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Thursday, Oct 02, 2014
Lifestyle Stories

Condo not responsible for water damage, mold


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Q: A common element pipe broke in the wall causing extensive water damage and mold in my unit. Who is responsible for the repairs and mold removal?

D.W., Miami

Answer: Although the condominium should be responsible for repairing the common area pipe and cleaning up the water, they are normally not responsible for water damage or mold in your unit. You should have personal property insurance that will cover this loss. I would file a claim with your insurance agent and see what he says. Then write the board a letter and provide them with the damage report and what your insurance agent says.

Q: I live in an HOA where our president’s family cuts several vacant lots in the community for compensation by absentee owners. She also gets the proxies and votes from these homes. The majority of the community thinks this is a conflict of interest and should be stopped by the property manager. Our bylaws also state that there should not be a business run in the community, but when we brought this to the attention of the property manager, he did not take any action. Should the manager address this issue with the president and, if not, should the manager report it along with the president to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation as well as the office that now governs HOAs?

C.L., Vero Beach

Answer: The president, directors and manager are allowed to perform private business for profit as long as it is on their time and with the use of their equipment. (However, recent changes to FS 720 may invalidate my answer. I suggest you confirm with your attorney about changes.) They cannot have an office or storage of inventory within the community in accordance with your documents. The property manager has no powers to correct the president. The other directors have that responsibility. You would need to write the directors and ask them to review the work done by the president and take corrective action if they feel there is a violation of her duties to the association.

Richard White is a licensed community association manager. He does not offer legal opinions; any other questions and comments concerning association operations can be sent to Richard White, 6039 Cypress Gardens Blvd., No. 201, Winter Haven FL 33884-4115; or email camquestion@cfl.rr.com.

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