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Subject: Hurricane Shutters
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BillieR
(Texas)

Posts:8


01/10/2011 8:24 PM  
We live in an HOA on the Gulf of Mexico. We have had our share of Hurricanes and scares the past few years.
There are 116 units in our gated HOA. For many years when very severe weather threatned our area plywood boards were placed on the windows of each unit. BTW, we have upper and lower units. Over time, many owners saw the wisdom of metal roll down Hurricane Shutters and now about 40% of owners have these shutters. Others have been permitted to use metal--slide in--window protectors. The others still use plywood. Sorry for the long intro, here is my question to the group: Can we (BOD) direct absentee owners--landlords--to install roll down shutters as many of these owners are not prepared for the quick reaction time to protect their units and thus the adjoining units in the building. In the past the HOA stored the plywood and left installation to owners, friends, contractors, etc. Now our HOA wants to get out of the Hurricane Protection Business and have owners be responsible. Of course, if we adopt this policy, the HOA BOD/Manager will, at the 11th hour, protect the irresponsible owners unit, but at a hefty fee and a fine. Comments please or example of other similar HOAs enacting such a policy. Billie R, South TX
DonnaS
(Tennessee)

Posts:5671


01/11/2011 11:07 AM  

Billie,

The answer to this is not as simple as you would think. My first question is...Does the State of Texas have any laws or Statutes regarding shutters such as a HOA MAY NOT ban the use or installation of shutters. I know that Florida prohibits HOA from restricting them. If not, then we would need to know what your governing documents say aboyt shutters...again..if anything.

If your documents do not have any wording about shutters, then we need to look at Board members responsibility and powers. Does the Board have the ability to enact Hurricane or emergency procedures?
Being that you are in the hurricane zone, you might have some written requirements for building safety. Do you have any of that?

Is there an architectural enforcement or design approval process? If you do, then they would be the rules that govern what type of shutters can be installed. Is this a condo building or buildings or stand alone homes? If you are a condo, then it is the Board responsibility to protect the entire structure, including the roofs. Having done my share of hurricanes in 13 months with Francis, Jeannie and Wilma, I know that those windows must be protected or off goes the roof. Now it is the HOA's loss as well as the unit owners loss.

If I were there, I would fight to have shutters installed on every unit. It is stupid, the reasoning that people use to not have them, stating cost as number one. Insurance deductable for hurricane damage is usually 20% of the replacement cost so do the math. A $100.000 unit will cost $3000.00 to shutter or $20,000 to pay the deductable. Hummmm,
DonnaS
(Tennessee)

Posts:5671


01/11/2011 11:22 AM  

Sorry, I had to leave but I am back with more thoughts.

So your property manager makes sure that the plywood gets hung up prior to a storm? Well, isn't that comforting to know that the P.M must run like crazy to get plywood installed. And it's so pretty too. Pass a rule that all units must have hurricane grade (we use Miami grade shutters--150 mph, in So. Florida) protection on all unit windows. This is really nothing that unit owners should be able to fight. Also check with your County regulations as they may have standards.
AnnaD2
(Florida)

Posts:940


01/11/2011 11:35 AM  
Donna is correct in stating Florida HOA's and Condos canNOT restrict people from installing Hurricane protection...BUT...the Association may restrict what type of protection is used.

At my condo association we are prohibited from using plywood on the outside if it requires drilling any type of holes in the exterior of the building.
BillieR
(Texas)

Posts:8


01/11/2011 11:57 AM  
Donna and Anna: TY for the thoughtful input.

Bottom line:
1. Our CC&Rs require the BOD to protect the HOA property,
2. TX does not restrict hurricane shutters or HOA from requiring them,
3. Agree with plywood comment--YUK!,
4. BYlaws are silent on Hurricane Policy--however we do have Rules/Policies addressing this and subject to change by the BOD w/o membership approval.

Summary: We will update our Hurricane Plan to include mandatory shutters, no more plywood, owners responsiblity and if not done, the BOD will protect the property at a still cost to irresponsible owners.

BillieR
DonnaS
(Tennessee)

Posts:5671


01/11/2011 12:04 PM  

WAY TO GO BILLIE! No matter who you are or where you are, there will always be people who just don't give a hoot about doing the right thing. When you get a building with all of these units in them, it takes one or two fools who don't protect their units and everyone else will suffer in the end. Consider the building as a whole, not unit by unit. Plywood is not for window coverings either. In the event of an emergency inside of the units, the owners have a hard time getting out.
BillieR
(Texas)

Posts:8


01/11/2011 12:50 PM  
TY Donna.

We will execute this policy at our upcoming Annual Meeting and be willing to handle tthe fallout.
BillieR
PeterD3
(Florida)

Posts:708


01/11/2011 1:49 PM  
Review your state laws first before assuming you can do this with JUST a BOD vote.

For example, the Florida Condominuim Act states:

"The Condominium Act authorizes the association, upon approval of a majority of the unit owners, to make the installation of hurricane shutters mandatory for everyone."

This means it would also be a "common expense" shared by all.

The Act further states:

"That unit owners who already have installed code-compliant shutters are to receive a credit against their share of the assessments for money already spent in the installation of their shutters."
DonnaS
(Tennessee)

Posts:5671


01/11/2011 2:03 PM  

Peter,

Thanks for posting the Florida Statute. What the Statute means is that the association must get a majority of approval votes to enact a manditory obligation of the unit owners to "require" that units have shutters installed. It does not mean that the association will pay for them, thus making it a common expense.

Here is the Statutes 718:113

""(5) Each board of administration shall adopt hurricane shutter specifications for each building within each condominium operated by the association which shall include color, style, and other factors deemed relevant by the board. All specifications adopted by the board shall comply with the applicable building code.

(a) The board may, subject to the provisions of s. 718.3026, and the approval of a majority of voting interests of the condominium, install hurricane shutters or hurricane protection that complies with or exceeds the applicable building code, or both, except that a vote of the owners is not required if the maintenance, repair, and replacement of hurricane shutters or other forms of hurricane protection are the responsibility of the association pursuant to the declaration of condominium. However, where hurricane protection or laminated glass or window film architecturally designed to function as hurricane protection which complies with or exceeds the current applicable building code has been previously installed, the board may not install hurricane shutters or other hurricane protection.

(b) The association shall be responsible for the maintenance, repair, and replacement of the hurricane shutters or other hurricane protection authorized by this subsection if such hurricane shutters or other hurricane protection is the responsibility of the association pursuant to the declaration of condominium. If the hurricane shutters or other hurricane protection authorized by this subsection are the responsibility of the unit owners pursuant to the declaration of condominium, the responsibility for the maintenance, repair, and replacement of such items shall be the responsibility of the unit owner.

(c) The board may operate shutters installed pursuant to this subsection without permission of the unit owners only where such operation is necessary to preserve and protect the condominium property and association property. The installation, replacement, operation, repair, and maintenance of such shutters in accordance with the procedures set forth herein shall not be deemed a material alteration to the common elements or association property within the meaning of this section.

(d) Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary in the condominium documents, if approval is required by the documents, a board shall not refuse to approve the installation or replacement of hurricane shutters by a unit owner conforming to the specifications adopted by the board.

(
PeterD3
(Florida)

Posts:708


01/11/2011 3:06 PM  
No need to thank me Donna... it actually sounds a bit dissmissive.

This sentence below from 5(a) clearly says the BOD is installing them unless they (BOD) ALREADY have the authority (responsibility) of providing hurricane protection in which case, well...then they already have the authority to install them so no approval is required (the capitalization is my embellishment for possible enhanced clarity).


"The BOARD may, subject to the provisions of s. 718.3026, and the approval of a majority of voting interests of the condominium, INSTALL hurricane shutters or hurricane protection that complies with or exceeds the applicable building code, or both, except that a vote of the owners is not required if the maintenance, repair, and replacement of hurricane shutters or other forms of hurricane protection are the responsibility of the association pursuant to the declaration of condominium.


Assuming no damage caused by, or other negligence on the part of, an individual owner, Please show me what law gives Florida condo assns. the right to impose a personal or individual expense for a mandated capital improvement to the Common Area... BESIDES an assessment?
BillieR
(Texas)

Posts:8


01/11/2011 3:39 PM  
Peter and Donna,

I am being educated as this blog continues and this is appreciated. TX is different than FL and we are studying the applicable TX Statues. The end game is to have shutters on all units (period). The alternative is to reduce the number and severity of Hurricanes that threaten our area--TX Legislature is should study that with an "earmark" (Pork) BillieR
PeterD3
(Florida)

Posts:708


01/11/2011 3:53 PM  
Agreed Bille.. the destination is virtious, but the journey may be laborious.

Sorry for the Fla. diversion but it shows the possible issues you may encounter.
PeterD3
(Florida)

Posts:708


01/11/2011 3:56 PM  
I meant for "virtious" to be "virtuous".
AnnaD2
(Florida)

Posts:940


01/11/2011 4:01 PM  
Peter...I may be a dummy so correct me if I'm wrong....but the class that I took concerning the statutes that you quoted refer ONLY to "common areas" of the condo buildings...and NOT to individual units.

For instance.....laundry room windows; lobby windows; and any other common spaces.
PeterD3
(Florida)

Posts:708


01/11/2011 4:17 PM  
Neither of us know the complete context of the situation esp. the gov. docs., and I am not qualified to correct you, but in a Florida condo situation you TYPICALLY only own from the "drywall-in" sort of speak (a.k.a. your unit).

The rest of the structure is owned, maintained, AND INSURED by the assn. Thus, application of exterior shutters would be attached to the common area.

PeterD3
(Florida)

Posts:708


01/11/2011 4:21 PM  
Furterhmore, how this applies to TX. is unknown.
BillieR
(Texas)

Posts:8


01/11/2011 4:38 PM  
Peter and Anna,

I cannot begin to thank enough for the dialog on this issue- so important to our HOA.

In summary (so far), here is what I get:
1. Our attorney will provide the applicable TX statutes addressing this issue--with opinion,
2. The BOD will comply with TX Law and our CC&Rs,
3. All 116 units here--upper and lower--WILL be properly protected from possible hurricane damage, and
4. Aesthetics will be considered and plywood will not be used.
BillieR
PeterD3
(Florida)

Posts:708


01/11/2011 4:44 PM  
Good luck.

1 & 2 will determine 3 & 4.
DonnaS
(Tennessee)

Posts:5671


01/11/2011 6:03 PM  

Peter,

I certainly had no intentions of having an attitude or to be snarkey. I appologize if that is what you felt from my reply. Sorry.

I have to go with Anna on this one. Both of my condo units have owner responsibility also to include the windows, frames and glass. Shutters were installed by me at my own expense....both units. It will depend on the individual documents. We have had numerous postings here on window and glass replacements which has resulted in unit owners are responsible for them.
BillieR
(Texas)

Posts:8


01/11/2011 9:01 PM  
Thanks to you all for your input. All comments have been helpful. BillieR
PeterD3
(Florida)

Posts:708


01/12/2011 4:24 AM  
The ownership of windows, glass and doors are not in question here. It is not uncommon for those to be owned by the unit owner. But that's not being debated by me.

The F.C.A. compells the assn. to adopt shutter standards/specifications and prevent their denial but falls short of mandating or forcing their installation.

Paragraph 7 below describes my understanding.

May 02, 2009
May I Install Hurricane Shutters? A Loaded Question for Condominium Association Boards
By Martin Salcedo, Esq.
Setnor Byer Insurance & Risk

Q: In the State of Florida, what right does a condominium board have to prohibit a unit owner from installing hurricane shutters?

A: When determining a condominium board’s right to limit or otherwise restrict a unit owner from undertaking a specific activity, the usual starting place is the condominium’s documents, such as the declaration or the bylaws. This is because condominium associations are generally left to their own devices when it comes to directing the manner in which they govern themselves. However, in the context of installing hurricane shutters, the Florida legislature believed legislative intervention was necessary.

By virtue of their location, condominium communities may be susceptible to various risks that may not exist in other geographic areas. In Florida, it is the risk of hurricanes that ordinarily take center stage.

Florida’s expansive coastline is reason enough to place hurricane damage at the top of the list of risk exposures. The extensive, and ever increasing, residential development along the coast serves to increase the concern. Moreover, the reluctance of an already diminished pool of insurance companies to sell affordable wind insurance policies to coastal residents without hurricane shutters, as well as the increasing difficulty experienced by many unit owners seeking board approval to install hurricane shutters, underscored the need for legislation.

Thus, in the context of hurricane shutter installation, Florida’s Condominium Act (the body of statutes governing Florida condominiums), rather than a condominium’s documents, controls the process.

Specifically, the Condominium Act requires each condominium board to adopt hurricane shutter specifications for each building, which shall include “color, style, and other factors deemed relevant by the board.” Moreover, the Act provides that notwithstanding any provisions to the contrary in a condominium’s documents, “if approval is required by the documents, a board shall not refuse to approve the installation of hurricane shutters by a unit owner conforming to the specifications adopted by the board.”

By implementing an express policy, and requiring adherence thereto, condominium boards are unable to rely on arbitrary, inconsistent, or unknown standards when considering a request to install hurricane shutters, thereby removing unreasonable obstacles often encountered by unit owners seeking to protect their property from potentially devastating hurricane losses.

In addition to protecting a unit owner’s right to install hurricane shutters, the Condominium Act also protects unit owners from being double-billed in the event they choose to protect their unit from hurricane damage. Thus, if a condominium association decides to install hurricane shutters for the entire community, the cost of which is to be borne by the entire community via an assessment, then those who have previously installed their own hurricane protection shall receive a credit equal to the pro rata portion of the assessed installation cost assigned to each unit. Without such a credit, unit owners would essentially be charged twice for electing to install hurricane shutters on their own.

Clearly, the State of Florida has a vested interest in reducing the risk of damage caused by hurricanes. Protecting the rights of unit owners to install their own hurricane shutters, and eliminating the potential financial penalties that such owners were previously susceptible to, ensures the State’s interests are protected in this regard.

And, since the legislature made protecting these rights a priority, prudence demands that condominium boards do the same. Any board decision denying a unit owner’s request to install hurricane shutters should be viewed cautiously. Otherwise, the board may find itself on the wrong side of a lawsuit.

To learn more about unit owners' rights and condominium boards' obligations, check out our catalog of State of Florida approved Condominium Management courses.


Posted by Martin Salcedo on May 02, 2009 at 03:34 AM in Condominium Governance
BillieR
(Texas)

Posts:8


01/12/2011 5:48 AM  
TY Peter.

The essence of this discussion is that an HOA should not / cannot deny an owner the right to install hurricane shutters to protect the property. The HOA can prescribe the standards for these shutters. If a state's statues are silent on the mandate of shutters in an HOA, particularly when the condos are contiguous, then the HOA BOD has the responsibility to direct window protection and perhaps the type for standardization.
BillieR
RonaldD1


Posts:0


04/08/2017 12:49 AM  
I have a relative who was also worried about which windows to install because she also wanted to avoid any troubles that she would face after installation. But on her friend's suggestion, she installed the impact windows Miami from stormguardwindowanddoor.com/hurricane-impact-doors-miami/ since they provide high level service and quality standards to the customers. And also she did not face any difficulty after it.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:1169


04/08/2017 11:25 AM  
Posted By RonaldD1 on 04/08/2017 12:49 AM
I have a relative who was also worried about which windows to install because she also wanted to avoid any troubles that she would face after installation. But on her friend's suggestion, she installed the impact windows Miami from [X] since they provide high level service and quality standards to the customers. And also she did not face any difficulty after it.


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