In Florida many condo owners and homeowners have problems with their Associations and other owners but aren’t sure if they should hire a lawyer. This post is designed to assist condo owners and homeowners in making that decision.
Florida condo owners and homeowners are routinely faced with many problems related to condominium law, the Florida Condominium Act, HOA issues, disaster recovery, hurricane claims, water and mold damage damage due to association’s failure to maintain common elements, injury claims in common areas, covenant enforcement, illegal budget increases, selective enforcement claims, improper leasing restrictions, tortious interference with owner’s right to sell or rent, pet restrictions, interference with an owner’s quiet use and enjoyment, noise complaints, harassment by board members and property management, architectural review claims, and improper use of funds by board members, just to name a few.
It is important to understand that Condo Associations and Homeowner Associations in Florida keep expensive attorneys on retainer using your maintenance dues. While you may be able to resolve some matters by yourself it is difficult for an individual owner to deal with stubborn board members or slick defense attorneys without legal representation of their own. If your matter is serious it may be necessary for you to retain an experienced trial attorney to help you resolve the problem in the most efficient manner. It is important that the Florida Attorney you decide to hire concentrates in representing owners in their claims against their associations. Many condo attorneys in South Florida say they represent owners when the majority of their work is for Associations. As a Trial Attorney with over 20 years of experience I choose not represent Associations. I only represent individuals. Half of my practice involves representing condo owners and homeowners resolve their disputes against their associations and the other half of my practice involves representing individuals that have been seriously injured as a result of someone else’s negligence. I have been approached by Associations but decided long ago not to represent them in order to keep the battle lines clear.
If you decide to hire an attorney to represent you in your dispute against your association here are some things to consider. Almost all cases are handled on an hourly basis. What that means is that you pay the attorney for all of his or her time spent dealing with your case. The attorney should keep accurate time records showing what they did and how much time they spent doing it. You will most likely have to provide the attorney with an amount to be kept in Trust as a Retainer. Some attorneys will make the retainer non-refundable while others allow it to be refundable. The attorney should send you a monthly statement itemizing his time and charges. Usually you will be asked to replenish the retainer which is like a security deposit for a month of the attorney’s time.
If your case is going to involve litigation the attorney’s time will be significantly greater. It is important to be totally up front with your attorney about the facts and circumstances surrounding your case so that he can help you decide on the best course of action. If your attorney successfully resolves your case against the association you may be entitled to reimbursement for your attorney’s fees and costs from the association.
The Law Offices of Herb Milgrim, P.A. has over 20 years of extensive legal experience. We serve the legal needs of individual Condominium owners, Home owners and Cooperative owners in resolving disputes with their Associations throughout Broward, Dade and Palm Beach Counties, including Hollywood, Davie, Fort Lauderdale, Pembroke Pines, Hallandale, Sunny Isles, Aventura, North Miami, Boca Raton and West Palm Beach with two convenient office locations in Hollywood Florida and Boca Raton Florida.
We provide prospective clients with a Free Case Evaluation. Once we have been retained we review all of the relevant documents and governing Florida Laws and advise our clients on the best course of action.
Call us now at 954-966-3900.