Lobeck & Hanson
Wins Arbitration And Court Victories
The Law Offices Of Lobeck & Hanson has prevailed for its clients in a number of significant decisions by Arbitrators of the Florida Bureau of Condominiums and by the local Circuit Court.
They include the following:
• A unit owner was required to remove a gas fireplace and copper tubing installed without the prior written approval of the Board, as required by the Declaration, despite an after-the-fact request and without examining whether denial of the request would be reasonable.
• A lanai enclosure and slab extension were required to be cut back to the limits the Association had actually approved.
• A county commission may not settle a zoning lawsuit with a developer without first considering resident comments at a public hearing.
• A condominium association may assign exclusive use of common element parking spaces to unit owners and allow them to construct carports.
• Under an appropriate Declaration provision, the use of a unit owned by a corporation may be limited to a designated single family or individual.
• Absent agreement between an Association and a unit owner, the Association may not validly levy a commission, surcharge or other fee for unit rentals, other than a screening fee as allowed by state law.
• Neighborhood testimony may form a sufficient basis to defeat a rezoning on grounds which include traffic impacts and compatibility.
• The court entered a permanent injunction prohibiting a gate, gatepost or obstruction of any kind across a driveway easement for plaintiffs' residence.
• Circuit court awarded injunction relief in favor of the Association, together with court costs and attorney’s fees, in case in which homeowners impermissibly changed the color of their house to an offensive color, not permitted under the governing documents, and without the prior approval of the Association.
• Circuit court struck down an amendment to a Declaration of Condominium purporting to shift the maintenance and repair responsibility of HVAC systems serving units within the condominium from the Association, as a common expense, to the individual unit owners. The court found that, in doing so, the Association violated fundamental voting rights protected under section 718.110(4), Florida Statutes. The unit owner was further awarded virtually all attorney’s fees incurred in arbitration, Circuit Court and on appeal after the Second District Court of appeal upheld the trial court ruling in this case of Statewide importance.
• Circuit court awarded supplemental injunctive relief in favor of a condominium unit owner requiring the Association to repair and replace the HVAC system serving the unit as a common expense, and further determined the HVAC system to be part of the common elements of the condominium. The court further awarded attorney’s fees incurred by the unit owner in seeking judicial relief with the courts and on appeal.