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Hurricane Protection Installation and Expenses for Florida’s Condominium Associations
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Hurricane Protection Installation and Expenses for Florida’s Condominium Associations

October 25, 2013 Community Association Industry Legal Blog

Reading Time: 4 minutes


Section 718.113(5), Florida Statutes, governs the installation of various materials for hurricane protection that Florida’s condominium associations must abide by.  Section 718.115(1)(e), Florida Statutes, governs the allocation of expenses for the hurricane protection installation.  Both of these sections were amended by the Florida legislature in 2013.  This blog is to provide a brief overview of the main provisions of these statutes in light of those recent changes.

To begin with, each condo association board must adopt hurricane shutter specifications for each building within the condominium operated by the association, and all adopted specifications must comply with applicable building codes.  Fla. Stat. § 718.113(5) (2013).  Beyond that, what the condo association must do depends in large part on what its declaration of condominium says.  The Florida Statutes provide that the board may install hurricane shutters, impact glass, code-compliant windows or doors, etc. that comply with or exceed the applicable building code. An approval of a majority of the voting interests of the condominium is necessary for the association to commence such installation; however, a vote of the owners is not required if the declaration of condominium expressly states that the maintenance, repair and replacement of such items are the responsibility of the association.  Fla. Stat. § 718.113(5)(a) (2013).  Conversely, if hurricane protection or laminated glass or window film architecturally designed to function as hurricane protection, which also meets the applicable building code, has been previously installed, the board may not install hurricane shutters, impact glass, code-compliant windows or doors, etc. without approval by a majority vote of the voting interests.  Id.

The association is responsible for the maintenance, repair and replacement of the hurricane shutters, impact glass, code-compliant windows or doors, etc., but only if such items are the responsibility of the association according its declaration of condominium.  If the declaration of condominium states that such items are the responsibility of the unit owners, then the maintenance, repair and replacement of such items are also the responsibility of the unit owners, not the association.  Fla. Stat. § 718.113(5)(b) (2013).  The board may also operate shutters, impact glass, code-compliant windows or doors, etc. without the permission of the unit owners but only if such operation is necessary to preserve and protect the condominium association property.  The installation, replacement, operation, repair, and maintenance of such items according to the procedures set for in that statute are not considered a material alteration to the common elements or association property.  Fla. Stat. § 718.113(5)(c) (2013).  Also, if the declaration of condominium requires owner approval, the board may not refuse to approve the installation or replacement of hurricane shutters, impact glass, code-compliant window or doors, etc. by a unit owner conforming to the specifications adopted by the board.  Fla. Stat. § 718.113(5)(d) (2013).

The undertaking of such hurricane protection installation will obviously come with quite a bit of expense, and the allocation of that expense is where Section 718.115(1)(e), Florida Statutes, becomes helpful.  The expenses associated with the installation, replacement, operation, repair and maintenance of those above-mentioned hurricane protection materials constitutes a common expense and shall be collected by the association if the declaration of condominium expressly states that the association is solely responsible for such things.  Fla. Stat. § 718.115(1)(e) (2013).  However, if the declaration of condominium states that the responsibility for such things falls to the unit owners then that expense is not considered a common expense to be collected by the association, but rather, is an expense that shall be charged individually to unit owners based on the cost appurtenant to the unit.  Id.

A unit owner who has previously installed hurricane shutters, impact glass, or code-compliant windows or doors in accordance with the Florida Statutes and applicable building code shall receive a credit if the association decides to install such items uniformly on the property.  Id.  A unit owner who installed other items of code-compliant hurricane protection shall receive a credit if the association decides to install that same item uniformly, and the credit shall be equal to the pro rata portion of the assessed installation cost assigned to each unit.  Id.  It is important to note that the change to the law is that an owner will only receive credit when the association installs the same exact type of hurricane protection already existing on the unit.  The unit owner will remain responsible for any additional pro rata share of expenses for hurricane protection installation installed on common elements and association property by the board pursuant to Section 718.113(5), Florida Statutes.  Id.

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