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Condo boards get little help from the courts | READER COMMENTARY

Search and rescue team members climb the debris field of the 12-story oceanfront condo, Champlain Towers South along Collins Avenue in Surfside, Florida on Wednesday, July 7, 2021. (Al Diaz/Miami Herald via AP)
Search and rescue team members climb the debris field of the 12-story oceanfront condo, Champlain Towers South along Collins Avenue in Surfside, Florida on Wednesday, July 7, 2021. (Al Diaz/Miami Herald via AP) (Al Diaz/AP)

I read your editorial, “Florida collapse raises concerns about condominium oversight in Maryland; here’s what the legislature should do” (July 7). It discusses the collapse of the condo building in Surfside, Florida and goes on to say that the estimated repairs were going to be in excess of $15 million. The commentary mentions, a number of times, that buildings need repairs, things need replacement (roofs, siding, etc.), and money needs to be available to accomplish those items.

Those moneys come from the monthly condo fees that the unit owners pay. The condo association’s governing board sets a budget every year to include items such as landscaping, snow removal, routine maintenance, insurance, utilities and, most importantly, reserves for future repairs and replacements. These expenses are borne equally by all the unit owners.

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The problems arise when unit owners, regardless of the reasons, do not pay their monthly fee. It’s then up to the board of directors to attempt the collection of these fees.

I live in a condo. I have been on our board for more than 23 years. We, as do most all condo associations, employ a law firm to help collect these moneys.

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When one of these cases gets to court, almost invariably, the court sides with the delinquent party. My question is very simple: Don’t the judges understand that, without the unit owner paying their monthly fee, there will not be money to keep the buildings in good repair?

Steve Eisenberg, Owings Mills

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