Florida Articles

Back to homepage

Can Condo or HOA Officers be elected by secret ballot?

In general, the members (or owners) of the community vote for the board members, but the board members decide who will fill the officer positions: President, VP, Treasurer and Secretary, plus whatever other Officer Positions are defined by your community

Read More

Disputed Condo Election Offers Important Lessons for Association Boards

The 2016 presidential election was extremely divisive and contentious, but for some South Floridians the political machinations taking place in the election of their community association’s boards of directors can be every bit as controversial.  Allegations of questionable or even

Read More

Where Do Condo, Homeowner Associations Stand on Emotional Support Animals?

Picture, if you will, a young man named John. He lives in your association-controlled community. John bravely served in the U.S. Army and received the Distinguished Service Cross for his extraordinary heroism in active duty. Upon John’s return home, he

Read More

South Florida Contents Restoration

Every single day, a natural disaster or other catastrophic event occurs somewhere in America, crippling businesses and homeowners alike. Floods and broken water pipes can wreak havoc to floors, walls, ceilings, carpeting, and to all items within affected rooms. Fires

Read More

Court Decision Clarifies HOA Developer Reserve Funding Obligations (FL)

Last month, Florida’s Fifth District Court of Appeals issued yet another opinion in Mackenzie v. Centex Homes, by Centex Real Estate Corp., Case No. 5D16-1254 (Fla. 5th DCA, December 22, 2016) reinforcing that a developer is obligated to contribute money

Read More

Good News for HOAs: Courts Clarify Deadline for Governing Document Lawsuits (FL)

Homeowner association board members and their attorneys can breathe easier now that two Florida appeals courts have clarified the deadline for challenging an association’s governing documents. Through an affirmative defense based on time limitations, associations should see quick, concise and

Read More

Court finds law for selling entire condominium projects is not retroactive (FL)

The 3rd District Court of Appeal recently sided with minority owners by ruling that Florida’s statute law governing the sale of condominium projects does not apply to properties that predate Florida’s 2007 amendment to its condominium statute.  The Daily Business

Read More

How Condominium Associations Can Deal with Airbnb Rentals (FL)

Online third-party rentals have become quite popular in recent years. Many unit owners see these companies as an opportunity to bring in additional income by renting out their unit on a short-term basis, sometimes even just for a weekend.  Most

Read More

Bankruptcy and Condo Associations

Bankruptcy is a last resort for people who find themselves overwhelmed with bills and creditors. When a condo owner in an association files for bankruptcy, the HOA may fear they’ll never see that money. The truth, however, is a bit

Read More

Will Your Community Association be Sponsored by Advertisers Someday?

I read recently that some of our national parks in the U.S. are going to permit advertising in certain locations within the parks. The reason for this move is ostensibly due to the appeal of millions of annual park visitors

Read More

What Information Is My Community Association Required to Provide in Relation to Sales of Units?

During transfers of properties in condominiums or other planned communities, community associations are frequently contacted by prospective buyers, lenders or realtors with requests for information pertinent to the transfer. Often, these requests seek detailed information about a broad range of

Read More

Industry Alert – Florida Supreme Court Rules on Bartram v. US Bank, NA.

The Florida Supreme Court issued the much anticipated opinion in Bartram v. U.S. Bank, N.A on November 3, 2016, providing long awaited guidance as to the statute of limitations on successive mortgage foreclosure actions, post dismissal. The Court answered a

Read More

Hooray for Committees!

How wonderful is it when owners want to volunteer? I am frequently amazed by the dedication of people who just want to give back. Many have led rich lives with interesting professions such as doctors, lawyers, entertainers, artists, world travelers,

Read More

Retroactive Application Statue of Amendments: Does Your Declaration Have “Kaufman” Language? (FL)

Community association lawyers are often presented inquiries from their clients as to whether laws newly adopted by the Florida legislature apply to their governing documents, especially when the new law is contrary to their declaration’s existing provisions. A similar question

Read More

Do You Need a License for That? (FL)

We all know that you need a license to be a CAM (Community Association Manager). A license is also required for most electrical, roofing and plumbing work as well.  Myfloridalicense.com is a great source to learn more about what work

Read More

How to Avoid Burnout for Community Association Managers

It’s 2016, a week away from a new year and it seems that burnout has become a fact of life for community association managers. It is also a real possibility for dedicated Board members. Boards and managers are challenged by

Read More

Recent Changes to the Florida Statutes Governing Homeowners Associations

Does your homeowners association require nominations from the floor for an election to the board of directors? Recent changes to the Florida Statutes governing homeowners associations have given some associations the right to forego accepting nominations from the floor during

Read More

Court Ruling Puts Condo Buyouts At Risk (FL)

As Florida developers adapt to the lack of suitable development sites, some are turning their focus to condominium communities that were built decades ago for middle-income working families and retirees that are now located on what would otherwise be prime

Read More

Favorable Ruling for Condo Associations in Second DCA (FL)

Recently, in Ventana Condominium Ass’n, Inc. v. Chancey Design Partnership, Inc., et al., 2016 WL 4259999 (Fla. 2d DCA), the Second District Court of Appeal held that the Plaintiff, Ventana Condominium Association, Inc. (the “Ass’n”), was not the successor in

Read More

Rare Safe Harbor Victory for Homeowner Associations (FL)

In Federal National Mtg. Ass’n. v. Mirabella at Mirasol HOA, Inc., Case No. 4D 15-4792 (Fla. 4th DCA, November 23, 2016), Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeals relied on specific language in the Homeowner Association Acts’ safe harbor provision to

Read More

Key Considerations in Hiring an Employee Subject to a Non-Compete: Part II

As discussed in Part I of this blog series, some of the most qualified candidates for employment are often current or former employees of competitors in your industry. Non-compete agreements are helpful to employers who wish to control and limit

Read More

Service animals: Can you ask someone to prove need? (FL)

Realtors representing housing providers, such as a condo association, homeowners association or owner, occasionally find themselves in a delicate situation when a customer or client appears to overstep regarding requests for additional information about a service or assistance animal. Occasionally,

Read More

Santa Claus is Back in Town and Make Sure He Pays This Time

But let’s think of Santa, not just as a bringer of gifts, but as a user of property rights. After all, he lands on your roof. Get any permission for that, Mr. Claus? What about the wear and tear to

Read More

The Communication Conundrum

As many of you already know the two most frequent complaints from owners in common interest communities are: lack of transparency and lack of communication. Am I right? How do we help the association’s we manage overcome these issues?   Read

Read More

Associations Rejoice: Florida Appellate Courts Breathe New Life into Controlling Documents for Community Associations

It has been commonplace in Florida for condominium owners or homeowners to move into a community and then challenge the propriety or validity of the governing documents which, by virtue of purchasing in the community, they agreed to be bound

Read More

New HUD Neighbor to Neighbor Discrimination Regulations Impact Community Associations

On September 13, 2016, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) released final regulations that change how the Federal Fair Housing Act (“Act”) is applied to quid pro quo and hostile environment housing claims within community associations. The

Read More

The rise, the fall and the future of Longboat Key’s Colony Beach & Tennis Resort (FL)

As we digest our Thanksgiving feast and continue the sentiment of appreciation for the bounty bestowed upon us, an oftentimes tense and tenuous issue facing Longboat Key continues — the redevelopment of the Colony Beach and Tennis Resort.  This week,

Read More

Grant Funding Available Now for Wind Mitigation Retrofits for Vulnerable Condominium Community in Florida

FAIR (Florida Association for Insurance Reform) is seeking a low to moderate income condominium community to benefit from a Residential Construction Mitigation Program (RCMP) grant from the Florida Division of Emergency Management. The $194,000 grant will be used to supplement

Read More

Mortgage Foreclosure (FL)

As you may be aware, the first mortgage holder’s lien (mortgage) is superior to that of the Association. Therefore, in the event that a bank files for mortgage foreclosure, even if the Association had a lien in place, if a

Read More

Hold On A Minute! About Those New Overtime Rules…

On Tuesday, November 22, a federal court judge in Texas issued an injunction blocking implementation of the Obama administration’s new overtime rules. The rules were set to go into effect on December 1, 2016, but are now on hold indefinitely.

Read More

Firm’s Attorneys Discuss Ramifications of Thwarted Condominium Termination with Reporters (FL)

They were asked by the journalists for their insights into the ramifications of a decision last week by the Third District Court of Appeal that has significant implications for the future of condominium terminations in Florida.  The case pitted the

Read More

Shortening the Board Member Learning Curve

For those who live in community associations, board membership should be viewed in the same vein as a civic duty. An effective board of directors is essential for the financial and administrative wherewithal and stability of every community association, so

Read More

Key Considerations in Hiring an Employee Subject to a Non-compete (Part 1)

Most businesses find that some of the most qualified candidates for employment are current or former employees of competitors in their industry. Non-compete agreements are increasingly and frequently used to control and limit the competitive activities that a former employee

Read More

11th Circ. Frees Travelers From ‘Bad Faith’ Settlement

The Eleventh Circuit on Thursday affirmed a lower court’s ruling that Travelers Casualty and Surety Co. of America does not have to honor a settlement agreement between an insured Florida homeowners’ association and a homeowner, ruling the trial judge properly

Read More

Can a Condominium Association Face a Second Foreclosure Suit? (FL)

The Florida Supreme Court’s recent decision in Bartram v. U.S. National Bank Association is instructive for condominium associations and community managers dealing with a unit in foreclosure, including those trying to determine whether or not to appear and defend a

Read More

The Florida Medical Marijuana Law and Your Community Association – What You Need to Prepare For

On November 8, 2016, Florida voters passed Amendment 2, which will become effective January 2017. The Amendment allows the medical use of marijuana for persons with debilitating medical conditions, including HIV, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, seizures, multiple sclerosis, and other conditions,

Read More

Last Call for Opt-Out: Summary of Condominium Sprinkler Retrofit Requirements and Opt-Out Provisions (FL)

The deadline for opting-out of the Condominium Sprinkler Retrofitting Requirements is December 31, 2016. The following is a general summary of the state of the law for those who still need to opt–out or who want to review whether they

Read More

Requirements for Contracts Entered Into by Florida Condominium Associations

Contracting with vendors and service providers is part of the normal course of business for many condominium associations in Florida. Generally, section 718.3026, Florida Statutes provides for certain requirements when an association contracts for products and services. If a contract

Read More

The 9 Most Frequently Asked Questions About HOA Super Liens

We have heard far too many incorrect assumptions from servicers about how various rules will be applied to liens placed by Homeowners Associations (HOA) and Condo Owners Associations (COA) that we feel compelled to set the record straight. The most

Read More

Loan Servicers in the Post-Forelosure World – Are They Entitled to Safe Harbor Protection? (FL)

When purchasing your home, you likely shopped for the lender that would provide you with the most favorable terms for your mortgage loan. While you may have found the perfect lender, it is quite typical for your mortgage loan to

Read More

Handling Hoarding in a Condominium Community

Hoarding is becoming an increasingly common disorder that carries serious consequences for the afflicted, their family, and neighbors. Hoarding has the potential to attract rodents, create fire hazards, and can threaten the health of occupants. While hoarding is dangerous for

Read More

The Inevitable: Association Document Revisions

Many Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CCR’s), Declaration of Condominium, or both, commonly referred to as the “association documents” are often composed of boiler plate language related to the state statutes in force at the time the builder or

Read More

How to Deal with Feral Cats in Your Community

Most neighborhoods in the United States encounter roaming outdoor cats. Some of these are indoor/outdoor cats that are pets, but many of them are feral cats. Stray cats that were once pets are usually adoptable whereas feral cats are not.

Read More

Limitations on Community Association-Imposed Solar and Renewable Energy Restrictions (FL)

Due to its climate, Florida – the “Sunshine State” – is ideally situated to take advantage of unlimited and environmentally friendly solar energy. In the last two decades, the price of solar collectors has dropped significantly in cost and many

Read More

Fiber to the Home – Should you have it in your Community?

Many condominium and homeowner associations have bulk cable agreements in Florida. This can be a great benefit to the owners as the association may be able to negotiate a discount of 50% or more off retail rates. However, unlike a

Read More

Fire Sprinkler Retrofitting (FL)

As you may be aware, the deadline for condominium associations to vote to forego retrofitting with a fire sprinkler system is rapidly approaching.  Section 718.112(2)(l), Florida Statutes, requires certain condominium associations to retrofit their common elements, association property, and units

Read More

Contending with Apathy Towards Board Member Service in Community Associations

Community association living has many advantages and desirable qualities. Residents share expenses in order to be able to enjoy relatively carefree maintenance of their property and the use of amenities such as pools, fitness centers, meeting rooms, and other appealing

Read More

2017 Legal Update for Homeowners Associations (FL)

INTRODUCTION: In the 2016 Legislative Session, 44 Bills which related to Community Association operations in Florida were brought before various Committees. However, the Legislature abruptly adjourned at 7 p.m. on Friday, March 11, 2016, most of the community association legislation

Read More

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: How Does it Affect Condominium Associations?

Condominium owners’ associations are unique under Florida law—particularly when it comes to the collection of delinquent assessments and liability. The already complicated bankruptcy process thus becomes even more complex when a condominium owner with unpaid assessments is involved. Assessments that

Read More

Requirements to Challenging an Association Election Through Arbitration (FL)

Hardly anything generates more buzz and quarrel within community associations than the annual board of director elections. During the annual meeting and election season, numerous legal inquiries are made regarding the law on the election process, election disputes and challenging

Read More