Condo Conflicts in Florida
FLORIDA CONDO MEDIATION
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A website for Condominiums, Home Owner Associations and other Shared Ownership Communities.


PURPOSE OF THIS WEBSITE:

This site’s purpose is focused primarily on the following areas:

To offer a place where the issue of conflict situations between Boards and owners, and between neighbors can be addressed and solved.

To provide information about affordable methods for conflict resolution, among them the Florida Ombudsman.

To offer interventions such as condo mediation

To educate owners and Board members in interpersonal relationships

To promote more healthy and supportive neighbors’ communities

WE hope that you can find it useful for the promotion of respectful and more enjoyable relationships at your home front! We expect your comments, complaints, suggestions and support, here




Traditionally, the relationship between Boards and condo owners in Florida has been an issue of contention. American democratic practices are usually left aside and tensions arise because of excessive use of power by those neighbors who now, -from the Board- decide for others.

Transparency and accountability have yet to be generalized across all Florida condo and homeowners boards. Statewide complaints show the degree of helplessness condo owners experience.

At the same time, Florida demographics are changing fast, making of our state a real time experiment in community living. More immigration brings different people from other cultures into ours, forcing accommodation to different housing and living practices within a common set of condo rules.

Add to this situation the development and construction pressure that is changing the face of South Florida in such a fast way, and we see clearly the need to talk about condo conflicts, rules of positive interaction and conflict resolution skills. The state of Florida itself has recognized this need, by establishing the institution of the Ombudsman, by the Florida Statute Section 1. Section 718.1255.

So, are you buying a condo?
Buying a condo puts us and our family in a context where there is already established an ongoing community, more or less functional, with rules of engagement set before we appeared. If we need to deal with other people that live near by, and whose decisions will affect us and our money, we will, sooner or later, have to solve some condo conflicts with good skills.


It is impossible to describe here the whole gamut of issues that can make friction among Boards and neighbors possible, but you can imagine a lot of them, from money administration issues, to either flag o no flag waving, to (grand) children accepted or prevented from sharing the condo, to pets being either included in the household or rejected, to be allowed to leave up their shutters after hurricane season or not, to any kind of behaviors based on prejudices against who is “not one of us,” by national origin or color, and so on and on.

Few of us enjoy dealing with conflicts-either with bosses, peers, subordinates, neighbors, or strangers. This is particularly true when the conflict becomes very hostile and when strong feelings become involved. Resolving conflict, the one that generates in our own home situation, can be mentally exhausting and emotionally draining.

But it is important to realize that conflict that requires immediate resolution is neither good nor bad, it is only a call for attention to relationship issues. Conflict can be destructive if we play to destroy, control or humiliate the other seen as an “enemy” but can also play a productive role for enhancing our relationships-both personal and professional.

The important point is to manage the condo differences seeking a middle ground, not to suppress conflict or to let conflict escalate out of control. Many of us seek to avoid conflict when it arises, but there are many times when we should use conflict as a critical impulse for creating new conditions that serve us and our community better.

In fact, there is everyday a strong demand for interpersonal skills to deal successfully with those former estrangers that now share our space and make decisions with us. We should be given some conflict resolution skills training when approved by the Board as new members, to assure a smooth inclusion process in the already particular culture of our new condo association. Of course, this assuming that such Board already has mastered the right skills and can conduct excellent meetings with respect and inclusion of all interested parties!

Read here about present Board/owners conflicts here

Read more about condo conflicts management here:

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