Does Condo Board Need to Report Burglaries to Unit Residents?

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M.S. from Florida writes:

Dear Mister Condo,

Is a Palm Beach County, Florida condo board prohibited from informing residents about burglaries?

Mister Condo replies:

M.S., in my opinion, quite the opposite is more likely true. An attorney friend of mine from Florida, named Lisa Magill from the prestigious community association law firm of Becker & Poliakoff wrote an article in 2012 that addressed a similar situation. Kindly give the article a good read at your convenience – http://www.floridacondohoalawblog.com/2012/02/articles/operations/association-liability-for-criminal-attacks/

I am not an attorney and I offer no legal advice in this column. However, it would seem to me that if burglaries are occurring with any frequency within the condo and the condo Board and/or property management was aware of these crimes and did nothing to communicate the potential danger to condo residents, they would run the risk of being sued by a victim living in the condo who was never warned by the association that such activity was occurring. That was certainly the case in the story mentioned by Attorney Magill.

My advice would be for the Board to speak with their community association attorney about this issue and get a current legal opinion. Case law often dictates what the best policy is. Of course, the Board should want to do all that it can to protect the unit owners and reduce association liability. A qualified legal opinion from association counsel should help them do just that. Good luck!

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