Maintenance costs may complicate condo ownership

Real estate is still considered a quintessential part of the American Dream. Owning and managing property is one of the main ways to increase income and launch a family into a new economic class.

Florida is home to many different types of home ownership, from homesteads on large pieces of rural land to condominiums that allow owners to claim an apartment in a larger building. In the case of shared ownership in the same building or area, shared maintenance issues may become contentious between owners and managers.

The general rule in the Sunshine State is that the condominium association, which usually collects maintenance fees from owners and residents, is responsible for damage caused by weather events and other environmental causes beyond simple wear and tear. Florida law also requires insurance on windows and other specific parts of buildings for these associations.

There are times that association leaders such as board members will debate with owners over their responsibilities, especially if an expense is high and the circumstances are vague. Most of the time, no one involved in the dispute is a qualified engineer or expert, so it is often advisable to prepare a solid case against maintenance, repair and replacement fees and costs you are not willing to accept.

Legal representation may often be an advisable tool in real estate transactions or disputes involving legal or structural complexity. An attorney will be able to check and verify all involved real estate laws and building codes to assist in making valid points to judges, juries, mediators and others involved in disputes.

Source: TC Palm, “Who is responsible for repairing leaky condo windows?,” Steven J. Adamczyk, April 22, 2018

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