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J. Warren
J. Warren, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 2197
Experience:  Experience in residential real estate and commercial leases.
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I am in the state of Florida. My condo association is doing

Customer Question

I am in the state of Florida. My condo association is doing concrete restoration on our properties. I have requested, by email, a copy of the contract for the work. This was done
almost 15 business days ago. Several emails have been exchanged between myself and the Association Board. They have so far done nothing but ridicule and abuse me by email.
Last correspondence from the Board President was that she doesn't have time to make me a copy and accused me of being a persistent pest.
this morning I ran into two Board members and asked them what their position is in getting me the Contract. One Board member told me since there are many change orders there is no completed contract and therefore it would be impossible to provide me with anything. I told him to review my request, which was for the Contract and change orders TO DATE. he repeated, therefore, would be no contract if the change orders keep coming.
the other Board member told me that an email (despite their) numerous responses to same is NOW not considered a request in writing. where does Florida law stand on this issue. I spoke with DBPR and they said for a legal interpretation of email being "written" I would need to hire an attorney. Seriously????
Can you advise if email request which has been responded to on several occasions acknowledging the request is NOW all of a sudden not a valid request.
thank you
Mindy London
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  J. Warren replied 2 months ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I will be helping you today! It will take me just a few minutes to type a response to your question. Thanks for your patience!

Expert:  J. Warren replied 2 months ago.

That statute does not specifically state an email transmission is considered a "written" request. However, the statute permits the Association to transmit copy of records via email as well as keep records online. It is generally considered that unless the a statute states that a written request must be sent via certified mail, an email request is a proper written request. There is no case law regarding this but common sense and the absence of statutes specifically stating email is not considered a writing logically leads to a conclusion that email request of records that are required to be kept by an association is a written request.

The unfortunate problem you face is that you may be 100% correct but if the association continues to be unreasonable and not provide records as requested you will have to petition for a hearing and/or file a lawsuit seeking an order to compel the production of the contract. This obviously would be ridiculous but if the board continues to be unreasonable it may become necessary.

All my best and encouragement. Thank you for allowing me to help you with your questions. I have done my best to provide information which truthfully addresses your question. Please note: If I tell you simply what you wish to hear, this would be unfair to you. I need to be honest with you and sometimes this means providing information that is not optimal. Negative ratings are reserved for experts who are rude or for erroneous information. Please rate me on the quality of my information; do not punish me for my honesty. Kindly rate my answer as one of TOP THREE FACES/STARS and then SUBMIT, as this is how experts get credit for our time.

Expert:  J. Warren replied 2 months ago.

I just wanted to add, if you want to create a "rebuttable presumption", that is, place the burden on the Association to prove that they did not receive a written request, then it must be mailed via certified mail. Basically what the law is saying is that if you send a request via certified mail and the association does not comply, there is a presumption the association has violated the records statute.

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