Co-op in Florida - is the HOA responsible for interior repairs?

3 Replies

This question is specific to the state of Florida (maybe others as well, but I'm interested in FL)

We have a condo (Co-operative legal structure) in Florida.  The management company is telling us that the association is responsible for all repairs INSIDE each unit (in addition to the usual exterior/common areas responsibility).  Their explanation is that per Florida State Law, the "owner" is just a lessee and the lessor (the association) is responsible for all maintenance and repairs inside all of the units.  So if something breaks or leaks inside the unit, the association will have to fix that.  They state this is the law regardless of what the co-op governing documents will say.

I'm in the process of obtaining the governing documents to see what they say.  This would make no sense - if the governing documents assign the responsibility of general maintenance and repairs to each owner-lessee, the law would override that and make it the responsibility of the association?

The issue came up because there is a unit in the building that the association will be foreclosing on for delinquent payments.  It needs work.  The management company is telling us that even after someone purchases the unit, the association will be responsible to make the repairs, NOT the new owner.  In the past, this was never a question and each owner understood their responsibility to handle their own repairs and maintenance to their individual units and management has never brought this up in the past year they have been managing us.

I understand that this may be a legal question, so I'm not looking for legal advice, please don't say talk to a lawyer.  I am wondering if anyone else has experience with this matter?  This sounds too socialistic even for a co-op. :)

Depends on the docs and, if applicable, state law. In my area (DC/MD) coops are not governed by the state though there is a Condo and HOA Act which represents state law. Coops, however, are left up to the governing docs. I've seen many coops assume responsibility for the M&R of the interior of the units. Usually the docs will say something to the effect of "...except in the case of negligence on behalf of the Member...." You'll need to verify whether there is an applicable state law for coops and see what the governing docs say to know for sure. FYI, in my area, state law trumps governing docs.

Sorry, co-ops are rare here, can't help you.  Haven't ever dealt with one.

@Marc M. , thanks for the reply!  I know that it really depends on the area/state.  Apparently, Florida does have a separate statute for Co-ops, I'm just not sure if our governing docs would prevail if they are different from the statute - but it doesn't sound very promising.  

I'll update once I finish reading through them.   Anyone else, feel free to chime in :)

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