Becker & Poliakoff

“Official Records Inspections by a Renter?” – Naples Daily News

“Official Records Inspections by a Renter?” – Naples Daily News

Becker & PoliakoffQ: I manage a high-rise condominium. I recently received a request from a renter to inspect certain association’s official records, including all the condominium documents. Am I required to provide this renter with access to all the requested official records? J.H.

A: The answer to your question changed recently due to the adoption of new legislation. Senate Bill 630, which took effect on July 1, 2021, amended the Florida Condominium Act, which now confirms that renters have the right to inspect and copy the declaration of condominium, the bylaws and the rules. The prior version of the law only provided renters with the right to inspect the bylaws and the rules. Please note that these are the only official records that a renter has the right to inspect and copy, unless the unit owner has designated the tenant as the owner’s agent for records inspections, which is permissible.

Q: I am a Florida condominium owner. Our board previously approved a special assessment for a roof project. Our condominium documents do provide the board with the authority to adopt a special assessment without unit owner approval. The board later informed the owners that the roof project wasn’t needed and that they used the funds collected for another project. Is this legitimate? B.F.

A: Section 718.116(10) of the Florida Condominium Act states that the funds collected pursuant to a special assessment shall be used only for the specific purpose or purposes identified in the notice sent to the owners. Further, upon completion of such specific purpose or purposes, any excess funds will be considered common surplus, and may, at the discretion of the board, either be returned to the unit owners or applied as a credit toward future assessments. The board was required to either return these collected funds to the owners or apply these funds as a credit towards future assessments. It was not proper for your board to use these funds for another purpose unless the board adopted another special assessment, at a properly noticed board meeting, and informed the owners that the special assessment funds collected previously for the roof project would now be utilized for this new alternative purpose. If this additional step was not taken, the board’s actions are in violation of Florida law.

To read the original Naples Daily News article, please click here.

David Muller is board-certified in Condominium and Planned Development Law and regularly provides practical advice that ensures the fiscal success and legal compliance of both commercial and residential community associations. He has significant experience in drafting governing documents and amendments, negotiating contracts, dispute resolution, and more. For David’s complete bio, please click here.