Cedar Cove Efficiency Condominium Association, Inc. v. Cedar Cove Properties

558 So. 2d 475 (1990)

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Cedar Cove Efficiency Condominium Association, Inc. v. Cedar Cove Properties

Florida District Court of Appeal
558 So. 2d 475 (1990)

Facts

The Cedar Cove Efficiency Condominium Association (the association) (plaintiff) levied a special assessment against its members to repair weather-damaged balconies and exterior doors. The repairs were overwhelmingly approved by association members. But certain unit owners, including those with ground-floor units without balconies (defendants), challenged the association’s authority to levy the assessment against them when the association sued them to collect the assessment. The challengers contended that the balconies were within the vertical boundaries of how the condominium documents defined a unit, and that under the Florida Condominium Act, common elements included only those portions of condominium property that were not included in a unit, so the balconies were not common elements subject to common-expense assessments. The trial court denied the association’s claim after finding that the balconies were limited common elements that were included in the definition of what constituted a unit, and because condominium documents did not specifically assign responsibility for repairing limited common elements, individual unit owners should be responsible for the repairs. The association appealed, arguing that assessing the costs of limited-common-element repairs fell within its broader authority to levy common-expense assessments to repair and maintain all common elements as well as its authority under the Florida Condominium Act to do what was necessary to protect the building’s structural integrity and aesthetics and to protect association members from liability for unsafe exterior conditions. The association further argued that under the business-judgment rule, it was insulated from liability for its reasonable assessment.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Per curiam)

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