MASTER V. SUB
Eric Glazer, Esq.
Published January 25, 2021
continue with a very interesting case that was just decided by
Florida’s Second District Court of Appeal.
RIVIERA-FORT MYERS MASTER ASSOCIATION,
GFH INVESTMENTS, LLC. 2020 WL 7767856.
simplify, in a mixed-use community, meaning a community made up
of commercial property and residential housing, the Master
Association adopted seven amendments to the community's master
declaration. The court referred to the sub associations as the
“Liner Buildings.” In general terms, the amendments addressed
the Master Association's authority to approve proposed uses of
the property located in the sub communities, (Liner Buildings)
increased assessments on them, and imposed additional
restrictions on the Liner’s tenants.
write about the case because it is a great learning case about
the relationship between a Master and a Sub and about community
living in general.
CAN THE MASTER ASSOCIATION MAKE RULES AND
GOVERNING PETS THAT ARE DIFFERENT THAN THE SUBS?
We agree with the Master association's assertion that these
restrictions on number, size, type,and breed of pets are
reasonable, as are the requirements that owners leash and pick
up after their animals. The Liner Buildings are in relatively
close proximity to the
buildings, and it is inevitable that dogs kept in the Liner
Buildings will need to go outside and use the common areas of
the property, and they can therefore be regulated to a
reasonable degree to protect the community members' mutual
enjoyment of the common areas. Cf.
Majestic View Condo. Ass'n v. Bolotin, 429 So. 2d 438,
440 (Fla. 4th DCA 1983)
(implying in dicta that such pet restrictions are reasonable in
setting). As such, the circuit court erred in enjoining the
enforcement of this amendment.
WHAT ABOUT PARKING RULES?
In this case, the Master Association made a rule that said the
owners in the sub associations cannot park in common areas and
can only park in designated parking spaces assigned to that
community. In upholding the decision of the Master Association,
the court relied on
Juno By The Sea North
Ass'n (The Towers), Inc. v. Manfredonia, 397 So. 2d 297 (Fla. 4th
three parking lots: a covered lot with twenty spaces that
had been designated in the master declaration as limited
common elements and sold to individual unit owners who
had exclusive use of those spaces; a second lot that had
been designated as a common element with fifty spaces
that were unassigned; and a third lot across the street with
additional auxiliary parking.
Id. at 301.
Due to congestion,
association assigned the fifty spaces in the
common area lot to the fifty units that did not own exclusive
spaces in the covered lot. Id. The owners of the covered spaces
sued, contending that the association could not prohibit their
use of the common area lot. The Fourth District disagreed. To
the contrary, the court held that the limitation on use of the
common area lot passed the test of reasonableness because
the association's plan fairly ensured that each unit had access
Id. at 302–05.
Thus, even though the fifty-space
lot remained a common area, its use reasonably could be
restricted to certain unit owners.
CAN THE MASTER ASSOCIATION AMEND THE GOVERNING DOCS TO IN EFFECT
CONTROL THE LEASING PROVISIONS IN THE SUB COMMUNITY?
Here is what the court said:
The Liner Buildings, although separate structures, are part of a
community for which courts have granted “a greater degree of
control over and limitation upon the rights of the individual
owner than might be tolerated given more traditional forms of
Seagate Condo. Ass'n v. Duffy, 330
So. 2d 484, 486 (Fla. 4th DCA 1976),
approved sub nom.
Woodside Vill. Condo. Ass'n v. Jahren, 806 So. 2d 452 (Fla.
Indeed, the court in Seagate held that even an absolute
prohibition against the leasing of units in a
complex can be a reasonable use limitation: Given the unique
living in general and the special problems endemic to a tourist
oriented community in South Florida in particular, appellant's
avowed objective—to inhibit transiency and to impart a certain
degree of continuity of residence and a residential character to
their community—is, we believe, a reasonable one, achieved in a
not unreasonable manner by means of the restrictive provision in
question. The attainment of this community goal outweighs the
social value of retaining for the individual unit owner the
absolutely unqualified right to dispose of his property in any
way and for such duration or purpose as he alone so desires. Id.
at 486–87. We reach the same conclusion here and conclude that
the amendment adopting section 10.12 is reasonable and
HOA & Condo Blog
Eric Glazer graduated from
the University of Miami School of Law in 1992 after
receiving a B.A. from NYU. He has practiced community
association law for more than 2
decades and is the owner of Glazer
and Sachs, P.A. a seven attorney law firm with offices in
Fort Lauderdale and Orlando and satellite offices in Naples,
Fort Myers and Tampa.
Since 2009, Eric has been the host
of Condo Craze and HOAs, a weekly one hour radio show that airs
at noon each Sunday on 850 WFTL.
He is the first attorney in the
State of Florida that designed a course that certifies
condominium residents as eligible to serve on a condominium
Board of Directors and has now certified more than 10,000
Floridians all across the state. He is certified as a Circuit
Court Mediator by The Florida Supreme Court and has mediated
dozens of disputes between associations and unit owners. Eric
also devotes significant time to advancing legislation in the
best interest of Florida community association members.