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Association Pool Tips for Safe, Fun Summer Season

At the start of summer, associations should evaluate their pool rules and procedures in addition to conducting all of the necessary inspections of their pools, spas and related equipment.  With the help of qualified professionals, the inspections should include all

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The Benefits of Open Community Board Meetings

Any member of your association can attend board meetings except when the board adjourns for an executive meeting. So when your board members seem less than enthused about those non-members’ attendance, remind them of the benefits.    Read the article……………..

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Cyber Security for your Community Association

It is always a good idea to maintain security both as individuals and as HOA and condo associations. In this technological age, people are more vulnerable and susceptible to being hacked. Just as you would lock your doors and protect

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2017 Florida Condominium and Homeowners Association Legislation

During the legislative session which ended on May 5, 2017, the Florida legislature passed 5 bills that will become law on July 1, 2017, unless vetoed by Florida’s Governor Scott: Senate Bill 398, House Bill 653, House Bill 1237; Senate

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Unit Owners Beware: The Developer May Have Stacked The Board Against You (FL)

Are you concerned that the developer of your condominium did not deliver on the promises made to you when you purchased your condominium unit? Are you concerned with the construction of the condominium in which you live? For most individuals

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Appeals court reverses summary judgment against homeowner (FL)

Florida’s 2nd District Court of Appeal has reversed a lower court’s decision to grant summary judgment in favor of a homeowners’ association.  The appeals court ruling follows a July 2016 decision by the 12th Judicial Circuit Court. The circuit court

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Association Board Meeting Do’s and Don’ts (FL)

The other South Florida community association attorneys at our firm and I are often called upon by our clients with questions regarding how to more efficiently run their board meetings and control the conduct of members during those meetings. Very

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Florida Supreme Court May Decide Fate of Liens Recorded After Foreclosure Judgments

Real estate investors, municipalities, and community associations may gain some clarity about post-judgment liens if the Florida Supreme Court decides to hear Ober v. Town of Lauderdale By-the-Sea, Case No.: 4D14-4597 (Fla. 4th DCA, January 25, 2017). The case has

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New Laws 2017 (FL)

What a year it has been for condominium legislation! Listed below please find a summary of the condominium laws as now amended:     Read the article………………

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Construction Defect Statute of Repose: Post-Closing Punch-list Work May Delay Its Start

Florida’s Fifth District Court of Appeals is shaking up the construction defect statute of repose once again.[1] A recent 5th DCA opinion implies that the 10-year construction defect statute of repose does not start to run at the closing of

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Summary of HB 1237, Relating to Condominiums (FL)

HB 1237 (SB 1246), sponsored by Rep. Diaz and Sen. Garcia and Sen. Rodriguez, passed the House and Senate this week and now heads to the Governor for consideration. If approved by the Governor, the new law will be effective

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Think Like a CEO: What Successful Home Association Presidents Do

Successful CEOs and association presidents have a lot more in common than you may think To be an association president who inspires and leads a board, you must approach your responsibilities with professionalism. The role shouldn’t be something to be

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Your Association Community Association Manager’s Role in Getting Work Done

“A community association manager has the opportunity to create a sense of community that people really love and that enriches the community living experience,” writes PeytonBolin’s founder, Jane Bolin, in her book, Mastering the Business of Your Association: No More

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Are Smart Homes Becoming A Reality in Florida?

Technology has developed rapidly over the last couple of years. New and improved products with the aim to make daily activities easier for us are constantly hitting the marketplace. New “smart” technology is being incorporated into our everyday lives, so

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Homebuilders and Contractors Beware: Construction Defect Claims May Be Filed More Than 10 Years After Construction is Complete (FL)

A statute of repose sets a firm deadline by which a lawsuit may be filed after the occurrence of a particular event. Once the statute expires, a prospective defendant is no longer exposed to legal action. Florida has a ten-year

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On an HOA Board: Here’s How to Avoid Problems

If you live in an established 55+ community or an active adult community there is a Homeowners Association (often called Community Associations) in charge. While often maligned, these boards are necessary – somebody has to run the place. Boards need

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Condominium Associations, Homeowners Associations, What To Look For

Miami Dade and Palm Beach Counties have some of the highest HOA fees in the country. The average is $415, which ranks these counties in Florida, fifth in the nation. Going to back to 2015, prior to the Housing Crisis,

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How a Miami Suit Grew So Contentious, No One Knew Who Won

After years of litigation, there’s finally a winner in a legal fight pitting a Miami condominium association against two unit owners over whether receivers can vote in place of delinquent unit owners.  The dispute grew so contentious it cycled through

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One Toke Over the Line – Smoking, Medical Marijuana and Fair Housing Laws

Medical marijuana can now be legally prescribed in Florida, and the legislature continues to struggle with regulation of dispensaries in the State. Meanwhile, prescriptions can be filled in other States, for edible medical marijuana as well as the processed plant

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You Can’t Make This Up!

Ask any community association manager about the unusual requests, problems and interactions with residents, and you will quickly learn that working in common interest communities is never dull! Allow me to share a few of my true, memorable experiences: Read the

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Be prepared to answer the question “Why?” if you want to defuse conflict in your community

“Why can’t we use the pool after dusk?” the wiry man at the microphone bellowed. “I’ve been a swimmer my whole life and I need to use the pool to stay in shape” and with that statement, he pointed to

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House Bill 377 Clarifies Date of Completion of the Contract for Statute of Repose—a Legislative Win for Contractors

On March 30, 2017, the Florida House of Representatives unanimously passed House Bill 377. The Bill is still working its way through the Senate, but has received a favorable response and is predicted to pass. If it becomes law, HB

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Florida appeals court reverses decision in condominium lien case

A Florida appeals court recently reversed a lower court’s decision in a case involving liens on condominium units.  The Florida 2nd District Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Business Law Group, et al, reversing the Circuit Court for Pasco

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Turnover Troubles: Homeowners Can Take Down Goliath

One of the most recognizable narratives in human history is the famed story of David and Goliath. Often, we find that homeowners are David in the seemingly impossible fight against Goliath, the community developer. This analogy is never more apparent

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Are You Ready for MaryJane

As community associations grapple with approving and enforcing rules and regulations, there is a new issue to consider. The use of cannabis in states where it is legal for medical or recreational use must be addressed. I am not qualified

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Community Association Boards Should Spread the Load by Relying on Committees

Community association board members are asked to do a great deal for the communities they serve. They give up a great deal of their time and lend their varying expertise to help their communities run as smoothly and effectively as

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Why Homeowner Associations Need to Know About MRTA (FL)

Florida Statute, Section 712.01, et. seq., more commonly known by the acronym MRTA (Marketable Record Title Act), is an important act for homeowner associations.  All board members of a homeowners association should be aware of MRTA and how it may

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The Legality of Post-Bankruptcy Condo or Homeowner Association Assessments

A recent bankruptcy case illustrates how bankruptcy affects condominium or homeowner’s association assessments. The Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Florida ruled that a condominium association was not in contempt when it attempted to collect post-bankruptcy assessments from debtors

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Understanding Special Assessments

There’s no way to sugar-coat it: everyone hates special assessments. Getting a notice that you owe more money to the association can not only put a damper on your day but also a dent in your wallet, both of which

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Reaching Others When Disasters Strike

The first thing many of us do during or immediately following a natural disaster is to call family and friends. Unfortunately, in the minutes and hours after a disaster, overloaded cell phone networks can make it difficult—if not impossible—to reach

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Does your Community Association have sufficient protections in place for Short-Term Vacation Rentals?

With the rise in short-term rentals through popular sites like Airbnb, Inc. and Vacation Rentals by Owner (VRBO), homeowners and condominium associations face new challenges in policing owners who violate restrictions against short-term leasing. This is especially true in Florida

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Community Association Reserve Funding: Pooled Method vs. Component Method

Reserve funding for certain common element items is required for community associations under Florida law. Specifically, condominium associations must fund reserves for roof replacement, building painting, pavement resurfacing and any other item that has a maintenance expense or replacement cost

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The Role of the Community Association in Neighbor vs Neighbor Disputes

Neighbor vs neighbor disputes are frequently a part of life in community associations. Common examples may include an owner allowing his dog to use his neighbor’s yard or an owner dumping trash on his neighbor’s yard. Although they may initially

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Through A Condo Owner’s Looking Glass – A Shade Of Green – Or Is That Gray?

In an action applying Florida law, a federal district judge ruled in favor of a Directors and Officers liability insurer, finding that the “insured versus insured” exclusion applied to bar both a defense and coverage of an underlying action. In

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Selective Enforcement and Violations When Installing Hardwood Floors (FL)

Earlier this year the Third District Court of Appeals narrowed two significant unit owner defenses to enforcement actions, selective enforcement and waiver/ estoppel when it decided Laguna Tropical, a Condominium Association, Inc. v. Barnave, Case No. 3D16–1531 (Fla. 3d DCA

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Residents of Florida HOA Speak Out Against Association’s Use of Drones

The residents of the Concord Station community north of Tampa in Land O’Lakes, Fla. recently shared their complaints and confusion with a reporter from one of their local television stations over their HOA’s use of a drone equipped with a

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What Community Associations Should Know About the Fair Housing Act

Community association board members and managers are often so preoccupied ensuring compliance with state and local laws that they can sometimes overlook controlling federal law. Multiple federal statutory acts can apply to community associations in any given situation and overlooking

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2017 Proposed Legislation Regarding Florida Statutes, Chapter 718 (FL)

In recent legislation, Senate Bills 1258 and 1682 and House Bills 1001 and 1237 seek to amend Florida Statutes, Chapter 718.  Senate Bill 1258 and House Bill 1001 seek to fine directors who knowingly violate any Association bylaw or statutes.

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Community Association Remedies When Tenants Ignore Rent Demands (FL)

After the crash of the real estate market and the subsequent foreclosure crisis, many homeowners who found themselves with properties under water capitalized on the ability to rent those properties while not paying their mortgage or community assessments. Florida’s legislature

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Construction Defects and Insurance Coverage: When Is the Duty to Defend Triggered?

In Florida, an insurance company may have a duty to defend and/or indemnify its insured. The insurance company’s duty to defend its insured (as in defending the insured in a lawsuit) is broader than its duty to indemnify (as in

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Fining Procedures Confound Condominium & Cooperative Boards in Florida

Question: 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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You Can’t Touch This!

I was recently in a drugstore attempting to check-out, and I was verbally accosted by an owner because of her dissatisfaction with the association’s holiday lighting! She began shouting that I was to “go over there, and buy those icicle

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Why Stopping (FL) SB 398 Should Be a Bigger Priority for Community Associations

Each year, our elected state representatives and senators meet in Tallahassee for a legislative session where they review and debate an extensive amount of proposed bills, only to send a few of those bills to the governor to be signed

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Part III of the Breaking Up Series: Leaving the Past Behind You

n this final installment of my Breaking Up series, I want to talk about what a new board needs to do to get out from under the legacy left behind from an old board, particularly when that legacy is not

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Airbnb Gone Wild? Decision Clarifies Rules on Short-Term Condo Rentals

The ruling came from the Florida Second District Court of Appeal in the case of Le Scampi Condominium Association v. Hall. Le Scampi had petitioned the lower court for injunctive relief against the unit owners to prevent them from leasing

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When Does the Americans With Disabilities Act Apply to Community Associations?

Community association board members and managers are often so preoccupied ensuring compliance with state and local laws that they can sometimes overlook controlling federal law. Multiple federal statutory acts can apply to community associations in any given situation and overlooking

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Selective Enforcement: Common Sense Prevails

As often happens when a community association enforces its covenants and rules and regulations against an owner, the owner responds to the association saying, “The house down the street is in violation with the rules and regulations, too! Why aren’t

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20 Mar Community Association Law: Can You Turn Down an Applicant for Sale or Lease? (FL)

Your community association’s Governing Documents provide the association with the right to review and approve sales and rentals; and to charge a transfer fee to cover the costs of processing the transaction. You have an application form and you pay

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CALL Alert for March 20, 2017 (FL)

Senator Rene Garcia and Representative Jose Felix “Pepi” Diaz filed SB 1682, Relating to Condominiums, and HB 1237, Relating to Condominiums, respectively, which include board member term limits and criminal penalties against volunteer board members for certain violations, including failure

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Association Deficits Don’t Excuse Developer From Funding HOA Reserves (FL)

For the developer of the Sullivan Ranch community in Mount Dora north of Orlando, it appears that its decision to stop funding reserves after it established the account and began funding it in 2007 has significantly backfired. The Fifth District

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