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Condo owner who is a danger to himself and others.


We have a condo owner who has had a couple of strokes. He had to give up drinking but not smoking and has since lost quite a few of his abilities to take care of himself. He has almost started food and pans on stove on fire, a grill on the patio and dropped a cigarette on the carpet. He has recently started drinking heavily again and we are afraid of a pending disaster. He won't get help and won't let social services talk to him. He also has not paid his dues for over a year even with our letters saying we will take him to court. He says he has no money to do so. The courts say if we win we would have to go after the money ourselves. We have used all the legal threats allowed and are at an impasse on what steps to take. The police say that until he hurts someone or himself they can do nothing and lawyers say since he is not a tenant but an owner we can't make him leave or get help. We are constantly monitoring him so he doesn't burn down the building down. It is not fair to all the other owners and tenants. Any suggestions????

Answers and Comments

This may come across harsh, but if he hasn't paid dues in a year and has no money to pay them, the association should pursue lien foreclosure.  Not only would that potentially get him out, but you have a fiduciary obligation to be collecting assessments.  That includes pursuing legal collections (i.e. lien foreclosure) in situations like this.  It sounds like you all have tried to get him help, which was the right thing to do, and he is either unwilling or unable.  As such, IMO, you should now pursue lien foreclosure.

08 Apr 2019

Do not do nothing. Or put positively - do something. You have 3 responsibilities here: to the person, to the other condo owners and to yourselves as board members.

Have your attorney write a letter to his relatives describing his conduct. Follow FL law and your own governing documents to institute a fining process for payments, and potentially a nuisance violation if your documents so permit.

Remember that if you have say, 100 owners, that the other 99 are also your responsibility - to ensure their heralth, safety and welfare.

As for yourselves as Board members, remember that if something disastrous happens, and given that you knew about the situation, when asked "What did you do about it?" the response of "Well, nothing." won't sit too well in court.

08 Apr 2019

I've heard this story.  If social services is beig refused access and they are walking away, they are incomeptent.  If they can't talk to him, they need to take action such as a court order.  What exactly depends on local law.  If he is suspected iof being a danger, social services should be petitioning to have him placed under guardianship if they can't verify he is competent due to his lack of cooperation.

 

When you say social services, is it "Adult Protective Services"  if not that agency should be called, although in my area they are useless.  I know of 2 cases they were called for and they just say call someone else there is nothing they can do without ever coming out.  The one guy (in a single family home) got into a hospital months later.  His house was so bad, I'm surprised it wasn't condemned.

Typically, if an owner doesn't pay, you can foreclose and evict. are you sure that is not allowed?  if it is and you haven't used that you have not used all legal avenues.

 

I'm all for working with a person with a disability and giving them some slack, but when its to the point they haven't paid in a year and their habits are threatening lives and property, you need to cut the rope.

 

you can try getting publicity...get the local  news on it...senior citizen in desperate need and being failed by social services

 

HIS RELATIVES?  ABSOLUTELY NOT unless they are listed as an emergency contact or you know that is appropriate (they are not abusive and actually care about him).

 

08 Apr 2019

After 90 days, you should have started legal lien foreclosure on unpaid condo fees.  Do it immediately!  In FL should banks/mortgage companies are only obligated to pay 12 months back condo fees - that may very well apply to dead beat owners too.  The rest of the owners are carrying this dead beat.  With notification of the lien proceedings, he will either pay up, be forced to sell the unit, or at least be evicted where you can rent the unit to paying tenants.  Lien foreclosure in FL cost us $850 - which he would have to reimburse the association for should he find the funds to pay off the lien.

08 Apr 2019