Fort Lee, NJ asked in Real Estate Law for Florida

Q: I own a unit in a cooperative in Florida. The bylaws expressly stated that you are permitted to smoke on the dock.

The dock in closed due to disrepair. There is a section of dock on the land side of a gate but still over the water. I say it's part of the dock. Is it? Shouldn't I be allowed to smoke there?

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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A: In determining whether the section of the dock on the land side is part of the dock for the purposes of smoking, it's important to refer to the specific language of the cooperative's bylaws and any other relevant governing documents. These documents may define what constitutes the 'dock' area.

If the bylaws are unclear or open to interpretation, consider discussing the issue with the cooperative's management or board. They can provide clarity on how the bylaws are applied in this situation.

In the meantime, it's advisable to comply with the cooperative's current rules and restrictions regarding smoking, especially in areas that are ambiguous. This approach helps in maintaining a good relationship with the cooperative management and other residents.

If you feel your rights are being unfairly restricted, you might want to seek legal advice. An attorney can review the bylaws and advise you on the best course of action. Remember, cooperative living involves balancing individual rights with the rules and interests of the community as a whole.

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