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Last updated: Tuesday, November 6, 2007

 

Our Neighbor’s from down stairs had the Shrubs Removed and Built a Patio.

The other day while inspecting a two story condominium buildings, I noticed something out of place. Some of the front porches had been remodeled. The former landscape, yellow flowers and sod were missing and had recently been replaced by red pavers.

It was later learned that some members received Board approval to have their porch transformed into a patio area. The newly remodeled patios consist of picnic tables, chairs, table-umbrellas and the like.

Most condominium documents do not allow for this type of personal use. As we all know, the Association owns common property.

Since some of the Board members had approved such patio installations, the Association must now “cease and desist”.

Now that the damage is done, here are a couple of ways the problem could be resolved. (A) The Directors could elect to remove the pavers and re-landscape at the expense of the Association. (B) The pavers could simply remain in place. But if a disgruntled unit owner wishes to file a complaint, the Association would be forced to bring the patio areas back to the original condition.

If not provided for in the applicable documents, a seventy five percent (75%) unit owner (members) vote and a special meeting would be required to allow for the patio installation, which would be considered a “material change”. Please see Florida Statute below:

718.113  Maintenance; limitation upon improvement;
(1)  Maintenance of the common elements is the responsibility of the association. The declaration may provide that certain limited common elements shall be maintained by those entitled to use the limited common elements or that the association shall provide the maintenance, either as a common expense or with the cost shared only by those entitled to use the limited common elements. If the maintenance is to be by the association at the expense of only those entitled to use the limited common elements, the declaration shall describe in detail the method of apportioning such costs among those entitled to use the limited common elements, and the association may use the provisions of s. 718.116 to enforce payment of the shares of such costs by the unit owners entitled to use the limited common elements.
(2)(a)  Except as otherwise provided in this section, there shall be no material alteration or substantial additions to the common elements or to real property which is association property, except in a manner provided in the declaration as originally recorded or as amended under the procedures provided therein. If the declaration as originally recorded or as amended under the procedures provided therein does not specify the procedure for approval of material alterations or substantial additions, 75 percent of the total voting interests of the association must approve the alterations or additions.
(b)  There shall not be any material alteration of, or substantial addition to, the common elements of any condominium operated by a multicondominium association unless approved in the manner provided in the declaration of the affected condominium or condominiums as originally recorded or as amended under the procedures provided therein. If a declaration as originally recorded or as amended under the procedures provided therein does not specify a procedure for approving such an alteration or addition, the approval of 75 percent of the total voting interests of each affected condominium is required. This subsection does not prohibit a provision in any declaration, articles of incorporation, or bylaws as originally recorded or as amended under the procedures provided therein requiring the approval of unit owners in any condominium operated by the same association or requiring board approval before a material alteration or substantial addition to the common elements is permitted. This paragraph is intended to clarify existing law and applies to associations existing on the effective date of this act.
(c)  There shall not be any material alteration or substantial addition made to association real property operated by a multicondominium association, except as provided in the declaration, articles of incorporation, or bylaws as originally recorded or as amended under the procedures provided therein. If the declaration, articles of incorporation, or bylaws as originally recorded or as amended under the procedures provided therein do not specify the procedure for approving an alteration or addition to association real property, the approval of 75 percent of the total voting interests of the association is required. This paragraph is intended to clarify existing law and applies to associations existing on the effective date of this act.
(3)  A unit owner shall not do anything within his or her unit or on the common elements which would adversely affect the safety or soundness of the common elements or any portion of the association property or condominium property which is to be maintained by the association.

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