J.B. from Miami-Dade County, Florida writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
I live in a HOA (also carry my CAM License) with 28 townhouses in North Miami Beach. I have two questions:
1) We are rebuilding our HOA common element boat dock. A construction company is working on the repair. Before they finished the repair, boat owners rushed to put their boats back (including some HOA board members). The President parked her boat in a non-authorized parking spot by the BOD. Is that a violation of the Florida State Law (breach of fiduciary duty and abuse of power) and Bylaws (It says BOD will assign spaces)?
2) There is a Construction Company which sent a message to the community and BOD stating that they are not responsible for any boat damages because the boats were not supposed to be back in the construction site until it is finished and one board member said that the boat owners will be responsible for the damage on their boats without asking those boat owners. Is there any Florida State Law which prohibits boats to be back on the construction site before it is finished?
Mister Condo replies:
J.B., I am sorry for the problems this boat dock repair has caused you and your community. While it is important that the community maintains and protects its common elements, it is even more important that it does so in a proper manner. I am not an attorney and offer no legal opinions in this column. If you wish to pursue a legal remedy against your association, you will need to seek the advice of qualified counsel. It would appear that the Board President took advantage of her office to circumvent the best procedure for removing all boats during the construction, which would appear to be what the contractor wanted. I am actually surprised the work was completed with boats in the slips seeing as the contractor requested they be removed as to avoid damage. It would appear that communication was sorely lacking during this whole project which is unfortunate seeing as it isn’t the kind of thing that happens all the time. Whether the action of the president rises to the abuse of power category isn’t for me to decide. Sounds like a stretch to me but people have sued for less. Either way, there is no reason to return to office anyone who abuses their power. I think your best remedy will be at the next election. All the best!