Condo Line

Paying price for complacency

Q. I rent out a condominium unit that I have owned for seven years. I recently put it on the market for sale. I had a buyer who went through the process of qualifying for a loan and paid for an inspection and appraisal. It then became time for the board to do its part. The bank withdrew from lending the money to the buyer because the condominium has not had a budget in the last three years and has no reserve. I understand that the owners voted for no reserve but there is no excuse for not having a budget. Now I suffer for not being more involved in the business of the condominium. I am an idiot, but I trusted the association and the board. Now my buyer has walked away as there is no way for the purchase to happen.

Is there any recourse for me against the association for not having the property documentation available? Even if I get another buyer we will be in the same boat. The board is uncooperative and will not filter any information to me. How can I correct this problem?

D.J., Hallandale Beach

This is one of the most important questions that I have received over the years. It concerns me when too many people let others do the work. Your condominium is no different than most other associations. Look around at the members — my guess is that very few have volunteered or challenged the board. Most members just reelect the same board year after year. Owners only respond when something personally involves them. Maybe the board increased fees or was noticed of a rule violation. I know the reason is related to board members not wanting to stick their necks out or simply being lazy. Their education has something to do with the answer, as is their failure to be trained to be leaders. In simple terms, they have been trained to follow.

To answer your question as to how to get the board’s attention, you can file a complaint with the division. Your complaint would say that the board has not created a budget for three years. This may result in the state imposing a fine on the condominium. When this happens, then the members would be responsible to pay their share of the fine. Maybe that would inspire them to become more involved. I wrote a published article titled “Let Others Do It!” If you would like a copy, send a stamped self-addressed envelope to the address on the end of this column.

Q. We understand the service dog provision under the ADA. We also understand your position on comfort dogs. However, what are my rights? I am allergic to dog and cat hairs. We purchased our unit in this condominium because they had a “no pet” restriction. L.L., Tampa While you have a point well taken and a very good question, I cannot give you a quick solution. First it is not my position on comfort pets but legal advice that attorneys have provided. A judge would have to answer as to which medical need is most affected. I suggest that you communicate with all parties involved about your allergic condition. Send letters to the board of directors and the neighbor and ask your doctor if he or she would back up your allergic condition. If you cannot resolve the problem with letters, contact an attorney. Q. We are in a HOA and have some absent owner

Read more Home & Garden stories from the Miami Herald

 <span class="cutline_leadin">Post-dinner nap:</span> Miso, a 1-year-old dachshund owned by chef Makoto Okuwa, catches some sleep after a satisfying meal.

    Chefs & Pets

    Legendary editor’s new cookbook is for the dogs

    Miami chefs cook recipes for their furry companions from Judith Jones’ forthcoming book.

Combs on their way to relocation. They were placed in the shade of a tree across the yard, and after about three days, the angry bees dispersed.

    Fairchild’s tropical garden column

    The honeybees in the house had to be evicted — humanely

    We’ve been hearing a lot about honeybees dying en masse, about Colony Collapse Disorder, even predictions that the honeybee is headed for extinction. There is no doubt that beekeepers as well as farmers who require bees to pollinate their crops are losing lots of bees — entire hives in fact. Some beekeepers have reported that 30 to 90 percent of their bees have died.

Although the face on the back of this chair might look like a lion, it is not. Instead, it is supposed to be that of Aeolus, the Greek god, who was thought to be the ruler of the winds.


    Heirloom chair features charming decoration

    Q: We believe this heirloom chair has been in our family for about 100 years. It is made from a hard dark wood and has a chiseled lion’s face on the back. Anything you can tell me about this chair would be greatly appreciated.

Miami Herald

Join the

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