An article authored by the firm’s Gary M. Mars was featured as the “Board of Contributors” expert guest commentary column in today’s edition of the Daily Business Review, South Florida’s exclusive business daily and official court newspaper. The article, which is titled “Questions Revealed by Ruling Over W Hotel Amenities Require Legislative Fix,” focuses on a recent ruling by the state’s Third District Court of Appeal that calls into question the legal framework for many Florida condo-hotels. The appellate panel ruled in favor of an Icon Brickell condominium owner’s claim that the property’s declaration broke state law by giving ownership and control of shared facilities to the owner of the W Miami Hotel. Gary writes that the decision signals the need for Florida’s lawmakers to consider legislative amendments to the state’s condominium laws specifically addressing the authority over common elements at condo-hotel properties. His article reads:
. . . The 50-story Icon Brickell Tower 3 includes the 148-room W Miami, formerly the Viceroy Hotel, in addition to 372 condominium residences. New Media Consulting LLC, the owner of one of the units in the building, filed suit in Miami-Dade Circuit Court in 2018 against the building’s condo association alleging the property’s declaration of condominium gave the owner of the W Miami Hotel too much authority in violation of the Florida Condominium Act.
The plaintiff prevailed in the trial court via a summary judgment, which concurred that parts of the property’s declaration broke state law by giving ownership and control of the shared facilities to the hotel owner. The ruling essentially ordered the association to amend its declaration in accordance with state law, notwithstanding the fact that changing condominiums’ governing documents typically requires prior approval by a daunting super majority (usually 2/3 or more) of associations’ entire voting membership.