Condo Line

Does felony prevent buying a unit?

 

CAMquestion@cfl.rr.com

Q. I am considering buying a condominium in a 55+ association. Will my having a felony conviction prevent me from being able to buy a unit? Who makes these decisions and what are the parameters as to what previous legal problems are forgiven and which are not? Do I have any legal recourse if I am refused?

G.M.

Your first step is to seek legal advice. Many associations have screening committees that review both rentals and new purchases. Some have very strict screening policies. Some will accept new residents if they have only one conviction and several years of clean living. If otherwise or a sexual offender, I have no suggestion as to help as that will remain a black mark. One thing I recommend is not to lie or present false information. Engage a real estate agent to help and have the agent contact the board or screening committee and get their feeling on your conviction. You may want to talk to an attorney to see if you can have your record expunged.

Q. I live in a HOA community and we recently elected a new board. Can it insist on changes that the previous board allowed? The previous boards allowed us to make changes to the landscape and exterior of our homes. The new board wants us to restore the exterior to the original condition. These changes have been made over the years; many were completed more the six years ago. None of the affected owners have correspondence from the past board and are not being pushed to make the changes. What are our options?

S.S., New Port Richey

Normally one board cannot commit new boards to certain actions or obligations. Many variations can limit the new board from enforcing old rules that were not enforced. Since I do not know the specifics of the situation, I will not be able to provide a final answer. Four defenses may be involved if the new board can cause you to return your property to the original. Both estoppel and waivers are usually written exceptions. Selective enforcement is when only some of the alleged violations are enforced. The final is laches. Laches is when sufficient time passes and the rules are not enforced. Only a judge can determine whether the time limits or the laches are a valid excuse not to comply with the new enforcement.

There are other factors of rule application and enforcement, they are whether the rule enforcements are reasonable, protect property values, timely and uniformly applied. My suggestion is to communicate in writing to the board and explain that the new enforcement has had no action by past boards and it apparently loses any enforcement power under this situation, laches.

Q. My condominium unit had damage from mice. The board engaged an exterminator to eliminate them. However, the board refused to repair the damage in my unit. In your opinion, how much of the damage would the condominium be responsible for?

T.V., South Pasadena

Normally, the condominium association would never be responsible for loss or repair in the unit or to personal property, regardless of the cause or source that caused the damage. Only common areas fall under the condominium’s responsibility to restore.

There is one additional responsibility required by the condominium; normally it has an obligation to repair unfinished drywall damage. My guess is that the board would repair most drywalls but not have any obligation to paint or replace wallpaper. You should have insurance to cover such losses and this would be a claim for the damage. If you do not have insurance, then any repairs will be at your expense. Keep in mind that most insurance policies have a deductible and your repairs may not reach this amount. This would mean that you must pay the full amount to make the repairs.

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

    Stuck in the credit score logjam

    Homeownership is now at its lowest level since 1995, in part because so many buyers can’t get past lenders’ severe underwriting requirements.

  •  
Dormify's Black Diamond and Stripe Bed Set is reversible with grey diamonds on one side and bold stripes on the other at $69. For a loft look, install temporary brick wallpaper ($98/roll) and hang graphic posters with washi or painter's tape.

    Home away from home

    How to furnish and decorate a dorm room

    Today, creating a dorm-away-from-home requires little more than a simple college try. Many university dormitories are often more akin to collegiate cells, with white walls and institutional furniture design that doesn’t always make the grade.

  • Ask Angie

    How to check a contractor’s references

    Q: When I contact contractor references, what should I ask?

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