Performing Rights for Organizations and Associations

So your community association has survived Hurricane Irma and completed all the repairs. In celebration of this milestone, the association decided to hold a community wide cookout with live music. The celebration was a success and thoroughly enjoyed by everyone. Now, two weeks later, you are in receipt of a certified letter from a Performing Rights Organization advising you that the band you hired performed copyrighted material from artists it represents, and that the association is in violation of federal copyright law and is threatening serious penalties unless you agree to purchase a license from the organization. What have you done and what do you do?

This scenario, in various forms, plays out for numerous community associations every year. If your community association displays copyrighted materials such as music, movies, or television programs, and even if only the owners or residents of your community attend such performances, the association is likely engaging in the public performance of copyrighted material and is therefore required to obtain the appropriate license. The key to understanding whether a license is required is first understanding whether the display of the copyrighted material constitutes a public performance. Typically, a public performance is any display or performance of copyrighted material at a place that is either open to the public or where a substantial number of persons outside a normal circle of family or social acquaintances are gathered. Further, performances in “semi-public” places such as private clubs, lodges, summer camps, and schools are considered “public performances” for the purposes of copyright law. Therefore, the display of copyrighted material in one’s home with family or friends is not considered a public performance, however, the display of the same material by a community association at a function that is only attended by owners or residents could possibly be treated as a public performance.

A community association that engages in the performance of copyrighted material, whether through hosting events with music, or otherwise, would either need to purchase its own licenses from the appropriate Performing Rights Organizations or ensure that any performers have acquired the necessary licenses. Examples of Performing Rights Organizations are BMI (Broadcast Music Inc.), ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) and SESAC (Society of European Stage Authors and Composers). Further, there are other organizations for musicians and composers, as well as additional organizations for visual media. While an association can protect itself by confirming that its performer has purchased all appropriate licenses, in the event that the performer does not have the appropriate license, even if their contract with the association requires them to do so, the association can still be found liable for the copyright violation.

Violations of copyright can carry significant monetary penalties. As such, this is an area where the association should tread cautiously.

The best course of action for a community association is to address the licensure issue prospectively before any performance. However, if the association receives a notice of a violation from a copyright holder or a Performing Rights Organization, the association should consult with its legal services provider to determine the best strategy moving forward to limit the association’s exposure.

Originally posted on floridacondohoalawblog.com. Written by James Robert Caves, III

Estoppel Certificates

Some associations are still not complying with the new laws on Estoppel Certificates which is required of condominiums, cooperatives, and homeowners associations. Prior to July 1, 2017, you only had to provide the prospective purchaser with information about the monies owed to the association attributable to the unit being purchased.  Now you must provide a certificate with a considerable amount of additional information as described below.  If the information is prepared incorrectly you may be estopped (barred or precluded) from later going back to that individual for the funds or the violations that were omitted from the certificate.  My recommendation is that you have your attorney prepare the initial certificate and provide that certificate to your manager or management company as some of the information requires a review and analysis of your governing documents.

There is a long list of information which is required to be in the estoppel certificate found in Sections 718.116 (Condo), 719.108 (Coop), 720.30851(HOA), Florida Statutes which includes (by way of example only and not as a complete list):

  • parking or space number, as reflected in the books and records of the association;
  • attorney’s name and contact information if the account is delinquent and has been turned over to an attorney for collection;
  • an itemized list of all assessments, special assessments, and other moneys owed;
  • an itemized list of any additional assessments, special assessments, and other moneys that are scheduled to become due for each day after the date of issuance for the effective period of the estoppel certificate is provided.

The statute then requires you to provide:

  • whether there are any open violations of rules or regulations noticed to the unit owner in the association official records;
  • whether the rules and regulations of the association applicable to the unit require approval by the board of directors of the association for the transfer of the unit and if so, whether the board has approved the transfer of the unit;
  • whether there is a right of first refusal provided to the members or the association, and if there is if the members of the association have exercised that right of first refusal.

In addition, you are also required to provide a list of, and contact information for, all other associations of which the unit is a member, provide contact information for all insurance maintained by the association, and provide the signature of an officer or authorized agent of the association.

For some of you, your manager has handled this certificate when it was just a matter of filling in the amounts owed, because they took care of the accounting for the association.  However, reviewing and analyzing your documents to answer the questions on rights of first refusal and other questions should be handled by your association attorney and then provided to management for future use thereafter.  Further, if the management contract does not provide for charging for estoppel certificates the Board will need to approve a resolution in order to do so.

Originally posted on floridacondohoalawblog.com. Written by Mark D. Friedman

Complaint Against Neighbor Not Confidential

Q: I recently wrote a letter to the board of directors of my condominium association complaining about constant noise from my neighbor. I then learned that my neighbor was given a copy of the letter. Isn’t this supposed to be confidential? I do not really know him that well and do not want to be dragged into the middle of this. I feel like the association violated my privacy rights by showing my neighbor the letter.  (W.L., via e-mail)

A: The Florida Condominium Act generally provides that all written records of the association are open to the inspection and copying by the unit owners, unless specifically exempted in the statute. Therefore, essentially any written document related to the association is an “official record” of the association. Your letter to the board concerning your neighbor is an official record of the association.

There are exceptions to a unit owner’s right to inspect and copy certain records. For example, attorney-client privileged information, owner health records maintained by the association, and certain personal identifying information of unit owners (such as driver’s license and credit card numbers) cannot be made available for inspection. Your complaint letter does not fall into any of the recognized exceptions. In other words, owners have no expectation of privacy when they make a written complaint against another condominium resident.

Although the board or manager may or may not have overstepped their bounds in giving your neighbor the letter if he had not asked for it, your neighbor would be legally entitled to a copy of the letter if he requested it in writing, so there was no legal wrongdoing by the association. In my opinion, behavioral complaints which a condominium resident wishes to make with the expectation that the association do something about it should be in writing. In addition, although it is undoubtedly uncomfortable in some cases, when an owner wants to involve the association, I believe they need to be willing to “put their name behind their complaint.”

Q: The board of directors of our condominium association is supposed to follow Robert’s Rules of Order according to our bylaws. When they open the floor up to owner comments, there are things some the owners would like to have addressed by the board, so we make a motion to take up the issue. The board says that we are out of bounds and will not do anything. Who is right? (J.P., via e-mail)

A: The board. Regardless of whether Robert’s Rules applies to your board meetings or not (and it does not, unless incorporated into the bylaws), owners do not have the right to make motions, points of order, or otherwise participate in meetings of the board. Only members of the assembled body, here the board, have those rights.

Owners do have the right to comment on designated agenda items. Therefore, if the board is considering whether it is time to paint the buildings, you have the right to express your opinion on the issue, subject to the board’s right to adopt reasonable rules governing owner statements at board meetings. The right to speak is limited to designated agenda items. Therefore, if an item is not designated on the agenda, there is no right to speak to the board about it during board meetings, although some associations do set aside time for general owner comments.

In fact, the board itself cannot take up items at a board meeting unless they are on the posted agenda, except in certain emergency circumstances. If there is an issue that you feel the board should consider, there is a provision in the statute that allows 20 percent of the owners to petition the board to consider a particular item at a regular or special meeting.

Originally posted on floridacondohoalawblog.com. Written by Joe Adams is an attorney with Becker & Poliakoff, P.A., Fort Myers. Send questions to Joe Adams by e-mail to jadams@beckerlawyers.com

Who Replaces Condominium Building Windows?

Q: The windows in my condominium unit need to be replaced. My condominium association is stating that windows are my responsibility. Because the windows are part of the exterior building, doesn’t Florida law require the association to replace the windows? (S.R, via e-mail)

A: The Florida Condominium Act does not specifically address whether the association or the individual unit owners are responsible to maintain, repair, and replace windows. Section 718.113(1) of the Act states that the association is responsible to maintain the common elements. However, the statute goes on to state that the declaration can require that limited common elements be maintained by the individual unit owner benefited by the limited common element.

Therefore, whether the windows are the responsibility of the association or the individual unit owners will depend on whether the windows are part of the units or part of the common elements (and if a limited common element) and how the declaration assigns the maintenance responsibility. In my experience, it is fairly common to see the maintenance responsibility for windows and sliding glass doors placed upon unit owners rather than the association.

It is also important to note that the responsibility to insure windows and sliding glass door rests with the association as a matter of state law and cannot be altered through the condominium documents. Likewise, if the windows or sliders are damaged by an “insurable event,” such as a hurricane, the association is likewise responsible for repair or replacement of the windows as a “repair after casualty” at the expense of all owners, unless the association has “opted out” of that statute or if the statute is deemed inapplicable for constitutional reasons.

When the declaration requires the unit owners to maintain, repair, and replace windows, the current version of the statute also contains a procedure for the association, after majority vote of the owners, to install impact glass on a charge-back basis to the owners. Owners with compliant hurricane protection are excused from the assessment through credits. This provision of the statute is rather ambiguous and presents many technical legal issues, so a competent attorney should be consulted if this procedure is undertaken.

Q: A question has arisen in my condominium association concerning who has the authority to adopt the budget, the board of directors or the members. Can you clarify this for us? (D.A., via e mail)

A: As with many community association legal issues, the answer will be depend on the language of your condominium documents. The Florida Condominium Act does not specifically address the issue.

The statute states that board meetings where a budget is to be considered has to be noticed at least 14 days in advance by posting and mail or hand-delivery, and a copy of the proposed budget must be provided with the mailed/delivered notice. E-mail notice can also be used for those who owners who consent in writing.

Accordingly, the statute seems to contemplate that the board will approve the budget. In fact, the statute outlines a process by which the owners have the right to propose and adopt an alternative budget, when the budget adopted by the board requires assessments against the unit owners, which exceed 115% of the assessments preceding fiscal year.

However, it is not uncommon, particularly in older condominium documents, to see a requirement that the owners also approve the budget. In my opinion, such a provision is not at odds with the statute and would be enforceable. However, I do not believe such clauses are desirable for a variety of reasons.

It is also important to remember that even where the board has the authority to adopt the budget, the board does not have any discretion when it comes to reserves. Unless the owners have voted to waive or reduce the funding of reserves, any budget adopted by the board must include fully funded reserves.

Originally posted on floridacondohoalawblog.com. Written by Joe Adams is an attorney with Becker & Poliakoff, P.A., Fort Myers. Send questions to Joe Adams by e-mail to jadams@beckerlawyers.com

Condos, HOAs, and Written Inquiries

Many times I see situations where an owner sends a community a certified letter seeking the answer to questions about various issues.  The nature and manner of the responses is dictated by the type of community. The Florida Condominium Act states that when a unit owner of a residential condominium files a written inquiry by certified mail with the board of administration, the board from the condominium association shall respond in writing to the unit owner within 30 days after receipt of the inquiry. The condominium association board’s response shall either give a substantive response to the inquirer, notify the inquirer that a legal opinion has been requested, or notify the inquirer that advice has been requested from the division. If the condominium association board requests advice from the division, the board shall, within ten days after its receipt of the advice, provide in writing a substantive response to the inquirer. If a legal opinion is requested, the condominium association board shall, within 60 days after the receipt of the inquiry, provide in writing a substantive response to the inquiry. There are penalties if these deadlines are not adhered to. It should also be noted that the condominium association may, through its board of administration, adopt reasonable rules and regulations regarding the frequency and manner of responding to unit owner inquiries.

In contrast, the Florida Homeowners’ Association Act contains no such similar provision.  As such, the HOA is not required under the statutes to respond to the certified inquiry. That being said, the HOA’s governing documents still need to be checked to confirm there is no requirement therein to respond to an owner’s certified inquiry. Even if not legally required, the HOA board should consider whether it is advisable to respond to the owner’s complaints in some manner as a proactive step to possibly help resolve a dispute rather than letting it escalate further.  This decision should come after seeking advice from the association’s counsel.

Originally posted on floridacondohoalawblog.com and written by David G Muller

Procedure To Convert To Pooled Reserves

Q: Can a condominium association board vote to convert from straight-line reserves to pooled reserves without a membership vote?  R.F. via e-mail

A: “Cash flow” funding of condominium reserves, often referred to as the “pooling” method of reserve funding, is a concept that was introduced many years ago through an amendment to the state’s administrative rules regulating condominium finances.  Under the traditional, “straight-line” method, required reserve contributions are calculated by using a formula that divides the cost of replacing a particular item by the number of useful years that item has left, minus the reserve funds on hand for that item, with the result being the amount to fully fund that item for the next fiscal year.  Each reserve component must be separately funded and must appear as a separate line item in the reserve schedule which is part of the budget.  Absent a majority vote of the unit owners at a duly called meeting, monies for each separate reserve item can only be used for that particular reserve item.

Under the pooling or cash-flow method, each reserve item is still separately funded but the money is put into one account. The reserve schedule computation is a bit more complicated and typically needs to be prepared by an accountant or reserve consultant.  The basic theory is that the association attempts to predict the year a particular asset will require deferred maintenance or replacement, and a mathematical formula is then applied to calculate required contributions for each year.  In theory, the money should be available when needed, with a lower contribution than required using the straight-line method.

A condominium association needs approval of the unit owners (i.e. a majority of the owners who vote at a meeting where a quorum is attained) to put existing straight-line reserves into the “pool.”  Once the vote to switch to pooled reserves is successful, no further votes would be required in future years and the association could continue to operate under the pooling method.

Q: My homeowners association is in a dispute with the landscaping company that was recently terminated for doing a bad job and for damaging common property.  The board advises that they are not going to sue the landscaping company because it will cost too much money and there is no way to recover the attorney fees incurred during the litigation.  Is the board right?  Is there no way to recover attorney fees in this type of dispute?  B.L. via e-mail

A: Since your association entered into a written service contract with this landscaping company, the terms of the contract will govern this dispute.  If the contract does not contain a provision allowing prevailing party attorney fees and costs in the event of a legal dispute, the association will likely have no ability to pursue these types of damages.  I use the term “likely” here because Florida Statutes do provide for the recovery of prevailing party attorney fees and costs in certain situations.  That being said, from the information you have provided, I doubt the association will have any statutory claim for prevailing party attorney fees and costs.

It is recommended that any contract the association enters into be first reviewed by the association attorney.  Many proposed contracts that I review on behalf of my association clients seem appealing because they are brief (one or two pages) but lack sufficient details and almost always favor the contractor.  A properly drafted contract will address important terms, including not only how you can terminate but issues like required insurance, indemnity for injuries, and the right to recover attorney fees if you have to go to court.

Attorney David G. Muller is a shareholder with the law firm of Becker & Poliakoff, P.A., Naples (www.beckerlawyers.com). The information provided herein is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The publication of this column does not create an attorney-client relationship between the reader and Becker & Poliakoff, P.A. 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.

Originally posted by floridacondohoalawblog.com Written by David G. Muller is a Board Certified Attorney in Condominium and Planned Development Law with Becker & Poliakoff, P.A., which represents community associations throughout Florida, with offices in Naples, Fort Myers and 10 other Florida cities.  The Firm focuses a substantial amount of its practice on condominium and homeowners association law. 

Special Assessment Leftover Funds Must Be Returned or Credited To Account

Q: Our condominium association board levied a special assessment for Hurricane Irma damage. Our insurance claim settled for more than we expected, resulting in an excess of funds due to the special assessment. What happens to this leftover money? (S.S., via e-mail)

A: Section 718.116(10) of the Florida Condominium Act provides that funds collected from a special assessment can only be used for the specific purposes for which the assessment was levied. Leftover funds are considered “common surplus” and may, at the discretion of the board, either be returned to the unit owners or applied as a credit toward future assessments.

Q: I am on the board of my condominium association. Several of the directors recently had a “workshop” session to understand the details of a major construction project that is coming up. The workshop was intended to be informational only. No votes were taken. Were we required to post notice of the workshop? (S.C., via e-mail)

A: The answer to your question depends on whether a quorum of the board was present at this gathering. While the law does not specifically address “workshops,” if there was a quorum of the board present, it was a “meeting” if association business was “conducted.”

It is widely accepted that votes need not be taken for a meeting to occur. In my opinion, the activity you describe involve the conduct of association business. On the other hand, if the majority of your directors attend an educational seminar, this is not a meeting as you are not addressing the business of your association.

Therefore, assuming a quorum of the board was present at this event, notice and an agenda should have been posted at least 48 hours in advance on the condominium property, and all unit owners should have been given the right to attend and speak, subject to any reasonable rules the board may have adopted governing unit owner statements at board meetings.

Q: My wife and I co-own a condominium unit. At the last election, we both ran for the board and were elected. Now, some of the directors say we both cannot serve at the same time, and have demanded that we choose which one of us will hold the seat. Is there a precedent on this? (J.O., via e-mail).

A: Section 718.112(2)(d)2 of the Florida Condominium Act states that in a residential condominium association of more than 10 units, co-owners of a unit may not serve as members of the board of directors at the same time, unless they own more than one unit or unless there are not enough eligible candidates to fill the vacancies on the board at the time of the vacancy.

Therefore, if your condominium consists of more than 10 units, if you and your wife only own one unit, and if there was a contested election, you both cannot serve on the board at the same time. Whichever of you received the greater number of votes would be the person who was actually elected, so you can’t simply choose between you. The person who received the next highest number of votes but was not considered elected, would take one of your seats.

It is also worthwhile to note that the law requires challenges to elections to be made within 60 days through an arbitration proceeding with a state regulatory agency. If the election was more than 60 days ago, I am not sure how that would play out since seating both you and your wife was what lawyers call “void ab initio,” meaning null and void from the start.

Originally posted on floridacondohoalawblog.com and written by Joe Adams is an attorney with Becker & Poliakoff, P.A., Fort Myers. 

A Primer on Budgeting and Reserves

Few aspects of condominium and cooperative association operations are as heavily regulated as the budgeting process and yet too many boards take an informal approach to these crucial director functions.  From Section 718.504, which lists the required operating expense categories, to Section 718.112, which delineates the process and the requirements for reserve disclosures, budgeting, funding and use of reserve funds, to Section 61B-22 of the Administrative Code, which addresses even more detailed aspects of the process we can see how broadly the Florida Legislature has addressed budgeting and reserves.  Errors in the manner in which budgets and reserves are handled can subject associations to monetary penalties imposed by the State.

Budgeting is a process of estimating upcoming expenses.  On the operating side, most communities rely on prior years’ budgets and financial statements to develop the upcoming year’s budget for operating expenses.  The operating budget should be designed to meet the reasonably anticipated operating expenses.  All board members should do everything they can to deliver value to the members for their assessment dollars, but some boards make the unwise decision to keep assessments down artificially for political purposes at the expense of performing necessary maintenance.  When this occurs, the ultimate repair costs are usually higher because of the damage and deterioration that could have been avoided had repairs been done in a responsible and timely manner.  To put it simply, budgeting to properly maintain the community is, of course, a fiscal issue, and a planning issue, but it should not be a political issue. 

On the reserve side, many communities that went years or even decades without funding any reserves are finally starting to fund at some level and are considering the cash flow funding model over the component funding model, usually because the cash flow model funds a pooled reserve rather than a reserve fund in which funds are restricted for specific reserve assets rather than being available to use for any reserve asset.  For those communities without fully funded reserves, an accurate reserve study is the best defense against complaints over the inevitable special assessments needed to supplement underfunded reserves or fund projects for which the membership has voted to have no reserves. Boards that pull reserve estimates out of thin air are setting themselves up for future complaints and possible recall when the figures they chose prove wildly inaccurate.

There are too many communities that do not attach an accurate reserve schedule to the proposed budget, as required by Statute.  Usually this is because these communities have not obtained a reserve study from a reliable professional or, in an even worse scenario, have a reserve study and have chosen not to disclose its contents.  All board members and managers are encouraged to remember that the purpose of a reserve study is to allow the board to make accurate disclosures of the upcoming reserve expenses.  The purpose of the disclosure is to enable the owners  to know what expenses are coming up, but does not deprive the members of the right to vote each year to waive or reduce the funding of the reserve portion of the budget.  The assets for which reserve disclosures are required by law are the roof, paving and painting, regardless of cost, and any other component for which deferred maintenance or replacement cost will exceed $10,000.00.  Assets costing less than this dollar threshold can be aggregated for the purpose of reserve budgeting and the Administrative Code allows the board to create other reserves (other than those required by Statute).  For each reserve asset, the reserve schedule must disclose its estimated total useful life, estimated remaining useful life, estimated deferred maintenance or replacement cost, and for reserves funded on the component model, the estimated balance in the reserves for that asset at the end of the current fiscal year. 

This analysis applies to both condominiums and cooperatives (the citations above are for condominiums, but there are identical requirements for cooperatives in other portions of the Statute and Administrative Code).  Homeowners association are not subject to the same requirements unless the developer (before turnover) or a majority of the members (after turnover) vote to opt into the statutory reserve structure.

Preparing your operating budget and planning for reserves each year requires thoughtful deliberation as to the needs of the community both short and long-term.

Charging the Way: New Law Opens the Door for Electric Charging Stations in Condominiums

A recent amendment to Chapter 718, Florida’s Condominium Act, facilitates a unit owner’s ability to install and use an electric-vehicle charging station within their condominium. Section 718.113(8), Florida Statutes, which took effect on July 1, 2018, created a new provision stating that a declaration of a condominium or the board of administration of a condominium may not prohibit a unit owner from installing an electric vehicle charging station within the boundaries of the unit owner’s limited common element parking area, under certain circumstances. A unit owner’s “right” to install a charging stating is not, however, without limits. An association may require that the unit owner comply with all safety requirements, applicable building codes or recognized safety standards for the protection of the association property and its members. An association may also require the unit owner to engage the services of a licensed and registered electrical contractor or an engineer that is familiar with the installation and requirements of an electric vehicle charging station. An owner wishing to install an electric vehicle charging station may also be required to comply with any reasonable architectural standards adopted by the association that govern the dimensions, placement or appearance of the electric vehicle charging station. However, such standards cannot substantially increase the cost of installation.

The new law also provides for additional safeguards for the association. For example, installation of an electric vehicle charging station may not cause irreparable damage to the condominium property. The electricity for the electric vehicle charging station must be separately metered and paid for by the unit owner making the installation. Cost of installation, operation, maintenance and repair of the electric vehicle charging station, including hazard and liability insurance, is the unit owner’s responsibility. Additionally, an association may require the unit owner to reimburse the association for the actual cost of any increased insurance premium attributable to the electric vehicle charging station. The law also shields condominium associations from construction liens resulting from the installation of electric vehicle charging stations by unit owners.

The new law does not, however, say anything about what happens if the association voluntarily opts to install “common” electric vehicle charging stations. In other words, if a condominium association opts to install these “common” electric vehicle charging stations (after complying with the necessary legal requirements) it does not mean that unit owners no longer have the right to install their own charging stations. The new law also does not address who is responsible for any costs associated with upgrading the condominium’s electrical system if an upgrade is necessary to handle the increased electrical usage.

Originally posted on floridacondohoalawblog.com and written by Jennifer Horan

Those Pesky Little White Balls

Living in a golf course community is the ultimate dream for many. However, a golf course address can equate to some rather nightmarish liability issues for many community associations. Those issues often stem from misdirected golf swings or “errant” shots.

There is no statutory law that governs golf ball liability. However, the Supreme Court of Florida has established that the driver of a golf ball is charged with the duty to exercise “ordinary care” for the safety of persons reasonably within the range of danger. Similarly, several other Florida courts have concluded that an operator of a golf course is not required to maintain the course in such conditions that no accident could possibly happen.

Nonetheless, according to such court rulings, the owner or operator of a golf course does have a legal duty to maintain the course in a reasonably safe condition, commensurate with the facts and circumstances that an ordinarily prudent person would generally exercise. Moreover, if a person knows of the existence of the course before moving into a golf course community, he or she is presumed to have “assumed the risk.” As such, generally speaking, that person cannot hold anyone liable for any damage or physical injury which may result from an errant golf ball.

The question of whether a community association can be held liable for errant shot damage or physical injury is dependent on several factors. If approached from a safety perspective, it is well-settled that a community association is charged with a duty of protection from foreseeable common element danger. Such duty arises because an association is usually held to a landlord’s standard of care regarding the common elements in its control. Additionally, the duty to protect against flying golf balls can also be compared to an association’s duty to protect its residents and invitees from foreseeable criminal acts.

Based on all of this, community associations are not automatically insulated from liability regarding errant golf balls. The potential for significant liability does exist. As such, an association’s governing documents and marketing materials should clearly provide that the association cannot be held liable for any damage or injury caused by golf balls hit from a community, or adjacent course. The disclaimer should also be included on the face of an association’s website and in periodic newsletters as well.

Finally, if an association is aware of errant golf balls flying into the community, it should also display signs to warn of the issue, given that the “open and obvious nature” of such a hazard may not always suffice to discharge an association of its duty to warn its membership and invitees of foreseeable potential harm. But, warnings do not necessarily discharge an association from maintaining its property in a reasonably safe condition. Thus, even if an association places warning signs regarding errant golf balls, it still has a duty to try to alleviate any known problems, in an effort to keep its premises safe.

Originally posted on floridacondohoalawblog.com and written by Astrid Guardado, ESQ