Ideally, after the lien foreclosure is completed, a certificate of title has issued, and the Association has obtained a Writ of Possession, the Association will have the Sheriff come and serve the Writ of Possession, and at that time, while the Sheriff is still on site, all personal property of the unit owner will be removed from the unit to the curb. However, sometimes personal property is left in the unit and the Board says “What do we do with all this stuff?”
The answer is found in Chapter 715, Florida Statutes. Although addressed to tenancies, that Chapter provides that a statutory form of notice must be sent to the former occupant describing in detail the property left behind, advising them where the property is being held for storage, and further advising that upon payment of the reasonable costs of storage and advertising, they may reclaim their property. The notice must further specify that if the property is not claimed within the statutorily proscribed time, the property may be sold at public auction, and the proceeds (after costs) will be paid to the county in which the property is located (which may be claimed by the owner within one year of receiving the money). If the property is believed to be worth less than $500.00, the notice may also advise that the property may be kept, sold, or destroyed without further notice (after the time to reclaim the property stated in the notice has passed).
In a case that can help define what home or condominium owners or members can expect from their association, a family living in a Palm Beach condo has sued its association, contending a temporary staircase to the beach is dangerous.
The married couple claims the staircase does not provide their disabled child adequate access to the beach directly in front of the family’s condominium unit.
Their unit, at Sloan’s Curve on Palm Beach, is steps from the sand. But the family must carry son, Justin, 11, down the stairs. Instead of using the slippery stairs – which the association had said were temporary in an effort to prevent beach erosion, the family used to push Justin’s wheelchair through a break in the dunes. Then, the Association let the dunes grow thick with natural vegetation.
What can the family – or any resident in a similar situation – expect from the association and the law?
To its credit, the family hired an architect to draft plans to gain easier, safer access to the beach. According to the family, they were told by the Association to use a public beach. The family filed a lawsuit seeking accommodations for their disabled son, according to news reports.
Federal housing law and the Fair Housing Act require that associations make reasonable accommodations to disabled individuals in order to allow them to have the benefit of the homes in which they live.
Such accommodations or modifications must be made at the owner’s expense. But to comply with federal law, the association must permit reasonable modifications to be made.
While the article was unclear as to what the association’s hold up or objection may have been, the law is clear: Requests for reasonable accommodations must be granted, and the expense falls to the unit owner.
Learn more at Chapnick Community Association Law, P.A.
100 East Linton Blvd., Suite 502B
Delray Beach, Florida 33483
(561) 330-3096 – voice
(561) 330-3098 – facsimile
(866) 942-6636 – toll-free voice
(866) 503-7457 – toll-free facsimile
Condominium owners who volunteer to become members of the association’s board of directors often believe they’re performing a good deed for the community. Often, they are. Yet, as any attorney will attest, serving on an association board is a significant responsibility – one that requires education and knowledge of the vast rules and regulations facing associations.
Among the areas members must have some knowledge include Assessments / Maintenance, Association Law, Collections, Community Association Management, Construction Defects, Disaster Preparedness / Recovery, Dispute Resolution, Fair Housing / FHA, Financial / Accounting, Governance, Lien / Foreclosure and Record Keeping.
SB 706 - Condominiums
(2) After all parties have been served and not earlier
than 48 days after the filing of the foreclosure case, any party
may request a case management conference at which the court
shall set definite timetables for moving the case forward. If
any other hearings are set in the case, the case management
conference shall be conducted at the same time as the scheduled
case. At the conference, the court may grant extensions or stays
in the proceedings on a showing that the plaintiff and property
owner defendant are engaged in mediation or good faith
negotiations with regard to a loan modification or other
settlement only if the property owner pays, or the lender agrees
to pay, applicable condominium, cooperative, or homeowners’
association assessments coming due after the entry of the
extension or stay and keeps such assessments paid current
through the conclusion of the foreclosure action.
Service of process on the registered agent of a condominium association