This is a great question for condo owners in the Florida area. If you'd like us to review your policy for appropriate coverage, contact us today.
Q: My wife and I are senior citizens and own a condominium unit. After the hurricanes of 2004 and 2005, our condominium used insurance proceeds to replace windows and sliding doors. The new doors and windows are very difficult to open and we are physically unable to maintain them properly. The board is claiming the owners are responsible to maintain and replace the windows and sliding glass doors. Is this true?
- LC, South Hutchinson Island
A: This is a great question. First, know Florida Statutes section 718.111(11) now requires the condominium association to provide insurance coverage for the "portions of the condominium property as originally installed or replacement of like kind and quality, in accordance with the original plans and specifications." So, depending on whether the replacement windows were "like kind and quality," the condominium association likely insures the windows and further is responsible under F.S. 718.111(11) to repair and replace the replacement windows if there is a casualty event. So if the replacement windows are damaged because of an insurable event (as defined by the policy), the condominium would repair and/or replace the windows to the extent there is insurance coverage or the extent required by the statute. If the windows are damaged and require repair or replacement from a cause other than an insurable event, then the responsible party is dictated by your specific condominium documents. If the condominium documents generally provide the owner is responsible to repair and replace windows, then the association is correct with respect to damage caused by a non-insurable event.
Also keep in mind there is a difference between maintenance, repair and replacement. With respect to maintenance, the responsible party is almost solely dictated by the language in your specific condominium documents. Whereas the condominium association has an insurance responsibility for the windows, that is wholly separate from maintenance and you may be fully responsible for window and sliding glass door maintenance (cleaning) if so dictated by the condominium documents.
John C. Goede, Esq., is co-founder and shareholder of the Law firm Goede, Adamczyk, DeBoest & Cross. Visit www.GADClaw.com or ask questions about your issues for future columns, send your inquiry to: question@GADClaw.com. The information provided herein is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The publication of this article does not create an attorney-client relationship between the reader and Goede, Adamczyk, DeBoest & Cross, or any of our attorneys. Readers should not act or refrain from acting based upon the information contained in this article without first contacting an attorney, if you have questions about any of the issues raised herein. The hiring of an attorney is a decision that should not be based solely on advertisements or this column.
Check out this video on window shutter maintenance during hurricane season with our very own Kelly Johnson.