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Can my condo association use special assessment funds for something other than what the assessment was originally collected for?
No. Condo bylaw (F.S. 718.116(10)) requires money collected via special
HOA assessment to be used only for the purpose stated in the notice of the
meeting called to approve the assessment. Upon completion of that
project, the condo association must return excess monies, the condo board choosing
either a refund or credit directly to unit accounts.
While the HOA Act does not have the same specific provision, most HOAs
appear to follow the same restrictions on special assessment use that
apply to condo associations.
What is the requirement for unit owners to maintain condo insurance?
Condo law (F.S. 718.111(11)(g)) contains two paragraphs that spell out
the condo requirements. Generally, unit owners are still required to carry
insurance to protect against hazards and liability. The condo
association must be an additional named insured and loss payee on the
unit owner's casualty insurance policy. In HOA's, there is no
statuatory insurance requirement; thus, owners in those communities
must check their governing condo documents, especially in townhouse
communities which frequently require insurance.
Owners will want to insure their interiors because if a storm, fire or
other casualty occurs, normally the condo association only repairs the walls,
windows and doors. This coverage is helpful, funding reconstruction for
which the unit owner is required to pay, and to provide the unit owner
loss assessment coverage to reimburse some portion of special
HOA assessments required to pay for common element casualty reconstruction
not covered by the condo association's coverage.
Learn more about HOA Loans and Condo Insurance
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What kinds of rules and regulations do Associations regulate?
Typical covenants, codes and restrictions (CC&Rs), which govern
condo associations, give the board authority to make and enforce
reasonable condo rules for the use of common property. But that would not
apply to interior spaces owned by smokers themselves.
A homeowners association's board of directors can restrict smoking
if it applies to indoor common spaces such as hallways or recreation
rooms. Outdoor spaces are a different story, say legal experts. Any
restriction would probably hinge on local laws (i.e. if a city banned
smoking outdoors, a condo association probably could restrict
smoking in its outdoor spaces).
The 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act does not require strictly
residential apartments and single-family homes to be made accessible.
But all new construction of public accommodations or commercial
projects (such as a government building or a shopping mall) must be
accessible. New multi-family construction also falls into this category.
In all states, the Federal Fair Housing Act provides protection
against discrimination for people with physical or mental disabilities.
Discrimination includes the refusal to make reasonable modifications to
buildings that aren't accessible to the disabled.
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