OUT OF SIGHT DOES NOT MEAN OUT OF MIND
Eric Glazer, Esq.
Published May 9, 2022
I like to re-publish this article every few years because it is
so important. As we get closer to summer we are simultaneously
getting closer to lots and lots of empty condominium units
because many owners are returning up north for a few months.
Just because you leave your Florida condominium for a few months
however does not mean that your responsibility to maintain your
unit stops once you hit the Georgia border.
Every declaration of condominium has a general clause that
requires the owner of the unit to maintain his or her unit in
good condition. In fact, arbitration decisions have held that
"where an owner does not reside in the unit, it is incumbent on
the owner to routinely and periodically examine and inspect the
unit to ensure the absence of leaks and conditions that would
otherwise lead to damage to the building and its occupants. In
recognition of the fact that where multiple owners occupy a
single building, a problem that develops in one unit may well
affect other units and the common element components of the
building." See: Los Prados Condominium Association v. Lemley
Case No. 03-6092; May 25, 2004, Arbitrator, Scheuerman.
So, if you’re headed up north for a few months, and you know
that a friendly neighbor is going to remain in Florida, make
sure to leave that neighbor a key to your unit and ask him or
her to check the place every now and then. And…..if your
association governing documents require that you leave the
association with a key, you BETTER DO THAT! There is virtually
no excuse for failing to do so, but that’s for another column.
If you don’t leave a key, remember that the law provides:
(5) RIGHT OF ACCESS TO UNITS.—
(a) The association has the
irrevocable right of access to each unit during reasonable
hours, when necessary for the maintenance, repair, or
replacement of any common elements or of any portion of a unit
to be maintained by the association pursuant to the declaration
or as necessary to prevent damage to the common elements or to a
If the association thinks a leak is coming from your unit, if
they don’t have a key, they’re using a locksmith and/or breaking
your lock or door to get in. And, they’re entitled to do it, if
they have no other reasonable means to get in. And…….. it’s the
unit owner who is going to pay for the lock and door repair if
there really was a leak. Bottom line…be smart….plan ahead and
make sure that when Florida gets in your rear view mirror this
year, someone is still left behind watching your unit.
And a belated Happy Mother’s Day to all the great moms out
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 three decades and is the owner of
Glazer and Sachs, P.A. a five attorney law firm with
offices in Fort Lauderdale and Orlando.
Eric is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in
Condominium and Planned Development Law.
Since 2009, Eric has been the host of Condo Craze
and HOAs, a weekly one hour radio show that airs at 11:00 a.m.
each Sunday on 850 WFTL.
Eric is the first attorney in the State of
Florida that designed a course that certifies condominium and
HOA residents as eligible to serve on a Board of Directors and
has now certified more than 20,000 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.