Q. As treasurer, I have been asked several times for the salaries of our employees. I have asked two lawyers about this and each provided different answers. One said it is personal information and not available to the members. The other said that wages are a budget item and owners should know what compiles the budget amount. Each references section FS 718.111 of the statutes. What do you think?
Both attorneys are correct. The pay scale of each employee is not public information. Budgets must be created with all expense items. Thus, a total payroll would be found in the budget. I suggest that you answer that all employee salaries are confidential but the total payroll could be found in the budget. Remind the member who asks for the information that payroll taxes and withholding are also included in the budget. You can also refer them to the statute section that the attorneys referenced.
Q. The board that was elected this year has changed its position on plumbing repairs. In the past, the board made repairs to any leak in the walls. The new board says that the repairs that the condominium make are only on pipes that service two or more units. I had a hot water pipe break and the board said I must pay for the repair. I could not find any reference in the statutes. Can you help?
M.B., St. Petersburg
This is a document question. Since I do not know your documents, you must do the research yourself. Most documents say that any pipe or utility line that serves two or more units is the condominium’s obligation to repair and that any pipe or utility line that serves only one unit is the responsibility of the owner. But this brings up a common question as to who is responsible for water damage to a unit. Normally the owner who has the loss or damage is responsible. The unit or condominium that caused the damage is only responsible to repair the source of the flood. In most condominiums, the board would repair unfinished drywall. It is recommended that all condominium unit owners have insurance to protect against property loss. Insurance will not cover repairs to pipes or utility lines but it should cover damage to property.
Q. Many of our condominium owners are questioning the board’s decision to allow motorcycles to park on condominium property. We believe that would be a violation under FS 718 regarding nuisances. Our documents and rules are silent on motorcycles but do say that only private passenger automobiles can be parked in our area. Does this disallow motorcycle parking? We would appreciate any advice that you can offer.
I cannot answer this question or provide the final solution. The board must ask the association’s attorney for the answer. I assume the complaint concerns the noise from the motorcycle. Is the owner sitting on the bike and racing the motor? . Is the noise lasting longer than a couple of minutes and is it late at night or during the day? The reason for these questions is for you to determine how serious of a noise problem you have. I do not know of any safety issue for the condominium other than the noise. I do not believe that this is a violation of FS 718, but it may be a violation of your documents. You refer to many owners; they must send letters to the board and ask it to find out from the attorney the answer you are seeking.