Is Your HOA Neglecting You?
Community Association Failure to Maintain Common Areas
The duties of a community association include management and control of the common areas, common recreational facilities, common area landscaping, and in condominium associations, maintenance and repair of the exterior building surfaces and roofs.
In any instance, the association governing documents should be checked to determine any specific duties and responsibilities of the association. Failure to fulfill any of these duties could subject a community association to a breach of covenant claim brought by a unit owner or occupant.
Common areas of neglect include:
- Failure to fix roof leaks
- Neglecting maintenance in club houses
- Neglecting tree trimming and landscaping
- Not fixing sidewalks and parking areas
- And more
What is HOA Negligence?
Mold and Water Damage
It is not uncommon to hear about various condo associations that have not maintained the common roof, walls, slab, or plumbing. In many of these cases, the condo board or property management try to blame the problem on someone or something else or they simply try to ignore it altogether. In almost all of the cases, the condo owner has been damaged due to water intrusion resulting from the association’s failure to maintain the common elements.
While it is true that Florida condominium associations are responsible for maintaining the common elements and are required to provide insurance for the building, most condominium insurance policies have mold exclusions or have very limited coverage for damage due to mold.
Many condo association boards try to argue that the individual unit owner is responsible for the repairs to the interior of the unit and contents that were damaged as a result of the association’s failure to maintain the common elements.
Know Your Rights as a Property Owner
Florida statutes do require individual owners to provide insurance coverage for the interior of their unit, but it does not relieve the association of its non-delegable duty to maintain the common elements. In fact, many claims submitted to the unit owner’s insurance carrier are denied because the source of the water damage originated from outside of the condo unit. In almost all of the cases dealing with Florida condominiums, the water intrusion or leaks usually originate from outside the unit and involve the common elements.
Common Area Landscaping
The board is responsible for maintaining the common areas in a community association. Frequently, the community association delays tree trimming or other large landscaping maintenance projects. This neglect can cause damage or create hazards for neighboring homes or units. If the trees are on association-owned property, the board is responsible for the maintenance and damage caused by such trees.
Florida common law dictates that when shrubs or trees overhang the property of another, a homeowner has the right to trim branches and limbs that extend past the property line and onto her property. However, the law only allows trimming and cutting up to the property line, therefore any long-term resolution to the problem will necessitate the association to take action. In any instance, the association governing documents should be checked to determine that the property is association-owned.
Painting, Pressure Washing and General Maintenance
The duties of a community association include management and control of the common areas, including common recreational facilities, and in condominium associations, maintenance and repair of the exterior building surfaces and roofs. Failure to fulfill any of these duties could subject a community association to a breach of covenant claim brought by a unit owner or occupant.
Commonly, the governing documents will require the association to perform certain maintenance on an annual or other time specific basis. The community association can be held accountable by its members for failure to conduct maintenance or repair.
Fight Back with HOA Defenders
Do you know your rights as a property owner? An experienced Florida real estate attorney that represents individual homeowners knows what it takes to prove a loss is due to failure to maintain common areas. At HOA Defenders, we’re proud to represent individual unit owners facing a dispute against their homeowners association. Our team of real estate attorneys will walk you through the legal process step by step and coordinate with inspectors to ensure your interests are protected.
Armed with years of experience and knowledge that is unparalleled in the legal industry, HOA Defenders is ready to take on even the most complicated association disputes.
Defending Your Rights Against HOA Disputes
No matter the unique needs of your situation, our attorneys will discuss your options to help you take proper legal action. If you believe that your HOA is acting illegally, unethically, or inappropriately, contact HOA Defenders today at 561-340-4577 to schedule a consultation at no additional cost to you.