Ask the Crystal Ball

Last week we filed a Petition (Lawsuit) with the DBPR, Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares and Mobile Homes to compel an Expedited Decision regarding whether the controversial Fire Sprinkler Opt-Out Statute applies to low-rise and mid-rise condominiums. To view our Petition (Lawsuit).

No one knows for certain how the DBPR will Rule. We’ve consulted with 5 different community association law firms on this issue- and there is absolutely no consensus.

Although we filed this Emergency action seeking an Expedited decision, there is no guarantee that we’ll receive a ruling before it’s too late. Because the December 31, 2016 deadline is fast approaching, we strongly recommend that low-rise and mid-rise condos start planing now what to do in the event that the DBPR says “Yes, the Opt-Out Statute also applies to low-rise and mid-rise condos”.

Whether the Statute will or will not require every single condo, regardless of height, to opt-out and comply with the DBPR, we recommend all communities revisit life and safety issues. Protecting your residents, owners and guests is a crucial concern for us all.

Every property is unique with specific needs that should be addressed. For example, your local fire marshal may advise you that you aren’t required by law to have a fire sprinkler system, (Does that exempt you from complying with a Florida Statute?) but given the structure of your building and the accessibility to the closest fire hydrant, a fire sprinkler system may be beneficial.

We will keep you posted as soon as we hear from the DBPR on this controversial fire sprinkler issue. If we need your help in “reminding” the DBPR to expeditiously respond, we’ll let you know that too.

Sending another “shout out” to Dory Villas on Lake Miona Condo Association for allowing me to name them Representative in this lawsuit for benefit of thousands of affected condominiums Statewide.

Have a safe and peaceful Labor Day Weekend.

Yours in Community,

Alan Garfinkel

Community Association Network (CAN)

Chairman of the Board of Directors



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