Post-storm condo questions

Published On: Feb 13 2012 01:31:56 PM EST   Updated On: Feb 13 2012 01:33:48 PM EST

If you live in a condominium, these are some of the questions that apply to you after a hurricane.

Q: Can you withhold your maintenance payments if the condo association does not repair damage to the common areas?

A: No. You must continue to pay your maintenance charge. If the condo association refuses to repair the damage, you may request arbitration from the Florida Dept. of Business and Professional Regulation.

You can also call the Miami-Dade Consumer Mediation Center at (305) 375-3677.

Q: Who is responsible for air conditioning units or water heaters located outside apartments?

A: An appliance located outside the unit that is intended to provide service only to that single unit is the responsibility of the unit owner. If the appliance is shared by two or more units, it is considered common property and the condo association is responsible for repair or replacement.

Q: Who pays repair and replacement costs for walls, appliances and furniture inside individual units?

A: Individual condo owners are responsible for paying costs associated with damaged property inside units. Individual insurance will pay for many of these costs. Walls that are shared by two or more units are considered common areas and will be repaired through condo association's insurance.

Q: How do you know if your condo association has insurance?

A: Florida law requires condo associations to maintain insurance coverage on all common areas of the development. This insurance is purchased with the maintenance fees paid by individual unit owners.

Q: Who pays the cost of repairing hurricane damage to condos?

A: Insurance purchased by condo's association should pay repair or replacement costs tied to damage to common areas. Common areas include roofs, exterior walls, balconies, elevators, hallways, parking lots, pools, laundry room and equipment and recreational facilities.