Florida Articles

Back to homepage

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

Community Associations Suspending Use Rights for Common Elements, Amenities

In 2010, at the height of the recent foreclosure crisis, community associations in Florida gained an effective tool to aid them in their efforts to collect upon delinquent assessments. It was at that time that the legislature amended Florida law

Read More

First-time condo buyers: Compare assessments, count reserves, expect maintenance

Condominium sellers customarily pay any upcoming special assessments, but Natalie Renna of Re/Max Vision 212 writes the clause into her contracts to make sure.  Recently, while a sale was pending attorney review, the association levied a $15,000 special assessment. Renna’s

Read More

If Hillary and Donald were running for your Condo or HOA Board which one would get your vote?

I realize that the title of this blog post will prompt some readers to dash off a response in support of their favored candidate or at least launch an attack against the candidate they despise.  The question in the title

Read More

Compromise On Ham Radio Legislation Offers Satisfactory Resolution

A bill that was recently brought before the U.S. House of Representatives is seeking to limit the amount of control community associations have over amateur radio operators. However, a compromise was reached between a prominent lobbying group and a membership

Read More

Fla. App. Court Holds Safe Harbor for Unpaid HOA/COA Assessments Doesn’t Require Mortgagee to Own Note, Mortgage

The District Court of Appeal of Florida, Second District, recently held that a mortgagee is entitled to the safe harbor limiting liability for unpaid condominium assessments under section 718.116 of the Florida Condominium Act, even though the mortgagee holds, but

Read More

Community Associations Suspending Use Rights for Common Elements, Amenities (FL)

In 2010, at the height of the recent foreclosure crisis, community associations in Florida gained an effective tool to aid them in their efforts to collect upon delinquent assessments. It was at that time that the legislature amended Florida law

Read More

Community Associations and Water Damage

When writing insurance for a condominium association or a homeowner’s association insured like a condominium, there are two integral parts of the insurance program: The association’s Insurance and the unit-owners Insurance. The association’s insurance is responsible for the structures and

Read More

EMERGENCY POWERS: What Condominium and Homeowners Association Board Members Need to Know (FL)

The windows are shuttered, patio and pool furniture is stored away, the pantry is stocked with food, water bottles and gas tanks are filled, flashlights have new batteries, and insurance policies and other important papers are in a safe place.

Read More

Independent Contractor or Employee: Know the Difference

Business owners must determine the type of workers they will utilize to operate successfully. In some cases, owners think they are hiring independent contractors but, in reality, those workers may actually be employees. Failure to properly classify workers can result

Read More

Community Association Liability – Neighbor to Neighbor Discrimination

There is a dangerous trend being established by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) under the Federal Fair Housing Act (the “Act”) and the enforcement of the Act of which community associations must be aware.  On April

Read More

Safe Harbor: Lender Liable For Pre-Foreclosure Assessments After Failing To Foreclose HOA Lien (FL)

A recent decision by the Florida Second District Court of Appeal in Ballentrae H.O.A., Inc., v. Federal National Mortgage Association, Case Nos. 2015-1025 and -1026 (Fla. 2nd DCA, September 2, 2016) has once again brought to the forefront the issue

Read More

When condos and HOAs must get competitive bids

When condominium and homeowners associations want to enter into new contracts with vendors or professionals for various projects or duties, there is a misconception that the association must get at least three (3) competitive bids before hiring the vendor or

Read More

Ruling Quashes Lingering Questions on Partial Payments to Condo Associations (FL)

Two years ago a ruling by the state’s Second District Court of Appeal created a major wrinkle in the acceptance of partial payments by condominium associations when the payments had been endorsed and presented as full and complete remittances of

Read More

A Primer on Association Election Basics as Season is Set to Begin

With the holiday season approaching, now is the time that many condominium associations in Florida are gearing up for their annual meetings and board member elections. It is essential for the current board and property management to have a complete

Read More

Budget Tips: 5 Reasons Your Landscape Maintenance Costs May Increase

Landscape maintenance budgets can be a major component for homeowners associations and in some cases condominium budgets. What should your association be prepared for in your 2017 budgets? Unfortunately, there are several market forces that have resulted in increased costs

Read More

The Earth Movement Exclusion: How Does it Affect Construction Defect Cases?

One of the biggest considerations for parties on both sides of any lawsuit is whether insurance coverage will apply to the plaintiff’s claims. This is especially true in construction defect cases, where the cost of repairing the alleged damage can

Read More

Fla. App. Court (2nd DCA) Holds Non-Party HOA Not Subject to Foreclosure, HOA Lien Not Limited

The District Court of Appeal of the State of Florida, Second District, recently reversed a summary judgment in favor of a mortgagee in two consolidated actions for declaratory and injunctive relief regarding the extent of the mortgagee’s liability for unpaid

Read More

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

Read More

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.

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More