In a lawsuit alleging construction defects in homeowners’ individual townhomes, Florida's Second District Court of Appeal ruled that a homeowners’ association was bound by arbitration agreements between its members and the developer. The arbitration provisions were contained in the purchase agreements signed by individual homeowners. It was undisputed that the homeowners’ association did not sign a purchase agreement or limited warranty.
Pulte Home Corporation (“Pulte”) was the builder of the Vermillion townhome development in Pasco County. Pulte constructed many of the common areas including access roads, water retention ponds, building envelopes, and roofs. The townhomes were owned by individual homeowners, who were members of the Vermillion Homeowners' Association (the “Association”). The Association maintained the common areas of the development along with the exteriors of the buildings, including the townhomes' exteriors. However, the Association did not maintain the doors, door frames, glass surfaces, or locks of the townhomes.
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