D.K. from Broward County, Florida writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
Hi, our condominium association built boat docks in the mid 1990’s. My question is: do the boat docks need to be included as a structure within our Governing Documents? A boat dock was built without a vote from our association members. The association states since the dock was built and lease agreements were given out, the residents that have leases are grandfathered in. As our units are described in our Governing Docks, including some mention of our docks are not. Thanks for any feedback.
Mister Condo replies:
D.K., when the association undertook the construction of the boat docks, they effectively added a common element to the association. The fact that it may have been built without a proper vote of association members is not unusual and you may be able to make a case that it was not proper but since it happened almost 30 years ago and has not been challenged until now would make for a very weak case against the association, in my opinion. I am not an attorney and offer no legal advice in this column. As a common element of the association, the docks are under direct control of the Board. If the Board used a lease agreement system to manage the dock allocation, there may be little else to be done. There should be some type of waiting list offered for unit owners to apply for a lease should one become available. It isn’t an ideal situation but other than a change in the membership of the Board willing to reexamine the dock usage and lease agreements, there may be little else to be done. All the best!