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New owners are liable for past-due assessments (FL)

Question: Our HOA recently discovered that two houses in our development had closings without receiving estoppels. An attorney handling one closing emailed a request for an estoppel. Our request form was emailed back, along with instructions on how to deliver

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New laws impact community association financial reporting requirements (FL)

Q: My understanding is there are new laws that impact the annual financial reporting requirements for community associations as well as the right to waive these financial reports. Can you explain the changes?      Read the Q&A……………

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Yacht Club at Portofino sues to evict city of Miami Beach over nonpayment for repairs (FL)

A dispute over nearly $900,000 in building repairs, between the condominium association for the Yacht Club at Portofino and the city of Miami Beach, could prevent city residents and visitors from parking cars and using public restrooms at the 34-story

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Separate but equal gyms for men and women probably legally OK

QUESTION: I live in a building with two gyms — one for men and one for women, each with a sauna, shower and toilet facilities. Recently I was informed by the condominium president that federal law requires both gyms to

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Cops: Condo worker stole $20,000 worth of items

When a Singer Island man returned home after a month of traveling, he said he noticed many things missing but no signs anyone forcefully broke into his condo.  Police tracked the man’s gold bracelet engraved with his name on it

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Condominium Sues City Over Cocoa Beach Pier Amusement Rides (FL)

A condominium association has filed a lawsuit against the City of Cocoa Beach for granting a variance to allow amusement park rides installed at the Cocoa Beach Pier.  According to the lawsuit, the City’s grant of the variance was unlawful

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Westgate Resorts sues Orange County over timeshare in dispute with widow (FL)

Timeshare giant Westgate Resorts, mired in a struggle with a widow over her vacation condo, has sued Orange County for permission to open its new high-rise timeshare tower in Orlando’s tourist district.  The seven-story, multimillion-dollar tower looms over the fenced-off

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State investigating Pine Ridge election (FL)

A state agency is conducting a hearing later this month on a man’s complaint that results from the Pine Ridge Property Owners Association spring election should be negated because more than 100 ballots were not counted.   Read the article……………

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Condo Living: Can the board fine me for property violations?

Q: I transferred my home to my revocable trust a few years ago. The Board is trying to fine me for property violations. Can the Board fine me individually when my trust owns the property?    Read the Q&A…………..

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Posting a meeting notice

Q. Our condominium association emailed owners today to give notice of a board meeting that is two days away. Two days’ notice seems way too short. Is there a law that regulates the amount of notice that must be given?

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New term limits for board members applies only to condominiums

Q: I understand there is a new law related to term limits in a condominium. Can you explain it?   Read the Q&A……………

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Yes, condos can likely make rules on leasing units

QUESTION: Our declaration of condominium contains very specific restrictions regarding rentals.  Rental units at any given time will be limited to 20 percent of the total number of units, leases for a period of less than one year are prohibited,

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Oak trees chopped down in Merritt Island neighborhood (FL)

Flat-topped tree stumps marked with pink spray paint now line Old Parsonage Drive, where Brevard County crews chopped down a dozen majestic oak trees.  The tree-cutting operation roiled the New Georgiana Settlement neighborhood. Officials said wayward tree roots were cracking

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Can an HOA require you to keep your grass green? (FL)

Here in Jacksonville, we have a lot of subdivisions. Most of those have a Homeowner’s Association that makes rules to help keep home values intact. Those rules can range from making sure your trash cans aren’t left on the street

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Mysterious odor from Miami condo makes residents sick (FL)

It’s a smell that’s hard to describe and impossible to eliminate. It’s coming from a condo in Miami, and no one can figure out what making the residents sick. What can they do? One suggestion that works: call Help Me

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Poinciana Villages residents claim more collusion, backroom dealing after latest election

Homeowners have long considered the Association of Poinciana Villages’ election process to be a mess. But the situation looks to have gotten a bit messier following the Aug. 1 “redo” election.  Developer Avatar, now AV Homes, was again the big

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Ask An Expert: About Your Condo, HOA Rules

Q. Our condominium membership petitioned the board to pursue an amendment to the Declaration of Condominium. The board had the amendment language drafted and circulated a proxy to the membership, but the proxy includes witness signature lines. A number of

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HOA board may have right to modify common areas without owner approval

Question: We live in a small (64-unit) townhouse development governed by a five-member board. Each unit has a garage and a 30-foot driveway, and we have a dozen or so guest parking spaces. Our documents do not address parking, and

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Are condo associations required to allocate handicap parking?

Q: Our condominium association’s board of directors is wondering if our condominium association is required to allocate parking spaces for “handicap” persons. What does the condominium rules require relating to a condominium association’s duty to provide handicap parking spaces?   Read

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Arbitrator recuses self in Poinciana HOA dispute

A state arbitrator recused herself on Thursday from a dispute over control of the homeowners association in Poinciana after she filed a Florida Bar complaint against the lawyer representing the association.  Terri Leigh Jones, an arbitrator for the Department of

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In state-ordered election, Poinciana homeowners can’t topple developer (FL)

Despite a state-ordered redo of the vote, Poinciana homeowners again failed to wrest control of one of the state’s largest homeowners associations from the sprawling community’s developers.  As officials worked to count the votes late into the night Tuesday, state

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Southwood resident ordered to remove American flag from mailbox (FL)

There’s a dispute brewing over a patriotic mailbox wrap in Tallahassee. The homeowners association says it’s not allowed.  The Southwood Residential Community Association sent a letter to the veteran who put up the wrap, asking him to remove it or

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Lakewood Ranch HOA hopes to reign in unnecessary irrigation (FL)

All around Steve Ayers’ yard there are hints of what some may consider an obsession with rainfall and irrigation.  In flower beds and under oak trees, yellow cups made for measuring rain dot the landscape. An irrigation pressure reader hides

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Commentary: New Florida law governs condo association websites (FL)

In today’s digital world, the public’s view of an organization frequently comes with the click of a mouse, leading to a website. Thanks to a new bill governing the operations of condominium associations in Florida, these associations must abide by

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US Attorney Announces Settlement with Florida Condominium Complex Over Alleged FHA Reverse Mortgage Fraud

On July 20, 2017, acting United States Attorney Stephen Muldrow announced a civil settlement with the owner of a Florida condominium complex over fraudulent reverse mortgage transactions. Defendant had been accused of violating the False Claims Act (“FCA”) and the

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6 Poinciana villages to have new elections Tuesday under new rules (FL)

The Association of Poinciana Villages was forced to hold a second election after February’s results were voided by arbitrator Terri Leigh Jones.

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Are condo associations required to allocate handicap parking?

Q: Our condominium association’s board of directors is wondering if our condominium association is required to allocate parking spaces for “handicap” persons. What does the condominium rules require relating to a condominium association’s duty to provide handicap parking spaces?  

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No standard timeline for turnover from developer (& other questions) (FL)

Q: Our community turned over from developer control roughly six months ago and the board is still trying to wrap up loose ends. Shouldn’t this be done by now?      Read the Q&A……….

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HOA covenants can be preserved by board’s vote

In recent weeks we have discussed some of the new condominium laws, particularly the term limits imposed upon condominium directors. Under the new law, directors cannot serve more than four consecutive two-year terms unless a new term is approved by

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I-Team: Dozens of renters of HOA foreclosure properties evicted amid dispute over title ownership (FL)

In Florida, homeowners’ associations can foreclose on homes when owners don’t pay their dues…sometimes for as little as a few thousand dollars.  Investors who buy the liens get temporary titles and can rent those houses until banks foreclose.  But as

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West Palm tile tussle: Woman, 79, livid over $2,100 ‘maintenance’ fee (FL)

Condo politics can turn a bucolic setting into a bubonic one.  That’s pretty much what happened this week at Portofino, a 10-story building next to Currie Park, in West Palm’s Northwood neighborhood, when 79-year-old Mary Ellen Eykel and several like-minded

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Association wants to fine owners of pickup trucks (FL)

QUESTION: I live in a gated community with homes ranging from $300,000 to $800,000 in value. Our HOA bylaws state that pickup trucks are not allowed to remain in a driveway after daytime working hours. However, several homes have the

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Legal issues continue to plague Walden Lake golf course (FL)

For most, it would be a no-brainer, a dream come true. For $10 you could have the chance to restore a once celebrated golf course and country club to the glory of its heyday, when it and Disney World were

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Community without water for more than 24 hours (FL)

For more than 24 hours, the Habana Park Condominiums did not have water.  The HOA president, Peter Busto, blamed a leaking pipe that was found underground near an entrance of the community for the inconvenience. The community is located off

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Sand fight! Properties will be skipped in beach renourishment (FL)

A fight over sand! The Pinellas County beaches we all love could be in jeopardy because of 60 missing easement signatures. Despite doing everything the county asked, several beachfront properties won’t be getting sand.  50 Gulfside Condominiums in Indian Rocks

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Tampa Bay Area’s community uses HOA fees to curb speeding

The Carrollwood Village Homeowner’s Association is sharing how they were able to fix a big problem in their community: speeding and reckless driving.  They hope other Homeowner’s Associations can learn from their experience.  “We were having traffic crashes beyond anything

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Condo owner upset about beach restoration project (FL)

Lack of signed easements by the neighbors means 50 Gulfside Condominiums in Indian Rocks Beach won’t be getting any new sand during an upcoming beach restoration project.  Condo owner Rick Smith appealed to Pinellas County commissioners July 18, asking them

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Review of new legislation continues (FL)

Today’s column is the third installment of our annual review of community association legislation. In the first two installments, we covered the requirements for “estoppel certificates.”  Today, we will look at House Bill 1237, which contains some significant changes. HB

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Condo board term limits measured at time of next election

Question: My question is in reference to your recent column regarding board term restrictions. Am I correct in assuming that, as you understand it, the law passed this year is effective as of eight years ago? That is, someone who

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Land O’Lakes residents seeing backyards erode away

Jeff Cole comes out to check on his backyard just about every day.  And his anxiety is up since a sinkhole destroyed two homes just three miles from here.   “When I purchased the home I had no idea that this

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ondo owners battling billionaire’s plan to put amusement rides on Cocoa Beach (FL)

He is the “King of Time Shares” in Orlando, but on the beach just 40 miles to the east, the billionaire owner of Westgate Resorts is being called a noisy neighbor who locals say wants to be even noisier.  David

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Mother sues West Palm Beach condo in son’s 2015 shooting death (FL)

he mother of a 22-year-old man who has shot dead in his West Palm Beach apartment in 2015 has sued the owners and managers of the complex near Palm Beach Lakes and Village boulevards.  In the lawsuit filed last week

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Somerset Chase Homeowners Association alleges townhomes violate building codes (FL)

A homeowners association alleges that the property was negligently constructed and violates state building codes.  Somerset Chase Homeowners Association Inc. filed a complaint on June 16 in the 9th Judicial Circuit Court of Florida – Orange County against CalAtlantic Group

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8 residents displaced in Marion County condo fire (FL)

Residents saw flames and smoke coming from the building. Everyone evacuated, and there were no injuries, officials said.  Flames were shooting through the roof as firefighters arrived on the scene.    Read the article…………..

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Steps associations should take to adapt to new estoppels law

Q: There are rumors going around about new laws concerning estoppels. Can you summarize the new requirements?  Read the Q&A…………….

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Term limits restrict ability to serve on board

Question: I am hoping that you can explain how the new statutory condominium term limits will work. We have a nine- member board, with each director serving two-year terms. This year, five positions will be up for election — three

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National homebuilder to pay Miami-Dade condo association $11M in settlement

National homebuilder D.R. Horton agreed to pay a bankrupt Miami Gardens condominium association $11 million to settle litigation after the judge previously found the developer engaged in “deceptive practices.”  The settlement between Fort Worth, Texas-based D.R. Horton (NYSE: DHI) and

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Fanning the flames: Naples condos fight fire codes while Marco complies (FL)

At the high-rise condos that dot the Naples and Marco Island skylines, the threat of a deadly fire is real. Without proper fire prevention equipment, a blaze could consume any of the buildings, some 50 years old, that are symbols

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Westbay condo residents push to restore views, value (FL)

A dispute over the boat canopies that are said to block the waterfront view from some units at a condominium complex in Holmes Beach is now backed by a claim that the diminished view is hitting one owner’s pocket book.

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What you need to know about new estoppels law effective July 1

Q: I heard there is a new law concerning estoppels. Is there anything we need to do?  Read the Q&A………….

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