The recent tragedy in Surfside has shed light on safety issues in condo buildings in Florida. With so many injured and allegations that the condominium association board was aware of the problems, many are asking “why didn’t they fix the problems?” Unfortunately, most condominium association boards are composed of volunteers, and their responsibilities vary from organizing social events and dealing with parking problems to handling complaints and addressing safety issues. These volunteer boards usually do not have the expertise or manpower to handle technical details related to cracks in the foundation of the building or financing options. And so, much like the Surfside condominium situation, problems sometimes not only sit but get worse when not properly handled.
Condominium Owner Associations (COA) are governed by bylaws, which list the duties and responsibilities of the association to its owner-members. While details of bylaws may change from one organization to another, they are all likely to include certain elements, as listed below.