By definition a homeowner’s association is an organization in a subdivision, planned community or condominium that makes and enforces rules for the properties in its jurisdiction. HOAs also collect monthly or annual dues to pay for the upkeep of common areas like parks, tennis courts, elevators and swimming pools and can levy special assessments on homeowner’s when the association lacks sufficient reserves to pay for unexpected repairs.
Anyone who has owned or lived in a condo is very much familiar with the HOA and has made regular payments into one. The HOA of a condominium takes over for the builder once the project is complete and the units are placed up for sale. Since the HOA is responsible for insuring the roof and exterior of each condo unit, as well as the common areas and common buildings, insurance takes a big part of the annual budget.
Coastal condominiums in Florida are especially at risk for wind, tornado and flood claims. The HOA is responsible for rebuilding a condo unit from the studs out. This means the outer walls, roof, windows, and doors. The condo unit owner is responsible for rebuilding or repairing from the studs in. This means the sheetrock, floor coverings, interior walls, appliances and wall coverings. In years past, Florida condo owners were not required to maintain insurance if their unit was paid for which left the HOA in a precarious situation if a unit owner did not have insurance and was unable to pay for repairs or rebuilding after a fire, hurricane, flood or tornado.
Now, Florida condo unit owners are required by statute to provide proof of insurance to the HOA that their unit is sufficiently insured and that the policy contains at least $2,000 of loss assessment coverage and that the HOA is named as additional insured on the policy. The statute resolves the problems left to the HOA when a unit owner could not or would not respond to paying for repairs or rebuilding to the portion of their unit they were responsible for.