Association Responses to Requests for Information Regarding Condominium Structural Integrity
In the wake of the devastating collapse of the Champlain Towers South Condominium in Surfside, Florida, many current owners and potential purchasers of condominium units are, understandably, requesting information from associations regarding the structural soundness of the condominium property. Although associations generally do not, and are not required to, release their official records to potential purchasers, they are obligated by Florida law to maintain and provide certain records and documents to owners upon request. Information relating to the structural integrity of the property can often be derived from these documents maintained as part of the association official records. Accordingly, one of the best ways for associations to be transparent with their owners about the property’s structural integrity is to continue to maintain and provide owners with accurate and complete official records, upon an owner’s proper request.
To help streamline responses to owner official records requests about the structural soundness of the condominium, associations can consider compiling a ready-to-go package to provide to requesting owners with all of the association’s official records pertaining to structure and repairs, such as structural engineering reports, 40-year recertification records, and other inspection recommendations and maintenance information. Given that associations are already required to provide this information to owners pursuant to a statutory official records request, creating a “structural information package” is an easy way to simplify the association’s responses to these requests and improve efficiency. The structural information package can be updated as new reports, inspections or information becomes available, and a copy can also be made available for owner access online for associations that are required by Florida statute to maintain copies of their official records on an association website.
While we encourage associations to remain forthcoming and timely provide owners with all official records relating to the structural integrity of their condominium, we also caution against associations attempting to engage in interpretation of these types of documents and reports. Instead, associations should simply allow the documents to speak for themselves, and defer to the conclusions of the experts contained therein.
The attorneys at Haber Law can help your condominium association prepare your structural information package and answer any questions you may have regarding structural integrity requests.
About the Author: Kristen E. Ferrer’s practice focuses on representation of community associations, real estate law, and commercial litigation. She is also experienced in dissolution of marriage and child custody matters and has represented clients in probate proceedings, contract disputes, asset and stock purchase transactions, and corporate formation.