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Condo Q&A: Fining procedures confound board

Q: Our association tried to fine an owner who violated our rules, but decided the process was too complicated. Can you provide a step-by-step outline of how fines are issued and collected?    Read the Q&A……………

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Stinky seaweed befouls Palm Bay neighborhood (FL)

Gene Cate once fished a crystal-clear seagrass bed near the dock at Castaway Shores.  These days, stringy, rancid seaweed carpets the banks of the Indian River Lagoon along the condo’s cove-shaped shoreline.  Looks like, smells like — you know what.

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Can directors on condo board exclude a director?

Q: I am on my condominium board and find myself on the losing side of most issues. The other directors routinely vote as a block and we generally disagree. I am not included on any emails. Can the other directors

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Morning or evening, board decides when to hold meetings

Question: In the past, our HOA would hold open “workshop” meetings to discuss issues within the community. These are held in the afternoons, usually once a month. The board would encourage homeowners to attend these meetings and voice their opinions,

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Miami-Dade-backed condo law reforms advance in Legislature (FL)

A plan from Miami-Dade lawmakers to penalize fraud and abuse in condominium associations earned unanimous initial approval in House and Senate committees this week.  The bills, most notably, impose new criminal penalties for falsifying association documents, committing fraud in association

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Miami-Dade-backed legislation cracking down on ‘rogue’ condo associations advances (FL)

A plan from Miami-Dade lawmakers to penalize fraud and abuse in condominium associations earned unanimous initial approval in House and Senate committees this week.  The bills, most notably, impose new criminal penalties for falsifying association documents, committing fraud in association

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Condominium Associations Should List Their Attorney as the Registered Agent

I am the President of my condominium association. I just found out that the association was sued by a disgruntled owner. Unfortunately, I just recently learned that the association has been “defaulted” in the lawsuit because we failed to answer

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Homeowners Association repairing their own dunes (FL)

When Hurricane Matthew blew out of town, the 2.3 mile stretch of dunes on the Hammock Dunes Beach was left destroyed.  The storm that crept along the coast Oct. 7, 2016 left just enough of the dunes to protect the

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Homeowner’s association tells Florida woman to take down Blue Lives Matter flag

A Florida woman is being told to take down her Blue Lives Matter flag that’s been flying for several years now by her homeowners association.  Jeff Gaddie told Action News Jacksonville that his daughter has been flying the flag to

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Suntree residents restrict allowable pets (FL)

Gerbils, rabbits, guinea pigs, reptiles and a long list of other animals are no longer welcome in Suntree.  At least on paper.  Residents voted last week to approve a measure that restricts pets in the planned unit development to domesticated

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Do boards need membership approval to remove trees in commons areas?

Q: Our condominium has many mature and beautiful trees, one of which has been viewable from my unit for many years. The association removed the tree, claiming it received a report from a professional that the tree was dead. Does

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More Proof That Condo Clout Is Dead In Broward (FL)

Century Village’s pathetic turnout in the Deerfield Beach city election on Tuesday brings to mind David’s lament from The Bible: “How are the mighty fallen!”  A decade or so ago, Century Village could reliably turn out thousands of votes in

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Condo Q & A: Don’t need to count proxies

Q:  In one of your columns last year, you wrote that a special committee must be appointed to count the election ballots in a condominium election. You also wrote that no committee is needed to count proxies. It would seem,

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Condo building cannot unilaterally withdraw from group

Question: Our condominium complex consists of four separate buildings of 40 condominium units. Our building, as well as the other three, have their own entrance and exit. Is it possible for a building to secede from the rest of the

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Does electronic voting for associations really work?

Q: I heard that the law in Florida recently changed and that owners in community associations can now vote electronically. What is required to implement electronic voting in my community? And does it really work?     Read the Q&A…………..

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Homeowners’ association treasurer gets 3 years for stealing $122,779 (FL)

The 60-year-old former treasurer of Cimarron Homeowners Association near Medulla was sentenced to three years in prison Friday for stealing $122,779 from the group over an 11-year span.  Martha Beard, who still lives in the 72-home community, told Circuit Judge

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Florida Association Boards Can Adopt Rules for Records Requests

Question: In a recent column, you said that an owner wanting to inspect association records has to make a written request. Does a request by e-mail satisfy the law?    Read the Q&A…………

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Residents speak out against Pasco community HOA using drones

Residents of a Pasco community are speaking out against the use of a drone by the community’s association, though they aren’t sure they have any real say in the matter.  Residents of the Concord Station community said they got a

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Speed Busters: Group wants action taken on speeding problem in Seminole Heights neighborhood (FL)

The Hampton Terrace Community Association is nestled in the Seminole Heights area. They believe there is power in numbers. 65 people showed up when the city of Tampa and the Tampa Police Department joined them in support of their speeding

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U of FL workshop to help homeowners navigate HOA issues for landscaping

Wondering if that new lawn will mean a discussion with your Homeowner’s Association? The University of Florida Florida-Friendly LandscapingTM program offers a workshop on April 26 to help homeowners navigate the process.  “Legally Speaking: FFL in The Planned Community” will

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HOA’s rules for trash to prevent bear sightings a hindrance, residents say

Some residents in an Apopka neighborhood are not happy with new rules meant to keep bears away from trash cans.  The homeowners association for Wekiva Springs Reserve sent a letter to residents telling them that their garbage cans must be

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Bella Collina property owners, in lawsuit, allege racketeering (FL)

One of Central Florida’s most troubled home developments, the upscale Bella Collina country-club near Clermont, has been hit with a proposed class action lawsuit by people who bought lots there before the development went dormant in the Great Recession.  The

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Miami-Dade lawmakers want criminal penalties for fraud and abuse by condo directors (FL)

After decades of struggling against a condo regulatory system that experts say perpetuates impunity and makes it easy to commit fraud, thousands of condominium owners in Florida may finally see substantial changes in state laws.   Last week, state senators

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Info on neighbor’s emotional support dog confidential (FL)

Question: We live in a pet-free community. I saw a lady walking a cocker spaniel yesterday on our grounds. I asked our property manager about the pet and was informed this was a new resident that had papers indicating it

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Condo Q & A: President can’t buck the association board (FL)

Q: I am one of five directors on my homeowners’ association’s board. After this year’s annual meeting, we elected new officers. The person voted in as president says that he can make any decision he chooses, and does not need

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Is it legal for a condo owner to install a security camera?

Q: Can an owner install a security camera to monitor his entrance area in a condo complex and can the board approve this as an agenda item    Read the Q&A……………

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Homeowner not legally entitled to unobstructed view

Q:  We live in a condo with a beautiful waterfront view, but the management company just put up a “Do not feed the wildlife” warning sign that partially obscures our view. We’re concerned this will hurt the resale value. What

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Florida HOA Boards May Appoint an “Election Committee”

Question: Every year our homeowners’ association’s board appoints an “election committee.” The committee makes sure that the meeting notices are sent out, and otherwise runs the election, including counting the ballots. This year, the chairperson of the committee announced immediately

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Attorney: Watch legislation involving condo living

Condominium associations should pay attention to the Florida legislative session, according to a local attorney.  Donna DiMaggio Berger, a shareholder at Becker & Poliakoff, said there are more than two dozen bills that could directly or indirectly impact condominiums and

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There’s Something Rotten at the DBPR: Regulating Florida’s Condo Associations

With more community associations than every other state combined, Florida is a behemoth in the community association management space. Lawmakers in other states look to Florida to set an example for how to legislate an industry that now represents one

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HOA buys personal alarms for kids following attempted abduction (FL)

A community is coming together to protect their children, by providing personal alarms and self -defense courses.  Mike Metzger owns Championship Martial Arts, and he is now turning fear into action for little girls in the East Orange County neighborhood

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Lawsuit underway after man beaten in his own condo by naked man on drugs (FL)

…..He’s hired a lawyer to sue building managment for not doing enough to keep its residents safe.  “One failiure, after another failure, aafter another failure,” said Brevda of the fail-safes inside the building. “The residents pay a considerable amount of

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Lake Charleston (FL) homeowners ask HOA for security cameras in neighborhoods after attempted abductions

The father of a 10-year-old who was almost abducted is asking his community’s HOA board for security cameras around the development.  There are nights when David Harman keeps replaying February 13th in his mind. The day his son was almost

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Icon South Beach renter pursues class action lawsuit against condo association over application fees (FL)

A recently filed lawsuit alleges the Icon South Beach’s condominium association charges non-refundable application fees in excess of what is allowed by Florida law.  The suit, which seeks class action status, was filed in Miami-Dade Circuit Court by Icon South

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Disgruntled Holmes Beach condo owners get sympathy, pushback (FL)

For sale: diminished water views.  Hearing complaints of devalued homes and blocked waterfront views, Holmes Beach commissioners said they would be willing to work with Westbay Point & Moorings residents to “soften” the look of two new canopies at lifts

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Can an association board sue a member for defamation?

Q: Can an Association sue a member of the Association for defaming the Board, or can only the individual board member make the claim? What do you suggest an association due to stop harassment from a member of the community,

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Beach-side residents cry foul to fowl feeding (FL)

There are plenty of arguments from both sides. Condo owners complain of swarms disrupting their quality of life. Bird scientists warn of the health risks junk foods pose to birds. Meanwhile, the vice president of the Halifax River Audubon believes

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Judge rules in favor of Killearn Country Club owner (FL)

A Leon County Circuit judge Thursday ruled in favor of the owner of the Killearn Country Club, clearing a hurdle for him to further pursue plans to sell and develop a disputed parcel of land.  But Barton Tuck still needs

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Suntree wants to ban sex offenders from living there (FL)

he Suntree Master Homeowners Association, one of Brevard County’s largest residential developments, may soon have one of the strictest policies in the state when it comes to allowing sexual offenders and sexual predators to live there.  The association is asking

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New Florida Condo Bill Filed by Senator Garcia Includes Criminal Penalties

Last month, the State Attorney for Miami-Dade County released a Grand Jury Report titled “Addressing Condo Owners’ Pleas for Help: Recommendations for Legislative Action”. You can read the Miami-Herald Article about the Grand Jury Report here.  Today, Senator Rene Garcia

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Condo Q & A: Board can’t wink at house cats

Q: Our association has a “no pet” policy going back to the developer’s original bylaws. The board has generally enforced it, but has let a few elderly owners keep indoor cats, since they really do not bother anyone. My neighbor

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Ask An Expert: About Your Condo, HOA Rules

Q. The board of directors in my homeowners association (HOA) meets every month and provides a cursory financial report with little detail. We have requested the treasurer and board provide more information, but the board responds that we can get

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Condo manager orders inspections after balcony collapse (FL)

The general manager of a Florida Panhandle condominium complex says the building will undergo inspections following a balcony collapse that injured 11 people.  The incident occurred Wednesday at Sandpiper Cove in Destin as seasonal residents gathered to celebrate a friend’s

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Country Club Shores residents organize against exceptions to Key height restrictions (FL)

Construction of a home in Country Club Shores has local residents taking action.  The two-story home on Halyard Lane includes an enclosed elevator shaft that reaches about 10 feet above the 30-foot height limit established for single-family homes on Longboat

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Florida condo balcony collapses, injuring 11

Eleven people were injured Wednesday afternoon after a second-floor wooden balcony collapsed at a Florida condominium, police said.  Two individuals sustained “pretty significant,” but non-life-threatening injuries, Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office public information officer Michele Nicholson told ABC News.    Read

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Can anyone just ride on through? (FL)

On a recent Friday afternoon, Watercrest Condominium Association employees John Coppenhaver and Ricardo Taliaferro had partially disassembled an emergency-only gate at the back of the Lakewood Ranch condo complex.  Coppenhaver and Taliaferro found that someone had removed the covering to

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Are condo associations required to record meetings? (FL)

Question: Our Board of Directors disagrees over whether we are required to record our meetings, and if not, should we?      Read the Q&A…………….

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Condo Q & A: Can beachgoers be towed?

Q: We have been having constant issues with outsiders parking in the lot at our beachfront condominium and then trespassing across our property to use the beach. Can we have these vehicles towed away?   Read the Q&A…………….

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Can a candidate encourage owners to change their vote?

Q: Our condominium election is approaching and owners have already begun mailing in their ballots. Now, a candidate is telling owners that they can rescind their ballot and change their vote and is encouraging them to vote for this candidate.

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Florida Condo Associations Cannot Waive Year-End Audits for More than Three Consecutive Years

Question: Our annual budget is always over $500,000 and requires a year-end audit unless waived by the owners, which I understand cannot be done more than three consecutive years. Is there a penalty and what could happen if the association

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