A Slice of Paradise for Condo Commandos.
One would hope that condo board harassment is on the decline – especially in Florida, given Florida’s comprehensive statutes defining and protecting condo owner and HOA owner rights.
Unfortunately, there are still pockets of condo board abuse, as in the following case:
1. Screen Enclosure – The owners removed their non structural screen enclosure in order to improve their view after receiving verbal permission from their building President, who then reported them to the county because they didn’t have a permit. It cost the owners over $1,000.00 to obtain a permit and to pay fines. The owners contend that multiple unit owners removed screen enclosures without permission from their building board, without permission from the master association board, and without pulling a county permit, yet no action was taken against them. Caveat: If a county permit was indeed required, the Board had a duty to inform and treat all owners in a uniform matter – while the owners had a responsibility to request the permit. In this case, Board fines could be viewed as selective enforcement, but county fines would not.
2. Patio Pavers – The owners submitted two requests to have patio pavers professionally installed on their first floor patio lanai, similar to other units, but both requests were denied. The board allegedly created requirements that no other owner had to follow.
3. Condo Remodel – The building board sent a letter stating they were rescinding approval for a condo remodel, because the contractor wasn’t licensed or insured, which was untrue. The appropriate paperwork was submitted.
5. Bushes & Tree – The president of their building directed the landscaping company to move bushes and a tree – allegedly in order to block their view.
1. Coffee and coffee grounds were poured over the hood of their car, the day after it was professionally detailed.
2. The President of their building association allegedly insinuated in an email that the co-owner vandalized his car, causing it to blow up. (The owner was in the hospital at the time.)
3. The co-owners have endured verbal harassment, slander, and their friends have been harassed.
Why Owners Believe They were Targeted
1. They twice called the police on the Board president for interrogating and harassing friends when they came to visit.
2. They were part of an opposition group of owners who opposed the board’s attempt to buy an adjacent piece of property. The master board spent over $50,000 of Association money in their efforts to buy that land, but failed.
3. They criticized board members and the property management company for breaches of Fiduciary Duty.