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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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What is that noise? Is that a drone?

Drones are everywhere. The government uses drones, Amazon.com uses drones, weather forecasters use drones, and now even homeowners use drones. The question then becomes what, if anything, can an association do to regulate drones?   Read the article…………

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Rental Applications: Can rejecting a tenant based criminal background lead to a HUD complaint?

If an association has the right to deny rental applications and it does so based on an applicant’s criminal background, the association should review whether its policies, procedures and practices may lead to claims of discrimination. The Fair Housing Act

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Two New District Court Of Appeal Cases – Third Party Purchaser Assessment Liability And Fining Notice Requirement (FL)

If your homeowners’ association has not updated its declaration’s assessment collection provisions, then your association might be giving away its otherwise collectable assessment revenue! The problematic declaration provisions are similar to the following: “The sale or transfer of any Lot

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Court Can’t Ban Resident From Discussing HOA Online–Fox v. Hamptons at MetroWest Condos

This is the third time this year I’m blogging about homeowners’ associations suppressing online speech (see my posts on the Revock and Milazzo cases). I’m pretty sure HOA online censorship is a growth industry (indeed, my CRFA primer calls out

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Court reverses restriction on man’s blogging about his condo association, management company and neighbors

From today’s opinion of the Florida Court of Appeal in Fox v. Hamptons at Metrowest Condominium Association Inc., which strikes me as generally quite right:   Read the article……………

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The Resurrection of Civility – Take Back Your Community Association Board

In June, I addressed the Death of Civility – Why Community Association Board Members Serve – in part one of this series. I left you with a dysfunctional collection of community association board members, and the promise of a next

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A Guide to Avoid Criminal Charges as a Condominium Director in Florida

Yeah. This a bit tongue and cheek, but the fact of the matter is that Florida law governing condominiums has changed. Earlier this year, the Miami-Dade Grand Jury filed a report about the status of condominium association governance and the

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Is Your Master Community Association Actually a Condominium Association Under Florida Law?

The evolution of planned development communities within the State of Florida has been quite fascinating. Nowadays, the development of massive communities with abundant and extravagant amenities, numerous planned phases and multiple overlapping associations is common. Some communities have multi-condominium associations;

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Review of New Legislation Continues – Part 3 (FL)

Today’s column is the third installment of our annual review of community association legislation. In the first two installments, we covered the requirements for “estoppel certificates.” Today, we will look at House Bill 1237, which contains some significant changes. HB

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Review of new legislation continues(FL)

Last week, we began our annual review of legislation affecting Florida’s community associations. This week we continue our review of SB 398, the new law regarding “estoppel certificates,” the form associations have to complete for unit or parcel closings.  An

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Use of Drones by Homeowner Gets Tempers Soaring at Florida HOA Community

The use of drones by owners and residents of units in HOA and condominium communities has created concerns across the country over potential privacy and safety issues for community association managers and their boards of directors. Sales of drones to

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Estoppel Bill Approved by Governor and Remaining Community Association Bills Presented to the Governor (FL)

Yesterday, the Governor approved SB 398, Relating to Estoppel Certificates. The effective date of the new law is July 1, 2017. If you would like to hear more about the estoppel bill, please watch the video or read the summary

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HOA Blog Part V: Distinguishing Between Condo and HOA Fees, Fines, and Penalties (FL)

Back in Part 1 of this series, we noted that subtle distinctions exist between the rules regulating condominiums versus rules regulating homeowner’s associations. And, in keeping with that subtly, much of what has been discussed in Parts 2, 3, and

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The Recipe for Better Association Board Meetings

Let’s face it: community association board meetings can be difficult to get through. Bring a room full of volunteers together and you’re likely to get as many opinions as occupants in the room. It’s usually not a recipe for a

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When Express Maintenance Obligations In A Declaration Of Condominium Are Not So Clear (FL)

For example, let’s examine the replacement of the unit’s windows. Pursuant to the maintenance obligations in the declaration of condominium, the unit owner is responsible to maintain, repair, and replace all parts of the unit and the fixtures and equipment

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Review of New Legislature Continues (FL)

Last week, we began our annual review of legislation affecting Florida’s community associations. This week we continue our review of SB 398, the new law regarding “estoppel certificates,” the form associations have to complete for unit or parcel closings.  An

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What is the role of a CPA in a Homeowners Association (HOA) ?

Both board members and homeowners have an interest in the money end of an HOA’s business. After all, it’s the owners who have to pay higher fees when the homeowners association goes over budget. And it’s the Board who is

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Negligent Security Claims: Reducing Liability for Associations (FL)

In recent years, Condominium and Homeowner’s Associations have become a target for negligent security lawsuits and claims. Typically, a resident or guest of an Association is a victim of a violent crime and the crime victim later sues the Association.

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Appeals court rules construction defendants not liable in Miami injury case (FL)

The 3rd District Court of Appeal has affirmed lower court rulings of five summary judgments in cases in which a woman alleges she was injured at a condo community due to negligence in repairing the sidewalk.  The case centers on

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Poor Communication Causes Most Problems For HOAs in Florida

Most interpersonal issues stem from miscommunication. This is especially true in the business world – communication is the bedrock of every successful relationship.  The same basic principles apply to the management of a property you own. Maintaining clear lines of

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Community Association 2017 Legislative Guide: Part II (FL)

Since we published Community Association 2017 Legislative Guide: Part I, several bills affecting community associations were signed into law, including Senate Bill 398 (estoppel bill) and House Bill 1237 (condominium crime bill). Citing London’s Grenfell Tower fire, Governor Scott vetoed

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ELSS Bill Vetoed, Condominium Bill Approved, & Final Report on Community Association Bills for 2017 Session (FL)

Governor Rick Scott has now taken action on all of the community association bills that passed during the 2017 legislative session.   Read the article……………

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Daily Business Review on Veto of Condominium Fire Sprinklers Bill

Pointing to a high-rise fire in London that killed dozens of residents, Gov. Rick Scott vetoed a bill that would have eased fire-protection requirements for older condominium buildings in Florida.  House Bill 653, which passed the Legislature with only one

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HOA’s: Your Restrictions Have an Expiration Date (FL)

With the turnover of volunteer homeowner’s association (“HOA”) board members over time, it is not surprising that certain important long-term issues may be overlooked. There is one very important law, however, which board members may not be aware of that

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Changes to Financial Reporting Requirements for Associations (FL)

On June 23, 2017, Governor Scott approved House Bill 6027, which provides substantively identical changes to the annual financial reporting requirements for condominium, cooperative, and homeowners’ associations.    Read the article………….

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Suspensions of Residents’ Use of Community Amenities Help Associations to Maintain Compliance (FL)

Florida community associations are always seeking to implement the most cost-effective options at their disposal to collect unpaid dues and compel unit owners/residents to comply with their rules and restrictions. Condominium associations used to have very few practical remedies at

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Florida’s Seldom Used 3-Day Right of Recission

If you are a roofer, you are likely no stranger to the concept of providing materials and services over the course of several days; however, you are much less likely familiar with the custom of providing clients notice of a

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Legislative Update: Association Fraud, Financial Reporting Bills Signed Into Law (FL)

House Bill 6027 was signed by Governor Rick Scott. The Bill makes changes to the financial reporting requirements of Florida condominiums, homeowners’ associations, and cooperatives, and will be effective as of July 1, 2017. The Bill may be summarized as

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Ten Things Property Managers Wish Owners Knew

We are human too. Property managers really do want to help you resolve issues. Profanity and shouting are counterproductive. We cannot enforce rules that are not in your documents.       Read the entire list……………

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