Hurricane Irma swept the State of Florida from Key West to Jacksonville. With offices in both Boca Raton, Florida and Tallahassee, Florida, we felt the brunt of the storm in both parts of the State. For our clients, we know that the laws surrounding natural disasters and their aftermaths will become of increasing importance to Floridians. As a firm with many residential association clients, we have been fielding questions in the wake of the hurricane about repair responsibilities in multi-family dwellings.
Note that the Condominium Act provides that any portion of the condominium property which must be insured by the association and which is damaged by an insurable event is to be reconstructed, repaired, or replaced as necessary by the association as a common expense. In contrast, in the absence of an insurable event, either the association or unit owners shall be responsible for reconstruction, repair, or replacement as determined by the maintenance provisions of the declaration or bylaws.
Accordingly, when determining who is responsible for making what repairs, there is a subtle but very important legal distinction between ordinary maintenance (or lack thereof) and damage arising from casualty. Condominium associations and condominium unit owners are encouraged to obtain legal advice if they have any questions before making repair commitments. Feel free to call us should the need arise so we can help you discern what your obligations may be in connection with needed repairs.
By: Joseph Arena, Esq.