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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
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I own a unit in a condominium. I have repeatedly requested

Customer Question

I own a unit in a condominium. I have repeatedly requested that the condominium association make repairs to the building that are the responsibility of the association. Other than a few "band-aids", nothing has been done. The unit is now in such bad shape from water leakage, mold, termites, and dry rot that i is no longer suitable for human habitation.
I sent a certified demand letter to the registered agent and all members of the board of directors demanding a response within 15 days for a plan for repairs be made. I have received no response.
What type of document do I have to file in court to force the association to make repairs. My estimate of the necessary repairs is over $10,000.00 and my losses of income for the property are significant/
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

My name is Lucy and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear about your situation.

The way to force the association to make repairs is to file a Complaint for Breach of Fiduciary Duty. What that does is explain to the judge that the association is not doing the things that they are legally required to do. As part of the requested relief, you can ask the judge to order the board members to make necessary repairs (state what they are). You can also ask the judge to remove the board members for cause and allow for new board members to come in.

The law allows unit owners to go to arbitration to resolve disputes with the board, by filing a Petition with the Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation and paying a $50 fee. The dispute will be heard by an attorney. The arbitration is not binding (unless you agree that it will be), but may help provide for a faster resolution. The statute also allows a prevailing party to collect attorney's fees, so you may want to contact a local attorney for assistance. Before filing the statute requires that the unit owner give the board a written notice, with three requirements:
1. Advance written notice of the specific nature of the dispute;2. A demand for relief, and a reasonable opportunity to comply or to provide the relief; and3. Notice of the intention to file an arbitration petition or other legal action in the absence of a resolution of the dispute.

I know you said that you sent a demand letter, but if you wanted to use the mediation procedure, the notice would specifically have to state the intent to file an arbitration petition. Sending the notice via certified mail is one way to ensure that there is proof it was received. Here is the form for the Petition, which has instructions.
http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/lsc/documents/ARB6000-001PetitionforArbitrationeff70304.pdf

If you have any questions or concerns about what I've written, please reply so that I may address them. It's important to me that you are 100% satisfied with the service I provide. Otherwise, please rate my service positively so that I get credit for answering your question. Thank you.

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