We at Sachs Sax Caplan want to welcome back all of the out-of-town residents who are now coming back down to South Florida after a summer respite elsewhere in the country. As Community Association attorneys, we would like to give you some brief pointers of things we recommend you do upon returning to the Tri County area.
Start by checking your utilities to ensure they are all turned back on. Check for leaks by flushing all toilets and examining all doors and windows in your home. If you do detect any water leakage in those areas, communicate the problem to your association board and your property manager as soon as possible so they can be remediated expeditiously.
Hopefully you won’t find any problems, however, whether you do or do not have any situation to report, you should contact your property manager or board of directors to inquire about what the board has done since the last time you've left. If you've not had electronic communication with them, you're going to want to ask specifically if there have been any special assessments passed or if there any special assessments planned. Determine whether there have been any large maintenance projects completed or in progress or if there are any plans for upcoming work. Projects like this may affect day-to-day operations in the community, and, of course, you will also want to know how any work done will impact the pocketbook that you have with your association.
You should also be aware of the recent legislation passed in the state in response to the Surfside tragedy that involves stricter building safety requirements. One aspect of SB 4-D involves the funding of reserves for the continued maintenance and repair of condominium and co-op buildings three stories or larger that is now required to be in the budget. Historically, it is unlikely that your association has already prepared or adequately funded their reserves, and these large-scale projects are likely going to result in a special assessment. The sooner your association can plan and prepare, the less of an impact it will have on each owner.
In conclusion, be sure to inquire with your board and your property manager what the plans are relative to structural integrity reserve studies and structural integrity reserve funding so that you can make the appropriate plans for your individual use. If you have any questions relative to your association, feel free to call any one of us attorneys here at Sachs Sax Caplan. We're always happy to help.
Daniel A. Weber is an Associate Attorney at Sachs Sax Caplan practicing within the Community Associations Practice Group, and Board Certified by the Florida Bar in Condominium and Planned Development law. Learn more about Daniel and how to work with him here.
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