THE WOODSIDE COLLECTION OF CASES
Bay Point Waterfront Condominium Association v. Peavy, Arb. Case No. 02-5765,Summary Final Order (January 31, 2003)
•The arbitrator, the arguments of the association notwithstanding, held that the Florida Supreme Court in Woodside acknowledged the continued significance of Hidden Harbour Estates v. Basso, 393 So. 637 (Fla. 4th DCA 1981) and Beachwood Villas Condominium v. Poor, 448 So. 2d 1143 (Fla. 4th DCA 1984), holding that board-made rules may not contravene either an express provision of the declaration or a right that may be inferred from the declaration.
Bermuda Bay Beach Condominium Association, Inc. v. Solomon, Arb. Case No. 02-5258, Partial Summary Final Order (June 26, 2003)
•Under Woodside, an association may amend the documents to impose greater leasing restrictions, and purchasers are not entitled to rely on the documents as written at the time of purchase. By analogy, owners may not reasonably rely on an association’s nonenforcement of leasing restrictions at the time of their purchase in arguing that the association should be estopped from currently enforcing the leasing restrictions; based on the particular facts involved, such reliance is not reasonable since the association was free to begin enforcement at any future time.
Cordova Gardens Condominium Association, Inc. v. Demby, Arb. Case No. 2003-04-2777, Order Denying Motions to Dismiss (April 16, 2004)
•Where the owner argued that a rule prohibiting pets could not be applied to an owner who purchased his unit (but did not acquire a pet) before the rule became effective, and argued that Woodside, holding that owners are on notice that the documents may be changed, could not be “retroactively” applied in this instance because the pet rule was passed before Woodside, the arbitrator noted that cases decided prior to Woodside affirmed the ability of an association to amend its documents under the document’s amendatory provisions. Accordingly, under Woodside and earlier decisions, when an association properly amends its rules and regulations, both current and future owners must abide by the new rules absent an impairment of those rights protected by statute or the documents.
•Also, the arbitrator held that the holding of Woodside should not be limited to amendments to the declaration, but could properly be applied to changes to the rules and regulations.
Dipaola Stephen Rinko General Partnership v. Beach Terrace Association, Inc., Arb. Case No. 2003-09-6775, Summary Final Order (October 21, 2004)
•The arbitrator, citing Woodside, opined that just as owners have no vested right to offer their units for lease because they are on notice that the documents may be amended, so too, the owners have no vested rights in budget items. Where, through an amendment to the declaration, the expense of maintaining de facto limited common element air conditioning equipment serving the individual units is made a limited common element expense instead of a general common expense, and where the equipment is changed from common elements to limited common elements, the amendment did not change the appurtenances to the units or otherwise implicate vested rights.
Englehardt v. Carlton Terrace Condominium Association, Inc., Arb. Case No. 2003-06-3375, Summary Final Order (February 17, 2004)
•Where the declaration originally permitted leasing of the units but had been amended a number of times to diminish this right, consistent with Woodside, the arbitrator held that the amendments did not impair any vested right to alienate property or otherwise run afoul of section 718.110(4), Florida Statutes, prohibiting amendments to the declaration that impair the appurtenances to the units. This result did not change because the board, acting alone without a vote of the membership, had the authority to amend the declaration as provided in the declaration’s amendatory provisions. The owners were on notice of this method of amendment.
•An amendment to the declaration, which deleted the first mortgagee's exemption from certain transfer and leasing restrictions in the event of a foreclosure of the mortgagee's interest, was found to impair the rights of mortgagees where the declaration itself contained assurances that no amendment would be passed that altered, amended, or modified in any manner the rights and privileges granted to mortgagees. While it is feasible and consistent with the case law to conclude that an ordinary purchaser takes title subject to his constructive knowledge that the documents may be amended, this principle finds no application where the declaration itself contains assurances that no amendments shall be passed depriving a particular owner or class of owners of their right to lease or sell their units without their joinder.
Four Ambassadors Association, Inc. v. Lindsay Properties, Inc., Arb. Case No. 01-3350, Final Order on Motion for Rehearing (December 19, 2002)
•Purchasers buy into a condominium with the knowledge that the documents may be amended, except in those areas of fundamental rights, to more closely approximate the will of a majority of the owners as it may be expressed from time to time. As such, there is nothing prohibiting the association from adopting a rule prohibiting washers and dryers, so long as the new rule is not applied to owners with pre-existing laundry equipment.
Goodwin v. Island Club Condominium, Inc., Arb. Case No. 2004-04-4285, PartialSummary Final Order (January 12, 2005)
•Where the association was unable to amend the declaration to impose additional leasing restrictions, but instead amended the bylaws to limit the right to lease set forth in the declaration, the bylaw amendment constituted an illegal amendment to the declaration and was invalid. Woodside holds that purchasers are only on notice of lawful amendments to the documents, and does not act to validate amendments to the documents that are otherwise invalid.
Pompano Beach Club North Association, Inc. v. Freyvogel, Arb. Case No. 02-5892,Order on Pending Motions (February 19, 2003)
•Where the declaration allowed pets when the owner purchased his unit but was later amended to restrict pets, the owner purchased his unit with the knowledge that the declaration might be amended in the future, and for purposes of the defense of estoppel, it was unreasonable for the owner to rely on the current state of the documents at the time of purchase or on alleged oral representations made at that time that the pet policy would not change.
Richardson v. Jupiter Bay Condominium Association, Inc., Arb. Case No. 02-4354,Summary Final Order (July 3, 2002); Final Order on Motion for Rehearing (August 26, 2002)
•Woodside did not operate to resurrect an invalid bylaw amendment found inconsistent with the right to rent set forth in the declaration. Although purchasers are deemed to be on notice that the bylaws, like the declaration, may be amended, purchasers are only charged with notice of valid amendments. Neither does Woodside afford an association the opportunity to evade the higher amendatory provisions of the declaration by turning to the bylaws, with a more liberal amendatory provision, to accomplish indirectly what it could not accomplish directly.
Schultz v. La Costa Beach Club Resort Condominium Association, Inc., Arb. CaseNo. 2003-08-3347, Amended Summary Final Order (November 21, 2003)
•Since a condominium is exclusively a creature of statute (citing Woodside), it follows that since the statute permits the owners to recall the board, that method of removal is exclusive, and board members may not be removed by board action.
Seychelles Condominium Management Association, Inc. v. Ehlen, Arb. Case No.01-3639, Final Order (May 15, 2002)
•Woodside did not create a platform that would allow the membership, using the general amendatory provisions of the declaration, to adopt an amendment deleting the requirement that any changes to the leasing portions of the declaration require the joinder of 100% of the owners.
Tanasychuk v. 625 Espanola Way, Inc., Arb. Case No. 03-6175, Order (March 25,2003)
•Where the original declaration did not confer on the unit owner the right to two reserved parking spaces, the use of which would be appurtenant to the unit, the subsequent amendment to the declaration which deprived the owner of one of the assigned spaces did not deprive him of any vested right.
Villas at Bonaventure Tract 37 North Condominium Association, Inc. v. Grant, Arb.Case No. 2003-07-3127, Final Order (February 12, 2004)
•There is nothing in the Woodside opinion showing an intent by the Court to eliminate the defense of estoppel. In Woodside, there were no allegations that the owners had relied on a misrepresentation by the association. Accordingly, the owners were still permitted to argue that the association was estopped from enforcing the pet weight restriction.
Westgate Blue Tree Orlando v. Blue Tree Resort at Lake Buena Vista CondominiumAssociation, Inc., Arb. Case No. 2004-03-9446, Summary Final Order (January 7, 2005)
•The amendment to the condominium statute providing that where the declaration fails to provide a method of accomplishing material alterations to the common elements, a vote of 75% of the total voting interests is required, is procedural or remedial in nature, and does not impair vested substantive rights. Woodside recognized that the only rights protected under the statute that were in the nature of those rights appearing in s. 718.110(4), F.S.; the Court did not recognize a vested right to the procedural manner in which changes could occur to the common elements under s. 718.113(2), F.S.
•The amendment to the timeshare statute providing that the board of a timeshare association may modify the appurtenances to the units without complying with section 718.110(4), F.S., may be applied to existing declarations because the timeshare amendment further provides that no rights created under s. 718.110(4), F.S. may be impaired without the joinder of all the owners.
Wine v. Lighthouse Colony, Inc., Arb. Case No. 2003-09-6012, Summary FinalOrder (November 8, 2004)
•The arbitrator found an association rule limiting each boat dock to one boat was unreasonable where the docks were 50 feet in length and the rule failed to take into account the size of permissible boats. It cannot be concluded that allowing an owner to dock two smaller boats on the 50-foot dock was a use of the property at odds with its intended purpose. The arbitrator rejected the argument that under Woodside, an association is permitted to pass unreasonable rules so long as the rule amendments do not offend the Constitution, are wholly arbitrary, or are contrary to public policy.