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Rights of Renters, Owners & Actions Against the Association

December 22, 2020 FAQs

Reading Time: 3 minutes


Q: Does a renter have the same rights in using the common elements as a unit owner?

A: Yes. When a unit is leased, the tenant shall have all use rights of the association property and common elements that otherwise would be available for use by unit owners.

Source: Fla. Stat. § 718.106(4).

Q: Does a unit owner have access to the common elements while the unit is rented out?

A: Possibly no. The Condominium Act provides that the owner of a rented unit shall not have use rights of the common elements, except as a guest, unless the rental agreement provides otherwise. Furthermore, the association shall have the right to adopt rules to prohibit dual usage of association property and common elements by a unit owner and a tenant. Thus, it is possible that a unit owners access rights are strictly limited to those of a landlord pursuant to Chapter 83, Florida Statutes.

Source: Fla. Stat. § 718.106(4).

Q: If a unit owner wins a lawsuit against the association, can he recover his attorney fees and assessment fees that he paid the association to defend the lawsuit?

A: Possibly. A unit owner prevailing in an action between the association and the unit owner may recover his reasonable attorney’s fees and may recover additional amounts as determined by the court to be necessary to reimburse the unit owner for his share of assessments levied by the association to fund its litigation expenses.

Source: Fla. Stat. § 718.303(1).

Q: What are my rights as a unit owner of a condominium?

A: Generally, you have exclusive ownership of your condominium unit. You also have membership in the association and full voting rights as provided in your declaration of condominium. You have the right to use the common elements and association property without paying a use fee. A use fee may be required if the declaration of condominium so provides or unit owners by a majority vote of the association approve such a fee. You have the right to expect the association to maintain the common elements. You also have the right to view the official records subject to the association’s adopted rules.

Source: Fla. Stat. §§ 718.103(27); 718.106(2); and 718.111(4).

Q: What decisions of the association require a unit owner vote?

A: Unit owner decisions are required for votes taken to waive or reduce reserves; use reserves for other purposes; elect directors by ballot; amend the declaration; amend the articles of incorporation or bylaws; recall board members; adopt a substitute budget; materially alter and/or substantially add to the association property; terminate the condominium; convey title to property; waive financial reporting; and cancel certain contracts. Other unit owner votes may be required by the association documents.

Source: Fla. Stat. §§ 718.110, 718.111(7), 718.111(13)(d)(3), 718.112(2)(b)(2,) 718.112(2)(f)(2), 718.112(2)(e)(2), 718.112(2)(j), 718.113(2)(a), 718.115(1)(d)(1), and 718.117(1).

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