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No Trespassing, Except to Retrieve Golf Balls: Florida’s Interesting Legal Take on Property Law and Golfers.

Thanks to the Internet and social media, you’ve no doubt heard some of the collection of strange laws to be found in states across the country. We could start with the first letter of the alphabet and point out that

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When Residents Break Rules

All too often, we are asked by boards of directors and property managers what steps can be taken to prevent residents from continuing to break rules in their communities. Seldom, however, do we hear community associations that are active and

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Post-Irma Impacts on Association Annual Meetings and Elections (FL)

While recovery from property damage and power outages may take precedence in the hours and days following a hurricane, it is also important to consider—and to take swift action to recover from— not-so-apparent implications of a storm.   Read the article…………….

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Hurricane Irma Take-Aways for Condo & Community Associations

Hurricane Irma Take-Aways for Community Associations 1 – Review and Update Insurance Policies. All insurance policies should be reviewed and updated as necessary, at least annually. Review dates should be calendared well in advance and incorporated into other annual must-do

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Helpful Tips to Consider When Filing an Insurance Claim (FL)

We hope that you and your loved ones are safe after the storm with little to no damage to your property. Our thoughts remain with those whose homes and loved ones were impacted by Hurricane Irma. As local, state and

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Hurricane Irma Hit – Now What? (FL)

We were just hit by the biggest storm in Florida’s history. Although there is damage, you are grateful everyone is safe and comforted by knowing that you have insurance. But, did you know that you are responsible to prevent additional

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Associations dealing with unique problems post Hurricane Irma

Thankfully Floridians heeded the call and evacuated where necessary and prepared one and all for the monstrous Hurricane Irma. While Irma was a lengthy and dangerous storm, the effects on Florida were not as devastating as had been feared. However,

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Owner Participation at an Association Board Meeting – The Fine Art of Herding Cats

Here is part three of the on-going conversation about keeping order and control in association board meetings, and getting the business done. This time, the focus is on participation of members in an association board meeting.  In recent years, I

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Guidance for Working With FEMA for Debris Removal Following Hurricanes Harvey & Irma

As storm victims struggle to survive after the devastation and loss caused by Hurricane Harvey, the first thing individuals and community associations should do is register for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Community association residents are most

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How a New Law Affecting Condo Associations Could Mean Brisk Business for Web Designers (FL)

Website developer Todd Paton knows it will likely be months before his new target market seeks him out, or even begins to pay attention to his pitches.  Yet, Paton and his colleague Dhiren Chauhan are busy building a platform to

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Must communities retrofit for handicap accommodation (FL)

The question often arises as to whether condominium, cooperative and homeowners’ associations need to install wheelchair ramps, elevator or swimming pool lifts or redo common area bathrooms to accommodate handicap persons.   The general answer is that associations may have

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6 Tips for Onboarding a Community Association Board

Anytime you have incoming board members to your community association, it is important to set expectations and outline the duties each person will perform. New board members must be brought up to speed as quickly as possible so that you

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Five Mistakes Your Board of Directors Can Avoid if Hurricane Irma Hits

In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey’s destruction and with Irma fast approaching the eastern US coastline, I could blog about the steps your community needs to take to prepare. I’ve written that blog post many times before and I often

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Insurance Reminders for Community Associations Preparing for Hurricane Irma

Hurricane Irma is now a category five storm that is predicted to impact the state of Florida by late this week. As all community associations prepare their properties for the storm, they should also take specific measures to prepare for

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Assignment of Condominium Limited Common Element Use Rights (FL)

Condominiums are comprised of “units” owned by individual owners and “common elements” owned collectively by all owners. Pursuant to Chapter 718, Florida Statutes, “units” include all areas designated as such in the particular condominium’s governing documents, while “common elements” includes

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Charges dropped in alleged condo fraud (FL)

The 12th Circuit State Attorney Office has abandoned fraud charges against a former president and treasurer of a three-unit condo association in Bradenton Beach.  Formal charges were filed in May against Alyson and Javier Colosia for allegedly defrauding the Gulf

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Must communities retrofit for handicap accommodation

The question often arises as to whether condominium, cooperative and homeowners’ associations need to install wheelchair ramps, elevator or swimming pool lifts or redo common area bathrooms to accommodate handicap persons.  The general answer is that associations may have to

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7 Keys to Success for Social Events in your Community

Communities often have difficulty attracting residents to their social events, which can make it difficult to justify the effort and cost. Imagine a family-oriented HOA with 500 homes – with a healthy social budget of $50,000 per year. A community

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Everything is “Fine,” So Long as You Strictly Follow Your Documents (FL)

It has long been recognized that liens are statutorily created rights and consequently are strictly construed. What this means in English is that you can’t simply substantially comply with the lien filing laws. If you want your lien to be

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Debt Collections Practices and Laws: Should They Concern Your HOA?

The fairly recent case of Agrelov v. Affinity Management Services, LLC, Case No. 15-14136, (11th Cir., November 9, 2016), is instructive for associations and their managers with respect to debt collections.  In that case, the homeowners were assessed a fine

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Kickbacks: Don’t get accused of taking them (FL)

Despite all the great work done by volunteer condo and HOA board members, the actions of a few bad apples have resulted in law changes that could label a casual lunch meeting an illegal kickback!  Board Members (and Managers) cannot

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Could your community association turn into the next Confederate symbol battleground?

In light of recent events in Charlottesville, it should come as no surprise that symbols mean different things to different people and there will unfortunately continue to be disagreements (and at times violence) when it comes to interpreting whose rights

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Community Association Liability For Dog Bites – Woof, Woof, Woof

Can a Florida condominium, homeowners’, and cooperative association have liability for its members’ dog bites? Apparently, the answer is yes, it surely can.  In 1996, the Fourth District Court of Appeal of Florida in Barrwood Homeowners Association, Inc. v. Maser,

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Fla. App. Court (5th DCA) Reverses Foreclosure Judgment That Excluded Interest, Escrow

The District Court of Appeal of the State of Florida, Fifth District, recently reversed final judgment of foreclosure entered in favor of a mortgagee that omitted interest and escrow amounts due, and remanded to the trial court to modify judgment

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Proactive Measures Help Community Associations Diminish Exposure to Negligent Security Lawsuits

Florida community associations, just as with all other property owners in the state, can be held liable for crimes committed on their properties. Associations and other property owners owe a duty to their residents and guests to undergo reasonable steps

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Pool Contractor’s Ability to Work on Pool Electrical Wiring in FL

On March 29, 2017, the Florida Construction Industry Licensing Board (“CILB”), issued a Final Order, Department of Business and Professional Regulation, Construction Industry Licensing Board v. Michael E. Seamon, disciplining a Certified Pool/Spa Contractor (“CPC”) for replacing existing pool light

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Should you ride out a hurricane in a high-rise? (FL)

“Should I stay or should I go?” asked The Clash in their classic 1981 rock song.  That’s the same question Miami high-rise dwellers could be asking themselves as hurricane season enters its busiest stretch.  Thousands of people who weren’t around

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Debit Card Provision Uncertainties Answered (FL)

The outcome of this year’s legislative session evoked a lot of confusion from property managers and boards of directors serving the community association industry. As a result, we have received a lot of requests from our readership asking for clarification

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Vbro & Airbnb: What You Need To Know – The Business Of Short-Term Rentals Is No Business At All

In a recent Rembaum’s Association Roundup article regarding Florida’s newest non-native invasion of overnight rentals through Vacation Rentals by Owner (VRBO) and AirBnB, we discussed what an association can do in order to protect its community from becoming the newest

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2017 Legislative Update for Florida’s Community Association Laws: Part III

On July 1st, the 2017 amendments to the Florida Statutes affecting community associations became effective. The 2017 legislative amendments to the Condominium Act and Homeowners Association Act are substantial. This post is Part III in a blog series detailing these

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New Legislation Effective July 1, 2017 Affecting Florida’s Community Associations

While much of the 2017 legislation recently passed into law affects only condominium associations, Senate Bill 39 (a.k.a., the “Estoppel Bill”) affects condominium, homeowners’, and cooperative associations.  In regard to the Estoppel Bill, remember that in addition to the statutorily

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Fourth DCA Confirms Association Lien Foreclosure Valid Despite Pending Mortgage Foreclosure (FL)

Despite a slowing in the number of Florida mortgage foreclosure cases, many community associations still face situations where a foreclosing lender fails to timely complete its foreclosure resulting in the property sitting abandoned and not contributing financially to the community.

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New Legislation Adds Teeth to Florida’s Condo Laws

The new Florida law that establishes criminal penalties for association fraudsters should help many associations to contend with suspicious and irregular activities by unscrupulous board members.    Read the article…………..

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When Differences turn into Dysfunction: Why Your Board of Directors Needs a Code of Conduct

The role of board members in a community association is fairly straightforward: keep informed on the association’s business operations; be familiar with and come prepared to discuss the agenda items for upcoming board meetings; encourage and participate in constructive, businesslike

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2017 Legislative Update for Florida’s Community Association Laws: Part II

On July 1st, the 2017 amendments to the Florida Statutes affecting community associations became effective. The 2017 legislative amendments to the Condominium Act and Homeowners Association Act are substantial. This post is Part II (click here for part I) in

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The Law: Buying in an HOA? An an estoppel letter helps

Prior to 2007, Florida did not allow a homeowners association to pursue a former owner for unpaid HOA assessments and fees.  This changed in 2007 when the Florida Legislature amended Chapter 720 of the Florida Statues by adding Section 720.3085,

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Homeowners’ Associations: Homeowners Rights & Duties

If you own a house in a planned residential development, you’re a homeowner. All of the homeowners in the development typically belong to the homeowners’ association (HOA) for that development. Membership is automatic with the purchase of a home in

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New legislation affecting condos, co-ops and HOAs (FL)

Last year the Florida Legislature was silent when it came to passing any laws affecting community associations. Not this year.  This year four bills were approved and signed by the governor and one was vetoed. SB 398 applies to condos,

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Prohibitions Against “SLAPP” Suits: What Associations and Their Managers Need to Know

Both the Florida Homeowners’ Association Act and the Condo Act contain prohibitions against so-called “SLAPP” suits; SLAPP stands for “Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation”. The condominium anti-SLAPP suit statute is found at §718.1224 and the homeowners’ anti-SLAPP suit statute is

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Does the First Amendment Apply to Condominiums? (FL)

A common question asked by our clients is what can be done to stop unit owners from publishing false, negative, or harassing posts about the condominium association, its directors, members, or agents on internet mediums like Facebook or Nextdoor. The

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Governor Vetoes House Bill 653 (FL)

One of the most talked about community association legislative bills this session was House Bill 653 (HB 653), which proposed changes to the Condominium Act and the Homeowners Association Act. Gov. Rick Scott vetoed HB 653 at 7:55 p.m. on

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Duties of Your HOA Board

If you live in a planned community, you or various of you neighbors may decide to join the board of your homeowners’ association (HOA). It’s a way to get involved and to have a say in how your community maintains

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Review of Legislation continues – Part 5 (FL)

Today’s column is the final installment of our annual review of legislation affecting Florida community associations.  In prior columns, we reviewed Senate Bill 398 dealing with “estoppel certificates,” and House Bill 1237 which only applies to condominiums and contains changes

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Estoppel Bill Becomes Law, Brings Big Changes to Association Procedures (FL)

After several years of failed attempts, the estoppel bill has become law in Florida and mandates major changes to the way community associations in the state prepare estoppel letters (also called estoppel certificates), which are legal documents detailing the amounts

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What You Need to Know About the New Estoppel Legislation

The Florida Legislature has updated the laws regulating estoppels for condominiums, cooperatives, and homeowners’ associations… here’s what you need to know:   Read the article……………..

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2017 Florida Legislative Guide

From the Community Association Leadership Lobby      Read the book…………..

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Review of Legislation continues – Part 4 (FL)

Today’s column is the fourth installment of our annual review of legislation affecting community associations.  So far, we have reviewed Senate Bill 398, dealing with “estoppel certificates,” and parts of House Bill 1237, pertaining to board member term limits, the

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Statute changes impose new conflict of interest rules (FL)

So far, we have reviewed Senate Bill 398, dealing with “estoppel certificates,” and parts of House Bill 1237, pertaining to board member term limits, the use of debit cards, recalls, mandatory websites for certain associations, suspension of voting rights, year-end

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Condo Docs – What You Need To Know Before Buying A Condo

So you’ve been checking out Panama City Beach condos for sale, and you’ve found a condo you love. Once you start the purchasing process, you’re going to be faced with a lot of documents. Condominium documents (sometimes called “condo docs”)

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Case Law Update: What a Recent Appellate Decision Can Tell Associations Seeking Their Attorney’s Fees for Litigation

Florida’s Third District Court of Appeals recently handed down a decision in the matter of Gonzalez v. Int’l Park Condominium I Association, Inc. that is instructive for associations and their attorneys when associations become involved in litigation and seek payment

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