Is Your Multi-condominium Considering a Divorce?

Is your multi-condominium considering a divorce?

Can a condominium governed by a multi-condominium association “secede” in favor of forming its own association with its own board of directors? In a recent case before the Second District Court of Appeal, the Court confirmed that Section 718.110(4), Florida Statutes, governs the issue.

The multi-condominium association involved in the above-referenced case was comprised of two condominiums:

• Condominium A – comprised of multi-family buildings with over 200 units; and

• Condominium B – comprised of ~50 single-family homes located on individual lots.

The Plaintiffs in the case were a small subset of owners from Condominium B seeking, essentially, a divorce from Condominium A. Specifically, the Plaintiffs sought a court order authorizing Condominium B to form its own association absent approval from Condominium A. The Plaintiffs argued, in essence, that Condominium B should be permitted to “split” without approval from their counterpart.

In opposition, our office argued that splitting the condominiums would serve to materially alter each member’s proportional voting interest and, in so doing, would serve to materially alter the appurtenances to the unit(s). We went on to argue that any such material alteration to the appurtenances would be governed by Section 718.110(4), which provides in pertinent part as follows:

“Unless otherwise provided in the declaration as originally recorded, no amendment may…materially alter or modify the appurtenances to the unit or change the proportion or percentage by which the unit owner shares the common expenses of the condominium and owns the common surplus of the condominium unless the record owner of the unit and all record owners of liens on the unit join in the execution of the amendment and unless all the record owners of all other units in the same condominium approve the amendment.”

The trial court agreed with our position, and the Second District Court of Appeal affirmed. Ford v. Paradise Lakes Condo. Ass’n, 290 So. 3d 170 (Fla. 2d DCA 2020).

If your multi-condominium is contemplating a divorce, be sure to check with legal counsel to determine whether Section 718.110(4), Florida Statutes, applies to your community. If so, obtaining requisite approval may be a practical impossibility.