As a Florida Condo law Attorney aiming in representing property owners in disputes against their associations Mr. Truppman often gets asked “how long do I have to file suit against my condo association?” Many condo owners and homeowners have claims against their associations for “water damage and mold damage damage due to association’s failure to maintain common elements, injury claims in common areas, covenant enforcement, illegal budget increases, selective enforcement claims, improper leasing restrictions, tortious interference with owner’s right to sell or rent, pet restrictions, interference with an owner’s quiet use and enjoyment, noise complaints, harrasment by board members and property management, architectural review claims, and improper use of funds by board members.”
Before we even look to Florida Statutes Section 95.11 we first need to determine under what theory of law we will be proceeding. Are we bringing a negligence case or some other type of tort or are we bringing an action based on a contract or written instrument. Most condo owners, homeowners and cooperative owners thinking of suing their association believe they are bringing a negligence or tort based claim. While it may be true that the owner’s damages were caused by the negligence of the Association Board Members or Property Management, as long as there is a provision in the Governing Documents addressing the obligation of the Association then the cause of action is for a breach of the Governing Documents.
Upkeep failures. The top reason is usually the failure of the association to either maintain, repair, or replace common elements or units after a casualty a natural event. The obligation is for the association to maintain the common areas and sometimes, notwithstanding what insurance may or may not cover, depending on the type of damage or loss, it may also be responsible for repairing units. If your roof has become worn out and started to leak and caused damage to a unit, under most condo docs and the state’s condo act, the association is really responsible for repairs to the unit. That’s as opposed to a hurricane that may cause damage to both the common area and units.
If other Unit Owners fail to maintain their units (pipes, bathrooms, dishwashers, laundry machines, air conditioning, etc.) , including causing any type of water or mold intrusion they also may be liable for damages to the surrounding units.