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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Miramar, Florida, United States
    Posts
    1

    Exclamation What Laws Make Condo Associations Accountable for Safe Storage of Unit Keys

    My question involves a condominium located in the State of: Florida (South Florida.

    We learned that there is a Florida Statute (718.111) that indicates that condo association managers have the "irrevocable right" to enter units in case of emergency or mainteinance procedures.

    Our condo association is asking for us to give them a copy of our key.

    We feel unsafe giving them a copy of the key. They claimed that they'll keep it under lock and key, but when we saw it, it is only stored among everyone else's keys in what looks like a chocolate box, in the drawer of the main desk of the condo office. And there's quite a lot of mainteinance people coming in and out of the office, which just makes us worry that anyone has access to the keys.

    We want to bring this issue up to the association; however, I cannot find any laws about keeping these folks accountable for safeguarding the keys. Is there any precedent or law that can ensure the safety of access to my home?

    I have heard horror stories about people having a break-in and not being able to file a theft report because there are actually no signs of forced entry (because the thief had the key!). I am hoping this is not a storm in a glass of water, any help will be appreciated.

    - maryjfl

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    1,995

    Default Re: What Laws Make Condo Associations Accountable for Safe Storage of Unit Keys

    Quote Quoting maryjfl
    View Post
    My question involves a condominium located in the State of: Florida (South Florida.

    We learned that there is a Florida Statute (718.111) that indicates that condo association managers have the "irrevocable right" to enter units in case of emergency or mainteinance procedures.

    Our condo association is asking for us to give them a copy of our key.

    We feel unsafe giving them a copy of the key. They claimed that they'll keep it under lock and key, but when we saw it, it is only stored among everyone else's keys in what looks like a chocolate box, in the drawer of the main desk of the condo office. And there's quite a lot of mainteinance people coming in and out of the office, which just makes us worry that anyone has access to the keys.

    We want to bring this issue up to the association; however, I cannot find any laws about keeping these folks accountable for safeguarding the keys. Is there any precedent or law that can ensure the safety of access to my home?

    I have heard horror stories about people having a break-in and not being able to file a theft report because there are actually no signs of forced entry (because the thief had the key!). I am hoping this is not a storm in a glass of water, any help will be appreciated.

    - maryjfl
    If that is the state law, then you would have to comply. I owned condos that I live in and rent out, as well as houses and apartments, and condo bylaws as well as leases also provides that the condo PM or landlord is to have a key.

    I had a business where we had to safekeep customers car keys. Our insurance requires that keys be kept in a steel box under lock and key. One problem is if it is not in a chocolate box inside someones drawer, you can have everyone's keys locked up, the keeper of the key goes to lunch, and "presto", you DON'T HAVE A KEY for any emergency.

    So as to the question of accountability of keys, they obvioulsy would have liability insurance, and usually the requirements are spelled out there.

    Legally, the PM can break down the door and hold the unit owner or tenant responsible for any resulting damages. I had to do this a few times in my landlording, where an emergency arose, I found the key provided by the tenant to be inoperable ( he gave me the key then changed the locks ) and I had to break the door down.

    My wife had a "work from home" girlfriend, and she had her carbon monixide detector going off. The first day she took out the battery. She put the battery back in, the second day it started going again, so she called "911" this time. The fire department came by with their detection equipment, found the gas leaking in from next store.

    Fortunately, the building manager had the key or they would've SMASHED the door in, because they cannot afford to wait for a locksmith. I was told based on the concentration of gas, the tenant next store would have been unconcious or dead.

    Some tenants of mine was reluctant to provide keys, and I remember one girl in particular where her boyfriend can't get hold of her. He came by, pounded on my door, and asked to be let in because he can't get her by phone. I refused. He came back a few hours later, at first I was going to call the police, but something about the situation made me decide it's an emergency, so I went in with the key. Turned out it was an "attempted suicide", she took a whole bottle of pills. I was told later had I waited another two or so hours, she would've been dead.

    I suggest you install alarms hooked up to a central station if you are that concerned. I told my tenants they can keep their codes secret, and the central station can call them if someone goes in, even with a key. Nowadays, you can even install cameras on your PC that allows you to view goings on in your apartment in real time, or record them for future analysis and enjoyment.

    As to horror stories, they are true. At the first apartment my wife and I lived in, the PM had the keys, looked like someone came in with the keys, and took all of her jewelry. Of course, I can't prove anything as it could be anyone. That's when I installed the alarms.

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