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Rights of a condo owner

August 24, 2018
By ERIC FEICHTHALER - Real Estate Law , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Dear Mr. Feichthaler,

I live in a two-bedroom condominium near city hall, and have been there for 10 years. During the recession, a single buyer bought up the majority of units, and has control of the board. Since that time, the maintenance has gone downhill, meetings do not occur as they should, and no financial reports are provided. Do I have any rights?

- Colleen M.

Dear Colleen:

Condominium owners in Florida have rights that are written in Chapter 718 of the Florida Statutes. These include receiving notices for all board meetings, special assessment meetings and the annual meeting. You also should receive notices regarding elections, as provided in the bylaws. You also have the right to receive annual financial reports, within 120 days of the end of the fiscal year of the condominium.

If you haven't already done so, you should reach out to the board president or management company if your condominium has one, and request all of the items you have not been receiving from them. You should also demand they maintain the property in a professional and generally-accepted manner. Any disputes that extend beyond your requests are generally required to be brought to mandatory non-binding arbitration, and after that, to court.

I know it can be difficult in situations like this, where you are outnumbered. One option to consider is a sale to the majority owner. If you can get an appropriate sales price, and have a good alternative to move to, this may be a good idea for you to pursue.

Eric P. Feichthaler has lived in Cape Coral for over 30 years and graduated from Mariner High School in Cape Coral. After completing law school at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., he returned to Southwest Florida to practice law and raise a family. He served as mayor of Cape Coral from 2005-2008, and continues his service to the community through the Cape Coral Caring Center, Cape Coral Historical Museum, and Cape Coral Kiwanis. He has been married to his wife, Mary, for over 17 years, and they have four children together. He earned his board certification in Real Estate Law from the Florida Bar. He is AV Preeminent rated by Martindale-Hubbell for professional ethics and legal ability, and is a Supreme Court Certified Circuit Civil Mediator.

This article is general in nature and not intended as legal advice to anyone. Individuals should seek legal counsel before acting on any matter of legal rights and obligations.



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