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Condominiums and cooperatives: First Amendment rights

There are many types of dwelling places in Florida. People, of course, choose residences according to various factors, such as their income level, family size or perhaps, even their age. For those who live in condominiums and cooperatives, challenges may arise if residents disagree with a particular restriction management has imposed.

A resident who lives in another state recently sought clarification regarding First Amendment rights as they pertain to people who live in group-owned property settings. The board that oversees the ownership association for the property made a rule that no owner could distribute written materials to another owner unless first submitted to and approved by the board. Residents were questioning whether the restriction was a violation of their free speech rights as protected under the U.S. Constitution.

No condominium property board can impede owners' rights to free speech under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. This right to free speech would typically include sharing or distributing written materials. However, the board may be able to impose certain restrictions regarding the sharing of such information, such as by stating specific locations and times where distribution may take place.

Owners of Florida condominiums and cooperatives who believe their rights have been violated may wish to seek legal support. An experienced real estate law attorney can help someone facing such problems to determine a best course of action. If more than one owner is involved, a group may wish to meet ahead of time to discuss possible options for rectifying the situation.

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