Whether you are a Homeowner (either in a homeowner’s or condominium association) or an Association representative, it is well worth your time to prepare for a statutorily required pre-suit mediation. Pre-suit mediation is required for most disputes under Section 720.311(2)(a) (the “HOA Statute”) and Section 718.1255(4) (the “Condo Act”), Florida Statutes. As the Association representative, you should drive by the property a day or so in advance of the mediation in order to determine whether the alleged violations have been corrected. As the Homeowner, you should do your best to correct the alleged violations and notify the association in advance for an inspection. Or, if you feel that the Association is engaging in selective enforcement, you should take pictures of other alleged violating properties and bring them to the mediation. Of course, the statutes work both ways and an aggrieved Homeowner can file the demand if they feel the Association is in violation of the declaration or the statutes.
Save time and money. Prepare in advance!
Rod B. Neuman is a Florida Supreme Court Certified Circuit Court Mediator (also admitted in the United States District Court, Middle District of Florida) and offers these observations based upon his experiences mediating cases throughout the State of Florida.