Real Estate: Florida/condo unit fire 3/4/13

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Question
QUESTION: DEAR STUART,
GLAD TO FIND YOU-WROTE LONG TIME AGO ON THIS SITE ......ELDERLY COUPLE IN THEIR 90's HAD FIRE IN FURNACE CLOSET/FIRE DEPT. SAID ALUMINUM WIRING AT FAULT. NOTHING DONE AT ALL. ELDERLY HUSBAND COULD ONLY AFFORD CONSULTATION W/ATTYS WHO DID WRITE LETTER TO ASSOC/MGMT GIVING 30 DAYS FOR ANSWER/LAST MONDAY WAS 30 DAYS AND NO REPLY-NOTHING. TOLD HUSBAND TO GO TO A LEGAL AID SVCE. HE WENT TO MGMT OFFICE AND ASKED FOR MASTER POLICY COPY AND WAS REFUSED.(MAYBE HE HAS TO REQUEST IT IN WRITING?)BUT HE ALSO ASKED WHO THE INS CO. WAS & WAS REFUSED ANSWER/HE WAS GIVEN BUSINESS CARD OF BROKER.....COULDN'T GET IN TOUCH W/THEM.....COUPLE KNOWS WHAT THEY ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR ON THEIR END. THEY ARE BEING STONEWALLED COMPLETELY AND LIVING IN TERRIBLE CONDITIONS - NO ONE IS HELPING - CAN YOU PLEASE ADVISE AS THIS IS A DESPERATE SITUATION.  ABOUT A HALF DOZEN UNIT OWNERS SAY THEY HAVE ARCING & STATIC IN THEIR CIRCUIT BREAKER PANELS AND NOTHING IS BEING DONE ABOUT THAT - I KNOW THE OWNER HAS TO MAINTAIN THIS PROBLEM THEMSELVES BUT ANOTHER FIRE MAY BREAK OUT......BREAKERS AUTOMATICALLY TURNED OFF WHEN THIS FIRE BROKE OUT IN THEIR FURNACE CLOSET. STUART, CAN YOU HELP. ANGI

ANSWER: Let's see where we can start off. We need to handle each issue at a time. It seems there are a few problems here. So l will attack one at a time.

1. As far as the buildings insurance info. Each building has to have an insurance policy, I am sure they are not self insured. There is always someone at the Managment office that handles the insuurance issues for the assoications the managment company handleds. You can start off there. One thing you need to keep in mind is that you CAN'T be refused infromation about the Master Policy. If they get no where (Which is hard to understand why the managment company refuses to give them any information) The Managment Company should be able to tell them who the insurance broker is that handles the insurance for the Condo Assoc. One thing l recomend is to send a request to Not only the Managment Company but the Board of Directors of the building and the Insurance Broker. As I am writting this I must tell you that I am lost for words. I will tell you why. They should never ever have to have gotten to the point l am talking about. Either someone does not understand each other or one of them is not eplaining things correctly. Well anyways they should file a complaint with the state agency that handles condo issues. (I do not know if they are in Flordia or not.  If l knew l would give you the email address.) Now this is what you should do in the first place before anything.  If there is still an issue with the electric in other condos besides theirs. Someone needs to contact the city's Fire Mashall TONIGHT. NOW AT ONCR. The Fire Marshall will take action.  

What you are leaving out is this/.  If there was a fire and if they are living in bad conditions how were they still allowed to remain living in the condo? I know we had a small fire here the other day and only one condo really got burnt. But yet the people living in the condos undrer, above and to the sides had to leave till the Marshall said everything is fine.  

As far as what they have to pay. I would like to think the had a HO6 (Condo Insurance) they will have to repair everything up to the walls in the condo. After that the only other thing they need to pay for is the Paint to cover the new walls if the old ones were torn down. I only this may not solve their problems. With the informaiton you gave me l could only reply with so much infromation. I need to know if the condo is located in Florida or not. If it is then all l need is the County and town. I may be able to guide you better if l knew a little more. Contact me back with any updates. I wish them well. If you need more help contact me. Remember one thing. DO NOT LET THE MANAGMENT OR THEIR CONDO BOARD push them around. They have rights and can not be refused the information they are looking for

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QUESTION: So sorry, Stuart, I thought I put in FLORIDA, VOLUSIA COUNTY, DAYTONA BCH  32114
Thank you soooo much for your help - isn't this unbelievable since the first of March! I think a claim against the Management company goes to the Dept. Business & Professional Regulation and; the Association, I think a claim goes to the Dept. of Financial Services for not putting in a claim that is clearly covered by law.
Does this sound Correct to you? Also, does the request for a copy of the Association's Insurance Master Policy have to be put in writing - 'cause the husband just went to the office/mgmt and asked for it when he was refused.......

Answer
I HOPE THIS HELPS OUT






CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATIONS
EDUCATION

THIS IS IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR ALL OWNERS AND BOARD MEMBERS LIVING IN CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATIONS REGULATED BY FLORIDA STATUTES FS 718.

RECORD REQUEST

RECORDS request 718.111(12)
Owners have the right to inspect the official records of the condominium under Florida Statute Section 718.111(12) within 5 working days of written request -- certified mail return receipt. (You must have a receipt of the written request). You should list the Florida Statute number and section and describe the records as stated in the statute.



See REQUEST TO ACCESS ASSOCIATION RECORDS (DIVISION FORM)



The official records of the association are open to inspection and copying by any association member and shall be made available to a unit owner within 5 working days after receipt of a written request. If you are not provided with access to the records as requested with a second attempt by certified mail (See FS 718.501(1)(d) 7.) please contact the Division. H 995 created -- effective October 2008 -- subpoena power for the Division to require production of requested records.


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FS 718.501(1)(d) 7.  If a unit owner presents the division with proof that the unit owner has requested access to official records in writing by certified mail, and that after 10 days the unit owner again made the same request for access to official records in writing by certified mail, and that more than 10 days has elapsed since the second request and the association has still failed or refused to provide access to official records as required by this chapter, the division shall issue a subpoena requiring production of the requested records where the records are kept pursuant to s. 718.112.


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ARBITRATION RULING ACCESS TO RECORDS

Ramsey Agan and Grace Agan, v. Plaza East Association, Inc.
Case No. 2003-09-2374



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FS 718.111(12)  OFFICIAL RECORDS

(a)  From the inception of the association, the association shall maintain each of the following items, if applicable, which shall constitute the official records of the association:

1.  A copy of the plans, permits, warranties, and other items provided by the developer pursuant to s. 718.301(4).

2.  A photocopy of the recorded declaration of condominium of each condominium operated by the association and of each amendment to each declaration.

3.  A photocopy of the recorded bylaws of the association and of each amendment to the bylaws.

4.  A certified copy of the articles of incorporation of the association, or other documents creating the association, and of each amendment thereto.

5.  A copy of the current rules of the association.

6.  A book or books which contain the minutes of all meetings of the association, of the board of administration, and of unit owners, which minutes must be retained for at least 7 years.

7.  A current roster of all unit owners and their mailing addresses, unit identifications, voting certifications, and, if known, telephone numbers. The association shall also maintain the electronic mailing addresses and the numbers designated by unit owners for receiving notice sent by electronic transmission of those unit owners consenting to receive notice by electronic transmission. The electronic mailing addresses and telephone numbers must be removed from association records if consent to receive notice by electronic transmission is revoked. However, the association is not liable for an erroneous disclosure of the electronic mail address or the number for receiving electronic transmission of notices.

8.  All current insurance policies of the association and condominiums operated by the association.

9.  A current copy of any management agreement, lease, or other contract to which the association is a party or under which the association or the unit owners have an obligation or responsibility.

10.  Bills of sale or transfer for all property owned by the association.

11.  Accounting records for the association and separate accounting records for each condominium which the association operates. All accounting records shall be maintained for at least a period of not less than 7 years. Any person who knowingly or intentionally defaces or destroys accounting records required to be created and maintained by this chapter during the period for which such records are required to be maintained, or who knowingly or intentionally fails to create or maintain such accounting records required to be maintained by this chapter, with the intent of causing harm to the association or one or more of its members, is personally subject to a civil penalty pursuant to s. 718.501(1)(d). The accounting records must shall include, but are not limited to:

a.  Accurate, itemized, and detailed records of all receipts and expenditures.

b.  A current account and a monthly, bimonthly, or quarterly statement of the account for each unit designating the name of the unit owner, the due date and amount of each assessment, the amount paid upon the account, and the balance due.

c.  All audits, reviews, accounting statements, and financial reports of the association or condominium.

d.  All contracts for work to be performed. Bids for work to be performed are also be considered official records and must be maintained by the association.

12.  Ballots, sign-in sheets, voting proxies, and all other papers relating to voting by unit owners, which must be maintained for 1 year from the date of the election, vote, or meeting to which the document relates, notwithstanding paragraph (b).

13.  All rental records, if the association is acting as agent for the rental of condominium units.

14.  A copy of the current question and answer sheet as described in s. 718.504.

15.  All other records of the association not specifically included in the foregoing which are related to the operation of the association.

16.  A copy of the inspection report as provided in s. 718.301(4)(p).

(b)  The official records of the association must be maintained within the state for at least 7 years. The records of the association shall be made available to a unit owner within 45 miles of the condominium property or within the county in which the condominium property is located within 5 working days after receipt of written request by the board or its designee. However, such distance requirement does not apply to an association governing a timeshare condominium. This paragraph may be complied with by having a copy of the official records of the association available for inspection or copying on the condominium property or association property, or the association may offer the option of making the records available to a unit owner electronically via the Internet or by allowing the records to be viewed in electronic format on a computer screen and printed upon request. The association is not responsible for the use or misuse of the information provided to an association member or his or her authorized representative pursuant to the compliance requirements of this chapter unless the association has an affirmative duty not to disclose such information pursuant to this chapter.

(c)  The official records of the association are open to inspection by any association member or the authorized representative of such member at all reasonable times. The right to inspect the records includes the right to make or obtain copies, at the reasonable expense, if any, of the member. The association may adopt reasonable rules regarding the frequency, time, location, notice, and manner of record inspections and copying. The failure of an association to provide the records within 10 working days after receipt of a written request creates a rebuttable presumption that the association willfully failed to comply with this paragraph. A unit owner who is denied access to official records is entitled to the actual damages or minimum damages for the association's willful failure to comply. The minimum damages shall be $50 per calendar day up to 10 days, the calculation to begin on the 11th working day after receipt of the written request. The failure to permit inspection of the association records as provided herein entitles any person prevailing in an enforcement action to recover reasonable attorney's fees from the person in control of the records who, directly or indirectly, knowingly denied access to the records. Any person who knowingly or intentionally defaces or destroys accounting records that are required by this chapter to be maintained during the period for which such records are required to be maintained, or who knowingly or intentionally fails to create or maintain accounting records that are required to be created or maintained, with the intent of causing harm to the association or one or more of its members, is personally subject to a civil penalty pursuant to s. 718.501(1)(d). The association shall maintain an adequate number of copies of the declaration, articles of incorporation, bylaws, and rules, and all amendments to each of the foregoing, as well as the question and answer sheet provided for in s. 718.504 and year-end financial information required in this section on the condominium property to ensure their availability to unit owners and prospective purchasers, and may charge its actual costs for preparing and furnishing these documents to those requesting the documents. Notwithstanding the provisions of this paragraph, the following records are not accessible to unit owners:

  

1.  Any record protected by the lawyer-client privilege as described in s. 90.502; and any record protected by the work-product privilege, including any record prepared by an association attorney or prepared at the attorney's express direction; which reflects a mental impression, conclusion, litigation strategy, or legal theory of the attorney or the association, and which was prepared exclusively for civil or criminal litigation or for adversarial administrative proceedings, or which was prepared in anticipation of imminent civil or criminal litigation or imminent adversarial administrative proceedings until the conclusion of the litigation or adversarial administrative proceedings.

 

2.  Information obtained by an association in connection with the approval of the lease, sale, or other transfer of a unit.

  

3. Personnel records of association employees, including, but not limited to, disciplinary, payroll, health, and insurance records.

 
4. Medical records of unit owners.

 
5. Social security numbers, driverís license numbers, credit card numbers, e-mail addresses, telephone numbers, emergency contact information, any addresses of a unit owner other than as provided to fulfill the associationís notice requirements, and other personal identifying information of any person, excluding the personís name, unit designation, mailing address, and property address.

 
6. Any electronic security measure that is used by the association to safeguard data, including passwords.

 
7. The software and operating system used by the association which allows manipulation of data, even if the owner owns a copy of the same software used by the association. The data is part of the official records of the association.

  

(d)  The association shall prepare a question and answer sheet as described in s. 718.504, and shall update it annually.

(e)1.  The association or its authorized agent is not required to provide a prospective purchaser or lienholder with information about the condominium or the association other than information or documents required by this chapter to be made available or disclosed. The association or its authorized agent may charge a reasonable fee to the prospective purchaser, lienholder, or the current unit owner for providing good faith responses to requests for information by or on behalf of a prospective purchaser or lienholder, other than that required by law, if the fee does not exceed $150 plus the reasonable cost of photocopying and any attorney's fees incurred by the association in connection with the response.

2.  An association and its authorized agent are not liable for providing such information in good faith pursuant to a written request if the person providing the information includes a written statement in substantially the following form: "The responses herein are made in good faith and to the best of my ability as to their accuracy."

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CONDO EDUCATION  

Real Estate: Florida

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STUART F

Expertise

The kind of questions l can answer has to do with condominium rules and condo living, condo regulations and condo law. In the state of Florida ONLY. I can address most questions since there is only one stead fast rule for condominium law which is called rule 718 for the state of Florida. I can quote the law, give examples and recommendations. I also have at my disposal access to lawyers who pratice condo law for technical questions that l am not able to answer Without knowing if an association has made changes to their documents which these changes are called amendments l can only generalize what the law says. I can also advise how to deal with Property Managment Companys that manage your condo assoc. What the wording in the contract you need to have with them should cover, the kind of services you should expect them to do for your community. I can answer questions about condo budgets. I have experienced almost every situation you can think of over the years. Also to sum this up l can answer almost any question that has to do with running a condo, dealing with condo owners, and many many more things that have to do with condo living

Experience

I have experience as the President of a major condo association for 1 0 years. Guest speaker at a Major University in Ft Lauderdale Fl for a condo symposium. Beside having major condo management experience I also have over 40 years of Retail Middle Managment experience

Publications
I have been featured many times in our local newspapers because of the experiences l have gone through as President of our condo Association.

Education/Credentials
I hold a BA in Commutation

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