Florida Keys Condo and Homeowners Lawyer
The southernmost city in the continental United States, Key West is a tropical paradise and popular vacation spot. Condominiums and residential housing communities are convenient for residents or vacationers who want low-maintenance home ownership with high community standards. Unfortunately, residents’ dealings with condominium and homeowners’ associations can lead to disputes. These associations have many rules, but Florida law governs them strictly. If you have a dispute, an attorney who is familiar with how condo and homeowners’ associations work can represent your interests.
Homeowner’s associations (HOAs) govern neighborhoods to protect aesthetic standards and prevent neglectful homeowners from driving down property values. The association owns any common areas in the neighborhood, and homes are governed by covenants.
Covenants are promises made by the owners of property to do or refrain from doing certain things, and are made in conjunction with the purchase of the property. Common HOA covenants may include rules governing, for example, fence height, types of pets, the number of cars that may be parked, or the placement of satellite dishes. Homeowners who plan to modify their homes, such as by cutting down trees, painting, or building additions, are generally required to obtain approval from the HOA board. Most covenants run with the land, which means that even if the property is sold to another person, the covenant remains in force.
Condominiums let people buy homes in areas that may otherwise be out of their price range. When you buy a condo, you own it outright, but also gain membership in the condo association, which is similar to buying stock in a company. The common areas of the condo building and property are owned by the unit owners, collectively.
Condos are governed by the rules and bylaws of the condo association, and require the payment of fees. The rules for a condo are often similar to the covenants in neighborhoods governed by HOAs. The association’s board may be made up of unit owners, or unit owners may appoint representatives to act on their behalf if permitted by the governing documents.
Covenants and Rules
Sometimes, HOAs and condo associations try to enforce rules unjustly. They may enforce rules on only some homeowners, or may impose unfair changes to the rules. Associations may ask you to do or refrain from doing things that are not in the rules, and to which you did not agree. If your HOA or condo association is acting unfairly, we can represent your interests and work to protect your rights.
Ownership in an HOA-governed neighborhood or membership in a condo association requires the payment of fees and dues. But sometimes an association will try to assess unfair fees, or will charge you fees without doing the work for which the fees are paid. We can help you make sure you do not have to pay unfair dues or fees.
Condo associations and HOAs are useful in many ways, but sometimes they overstep their authority. If you have become embroiled in a dispute with your neighborhood association, please contact a real estate attorney at the Silver Law Group for an initial consultation.