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Can I sue a HOA for loss of condo sale?

Jacksonville, FL |

I have a approved sales contract on my condo. The owner is getting financing from FHA and during an inspection minimal WDO was noted on outside--which is HOA's responsibility. HOA will not repair for us to close the loan. They state that repair is noted and in the next year will be completed if funds allow. I wll lose the sale if not fixed in a timely manner. I have inquired if I can have the repairs done myself and was told this is not allowed. The repairs include minimal trim around garage door and several small areas of lower sheeting on the garage. Do I have any rights as a HOA member? Can I sue for lost sale? All my HOA fees are current. Thanks for you assistance.

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Your chances of success in such a case are not good unless you can prove the association had the resources to complete the repairs and squandered them. Most associations are strapped for cash during these economic times and many are on the brink of bankruptcy. They are non-profit organizations and their only source of income is usually assessments. With a high rate of foreclosures and owners not paying assessments, many associations are not able to keep up with all of the necessary repairs. The fact that you are current in your assessments is not a factor because the association has a duty to repair all of the buildings equally and cannot withhold repairs for owners who are not paying while making repairs for those who do pay.

    While the association is breaching the covenants by not making the repairs, unless it rises to the level of negligence, meets all the required elements and they do not have a valid defense, you might not win. If you sue your association and lose, you have to pay their attorneys' fees.

    You should insult with a condo lawyer to review the financials of the association to determine if the association is being negligent in handling the funds and repairs.

    This communication is not intended to create an attorney/client relationship. It is always recommended you consult an attorney in person to discuss your case. The Law Offices of Stage & Associates practices state-wide and represents homeowners and community associations. Please visit our website at www.stagelaw.com.


  2. You can always sue anyone but if they are broke - what are you getting. Talk to them first, then an attorney if you don't get any satisfaction.


  3. I agree with my colleagues about forcing the HOA to do what they are supposed to do. However, I think you should consider having an attorney look over your condo docs to see if there is anything in them that would prevent you from making the repairs yourself, so long as you are making them in keeping with the architectural scheme of the condo. I don't understand why/how the HOA can legally prevent you from taking appropriate and necessary maintenance steps to your unit to protect it from further damage. As for suing for a lost sale - you would have to prove that this was the only potential purchaser and your chances for a sale have been completely thwarted. In the current market in the Tampa area, that would be hard to prove as sales have improved briskly. I am not familiar with the RE market in Jacksonville. But again, what would you get from such a suit if the HOA is broke???

    Carol Johnson Law Firm, P.A. : (727) 647-6645 : carol@caroljohnsonlaw.com : Wills, Trusts, Real Property, Probate, Special Needs: Information provided here is anecdotal and should not be relied upon or considered legal advice. Every matter is different and answers given here are general in nature and may not reflect current Florida law at the time you are reading this posting. Please contact me if you feel you need additional assistance with your matter.

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