We all know that the condo and
HOA statutes contain differences that often times donít make any
sense. Letís review two more instances of there being no real
justification for differences among the statutes.
In an HOA, before the Board
files suit, there is a statute they need to consider:
720.303(1): Before commencing
litigation against any party in the name of the association
involving amounts in controversy in excess of $100,000, the
association must obtain the affirmative approval of a majority
of the voting interests at a meeting of the membership at which
a quorum has been attained.
So, letís say there is a
lawsuit contemplated against the developer involving amounts in
excess of $100,000.00. The statute clearly states that a vote
of the owners is required before commencing litigation.
Interestingly enough, there is no similar
provision in the condominium statute. Why? Why does the board
have the power to file suit in one type of community but not in
another type of community?
In a condominium, after a lawsuit is filed
against an association, the association may have the following
718.119(3) In any legal action in which
the association may be exposed to liability in excess of
insurance coverage protecting it and the unit owners, the
association shall give notice of the exposure within a
reasonable time to all unit owners, and they shall have the
right to intervene and defend.
As Iím sure you guessed by now, there is no
similar provision in the HOA statute. Why do owners in a condo
deserve to be told there may not be enough insurance, but HOA
owners donít get the same courtesy?
Finally, 718.501 regarding condominiums
(2)(a) Each condominium association
which operates more than two units shall pay to the division an
annual fee in the amount of $4 for each residential unit in
condominiums operated by the association. If the fee is not paid
by March 1, the association shall be assessed a penalty of 10
percent of the amount due, and the association will not have
standing to maintain or defend any action in the courts of this
state until the amount due, plus any penalty, is paid.
Because HOAs are not regulated by the DBPR,
HOAs are under no obligation to pay a $4.00 per unit fee.
Condos that donít however, are barred from the courthouse unless
Itís like the more you dig, the more you see
differences in condominium and HOA law that simply cannot be
explained. Iím starting to think that it may be time for one
ďcommunity associationĒ statute rather than the often times
silly differences that currently exist between the various
community association statutes. What are your thoughts?