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Important Things to Know When Serving on a Board of Directors (FL)

Serving on the Board of Directors of any corporation can be a great opportunity for both personal and financial growth. As with everything in life, however, in order to receive, one must also give. This article will summarize the responsibilities

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New Resident Screening and Avoiding Disparate Impact Claims

Most well-run community associations incorporate a new tenant application and approval process, and some even utilize such a program for new owners. A typical new resident screening program includes criminal background checks, credit checks, employment verification, and prior rental history.

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Important Ruling for Associations Seeking to Foreclose in Advance of Lenders

Community associations and their attorneys are applauding the recent ruling by the Fourth District Court of Appeal in Jallali v. Knightsbridge Village Homeowners Association, which eliminates an unintended roadblock that was being used to derail association foreclosure cases throughout the

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Budget Tips: 3 Reasons Your Association Property Insurance Premiums May Continue to Decrease! Especially for Condominiums

A lot of condominiums and on a lesser scale, homeowner associations, have seen significant reductions in their association property insurance premiums over the past couple of years. What is causing this and will it last? Based on what we have

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Accord And Satisfaction: Florida’s 2nd DCA Overturns St. Croix Confirming Condominiums Can Accept Partial Payments Without Risk Of Compromising Claim

Recent assessment disputes between condominium associations and unit owners has resulted in a clarification of a Florida law. The clarification changes the way that acceptance of money intended to be accord and satisfaction is understood by the court in the

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Condominium Elections Are Approaching – Is Your Association Following the Rules?

The end of the calendar year means that most condominium associations are gearing up for their annual meeting and election of new board members. For many condominiums, this is a routine event, but for others, this may foster heated and

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The 5 Most Frequently Asked Questions About Florida Fire Sprinkler Retrofits

As the 12/31/16 deadline for Florida high-rises to opt out of a full sprinkler retrofit looms large, the confusion regarding which multifamily buildings should opt out, why and what the consequences of that opt out vote will be escalates.  Here

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Beach Condo Sued by Woman in Wheelchair for FHA Discrimination

All was well until board members on a Miami Beach condominium association saw her in person, according to a discrimination lawsuit by a woman who uses a wheelchair.  Rachel Siler, 31, said she got a rude awakening after traveling from

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Condominium Assessment Liens in Florida, Part IV: Overcoming Defenses and Sale of the Unit

A condominium association’s governing documents in conjunction with Section 718.116, Florida Statutes, are the genesis of the condominium association’s authority to impose and perfect assessment liens against individually owned units within the community. This four-part blog will discuss the condominium

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Tax Deed Purchasers Make An End Run Around HOA Fees

Late last year Florida’s Fifth District Court of Appeals delivered an early Christmas present to these new parcel owners in the form of a decision in favor of Lunohah Investments in their case, Lunohah Investments, LLC v. Gaskell.  The court

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Condominium Leasing Restrictions’ Impact on FHA Home Loan Eligibility

Frequently, the governing documents of condominium associations contain limitations on the ability of owners to lease or sell their property, such as provisions requiring owners to obtain the Association’s approval before such leases or sales may take place. Although these

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Embracing Technology for the Betterment of Florida’s Residential Communities

Florida has finally joined almost two dozen other states in permitting members living in private residential communities to cast votes in a more convenient, secure manner than previously existed. This is a particular boon to communities with large percentages of

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New Florida Foreclosure Case May Lead to Less Participation and Greater Risk for Real Estate Investors

On August 24, 2016, the Fourth District Court of Appeal issued an opinion in Ober v. Town of Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, No. 4D14-4597, 2016 WL 4468134 (Fla. 4th DCA August 24, 2016) that is likely to have broad implications on Florida’s foreclosure

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Gated Communities Sued For Negligent Security

Deaths resulting from unauthorized persons gaining access in gated communities have recently reached the headlines in Florida. Not surprisingly, the incidents resulted lawsuits against residential communities that marketed themselves as protecting residents through enforced gate and screening procedures. The lawsuits

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Condominium Assessment Liens in Florida, Part IV: Overcoming Defenses and Sale of the Unit

A condominium association’s governing documents in conjunction with Section 718.116, Florida Statutes, are the genesis of the condominium association’s authority to impose and perfect assessment liens against individually owned units within the community. This four-part blog will discuss the condominium

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Accommodating Requests for Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals in your Community

Many community associations are presented with requests for accommodating service animals and emotional support animals. It can be difficult to navigate through the various laws. There are specific obligations required of housing providers under the Fair Housing Act (“FHA”) and,

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Associations Should Utilize Proper Vetting Protocols When Considering Service and Emotional Support Animal Requests

Disagreements over service animals have consistently ranked among the most prevalent types of disputes that arise between community associations and their residents. In South Florida alone we have witnessed numerous investigations concerning discrimination claims —many of which still serve as

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Bank of America v. Kipps Colony II Condominium Association, Inc.: What Does It Mean for Attorneys? (FL)

The recent case of Bank of America, N.A. v. Kipps Colony II Condominium Association, Inc., — So. 3d —-, 2016 WL 3766582 (Fla. 2d DCA 2016), is instructive for attorneys representing condominium and homeowners’ associations and emphasizes the need for

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Are Condominium Unit Owners Required to Carry Insurance? (FL)

In 2009, there was an explicit provision in the Condominium Act that required unit owners to carry insurance, but that provision was amended out of the Condominium Act in 2010.[1] According to the legislative history behind the 2010 amendment of

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Condominium Assessment Liens in Florida, Part III: Assessment Foreclosure Actions

A condominium association’s governing documents in conjunction with Section 718.116, Florida Statutes, are the genesis of the condominium association’s authority to impose and perfect assessment liens against individually owned units within the community. This four-part blog will discuss the condominium

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Community Association Members’ Right to Information

The right of a community association member to information differs slightly depending on whether the person is a member of a homeowners’ association or a condominium association. However, in analyzing a person’s right to information, it is important to understand

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Homeowner Association E-Voting? The Unlikely Future

One of the biggest problems with both large and small communities is their governing bodies’ inability to execute meaningful improvements due to a lack of quorum (i.e. attendance by a majority) of its members.  Active participation by a majority of

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For Many Condo Communities, Pokemon Go Quickly Becoming Pokemon No

The issues arise both from nonresidents who are pursuing these animated characters and feel compelled to enter a property as well as from residents and their guests who are gallivanting through the hallways and common areas at all hours in

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The Airbnb Phenomenon and What It Means for Your Community Association

If your community association is located in or relatively near an area that is attractive to tourists, it is time for your board to start discussing the Airbnb phenomenon and what it might mean in the coming years. Sites like

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Can an Association Suspend an Owner’s Right to Use Common Facilities? (FL)

Association boards frequently ask what recourse they have against owners who fall behind on paying assessments, or violate other provisions of an association’s governing documents. While most associations’ governing documents provide for the right to fine owners and place a

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Condominium Assessment Liens in Florida, Part II: Perfecting Condominium Liens

A condominium association’s governing documents in conjunction with Section 718.116, Florida Statutes, are the genesis of the condominium association’s authority to impose and perfect assessment liens against individually owned units within the community. This four-part blog will discuss the condominium

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The Condominium Fire Sprinkler Retrofit – A Continuing Saga (FL)

Each week, I receive a multitude of calls and e-mails from condominium association clients, and non-clients alike, regarding the condominium fire sprinkler retrofit requirements. The confusion arises because of a 2010 amendment to section 718.112 of the Florida Statutes which,

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Is Your Association’s Declaration Stuck In the Past?

Florida’s community associations are largely governed by two main sources of authority: (1) the Florida Condominium Act (for condo associations) and the Florida HOA Act (for homeowners’ associations); and (2) the association’s governing documents. While court opinions, State of Florida

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Attorneys to Condo Associations: Zika Litigation Won’t Bite (FL)

What are condo associations, homeowners’ associations and other multifamily real estate boards to do as Zika spreads across South Florida? Not too much, according to real estate attorneys, who suggest caution but advise against creating liability where none exists.  Health

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Condominium Assessment Liens in Florida, Part I: Authority for Condominium Liens

A condominium association’s governing documents in conjunction with Section 718.116, Florida Statutes, are the genesis of the condominium association’s authority to impose and perfect assessment liens against individually owned units and parcels within the community. This four-part blog will discuss

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Zika Virus and Your Community Association

Ask the average community association resident whether or not the association board has a duty to protect him or her from foreseeable risk inside the community and the answer is likely to be a resounding “OF COURSE”.  Whether or not

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Pokemon GO…. Away! Mobile game can spell headaches for private residential communities.

After writing this blog for well over a decade, I often think that I have covered every conceivable topic which can impact shared ownership communities. Almost inevitably, just when I start thinking this is the case something new crops up

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Judge Rules Against Beach Condo Board That Balked

A rundown beachfront property waiting for redevelopment may soon turn from eyesore to tourist destination in one of Miami Beach’s most happening areas.  Nestled between Collins Avenue and the Miami Beach Boardwalk, the All Seasons Condominium has dangled between a

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Arbitration of §553.84 Claims Under Home Warranties (FL)

One of the most common statutory claims in construction defect litigation arises under section 553.84, Florida Statutes, for failure to comply with the Florida Building Code. Many homeowner warranties require arbitration, but how do such provisions affect 553.84 claims, subsequent

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DBPR Chaos: Fire Sprinkler Opt Out Requirement Revisited

In May, we published an article discussing the upcoming December 31, 2016 deadline for high-rise condominiums to hold an opt out vote in order to avoid the requirement to retrofit their buildings with fire sprinkler systems. Since publication of our

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Wrongful Death Suit Against Association Illustrates Perils of Negligent Security, Screening

The filing of a double wrongful death lawsuit against the property owners’ association for the exclusive Yacht and Country Club of Stuart gated community is drawing the attention of many community association attorneys, property managers and directors. The case appears

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HOA elections are as important as presidential elections

There are 9.4 million Floridians living in communities governed by a condominium or homeowners association (HOA), paying nearly $10 billion annually to maintain their communities.* These associations are under the direction of an elected board of volunteer homeowners who make

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The Fuss about Florida’s Fire Sprinkler Opt Out Deadline

The Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares and Mobile Homes (“Division”) has recently been quoted in several media articles advising that all multifamily buildings in Florida, regardless of height, must install sprinklers unless they opt out prior to the December 31,

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Your Homeowners’ Association May Not Be Taking Advantage of a Favorable Tax Break (FL)

A major expense for many homeowners’ and condominium owners’ associations is the cost of the utilities for common areas of the communities. The good news for such associations, however, is that they are entitled to an exemption for the sales

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Notice to Owner: A Forewarning to Associations

You hired a contractor for concrete restoration, pool resurfacing or minor electrical work at the clubhouse; did you receive an oddly printed form entitled Notice to Owner in the mail? In our experience, Notices to Owner do not get the

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How to Prevent an “Act of God” from Derailing Your Community.

Ask a contractor or vendor about what will happen to their services and your community in the event of a disaster or emergency and they will likely point you towards a clause in their contract entitled, Force Majeure.    

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Video of Furniture Being Blown Off Balconies at Miami Condo Tower During Recent Thunderstorm Makes Local, National News

In case you missed it, the recent video of patio furniture being blown off of balconies at a downtown Miami condominium went viral and made local and national headlines. It shows what appears to be a significant number of chaise

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It’s Hurricane Season: Is Your Community Association Prepared?

Despite 2016 not being projected as a big year for hurricanes in Florida, we all know that the season is not over yet. This leads to a very important question for community associations: if a hurricane or tropical storm were

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Associations can once again foreclose their assessment lien after a lender commences its foreclosure

Then, on June 29, 2016, Florida community associations had a very good day because of the 4th DCA’s opinion in the case of Jallali v. Knightsbridge Village Homeowners Association, Inc., in which Kaye Bender Rembaum was instrumental as legal counsel

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Does Your Association’s Declaration Preclude Any Recovery From Foreclosing Lenders? (FL)

After the housing bubble collapse, the Florida Legislature ratified numerous amendments to the Florida Condominium Act and Homeowners’ Association Act to provide associations with more power in collecting past-due assessments. One amendment obligated lenders that foreclose on properties owing past-due

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What You Need to Know About the High-Rise Condominium Fire Sprinkler Requirement and Opt-Out Provisions

Many condominium associations are still unaware about an upcoming deadline that requires high-rise condominium towers to have automatic fire sprinkler or Engineered Life Safety Systems in place by December 31, 2019. However, it is imperative that both property managers and

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Community Associations: Are You Prepared for this Hurricane Season?

Southwest Florida has been fortunate in the first month of this 2016 hurricane season, but if a hurricane crops up next week, is your association prepared?  Here are a few suggestions for protecting yourselves and your association members this hurricane

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Florida’s 4th DCA Reverses Course – Community Associations Can Pursue Lien Foreclosure Despite Pending Mortgage Foreclosure

In March we published an article discussing the ruling in Jallali v. Knightsbridge Village Homeowners Association, Inc., 2016 WL 320601 (Fla. 4th DCA Jan. 27, 2016) wherein Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal held the filing of the notice of

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4TH DCA Corrects Prior Ruling and Clarifies Limited Application of Quadomain Decision

In what constitutes great news for community associations in Florida, the Fourth District Court of Appeals has clarified its prior ruling from 2012, U.S. Bank National Association v. Quadomain Condominium Association, Inc., which has been causing problems to community associations

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When Homeowners’ Association Living Goes Haywire: How To Prevent The Common Problems Of Living Under An HOA or COA

But along with the benefits of enhanced control over their environment and their property values can come problems, such as time consuming bureaucracy, legal imbroglios, unexpected expenditures, and unmet expectations. Sometimes these problems can be benign – you can’t fly

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