Albert Moore, Attorney at Law

What Are Alternative Dispute Resolution Methods For Community Associations?


There are 2 kinds of alternative dispute methods for community associations. One is mediation the other is arbitration. Depending on the type of issue, a dispute involving a condominium must be arbitrated before either party can sue. These arbitrations are handled by the State of Florida Division of Condominiums Mobile Homes and Time Shares. Depending on the type of issue, a dispute involving an HOA must be mediated. This would be handled by a private mediator jointly selected by both parties. Voluntary mediations can take place at any time by the parties and the mediator would be a private mediator selected by both parties.

How Can HOA And Condominium Association Disputes Be Resolved Without Going To Court?

Cases can be negotiated, mediated or arbitrated all of which may result in a settlement prior to going to court. Those matters should involve the hiring of an experienced condo or HOA attorney. If those attempts fail, then the parties may have to go to court for a resolution of the matter at hand.

Can An Owner Sue A HOA Or A Condominium Association And Vice Versa?

Yes, an owner can sue a condominium association or Home Owner Association and conversely those associations can sue an owner. However, as stated above, there may be a requirement to mediate or arbitrate before either party can file a lawsuit.

What Factors Should Someone Consider When Purchasing Real Estate?

A potential owner should review or have an experienced lawyer review all the governing documents prior to such a purchase. This would include the Declaration of Condominium or Declaration of Covenants, the Bylaws and the Rules and Regulations. Such review would inform a potential buyer of issues such as leasing, parking, meeting information, and modifications which can or cannot be made to the residence.

What Questions Should Someone Ask When Purchasing Real Estate?

The first question would be to request an estoppel from the title company, real estate agent or attorney which would let the prospective buyer know if there are any outstanding assessments or related fees and costs for which the new owner would be responsible. The owner should also be clear on when assessments come due, some are monthly some are due quarterly and the amounts of the assessments.

What Restrictions Or Limitations Are Entailed In Purchasing A Condominium?

With condominiums, the owners share certain parts of the buildings and property governed by the association. These are called common elements or limited common elements. An owner may be restricted on modifying certain parts of the residence or must get prior approval from the board of directors or another committee prior to making such modifications. There may be parking restrictions, access restrictions, lease restrictions and many other use restrictions. That is why it is important to have the governing documents reviewed by an experienced attorney to understand what rights are available and what rights may be restricted.

What Are The Bylaws And How Do They Work?

Bylaws govern the way the association operates. It sets forth the way directors are appointed or elected and the method of appointing the officers. It also sets the guidelines for how board meetings and member meetings are noticed and how these meetings are to be run.

For more information on Alternative Dispute Resolutions, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (772) 919-2542 today.

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