Florida – November 30, 2021
Condo associations in Florida often assess upgrades, or other group related expenses related to an Orlando condominium property and charge the residents special assessment fees toward its completion. It is best to utilize the services of an experienced real estate attorney to assure that each resident is only being charged their percentage of that assessment. While condos can be different sizes and unit owners may feel the owners of bigger units should be assessed at a higher rate based on square footage, that is not always the case. Allocation of special assessments follow the language outlined in the declaration of condominium. Unit owners wishing to dispute special assessments of their condo properties should speak with a Florida real estate attorney about all possible cures for this type of interaction.
Equal share of assessment.
Current Florida law allows condominium units to equally share expenses, or be charged based on the square footage of their unit. If a community has outlined the “equal share” language in the condominium’s original declaration, issues between property owners may arise. A small unit owner may take a position, for example on a new roof replacement, that the square footage of their unit takes up less space under that roof and should be assessed in accordance with that fact. Unfortunately it is not easy to have amendments to condominium declarations updated unless an association abides by Florida Statutes 718.110. Talk to a Florida real estate attorney for guidance on this issue as it relates to your condominium property ownership.
Multiple unit owner involvement.
Under the guidelines of Florida Statute 718.110 (4), record owners of all units and all record owners of liens must approve any change to the assessment allocation for a condominium community. Most condominium declarations do not provide for alternative methods to adjust assessment allocation responsibilities. In most cases all unit owners need to approve any changes to assessment allocations and individuals who own larger units may not share the sentiment of those owning smaller units regarding their responsibility to the special assessment charges. Florida condominium associations and condominium unit owners should talk to an experienced real estate attorney, before taking actions to change assessment allocations. Inappropriate actions may lead to class action lawsuits, and condominium association liens on an individual unit owners’ property for the special assessment amounts if they do not come to terms on what each unit owner is responsible for.
Hire a lawyer.
Before refusing to pay, or paying an amount a unit owner deems appropriate for their unit size, property owners should consult with a Florida real estate attorney to determine if there is any legal action to be taken to cure the situation. The attorneys at Legal Counsel, P.A. will offer guidance and represent you against disputes with your condominium association when the current Florida laws support such actions.
Legal Counsel, P.A.
189 S. Orange Ave., Ste. 1800
Orlando, Florida 32801
Florida Rules of Civil Procedure Updated (floridabar.org)
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