We live in a condominium of 20 units in Coconut Grove, Florida.
Our 1981 condo documents say the acceptable hurricane protection is the vertical metal shutter.
5-6 years ago, two unit owners, both on the board at the time, put up Armor Hurricane screens.
I cannot find the minutes where board approval was requested, or recieved. One unit owner stipulates the board approved them.
They were never asked to remove them, fined, or placed in violation.
Last March I, and my neighbor, made a presentation to the board regarding the screens and I emailed the President of the board that we were going to pull permits and have them installed.
The board meeting was adjourned with no decision. We never received an approval or denial from the board.
Seven months later we installed the screens with permits. The Building Manager, also the secretary/treasurer on the board, was aware of the permits and the installation. Nothing was said. We have received nothing formal from the board regarding our screens.
The only "permanent" parts of the screens are the screws in the floor and ceiling. These are the same screws needed by the vertical shutters. There are no tracks like those needed for the vertical shutters. The screens go up before a storm, and come down after a storm.
All information regarding these screens can be found at Hurricanefabric.com.
One of the units has since sold. The screens were not an issue in the sale.
I now have my unit on the market, have a buyer, accepted the offer. He met with the president and secretary/treasurer of the association and was told the closing would be delayed until the issue with the screens was resolved...they needed to come down.
There have been numerous issues of selective enforcement in this building and I believe this is just one more example. If we lose the buyer because of this, do we have grounds for a lawsuit?
Your advice on this matter would be greatly appreciated as we have a board meeting on Tuesday night, the screens are on the agenda, and I have been told by one of board members that she and the president are going to go after every "violation" in the building.
These are the two members who met with our prospective buyer.
Submitted: 233 days and 8 hours ago. Category: Real Estate Law Value: $79 Status: CLOSED
State/Country relating to question: Florida
Actually, under these circumstances, I do believe that you would have grounds to sue if you lose the sale because of this. If yours was the only unit that had these particular screens and the board suddenly decided to enforce the condo documents against you, there really would not be much you could do about it except to go back and comply with their wishes if they wanted you to abide by the original condo documents. However, because these screens were installed on at least one other unit and nothing was said or done while that owner owned the unit and sold the unit, you do have an argument here for selective enforcement against the HOA board if they start trying to make you make changes to the hurricane protection at this late date in the game. My suggestion is to go to this meeting and make this very argument -- first, it is a case of selective enforcement because nothing was done about the other unit all of these years AND because nothing has been done in all of these years regarding the change of the screens, the board has pretty much acquiesced to the changes that were made so many years ago and now they are trying to create a hardship for you at this late date. If that doesn't seem to work, I suggest that you consult with a local lawyer and ask the lawyer to send them a "cease and desist" letter to stop saying negative things and threatening your potential purchasers and if you lose the sale, you will take legal action against the board. To find a local attorney for these matters, you should contact your local county bar association -- they all have referral services that will refer you to several lawyers in this specialty in your area.