ASK OUR ATTORNEYS

(ARCHIVE)

  

OUR ATTORNEYS:

Barry Silver, Esq.

Boca Raton

(561) 483-6900

barryboca@aol.com 

Barbara Billiot Stage, Esq.
Orlando, FL

(407) 926-0263

barbara.billiot.stage@stagelaw.com

Eric M. Glazer, Esq.

Glazer &Associates P.A.

Hollywood, FL

(954) 983-1112

Eric@condo-laws.com 

Q & A

Question:

BACKGROUND:  Condo consists of 54 townhouses built in 1974 with upper deck with concrete slab for use as an outside deck.

PROBLEM:  The association has allowed "add-on rooms” to be built on the deck slab.  A roofing consultant's report dated AUGUST 2006 noted that most, if not all these rooms, were built so that it will not be possible to replace the flat roofing cap sheet (now is modified bitumen membrane) without significant removal of some sections of these rooms that abut the membrane.

Question: Can the association now require the present owners of these units to be responsible for the cost of the removal and replacement of significant sections of the rooms to allow for replacement of the cap?  Over the years the boards have:

  • Required the owners to submit “add-on room” specifications from the builder;

  • Approved the specifications;

  • Failed to insist on a building inspector’s evaluation; and

  • Failed to submit the specifications to a roofing/building expert for approval.

Of course, the present owner may or may not be the owner who added on the room.  There are also additional problems with the way air conditioners were placed, as to whether or not the air conditioners have the necessary attachment to the roof and if they have correct drainage that will not damage the membrane.

K.B. in Tampa

Answer:

The Association may have a problem enforcing this requirement, since it approved the changes.  This may come under the legal theory of waiver, laches or promissory estoppel.  I am not sure about any of these legal theories and their application to your case, so you need to consult with other attorneys to get a definitive opinion.

Barry Silver, Esq.


Question:

1.  What recourse does a unit owner have when a complaint is filed and the DBPR investigator shows bias in favor of the association, taking their verbal word as gospel while ignoring written documentation supplied by the owner?

2.  Can a unit owner file a complaint through the State Attorney General against a DBPR employee who is either incompetent or biased in favor of the association?

3.  Is DPBR required to provide, upon request, documents and records that pertain to a "complaint" filed with them?

J.P., Dunedin

Answer:

Bias and incompetence are hard to prove, and I don't know if there is anyone watching the watchdogs, so I don't know who, if anyone, you could complain to officially.   However, I would certainly write to Governor Crist, adding your voice to Jan's voice by observing that if the governor wants to cut taxes, he can start by eliminating the jobs of people who are biased or incompetent, or both.

Barry Silver, Esq.


Disclaimer: The content of this column can not be considered legal advice.

This column is not a substitute for consultation with legal counsel. 

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