The FAR/BAR Condominium Rider (which recites Section 718.503(2), Florida Statutes) requires the mandatory delivery of the following documents (by Seller) to the Buyer within 3 days of the effective date:
- Current copy of the Declaration of Condominium;
- Articles of Incorporation of the Association;
- Bylaws of the Association;
- Rules and Regulations of the Association;
- Copy of the most recent year-end financial information; and
- Frequently asked questions.
A thorough review of those documents can give the Buyer an understanding of any rules and restrictions in place as well as sense of comfort that the condominium is financially sound, but if not, our team is here to help. However, the seller documents may not tell the whole story. There may be future special assessments that the Association has discussed but that the Seller does not disclose on the Condominium Rider, either because they did not know or did not think it was necessary. To avoid a battle over what should or should not have been disclosed, the Buyer can take additional steps to protect themselves. The Buyer may want to request additional documents be provided by adding appropriate language to the contract or a separate addendum. For example, the Buyer can include language requiring the Association meeting minutes for the past year, correspondence, notices, newsletters, and records of special assessments for the current year and past years. This will give the Buyer a more comprehensive understanding of what the Association has been discussing recently and alert the Buyer to any potential future special assessments that have not yet been levied.
The Seller may object to delivering the documents as it is not required under Section 718.503(2), Florida Statutes, or the Condominium Rider. Should your Buyer require additional documentation to conduct their due diligence, it is imperative that you (or your client’s attorney) add a clause under additional terms that specifies which documentation is required, when it is the Sellers time to deliver documents to the Buyer, and the repercussions if said documentation is not timely delivered. Taking the extra step to request and review the Association meeting minutes and other supporting documentation can save your Buyer from being blindsided by a special assessment in the future.
As always, should you have questions regarding the foregoing we urge you to consult with your local real estate attorney.
Jill Bowen, Esq. firstname.lastname@example.org
Berlin Patten Ebling