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Subject: HOA required to repair common areas?
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WilliamL16
(Florida)

Posts:8


07/02/2019 11:09 AM  
There are some areas in our community that are in varying states of disrepair.

One issue of many is that the existing cameras around the pool area have been broken for some time.

Ever since they have not been working there have been instances of minor vandalism, some teenagers lighting a small fire, and an alleged act of inappropriate touching by the pool — Astonishingly, the HOA voted to not repair the cameras

My question is this: Is the HOA required by Florida regulation to repair pre-existing common area items? Or can they vote, as in this case, to just leave the cameras broken?
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:2565


07/02/2019 12:16 PM  
Overseeing maintenance of the common areas is a major duty of the HOA board (check your documents, as they probably have some language to that effect). However, repairs aren't free and sometimes other issues take precedence, although I agree vandalism is a problem.

Assuming you heard the discussion before the vote was taken, why did the board vote this way? Was it too expensive? Are they looking for another camera monitoring system that will replace the current broke-down cameras? What's your association's financial situation - it's great to have cameras, but it's even better to have monitoring syustems so problem people are caught. If you're going to do this 24/7, that's not cheap either.

Answer those questions first - you may come across other ways the problem can be addressed (e.g. periodic walk throughs by security, although that won't come cheap either). If you come up with something, bring your suggestions to the board and see what happens

WilliamL16
(Florida)

Posts:8


07/02/2019 12:43 PM  
They voted to not repair them because they said it was too expensive. We have a small pool area. An inexpensive replacement system would be great as a preventative measure. Certainly would have been useful in the case of the alleged inappropriate sexual contact.

We have the money. I was curious if they could choose to leave something this important broken.
WilliamL16
(Florida)

Posts:8


07/02/2019 12:44 PM  
I also researched and presented a very affordable video system that they declined.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:3050


07/02/2019 12:46 PM  
You might consider contacting the insurance company that has your common property liability policy. Ask if the presence of working cameras figures at all into the coverage.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8300


07/02/2019 3:53 PM  
Cameras do NOT prevent crime. They just IDENTIFY it when it happens. It may be a perceived false sense of security. The HOA does own the footage. Would they agree to release it in every case?

I don't know your overall budget. Your focused on the cameras at the pool. Is there other areas of the HOA that need fixed as well? Your HOA money may not be enough to spread around to each area of need. Which isn't necessarily your individual want/need. Does your HOA need pool furniture? Improve landscaping? Take care of roads? All the money your HOA has is to spread out to each one of these items.

What benefit is the HOA getting from the cameras? It's not crime prevention. Should have signs already up warning of video taping yet still have crime...

Former HOA President
WilliamL16
(Florida)

Posts:8


07/02/2019 4:47 PM  
Apparently I wasn’t clear... The question is: does the hoa have a responsibility to repair the existing common area and its contents? Or can they decide to leave things broken?
WilliamL16
(Florida)

Posts:8


07/02/2019 4:47 PM  
Apparently I wasn’t clear... The question is: does the hoa have a responsibility to repair the existing common area and its contents? Or can they decide to leave things broken?
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8300


07/02/2019 5:12 PM  
Yes they can decide not to repair something. No money no repairs...

Former HOA President
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:8436


07/02/2019 5:32 PM  
The better question might be: must an HOA maintain its common areas to a prior level? I say yes.

RichardP13
(California)

Posts:3650


07/02/2019 5:53 PM  
Posted By WilliamL16 on 07/02/2019 4:47 PM
Apparently I wasn’t clear... The question is: does the hoa have a responsibility to repair the existing common area and its contents? Or can they decide to leave things broken?



Take Mellssa's advice, she is HOATalk's legal go to person.

Been there, Done that
SteveM9
(Massachusetts)

Posts:3269


07/02/2019 6:10 PM  
Posted By WilliamL16 on 07/02/2019 4:47 PM
Apparently I wasn’t clear... The question is: does the hoa have a responsibility to repair the existing common area and its contents? Or can they decide to leave things broken?




There is no "right" to a security camera. While they are a good idea, they do not have to repair it.
RichardP13
(California)

Posts:3650


07/02/2019 6:28 PM  
Are these cameras assets of association that were placed in the reserve study as a capital improvement. If so, the membership would have the expectation that they be maintained. If they were a couple of hundred dollars, not listed as a capital improvement and paid out of the operating account, then no.

Been there, Done that
PatJ1
(North Carolina)

Posts:75


07/02/2019 6:29 PM  
If the security cameras were not included in the CCR's and were added later, then no. It would be a great idea to remove the inoperable cameras as their presence can lead to troubles down the road.

Board members are volunteers. Many have no idea what they're doing. Educate them. Don't beat them up.
SamE2
(New Jersey)

Posts:120


07/02/2019 6:46 PM  
I agree the HOA does does not have to maintain things they find not worth the cost. Just for a different view I thought about putting cameras at our pool but did not think it was worth it. I was concerned someone would complain about their young child being filmed in a bathing suit.
RichardP13
(California)

Posts:3650


07/02/2019 6:58 PM  
Posted By PatJ1 on 07/02/2019 6:29 PM
If the security cameras were not included in the CCR's and were added later, then no. It would be a great idea to remove the inoperable cameras as their presence can lead to troubles down the road.



Pools aren't in the CCRs, do you maintain them?

Been there, Done that
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8300


07/03/2019 4:56 AM  
Pool/clubhouse are amenities. the Dues say they are to maintain amenities. The "extras" like cameras, water controls, decorative items... etc... are not required. Making sure the pool works/safe water wise for enjoyment is part of the HOA's responsibility. Installing cameras isn't. That is an extra item to give sense of security. A HOA isn't necessarily responsible for your security.

Former HOA President
MelaniW
(Maryland)

Posts:8


07/03/2019 6:22 AM  
The association is required to repair certain things- potholes, dangerous roadways, dangerously uneven sidewalk, sinkholes, etc.

However, cameras and the pool don't fit into the category of things that need to be maintained. These are amenities, and the Board should have a financial plan in place for how to move forward. But that plan can include ignoring broken cameras for the next five years if they choose.
FredS7
(Arizona)

Posts:907


07/03/2019 8:06 AM  
The HOA would be obliged to maintain listed common area items, for example, a pool.

Security cameras would not be listed and are an optional part of a pool installation. You apparently think they are essential and the HOA has apparently not agreed.

It is possible that they believe security cameras are a good idea but they are short of money, have trouble getting bids for replacement, or are dealing with other more urgent issues.

And even though they are required to maintain a listed item, that does not mean that it will be done as quickly or in the manner than you prefer. Deal with it, and/ or run for the board.
WilliamL16
(Florida)

Posts:8


07/03/2019 11:52 AM  
Thanks to everyone for the information.

JZ2
(Florida)

Posts:16


07/03/2019 12:28 PM  
Generally speaking, Boards in the State of Florida have a duty to maintain all common property. That would include security cameras installed in common areas.

Boards do have a substantial amount of latitude in making business judgments, however, so if the Association doesn't have sufficient funds to repair or replace the security cameras, that would be an appropriate exercise of business judgment.

On the other hand, if the funds are available to repair or replace the security cameras and the Board refuses to make the expenditure, that could give rise to liability -- especially if the governing documents define "common areas" broadly enough to include security cameras.

GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:3050


07/03/2019 12:37 PM  
What constitutes "sufficient funds"? That seems like a loophole that a creative board could claim for just about any expenditure. The board of my HOA for years has refused to raise assessments enough to properly maintain the common property. "We can't afford to do that this year," is the go-to answer while the 30-year old neighborhood's common prperty basically falls apart.
JZ2
(Florida)

Posts:16


07/03/2019 12:53 PM  
Excellent question, Gino.

But I don't think you're going to like my answer… ;-)

"It depends."

It depends upon the verbiage in the governing documents, first and foremost.

It also depends on the demographic composition of your community. For example, if an increase in the level of assessments paid by the members will result in less money being collected, i.e., because more members go into default because they can't pay, then increasing assessments is not a solution to the problem.

Having said that, those circumstances are very rare, in my experience.
JZ2
(Florida)

Posts:16


07/03/2019 12:55 PM  
By the way, I just noticed your comment about a "30-year old neighborhood." I hope and trust your Board is aware of MRTA. That statute can wreak havoc with Florida homeowner associations.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:3050


07/04/2019 1:05 PM  
Posted By JZ2 on 07/03/2019 12:55 PM
By the way, I just noticed your comment about a "30-year old neighborhood." I hope and trust your Board is aware of MRTA. That statute can wreak havoc with Florida homeowner associations.

Been there. Done that. 7 years ago. Which didn't stop our attorney from trying to sell us on a new MRTA preservation filing last year. He's no longer our attorney.
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