Florida condo owners sometimes complain about why they can't hire any contractor they want to. For example, it's not uncommon for some condo owners to want to hire the "cheapest" contractor. Or to pay one of the association's maintenance technicians under the table to handle "side work" or "special favors", such as when the condo owner is traveling or away for the summer.
Often, these situations are just another example of condo owners who do not understand the obligation they entered when buying a Florida condominium.
Florida condominium associations can limit contractor work. The association's governing documents, such as the declaration of condominium, bylaws, and rules and regulations, may contain provisions that limit the types of work that can be done by contractors, the qualifications of contractors, and the procedures for hiring contractors. For example, the governing documents may require that all contractors be licensed and insured, that they obtain approval from the association before beginning work, and that they follow the association's standards for workmanship.
In addition to the governing documents, the association may also have policies and procedures that limit contractor work. These policies and procedures may be adopted by the board of directors or by the membership at a meeting. The policies and procedures may be more restrictive than the governing documents, but they cannot conflict with the governing documents.
One common example of these types of limits may be the hours or days that contractor work may be performed. Rules may limit work to weekdays only. And the hours to 8 AM to 5 PM.
If you are a unit owner in a Florida condominium and you are considering hiring a contractor to do work in your unit, you should check the association's governing documents and policies and procedures to make sure that the work is allowed and that you are following the proper procedures. Ask the property manager about whether work requires approval. And best if you ask in writing and get an answer in writing. If not, you may put yourself at risk of receiving a fine.
Here are some of the ways that Florida condominium associations can limit contractor work:
Require that all contractors be licensed and insured. This helps to ensure that contractors have the skills and experience necessary to do the work safely and that they will be financially responsible if they damage your unit or the common elements.
Require that contractors obtain approval from the association before beginning work. This gives the association an opportunity to review the contractor's qualifications and to make sure that the work is consistent with the association's standards.
Require that contractors follow the association's standards for workmanship. This helps to ensure that the work is done to a high standard and that it will last for many years.
It's not uncommon for insurance companies to discourage Florida condo associations from allowing owners to hire association employees, for example, an association's maintenance technician. Why?
If you are a condo owner and you are considering hiring an association employee, you should talk to your condo insurance company to understand the potential liability risks involved. Also, your act may lead to the association employee being disciplined including losing their job.
If you have any questions about the association's rules and regulations regarding contractor work, you should contact the association's management company or board of directors.
Condo contractors, as most condo association topics, can be a complex legal issue. If you have concerns about whether or how you should deal with Florida condo contractors, you should consult an attorney with experience in these matters.