Condo Association May Be On The Hook For Hundreds Of Thousands In Parking Fees

The Mayfield Condominium Association may not get free parking after all, according to the Third DCA’s interpretation of the master covenants governing the Espirito Santo building located in Miami.

The owner of the commercial portion of the building, Estoril Inc., sued the association after it refused to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for more than five years of parking facility charges.

Estoril recorded the master covenants in which it reserved the right to establish rules to charge condominium owners for using the parking facilities.

While the developer was in control of the association, it approved the association’s 2005-2007 budgets and paid the $99,933 owed in 2006. Those budgets accounted for parking charges.

But once the developer turned the association over to the condominium owners, Estoril’s invoices went unanswered. In turn, Estoril sued under a breach of contract theory.

Mayfield’s answer and motion for summary judgment argued that Estoril wasn’t entitled to parking charges because it failed to follow the master covenant.

In particular, Mayfield contended that “the Master Covenants mandate that Estoril was required to establish a rule or regulation before it could charge Mayfield a ‘use fee’ for the garage. Estoril never formally adopted any such written rule or regulation.”

The trial court bought it. On appeal, the Third DCA reversed.

Judge Kevin Emas wrote for the three-judge panel and explained, “there is nothing in the language of this provision, or in the remaining provisions of the Master Covenants, that requires some formalized writing or particular process, and the trial court erred in ascribing such a requirement to the provision at issue.”


Source:  DBR

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