Condo owners at uninsured complex that burned have little recourse

Posted on June 1st, 2010

Days before their condo building burned, residents of Park South Six gathered to hear their association president say their building couldn’t afford flood insurance.

Some homeowners paid overdue assessments, and the president said flood insurance would be purchased.

“I was rest-assured,” said board member Jennie Valdes.

No one thought to ask about the building’s master property insurance policy.

On May 7, owners of the 30 units in the unadorned white, write essay for money three-story building learned they didn’t have that either.

“I paid my maintenance fees every month,” owner Jassodra Kirsch told police recently. “What happened to the money?”

Now owners are scrambling to figure out what to do. Some have talked with lawyers

doesn’t always happen. Banks are overwhelmed these days with forclosures and other loan problems so some insurance lapses can “slip though the cracks,” said said Todd Campbell, who owns Federated Mortgage Services in Fort Lauderdale.

The state has no way to know how many condo associations don’t have coverage. Associations don’t report their insurance status, and the Division of Condominiums, Timeshares and Mobile Homes investigates only when there’s a complaint. In the past 12 months, it has received only 23 complaints about insurance lapses among about 21,000 associations, according to Michael Cochran, agency director. More than half of those were unfounded.

There’s little the agency can do if the complaint comes after a disaster. “What happened here is simple negligence, a complete failure to do what they should have done — get insurance,” Cochran said.

Lauderhill City Manager Chuck Faranda said the city’s primary concern now is to ensure the порно чат building doesn’t endanger the neighborhood, especially now in hurricane season.

“We don’t have jurisdiction over the condo board,” he said. “What they need to do is get an attorney … to intepret the documents and find out where their money is and who didn’t pay.”

Park South Six unit owners said they’re frustrated they can’t find anyone to look into what happened to the condo association’s money.

“No one is investigating. It has been a month now,” Kirsch said.

“Nobody wants to do nothing,” added Yves Marie Joas, who rented the Park South Six unit owned by Kirsch. Condo owners met with Legal Aid but only got advice about short-term aid, such as food stamps. was no discussion about how unit owners could try to recover their investments.

When several unit owners tried to file a complaint with police recently, an officer said they would need documents that show the insurance policy lapsed and that their monthly maintenance fees were to cover the insurance premiums.

“But we don’t have that,” Kirsch said. Several owners said they had asked Board President Consywelia Howard for annual financial statements before the fire but never received them.

Paul Munoz, whose father owns a unit in the building and is still making mortgage payments, said he had asked specifically for information about the master policy a month before the fire.

Howard could not be reached for comment despite numerous phone calls.