Recently decided in Dimitri v. Commercial Center of Miami Master Association, Inc., Case No. 3D16-2549 (Fla. 3d DCA Aug. 8, 2018), the appellate court had to rule upon the issue if a master condominium association was an association itself under Chapter 718 of the Florida Statutes.
The appellate court ruled with the trial court finding that the master association is not a condominium association itself.
The case revolved around a condominium owner sending the master association a request to inspect the records as required by 718.111(12). After not replying, the owner filed a lawsuit seeking relief under the statute for failure to allow inspection.
The court found that “[i]n 1982, when the master association was incorporated and the declaration was executed, a condominium “association” was “the corporate entity responsible for the operation of a condominium.” Under the newer amendment to this definition in 1991, the master association would be considered a condominium association by statute. The court found that the 1991 definition should not be applied retroactively.
Then the court found that the master association does not administer and manage property subject to condominium ownership. Rather, the building sub-associations have the duty “to maintain, repair, replace and restore the Unit Property and all Buildings located thereon as may be subject to their respective control or jurisdiction in a neat, sanitary and attractive condition.” The master association was only responsible to maintain all common property not owned or controlled by the sub-associations (like private streets and landscaping).
As the master association did not manage any condo property, the sub-associations did, the master was not a condominium association under the 1981 definition.