By Eric Glazer, Esq.   

Published March 11, 2019


I like to re-publish this article every few years because it is so important. As we get closer to spring and 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. If you don’t leave a key, remember that the law provides:

(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 unit.


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.

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About HOA & Condo Blog

Eric Glazer 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 Associates, 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.


See: www.condocrazeandhoas.com.


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.

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