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Parking disputes

Location: Hollywood  |  Law type: condominiums


Last spring, my wife and I bought Unit 4B in Broward. 

Between the purchase offer and the final transaction, we got our hands on two documents prepared by the Association in 2011 and 2012. Those documents made me understand that, at this time, the parking allocated to unit 4B was # 84. However, a few days before the closing, the Association informed us that the parking spot linked to 4B is now # 191. Much less advantageous, much further, uncovered, and considering that my wife is seriously ill, we asked the Association to get back the parking #84. According the Association explanations, parking # 84 is now assign differently than it was on the parking plan as describe in 2011 and 2012 because parking spot was changed on the base of an “implied consent” of unit owners. Now the parking 84 is linked with unit 7F.

We replied to their letter and argued some dispositions from governing documents and a few minutes later, with a minimum of analysis or no analysis, the manager returned an email telling us that they could not accept our request. 

On may 17, I spoke to the Manager of the building, who told me on condition of anonymity that the association did not want to review a decision that was made by a former administration, that is the policy, because it could open the door to a multitude of disputes. Others parking were exchanged as our parking, to the benefit of a director or friends. 

A few weeks later, I contacted the original owner, December 1, 1971 who owned 4B up to September 2015, the year of the foreclose. The previous owner wrote us that the parking space #84 has always been associated with Unit 4B. He confirms also that he never a transferred the “Ownership” for the parking. The same type of communication took place with is buyer, the second owner of the 4B. The latter was never made aware that the parking space of the 4 B was # 84 so he could not have given up his rights. QUESTION: If no previous unit owners of the 4B treated with the owners of the 7F, who had had an implied consent with him. On July 26th, we sent a letter to the Association. The letter was to get information and documents in order to perform our personal investigation. We wanted also inform the Association that we spoke with former owners and the never renounced to ownership of the parking 84. On August 22, A rep of the Association came back to us about our letter submitted to Board of Directors. He told us, based on legal counsel, that they could not reassign the parking space # 84 and that everything would remain like that. Legal counsel stated that the worst-case scenario for them would be a monetary compensation paid to the plaintiff but they will never reassign original parking. According to the rep the Association had no document to justify the implied consent, namely the date of the transfer, who authorized the transfer, etc. An official response should follow from the Association.  According to the documents submitted to us, up to now, (none), all seem to converge to the conclusion that there was no transaction. Aside from the "implied consent", with none of the two previous owners consented, and no valid legal argument from the governing documents was presented to us to support the transfer of parking # 84 to unit 7F. Following a careful reading of the Condominium Declaration, the By-Laws, the Articles of Incorporation, the House Rules, and the Florida Statutes, there is no evidence that the Association acted in good faith in the pseudo transfer of the parking lot #84 to unit 7F. According to public records in Broward County, no amendments were made to the title of 7F since it was acquired on January 8, 2014. 

They do not want to go to the legal side to tell us how was operated the transfer and prefer to discuss a monetary arrangement if it gets too hot. Is there a rabbit in the hat??? On our Warranty Deed it is indicated that we acquired the unit 4B together with undivided share in the common elements. How this parking lot have been separately conveyed with strict guidelines framing by the governing documents?

On September 4th, I spoke with the owner of the unit 7F, in order to get more precisions regarding the parking 84 transfer and maybe to come to an agreement to avoid delay and dispute. He informed me that the transfer was done when Paul was president, more than three years ago. (According to the time line, a new board was elected on February 6th 2015). Upon arrival on January 8th 2014, the unit 7 F was linked to parking spot 95 (as showed on the plan prepared by the association in 2011 and 2012). He told me that he never had any discussion (s) and / or agreement (s) with the former owners of unit 4B regarding the parking 84. The transfer was performed by the secretary of the Association, at that time, who confirmed his new assignment of parking space (84). The association assign to him this place knowing that the owners of 4B were in financial difficulties and that said condo was to go on a forced sale for unpaid fees. He says he never paid for the 84-parking spot, he only asked for a more accessible parking and place was assigned to his unit. A purchase offer was accepted for unit 7F. The transaction should be concluded next October between the sellers and the new buyers.

Now, it is where we are with the facts. As alien citizens we can read and understanding documents but we do not know the scope of those document in a US litigation. The association avoids to collaborate and telling us the truth in order to have to open the parking folder. They knowing very well that other parking spaces were transferred with this “modus operandi” without legal foundations. Making one correction is creating a breach in their procedures and it could leads to correct many other limited common elements. 

We are not happy to have to resort to legal action for such basic things. However, if  a legal consultation indicate that our action is not suicidal, and the legal documents governing the Association have a bearing that may to change the illegal things we will undertake procedures to recover the use of the parking 84.

 

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