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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012

    Default Condo Units in Violation of Building Code

    My question involves a condominium located in the State of: Florida.
    I was on the BOD of a small 10 unit condo in Florida. We installed PGT windows. On the second floor , they had to install a safety railing due to the window seal not being high enough.* The president and treasurer removed these safety railings along with the entire second floor. When I objected I was told I was over reacting and was harassed for my opinion. I resigned for what I see as a liability issue if someone goes out a window and gets hurt our association could be held liable.* I waited for the annual meeting to try and have them removed but in a small condo with half the people upstairs (all of who removed the railing) I was unsuccessful. Now the person that has taken my place also removed his railing so our entire BOD in breaking the rules.*

    *I know the proper course of action to call code enforcement and sue the association for breach of fiduciary responsibility but my question is this. If I do decide to sue the association (against the wishes of my wife as we don't need more stress in our life) is there any guarantee that they will be removed from the board or could they somehow fix the problem and still remain on the board.

    I know all of the people have discarded these railings(about $20K) that were paid for through an association assessment. I did have some question as to who's property this is but have been told that because the railings were installed inside their windows that it's there property. The railings should have been installed on the outside but were installed on the inside specifically so they could be removed.

    I can't even imagine if these people ever try an sell their units. I expressed this sentiment and was told that* no one will catch this, not code enforcement or appraisers or home inspectors.* Any input would be greatly appreciated.**

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Behind a Desk

    Default Re: Condo Units in Violation of Building Code

    A condo association is not obligated to identify and pursue each and every violation by an owner - it can prioritize. You may think that this is a "wink-wink, nudge-nudge" arrangement, or that the board should change its priorities, and you may be right, but of itself that doesn't mean that the board faces legal exposure. The board's lawyer is the proper person to consult to determine if, based upon the full facts, the association could be liable for installing the railings inside the units rather than outside, or for turning a blind eye toward the removal of railings by owners.

    It is not clear at this point that you have standing to sue the board over this issue. You can discuss the details with a real estate lawyer. But you should not expect that a victory in a lawsuit will cause any person to have to resign from the board - just that the board will be expected to comply with the terms of the judgment or settlement.

    If this is a building code issue, perhaps the most sensible path is to report the issue to the building department of your local government such that they can investigate and, based upon the result of their investigation, order any necessary corrective action.

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