One of the great things about living in Florida (aside from the sandy beaches and palm trees) is the prospect of living on a golf course. Rather, in a house overlooking a golf course. For many people, such a living arrangement makes for an ideal situation. Tired from decades of looking out of a living room window only to see taxicabs and skateboarders, millions of people prefer to look outside and see a well-groomed fairway or a couple of people gently putting on a green. What most folks don’t consider, though, is the possible danger that such a situation presents.
Sure, with Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson playing a round or two in your background the most you’d have to worry about would be the occasional disturbance of paparazzi hoping to snap some photos of the hot-shot athletes. But if your neighbors golf anything like my grandmother, you should be worried about a lot more! There’s nothing “quaint” about golf-balls piercing porch awnings and shattering ceiling-high windows and continuing on into the house to destroy property. As any mulligan-seeking golfer will tell you, sometimes golf balls have a mind of their own, and while that may be the case, they won’t have to answer to you in a court. So you may be stuck handling the damage by yourself!
Most golfing communities operate in a manner such as this: once you purchase a condominium unit within the community, you become a registered member of the golf club—you pay the fees as part of your home ownership. Not only are the residents able to use the course, but so are their guests, and this can mean their nimble Bridge partners or their seventeen-year-old grandson who thinks that the glass panes which line the fairways are giant targets. Owning a property on a golf course exposes you to severe property damage.
Many golf club managers affirm that those who golf on their courses are supposed to notify the owners of any property which their “improving” golf game might damage. That being said, you’d be hard pressed to find a frustrated golfer trek over to a home and say “Excuse me, I just shattered your living room with my horrendous drive. Please send me any bills.” Many legal experts argue that when you purchase a home overlooking a golf course, you assume the associated risks. Similarly, if you buy a home next to a zoo, you can’t really complain to the city about the stench invading your property. It kind of comes with the territory.
To repair a shattered window may only run a couple of hundred dollars. But if you do this repeatedly, the out-of-pocket expenses start to add up. Many insurance policies have deductibles of $1,000 or more, and because each incident costs significantly less than that in repair costs, your insurance won’t be footing the bill. To protect yourself, talk to your insurance company before an accident such as property damage by golf ball. Know exactly what is covered and what the deductibles are. Also, talk to property managers about putting up netting around the condominiums to trap any stray golf balls that might otherwise end up in your lap—or your face.
If you feel that you have been injured by the wrongdoing of another, please contact the Law Offices of Aronberg and Aronberg at 561-266-9191 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.