Slack Condo Board is Causing Community Neglect. What Can We Do?

Q. All but one of our condo board members go north for the summer and stop paying attention to the community. The remaining board member is oblivious. Our grass is half dead. The response from the board is “lack of water”. I wade through the rain flooded parking lot almost daily. The common areas are filthy. People drop trash and spill things and it stays until other owners clean it up. The property manager does not respond and only comes to our property for the annual meeting. None of the board members belong on the board, but they are reelected because they contact the non-resident owners and tell them how to vote. It has been the same board for years. Can the owners call the vendors since no one else will? What other options do we have to improve this situation?

A. As discussed in the feature question this week, the association is primarily responsible for managing and maintaining the common areas, which includes the landscape, walkways and pool areas. If you are not a board member, it is not recommended that you contact vendors, and the vendors will probably not deal with you if you lack authority to act for the association. Again, you should make demand upon the board by certified mail to address these maintenance issues. If the board does not provide a reasonable response within 30 days of your demand, then your next step would be a petition for arbitration with the Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares and Mobile Homes. If you would prefer to exhaust other avenues before pursuing arbitration, you could also gather your fellow unit owners and attempt a recall of the board members. A Florida attorney can help you with these remedies that you have as the owner of a condo unit.

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