A Miami-Dade Condominium owner filed a declaratory judgment action seeking to declare void a covenant that prohibited any unit owner from leasing a unit for the first two-(2) years of ownership without approval of the Board.
Despite two and a half years of litigation, the original complaint and motion dismiss where not set for hearing. Ultimately, the trial court denied the Association’s Motion to Dismiss and promptly answered and served a Counterclaim for nuisances and unauthorized tenant. The owner sought to dismiss the counterclaim pursuant to Fla. Stat. § 718.1255(4)(a) that requires disputes to be subject to nonbinding arbitration. The trial court denied the Motion to Dismiss.
The appellate court found Fla. Stat. § 718.1255(4)(a) applied to both the original action as well as the counterclaim. The court noted the dispute related to the same subject matter, and the owner waived its right to compel the pre-suit arbitration when it did not invoke it when filing the original action.
Please read the full opinion here: https://www.3dca.flcourts.org/content/download/634554/7209949/file/191341_DC05_04292020_110508_i.pdf