Sitting on a Brick Wall Overlooking the Canal at the Florida Condo: Yes or No?

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E.V. from Florida writes:

Dear Mister Condo,

Hi! Because of recent complaints I filed with the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation, the President of the condo is retaliating against me. Due to a back condition, I sit on a brick wall by the canal which is about 4 feet high so I can receive the sun’s rays. I have a physical disability. The Presidents says that when I sit over there I am risking a fall that would result in me suing the association. I have been doing this for about two months. If I was looking to do something like this, I would have done it already. He put a sign by the wall which says “Caution: Do Not Seat”. Does he have the authority to do this? If I keep on sitting there, what could he legally do about it? I called the police and they said they cannot make me move from there. So far, he has not given me a written warning.

Mister Condo replies:

E.V., I am sorry for your back condition. I am sure your physical disability is a great burden to deal with. However, you really can’t blame someone who is trying to prevent you from injuring yourself with a fall from a wall. Further, the association president has to think about all of the other unit owners, not just you, with regards to the liability of the association in the event you did fall and get hurt. I am not certain what legal authority the Board President has to place a sign on a wall or what authority he has to enforce the “Do Not Seat” activity he is trying to prevent but I need to ask you is this a fight you really want to have? Is there no place else you can sit that wouldn’t put yourself in danger of falling and the association in danger of being sued if you do? From the tone of your letter and the fact that you have already filed a complaint against the president of the condo, I am guessing that you and he are going to continue to lock horns regardless of what advice I give you but here it goes: Stop sitting on the brick wall. Walls are not for sitting. Get yourself a nice outdoor chair that you can sit in. You’ll enjoy the sun and your Board president won’t have to worry about you getting hurt and suing the association. Seems easy enough, doesn’t it? Good luck!

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