November 19, 2010
The department serves such a diverse group of businesses and professionals with very different requirements and needs. One of the department's most interesting regulatory roles is Florida's condominiums. The added twist of the condominium setting is that residents own some elements of their most valuable asset jointly with other people — often strangers. This poses a unique set of challenges and disagreement can become very heated, very quickly. The complaints we receive range from complex financial arrangements to unit owners who violate pet policies, and from perceived abuses of power by an association to paint color restrictions.
Condominium associations operate as small democracies. The unit owners elect board members, and the board oversees the day-to-day operations of the condominium. The Condominium Act, Chapter 718, F.S., specifically outlines board member responsibilities, unit owner rights and other regulations that govern the actions of a condominium association.
To keep many of the disputes from ending up in the court system, we provide arbitrators and mediators whose job it is to attempt to resolve disputes before they escalate. In addition, through free educational seminars, we work to ensure condominium board members are aware of their responsibilities and unit owners know their rights. Division staff travel to areas with high concentrations of condominiums to provide education on topics from new laws affecting condominiums to the condominium complaint process. The next seminars will take place on Dec. 1, in Daytona Beach and Dec. 2, in Boynton Beach. Please visit the division's Web page for more information.
When people know their rights and responsibilities, they have the tools they need to solve issues in their condominium. This reduces the need for us to intervene. If you live in one of the 1,495,118 condominium units in Florida, I encourage you to take advantage of this free opportunity to learn more about Florida's condominium laws.
UPCOMING BOARD MEETINGS
There are no board meetings