downtown miami

Resident Frustrated After He Was Fined by Condo for Not Wearing Mask

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The mask-wearing controversy extends beyond schools. One downtown Miami resident told NBC 6 he was fined $100 by his condo board for not properly wearing a mask in a common area of the building.

“It should be up to us to decide because the original thing was if you are vaccinated you don’t have to wear a mask, so what did I get fully vaccinated for? Now it’s like, okay, you have to wear a mask," Jose Estrada said. "If there’s a lot of people around, but if I’m breezing through at night getting out of work at three in the morning and nobody is there, then I don’t see. What does it matter?"

Estrada says he knows of at least six other residents that have been fined. 

“It’s just a grey area," he said.

In a letter from the association to Estrada, The Loft Downtown Condominium Association said he had an opportunity for a hearing before the association’s appeals committee. 

The notice also says the association will move forward with legal action if non-compliance is a recurring problem.

“I feel like it’s also a bit of harassment too because, at the end of the day, it should be optional for us to want to wear the mask or not,” said Estrada. 

Condominium attorney Mary Ann Ruiz, who does not represent this condo association or the resident, says a state emergency powers statute recently amended in July appears to be in favor of condo boards enacting COVID safety rules.

“Until the condominium statute says condominiums are not allowed or are prohibited from issuing a mask mandate, the association may be able to do it,” Ruiz said. 

Estrada believes someone was watching the cameras in the building to issue his fine because he claims he did not come into contact with anyone. 

The letter shows he was fined for not wearing a mask on Monday, Aug. 9 at 8:34 p.m. 

“When you purchase a condo or a home within an HOA, you are subjecting yourself to basically an additional level of government,” said Ruiz. 

NBC 6 reached out to the Loft for a statement and has not received a response.

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