RE Q&A: Can Pandemic Postpone Construction Contracts?

A condo association signed a agreement, but homeowners now have a pandemic-era fret about design workers moving into their unit. Could this be lawfully postponed? STUART, Fla. – Question: We are clearly involved about COVID-19 and the association is about to embark on a design project that needs contractors to […]

A condo association signed a agreement, but homeowners now have a pandemic-era fret about design workers moving into their unit. Could this be lawfully postponed?

STUART, Fla. – Question: We are clearly involved about COVID-19 and the association is about to embark on a design project that needs contractors to enter the unit. Several homeowners are involved about contractors coming in the unit, even with masks. Can we hold off the project? – P.R., Delray Beach front

Respond to: There are two areas of this evaluation, the board’s duty to keep and restore the condominium and the design agreement by itself.

Obviously, quite a few associations are delicate to COVID-19 and utilizing different protocols to mitigate the risk of the virus moving into the community. The initially difficulty, on the other hand, is regardless of whether the project can bodily wait. Since the board has a duty to keep, restore and swap the widespread elements, a scenario in which all of the roofs are leaking just about every time it rains in July is distinct from a purely beauty project. The previous may well be necessary to move forward and the latter can clearly wait.

The next difficulty is regardless of whether the board has any ability to hold off the agreement by itself. If the agreement has already been signed and delivered to the contractor, the association may well be in breach of the agreement if it tells the contractors to wait. On the other hand, the contractor may well be working with staffing troubles owing to COVID-19 and may well welcome the overall flexibility.

Further, the agreement may well include things like a provision which excuses functionality owing to force majeure occasions, these as hurricanes and labor strikes and may well be drafted broadly to include things like pandemics. If so, this may well be an justification by the association or the contractor to commence on time. With these provisions, the specific language is quite critical and is distinct from agreement to agreement.

I would advise that you have the agreement reviewed by a licensed Florida attorney to figure out your rights beneath the agreement, and then the board can figure out the finest training course of motion dependent on regardless of whether the perform is critical or non-critical.

Question: Our condominium board just permitted developing pickleball courts up coming to the tennis courts. The expense is roughly $30,000 but the board insists it can do this without the need of a member vote. We are upset for the reason that the proposed area is at this time a sitting area with experienced trees that we enjoy. Can the board do this? – T.D., Stuart

Respond to: The answer is, of training course, perhaps. If you have been to evaluate this dilemma exclusively beneath the Condominium Act, the statute needs the membership to authorize any substance alterations to the widespread elements. A substance alteration is broadly outlined as a palpable or perceptive adjust in the use, physical appearance or functionality of a widespread ingredient.

Here, the filth is at this time landscaped and has a sitting area. If the pickleball courts are installed, this area would now be used for an work out area. This is a substance alteration and the statute would have to have that at the very least 75% of the voting pursuits approve the adjust to pickleball right before the board has the authority to approve the alteration.

The wrinkle, on the other hand, is that the statute also gives that your specific condominium paperwork may well provide for a distinct approval threshold, and may well also provide that specific alterations are exempt from owner approval entirely. For example, quite a few paperwork provide that substance alterations can be permitted with only a the vast majority of the voting pursuits existing and voting at a conference. Similarly, quite a few paperwork provide that only substance alterations exceeding a specific dollar threshold have to have approval.

Here, if your paperwork provide for anything distinct than the statute (and quite a few paperwork do provide anything distinct) then the pickleball court docket may well be exempt from a vote if the paperwork let the board to unilaterally approve alterations up to, for example, $fifty,000. As a result, the suggestion is that you have your paperwork and the pickleball proposal reviewed by a licensed Florida attorney to figure out if a vote is expected. From the board’s standpoint, it’s also critical that the board verify regardless of whether or not a vote is expected right before you commence design.

Steven J. Adamczyk Esq., is a shareholder of the legislation business Goede, Adamczyk, DeBoest & Cross, PLLC. The facts supplied herein is for informational functions only and must not be construed as legal assistance. The publication of this write-up does not generate an attorney-customer relationship amongst the reader and Goede, Adamczyk, DeBoest & Cross, or any of our lawyers. Visitors must not act or refrain from performing primarily based upon the facts contained in this write-up without the need of initially getting in contact with an attorney, if you have inquiries about any of the troubles raised herein. The using the services of of an attorney is a choice that must not be primarily based exclusively on advertisements or this column.

© 2020 Journal Media Team

Lorrie R. Pedigo

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