Kicking off the year is a decision from Florida’s Third District Court of Appeals addressing when a unit owner’s challenge to a neighbor’s alteration plans was ripe. In Zweig v. Il Villaggio Cd’m. Ass’n., Inc., Case No. 3D16-934 (Fla. 3d DCA, January 4, 2017) Ms. Zweig sought an injunction to prohibit the Association from approving the “vertical unit combination” of two neighboring units. The trial court granted the Association’s motion for summary judgment.
Though the Association allowed the neighboring unit owner to commence structural feasibility testing, the neighboring unit owner did not apply for Association permission to combine the units. As the court commented, an application may not be filed, or if filed the application may not be approved. If an application was not properly approved then there may be sufficient legal remedies to address a harm. Thus, the complaint was “too attenuated.”
Interestingly, the decision does not address the role of Mandatory Pre-Suit Arbitration pursuant to §718.1255. Especially as there is no indication of a motion for a temporary injunction or emergency, there does not appear to be a reason why this dispute was not heard in arbitration.
This decision is of interest as it draws a line for associations that are frequently threatened by parcel owners, in essence requiring the threatening owner to wait until the application process plays out until the end. Presumably, at that point, if construction is imminent, then the threatening owner can seek a temporary injunction.
Michael J. Gelfand
Florida Bar Board Certified Real Estate Attorney
Florida Supreme Court Certified Mediator: Civil Circuit Court & Civil County CourtMichael J. Gelfand
Immediate Past Chair
Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section of The Florida Bar
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Note: This article is not legal advice. Statements and comments made are not those of The Florida Bar or the RPPTL Section
© 2017 Michael J. Gelfand