lived in my condominium for 20 years. Each year the members have voted out the reserves. This year the board approved a special budget line item for painting in four years. I have looked at the statutes and cannot find that the board can just name a line item that is like a reserve.

With limited information on the budget that your board approved and the line item for future painting, I can only speculate an answer. The statutes require the board to approve a budget each year with properly calculated reserves. The members have a right to vote for no reserves or reduce the amount the board calculated. However, this will create a problem in future years when repairs or replacements are needed and there is no or an insufficient reserve fund to pay for the work. Since the board is responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the property, it gets money to pay for the work by assessing the members. Apparently the board has quotes on how much the painting will cost and created a special assessment payable in monthly installments for the next four years. It is a simple matter of paying early or pay a lot in the future.

Write to Condo Line, Richard White, 6039 Cypress Gardens Blvd., #201, Winter Haven, FL 33884-4115, or e-mail CAMquestion@cfl.rr.com. Include name and city.

Read more Home & Garden stories from the Miami Herald

  • Washington Report

    A creative way to reach a home sale

    Interest rate buy-downs, long used by home builders, are gaining traction in the resale market.

  •  
AT HOME for release JULY 2014 BY DESIGN Caption 05: Metallics, particularly gold, continue to draw the eye in home decor. A highly polished brass four-post bed with a padded upholstered headboard is a shout-out to '70s chic. The new London collection mixes tradition and Carnaby panache with surfaces that the company calls a mash-up of golds: shiny (but warm) brass, gold-leafed woods and satiny jewel-box cabinetry. The rivet treatment on the Kent buffed-brass chest of drawers echoes nailheads on the tailored upholstered drum ottoman.

    DESIGN TRENDS

    Practitioners of ‘modern’ design are softening their traditional starkness

    For minimalists, even a whisper of decoration is like a flaw on an otherwise perfect diamond. But one reason that a more modern aesthetic currently is appealing to a broader segment of consumers is because it’s showing a softer side. That may translate to a loosening of form or color — both unabashed and subtle — where something more neutral is expected.

  •  
Crate & Barrel’s Bowery queen bed has drawers underneath for storage

    Interior design

    Need more storage? Might have to sleep on that

    Restoration Hardware’s catalogs might be getting bigger, but its furniture, if you can believe it, is shrinking. In 2012, the retailer responded to growing demand for lighter, leaner pieces by introducing a line of scaled-down furnishings. This year, its Small Spaces catalog is organized by city and residence, such as Los Angeles Bungalow or Boston Brownstone.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category