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What the Trayvon Martin Case Can Teach Associations

Among the many issues raised by the recent fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman is the possibility that his family may bring a lawsuit against the homeowners association of the neighborhood in which Trayvon Martin was killed.  Read

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How to make change really happen in a community association

For the last few weeks, I have been communicating with a gentleman who lives in a very large planned community: one of those developments with so many sub-associations and residents that it could certainly be incorporated as its own municipality

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Lessons Learned from Tragic HOA Shooting in Kentucky

The recent case in Louisville, Ky., of a shooting at an HOA meeting that left a 73 year-old former president of the association dead on the scene of a gunshot wound to the head was a horrific tragedy. The alleged

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Florida Bar committee asks for opinion on community associations

The Florida Bar’s committee on the unlicensed practice of law approved a request Thursday for an advisory opinion on whether certain actions taken by community associations should be completed only by attorneys.  Read More……

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Court orders new trial in Florida hurricane case

A federal appellate court has reversed a $7.2 million judgment and ordered a new trial in a Florida hurricane insurance case. The 11th Circuit Court of Appeal issued the ruling Thursday in Atlanta based on a May opinion by the Florida

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Rogers Towers: Defeating Homeowner’s Association Claims for Unpaid Assessments in Foreclosure Cases

When is a first mortgagee not liable for any unpaid HOA assessments that came due prior to taking title? Judging solely by the text of § 720.3085(2)(b), it would seem that a first mortgagee that takes title to property through

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Brad van Rooyen: Homeowner associations already have ‘protection’

At a time when a significant number of Floridians are still struggling to make ends meet, millions of Florida homeowners could be faced with the threat of yet another forced increase in their cost of living. At issue is what

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Lake Restoration Case Study

Many communities in Florida feature beautiful lakes that enhance the appearance of the neighborhood and offer recreational opportunities for the residents. Most of these lakes were originally excavated for very practical purposes: acquiring ?ll for construction, capturing stormwater, and storing water

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Is Your Association Utilizing All of The Tools Available To It?

Many times I receive calls from condominium and homeowners association board members and managers who are at their wits end with certain residents in their community who cannot seem to follow the rules. These are the residents who paint their

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Florida Bar Looks at Issue of Managers and the Unauthorized Practice of Law

In June, 2012, the Florida Bar’s Standing Committee on the Unauthorized Practice of Law discussed the ever present issue of what constitutes “unauthorized practice of law” or “UPL” by community association managers. There are approximately 15, 600 licensed community association

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Bradenton Herald: East Manatee condo builder should buy back defective units

On the heels of homeowner horrors over noxious Chinese drywall over the past few years comes another builder whose inferior product endangers condominium buyers in the Willowbrook community. With balconies ruled unsafe by Manatee County building inspectors because of sinking

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Saving for a “rainy day”: funding community association reserves

Recently I was interviewed for a story in Kiplinger business magazine about what new condominium buyers should be considering prior to making their purchase. The list I provided was long but at the top was whether or not the proposed

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FL: 2012 Legislative Update: Impact on Community Associations

The 2012 Legislative Session was very busy with regards to community association legislation. The ultimate fate of many of the community association bills that were filed by various legislators was not known until the last day of session. Unfortunately, the

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Court sides with contractor over subrogation for damages from burst pipe

A federal district judge in Miami has sided with a heating, ventilation and air conditioning contractor against an insurer seeking subrogation for damages paid related to a burst pipe during Hurricane Katrina at a luxury condominium building in Miami.  Read

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Association Officer and Directors – Beware the Difference

Somewhat understandably, many HOA and condominium association members fail to understand the difference between Directors and Officers.  The primary reason for this confusion is that most Association Officers also serve as Association Directors, thereby blurring the distinction between the two

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Eva Rey has brought openness, better communication to Lakewood Ranch in first year

During her first year as the Lakewood Ranch Inter-District Authority Executive Director, Eva Rey has made notable improvements in Town Hall operations. Rey has set the tone for more openness in town hall operations, and providing service with a smile

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Association as Employer: what laws do you need to know about?

We don’t often think about community associations in the context of labor law but the majority of associations do have at least one employee and some large master associations have dozens. The largest association employer I ever met actually bought

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Associations Should Turn to Managers for Property Management, Not Legal Work

I recently wrote in this blog about the problems that can occur when community associations enter into contracts for renovations without having their attorney review and finalize the contract for the work. These contracts are not the only area in

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Insurer Says It Should Not Have to Pay for Trayvon Martin’s Death

Traveler’s Insurance sued Trayvon Martin’s mother and The Retreat at Twin Lakes Homeowners’ Association, where her son was killed, claiming it has no responsibility to defend the HOA or cover the teenager’s death.   Travelers Casualty and Surety Company of

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Do you know how Life Safety Upgrades are adopted in Florida and around the country?

Have you ever been confused by the Life Safety jargon that applies to your multifamily community or your individual unit/home? Engineered life safety systems, fire flow requirements and uniform elevator keys may not be lingo with which you are entirely

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As legal persons, banks enjoy the benefits AND the responsibilities of persons

In the last few years, we have seen more and more banks acquire title to condo and HOA property after foreclosure. Florida statutes provide that legal title passes upon the recording of the certificate of title. I am not going

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FL High court reveals secret deal of Trump developer’s crimes

Dozens of explosive records released by the U.S. Supreme Court show a developer of the failed Trump tower in Fort Lauderdale helped put away dangerous Mafia soldiers — while prosecutors struck a secret deal to conceal his charges in a

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Volunteering means you don’t get paid to support candidates

That would seem to be self-evident, but this being South Florida, it all depends on how you define the words. It’s the right, and I believe the duty, of every citizen to do research and choose candidates to support, by

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Passing the Baton: Tips on Getting the Next Generation of Community Association Leaders Involved

Perhaps you’re tired of seeing the same old faces sitting up at the front of the room at board and membership meetings. Maybe you own one of those faces and are tired of being up there, waiting for reinforcements to

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Cultivating New Community Association Leaders, Part II

In the first part of this series, I left you with a question of whether or not your current association VP would step into the shoes of a departing President. The answer was a resounding “NO”. Other than general malaise, what

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Avoiding the appearance of self interest as an association director

A reader of my blog recently wrote to discuss a situation in her community where the interests of the membership came second to the interests of some board members. The reader wrote that the community had been polled and the

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What is a Covered “Collapse” for Insurance Purposes?

Recently, the Fifth District Court of Appeal issued the opinion of Kings Ridge Community Association v. Sagamore Insurance Company, clarifying what constitutes a covered “collapse” under an All Risk Business Owner’s policy. On February 24, 2010, the association’s clubhouse began to

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More states seek to protect First Amendment Rights in Associations…will Florida

Last month, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled 5-1 that a condominium owner could place election signs on his front door and side window of his townhome over the objections of his association. Read More……

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Effective Collection Tactics for Associations Against Owners Who File for Bankruptcy

Associations have been contending with unit owners who file for personal bankruptcy protection in greater numbers since the start of the economic crisis. In response to a unit owner bankruptcy, and in an effort to preserve and protect the rights

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FL: New Law Eliminates Important Homeowner, HOA Protections Against Construction Defects in Community Infrastructure Systems

HB 1013, one of the most surprising and anti-consumer pieces of new legislation for Florida homeowners and HOAs, was recently signed into law by Gov. Scott. HB 1013 was passed in direct response to the Fifth District Court of Appeal’s

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Rogers Towers: Defending Mortgage Lenders Against Attorney’s Fees Claims by Condominium Associations

Lenders foreclosing mortgages in Florida frequently encounter claims by condominium associations for past due assessments. Increasingly, those entities are extending their claims in attempts to recover attorney’s fees and costs as well, often asking for amounts far in excess of

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Florida Supreme Court rules that “substantial compliance” is good enough for insurers on association policies

On May 31, 2012, the Florida Supreme Court issued a Corrective Opinion in the case of QBE Insurance Corp v. Chalfonte Condominium Association, Inc., SC09-441 (FL 2012). A jury originally awarded the Chalfonte Condominium Association $8.2 million for, among other

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Helpful hints for condo and HOA members

What Dave Biemel finds most gratifying about serving on the board of directors of Arielle Condominium Association in Palmer Ranch is the feeling of accomplishment in “getting stuff done that didn’t seem like it was getting done before.”     Read

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Recent Case Holds That Condominium Association Could Owe A Duty of Care to Unit Owners to Maintain Pipes In the Interior Boundary Walls of Units

In a recent case, the Florida Fourth District Court of Appeal analyzed a condominium association’s declaration documents to determine whether the association owed a duty to maintain the pipes located within interior walls of the condominium. While the subject of

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Introduction to Community Association Living

Community Volunteer Leadership Development Program Community volunteer leaders and members can maximize the benefits of community association living by better understanding the history, purpose, and function of community associations. One way to do so is by participating in the Center

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Governance Guidelines

There are basic expectations that apply to virtually any common-interest community. With this in mind, the Center for Community Association Volunteers developed the Community Association Governance Guidelines – 12 principles that can help association board members increase harmony, reduce conflict

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Rights & Responsibilities for Better Communities

More than a destination at the end of the day, a community is a place people want to call home and where they feel at home. This goal is best achieved when homeowners, non-owner residents and association leaders recognize and

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Community Association Fundamentals

Each common-interest community has its own history, personality, attributes and challenges, but all associations share common characteristics and core principles. CAI developed the Community Association Fundamentals to foster a better conceptual understanding of how associations function and the roles of

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Model Code of Ethics for Community Association Board Members

This model code of ethics is not meant to address every potential ethical dilemma encountered by a community association board member, but is offered as a basic framework that can be modified and adopted by any common-interest community.    Read

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So Now You’re On the Board

The first steps to superior board performance are clarifying your board’s job and then following through with appropriate plans, actions and evaluation of results. The checklists presented here are intended to assist you in those tasks. They cover a significant

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