THE KEY TO HAPPINESS OR THEFT?
Published January 31, 2020
Many unit-owners are
refusing to hand over the keys to their units, even if the
governing docs require them to do so.
718.111 [(5) RIGHT
OF ACCESS TO UNITS.]
doesnt really say that the owner has to hand over a key to the
association, the statutes just say: The association has the
irrevocable right of access to each unit during reasonable
hours, when necessary for the maintenance, repair, or
replacement of any common elements or of any portion of a unit
to be maintained by the association pursuant to the declaration
or as necessary to prevent damage to the common elements or to a
is clearly no mention about the requirement to hand a key over
to the association, but many governing documents require a key
in the possession of the association.
definitely understand why many owners are reluctant to hand over
keys to management. In many associations the keys are not placed
in a secure place, with many people having easy access to the
keys. Considering the many complaints I receive from
unit-owners, these keys are often used for other purposes than
intended, as described in the statutes as maintenance,
repair, or replacement of any common elements.
have found on videos from surveillance cameras that staff or
other people have been in their units, watched TV, helped
themselves to drinks or even worse. I even know of a case where
the association manager rented out the unit to strangers,
knowing that the owners would only return late autumn.
many cases property was stolen, but since there is no proof of
illegal entry to the unit, the insurance companies refuse to
opinion, the associations, if they require unit-owners to hand
over their key, should be legally required to keep these keys at
a safe place and should keep a log, who used the key, who
entered the unit with date and time.
day and time we are talking all the time about PRIVACY.
In my opinion people entering the homes without the presence of
the owner is definitely a SERIOUS INVASION OF PRIVACY.
||Jan Bergemann is president of Cyber Citizens For Justice,
's largest state-wide property owners' advocacy group.
CCFJ works on legislation to help owners living in
associations. He moved to
in 1995 - hoping to retire. He moved into a HOA, where the
developer cheated the homeowners and used the association dues
for his own purposes. End of retirement!
CCFJ was born in the year 2000, when some owners met in
- finding out that power is only in numbers. Bergemann was a
member of Governor Jeb Bush's HOA Task force in 2003/2004.
The organization has two websites to inform interested
homeowners and condo owners:
News Website: http://www.ccfj.net/.
Educational Website: http://www.ccfjfoundation.net/.
We think that only owners can really represent owners, since all
service providers surely have a different interest! We are
trying to create owner-friendly laws, but the best laws are
useless without enforcement. And enforcement is totally lacking