W.W. from Pinellas County, Florida writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
We own the center unit of a 3-unit condominium property. There is a dock that extends at the end of our property. The other owners have told us that we are the only ones who can build, actually rebuild the lift. The pilings and electric are there for the lift. The old lift was removed before we bought the condo last year. The other 2 owners want to remove our existing dock and build 2 new, different docks behind their units. What rights do we have to retain our property as purchased with this center dock?
Mister Condo replies:
W.W., I am not an attorney and offer no legal advice in this column. My guess is that your deed explains exactly what you purchased and will determine what rights, if any, you have in this matter. If the dock(s) are actually owned in common as an association asset, there may be little you can do as the majority (2 out of 3) owners have “voted” in favor or replacing the dock. Small associations like yours are very tricky when it comes to governance of common elements because the assumption is that the dock was “yours” when, in fact, it might not have been. You will need to look at your deed and your association governance documents for the answers. I hope it goes your way but you may need an attorney to assist you in reading and interpreting your documents to determine how this turns out. All the best!