Florida Condo & HOA News Archive

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  • Is there a guide or checklist to make sure insurance claims are handled properly? (FL) December 17, 2017 Q: I am a newly elected board member of our community’s condominium association. As a result of Hurricane Irma we experienced substantial damages. We are in the midst of dealing with the insurance claims process. Is there a guide or check list which is available to make sure we as board members are properly doing our job in the handling of our insurance claim?   Read the Q&A…………..
  • Young people may be allowed to live in over-55 community (FL) December 16, 2017 Question: We live in an over-55 condominium community. There is a woman in her 30s who inherited her condo unit from her father.  The problem is that this woman is constantly causing disturbances with late-night parties and friends going in and out of her unit all hours of the day and night.  The other owners in the building have filed numerous noise complaints with the condo board. One board member said that they cannot evict her since she is an ...
  • Can incontinent persons and swim diapers be banned in the pool? (FL) December 16, 2017 Q: The previous pool rules for our condominium prohibited non-potty-trained children and incontinent adults. The board voted to change the rules to “Incontinent persons are required to wear waterproof diapers.”  I have researched this situation and contend that prohibiting incontinent persons complies with the law. When I shared my opinion with the board they told me that they were advised that the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has specifically held in one of its rulings that the ...
  • Do not eat your veggies — if they are grown in your front yard, Miami Shores says (FL) December 15, 2017 Hermine Ricketts and her husband Tom Carroll may grow fruit trees and flowers in the front yard of their Miami Shores house. They may park a boat or jet ski in their driveway. They may place statues, fountains, gnomes, pink flamingos or Santa in a Speedo on their property.  Vegetables, however, are not allowed.    Read the article…………….
  • Parking problem pits neighbor against neighbor in HOA battle (FL) December 14, 2017 When you drive through the Kings Lake subdivision in southern Hillsborough County, you may notice nice homes, well-kept yard and cars parked at odd angles across driveways.  The strangely parked cars are the result of an ongoing battle between residents and the Homeowners Association.    Read the article………………
  • Wellington Village council to vote on controversial proposals for golf courses (FL) December 11, 2017 It’s going to be a late night for the Wellington Village Council. A large crowd is expected as they debate two controversial plans impacting two very large communities.  On one side, you have the developer of Palm Beach Polo Golf and Country Club and Polo West who is trying to expand the use of land for the golf courses on the properties and add public access roads to them.  On the other side, you have homeowner associations and neighbors worried ...
  • The “Mini Pig of Venice” is facing eviction (FL) December 11, 2017 Save Hamilton, he’s not a swine. That’s the main message behind a new change.org petition that is calling for people to support the pig in a battle between the Woodmere Lakes Homeowners Association and the owners of Potbellied pig.  The pig’s owners say their homeowner’s association is finding them in violation for keeping a swine on their property. But, they say that’s all wrong because “Hamilton is a purebred Miniature Potbellied Pig and as such a common household pet and ...
  • They’re ready to fix their storm-damaged homes and move in. Not so fast, they’re told (FL) December 11, 2017 Three months post-Hurricane Irma, the 126-unit property of the Ocean Isles Fishing Village in Marathon is a ghost town.  It’s at mile marker 53 oceanside, tucked behind a plaza, and could easily be overlooked while driving north on U.S. 1. Most of the studio units are second homes and prior to the storm, there were only a handful of people living in the apartments full time.  All of the peach-colored concrete units are still standing, while those closest to the ...
  • Can HOA set the amount of a resale capital contribution? (FL) December 9, 2017 Q: Can a homeowner’s association by its Declaration of Covenants set the amount of a resale capital contribution and give its board of directors the power to change that amount from time to time or would such a change require an amendment to its declarations?     Read the Q&A…………………….
  • Westside residents want to know why the water in their community is running 24/7 into the streets (FL) December 9, 2017 At the end of the cul de sac on Enderby Avenue, you can hear the gurgling sound of running water, a sound that gives residents a sinking feeling.  “It is a peaceful sound but there is something more sinister behind it,” Emilee Ojala said.  The problem is in the Greyfield subdivision, a community of 100 homes.  “The water runs constantly, all day, 24/7,” said Ojala.    Read the article…………….
  • Owners of Mount Dora house painted like van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night’ masterpiece fined $3,100 (FL) December 8, 2017 An attorney argued Friday before a magistrate in a code-enforcement case that a home painted in the style of Vincent van Gogh’s “Starry Night” masterpiece is an expression of the owners’ First Amendment rights.  “This was done for beautification of the city,” attorney Laura Hargrove said of the home along Old Highway 441 that draws gawkers. “Mount Dora is labeled as an artistic city.”   Read the article………………..
  • Protest at courthouse says home foundations are sinking because neighborhood built on former dump site (FL) December 7, 2017 Fairway Oaks residents took their long-running protest Thursday to the steps of the Duval County Courthouse where they chanted for “economic justice” and called attention to a suit that contends the city and HabiJax failed to tell them their neighborhood was built in 2000 on the site of a former city landfill.   Read the article……………..
  • 4 hospitalized after Sunny Isles Beach condo catches fire (FL) Update December 7, 2017 A condominium in Sunny Isles Beach was evacuated after a fire broke out, Thursday evening.  Cameras captured flames coming out of at least one unit at the building located in the area of Northeast 174th Street and west of N. Bay Road.  The three-alarm apartment fire appears to have sparked roughly halfway up the 25-story structure.    Read the article…………….
  • Piney-Z delivery dispute comes compliments of the Christmas season (FL) December 7, 2017 Suburban shoppers have moved online – especially for the Christmas season – enticed by retailers offering delivery within two to three days.  But when UPS brought its three-year experiment with golf-cart deliveries to the Piney-Z neighborhood, it ran into a speed bump named David Stewart.  “The city told me it was a zoning violation,” said Stewart about a neighbor’s garage used to transfer items for home delivery. “I can’t enjoy the quiet of my home with trucks going in and ...
  • Regulators approve Citizens Property Insurance rate hikes (FL) December 7, 2017 State regulators have approved a series of rate increases for Citizens Property Insurance customers, now that a 90-day rate freeze due to Hurricane Irma has been lifted.  The Office of Insurance Regulation said Wednesday it has approved an average 6.6 percent increase for homeowners’ multi-peril policies, slightly lower than a 6.7 percent hike requested by Citizens.    Read the article……………….
  • Orange County homeowners association accuses developer, contractor of negligence (FL) December 5, 2017 An Orange County homeowners association is suing a developer and contractor, alleging breach of implied warranty, negligence and vicarious liability.  Lake Burden Townhome Association Inc. filed a complaint Nov. 16 in Orange County Circuit Court against KB Home Orlando LLC, LBK Development LLC, Burden Townhome Partners Inc. et al., alleging they failed to exercise reasonable care in the design and construction of the townhomes.    Read the article………………..
  • Court refuses to enforce arbitration ruling against homeowners’ association in Poinciana (FL) December 4, 2017 A judge ruled in the Association of Poinciana Villages’ favor against one man’s effort to enforce an arbitration ruling.  Judge Randall McDonald ruled in favor of the homeowners’ association in a case against resident and former board candidate Martin Negron on Nov. 21. Negron sought to have a June 23 Department of Professional Business and Regulation ruling enforced by the 10th Judicial Court and to have the ruling of another case thrown out because he was not given the opportunity ...
  • How can an association’s approval be confirmed or challenged? (FL) December 3, 2017 Q: My neighbor painted his house and claims the association approved the request. I can’t imagine the HOA would approve this color. How can I confirm and/or challenge this?    Read the Q&A…………….
  • Owners must use limited proxy to approve waiver of reserves (FL) December 2, 2017 Question: We live in a condominium. There has been a lot of confusion this past year regarding membership votes, and how they are conducted. Our association recently sent out proxy letters that included two voting items.  The first item asked owners to approve waiving the collection of reserves. A second item, about which several board members were never made aware, asks owners to approve the use of designated “property improvement” funds for reserve purposes.    Read the Q&A……………..
  • Key West wins another round in court on stormwater fees (FL) December 2, 2017 The city of Key West is one legal step closer to collecting more than $500,000 in stormwater fees from golf-club homeowners and other entities on College Road in Key West.  The 3rd District Court of Appeal upheld a prior decision forcing the golf club, Lower Keys Medical Center and the golf club’s homeowners association to pay the fees under the law.  Simply put, the 3rd District ruled the city does provide the Stock Island residents with services.    Read the article…………………
  • Nightmare neighbors? Condo owners at the Mark on Brickell accused of harassment (FL) November 28, 2017 The condo association at a Brickell luxury tower is accusing three owners of putting the board of directors, property management staff and fellow residents through a hellish ordeal, according to a lawsuit filed in Miami-Dade Circuit Court.  The Mark Yacht Club on Brickell Bay Inc. earlier this month sued Nuri Munis, Pelin Munis Cakov and Seda Munis, who own two units in the 36-story condo building, the Mark on Brickell, at 1155 Brickell Bay Drive, for breach of contract and ...
  • Treasure Island condo tenant blames owners for flooding, injuries (FL) November 28, 2017 A New Hampshire woman is suing the owners of a Treasure Island, Florida, condominium, alleging negligence led to flooding and injuries.  Deborah Rowles filed a complaint Nov. 8 in the Pinellas Circuit Court against Sunsational Beach Rentals LLC, Surf Beach Resort Condominium Association Inc. et al.,, alleging they failed to use due care to maintain their premises in a safe condition.     Read the article……………….
  • Island Park residents voice concerns on lack of neighborhood repairs (FL) November 28, 2017 Island Park residents are fed up with insurance companies and the homeowner association for not fixing anything in the neighborhood.  Now a group of residents are coming together to make sure the association hears their concerns.    Watch the news report………………
  • Condo terminations still cause pain in downtown Orlando (FL) November 27, 2017 Jonathan Barr thought living at the Paramount on Lake Eola would be a dream come true.  He estimates spending about $200,000 in custom cabinets, lighting, flooring and other treatments for the downtown Orlando home he bought in 2006. But this past July, Barr was forced to sell because a majority owner is converting the entire building into apartments.    Read the article………………..
  • What are homeowners rights regarding internet service? (FL) November 26, 2017 Q: Our community is reviewing its current bulk cable agreement and there is a rumor that the Board will be adding internet to the contract. Some of us are very happy with our internet service and do not want the bulk provider. We are also skeptical of rumors that the provider is compensating the Association to enter into this transaction. Do we have to go along with this?    Read the Q&A…………….
  • Email between directors to communicate is permitted, voting is not November 25, 2017 Q: I am member of my condominium’s board of directors. Our directors are in constant contact via email in the weeks leading up to our quarterly meetings and our manager keeps us informed via email. I am concerned that I have seen some comments in emails that are not appropriate for distribution to the membership and our email discussions are so thorough that the membership does not get the whole picture at the meeting. Is this legal?    Read the Q&A…………
  • Fire Crews Beat Destructive Blaze At Aventura Condo Complex (FL) November 25, 2017 Fire rescue and police are finally letting people back onto the property of an Aventura condo complex where a raging fire broke out Friday evening.    Read the article…………….
  • Workers at luxury St. Pete condo tower say they are owed thousands (FL) November 22, 2017 Nearly three dozen workers at ONE St. Petersburg, a luxury condo tower under construction in the heart of downtown, haven’t been paid in weeks and are owed thousands of dollars.  With the holidays nearing, some of the men say they are so short of money their phone service has been cut off, they face eviction and they can’t afford a Thanksgiving spread for their families.  “I’m just in really bad shape,” said John Obermeier, who said he is owed $5,000. ...
  • Foreclosure fight: North Beach condo-hotel owners rally against $9.4M in assessments (FL) November 21, 2017 For close to a year, investors have been locked in an epic fight to hold onto their units in a 1990s Miami Beach condo-hotel, amid claims they owe $9.4 million in unpaid assessments.  Between December 13, 2016 and October 9, Port Orange, Florida-based Schecher Group has filed foreclosure lawsuits against 65 individuals and companies that own units in the Sixty Sixty Resort at 6060 Indian Creek Drive. According to legal documents filed in Miami-Dade Circuit Court, Schecher owns Sixty Sixty’s ...
  • Condo owners sue Adams Street Lofts for financial records (FL) November 20, 2017 It’s been months since Anthony Dewees and Lynda Tiefel asked to see the financial records of their condominium association over concerns about maintenance issues, bills being paid late and the association’s reserves being depleted.  Their attempts to obtain the financial records they’re entitled to under state law have been ignored, they say, prompting them to sue the Adams Street Lofts Condominium Association run by Paige Carter-Smith and City Commissioner Scott Maddox, and the management company they hired, Lewis Association Property ...
  • How does a board member legally act in the best interest of homeowners? November 19, 2017 Q: I am a member of our homeowners’ association board of directors who was recently appointed to fill a vacate position. I have never acted as a board member. I read some materials relating to the work of board members which stated that board members owe the homeowners a fiduciary duty. Could you explain what that means in the context of the work board members do while acting in that capacity?      Read the Q&A…………………..
  • Navarre’s Holley by the Sea receives $65,000 grant to bear-proof neighborhood (FL) November 19, 2017 A large Navarre neighborhood has received $65,000 from the state to help residents keep bears at bay.  The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission awarded the Holley by the Sea Improvement Association one of 10 BearWise grants. The community will use the money to purchase hardware for existing trash cans for approximately 3,700 homes.    Read the article……………….
  • If association president won’t follow will of board, replace him November 18, 2017 Question: I live in a new townhome golf cart community with a newly established HOA, of which I am the secretary. The community has one road with a gated entrance and a posted 20 mph speed limit. We have mailed several newsletters to owners regarding speeding, which is dangerous for pedestrians and children.     Read the Q&A……………..
  • Can my association send notices electronically? November 18, 2017 Q: I live in a large condominium association with over 300 units. Notice of all the membership meetings are still done the old-fashioned way by making copies and placing the notices in the mail to the owners. This seems like a big waste of time and money. What is required for associations to start noticing membership meetings electronically?   Read the Q&A……………..
  • No flood insurance for the condo? It’s potentially negligent to go uncovered (FL) November 18, 2017 Q: We own a unit in a small condominium. Until recently, we have had flood insurance although we are not in a flood zone. Now a new owner is pushing for it, and the board is caving in. Are they legally required to have flood insurance if most owners do not want to pay the extra expense through our dues?      Read the Q&A…………..
  • No flood insurance for the condo? It’s potentially negligent to go uncovered (FL) November 16, 2017 Q: We own a unit in a small condominium. Until recently, we have had flood insurance although we are not in a flood zone. Now a new owner is pushing for it, and the board is caving in. Are they legally required to have flood insurance if most owners do not want to pay the extra expense through our dues?    Read the Q&A…………..
  • Versailles Sur La Mer condo complex condemned by Brevard County south of Melbourne Beach (FL) November 16, 2017 The Versailles Sur La Mer condominium complex has been condemned by Brevard County officials, who cited “extreme structural support issues” that were likely exacerbated by Hurricane Irma’s howling winds.  Built in 1981, the yellow four-story oceanfront residential structure is located just south of the landmark Ebb Tide housing tower, south of Melbourne Beach. Three moving trucks lined the driveway Thursday morning.      Read the article……………..
  • Woodlands Country Club Residents Learn Fate about Golf Course November 16, 2017 For the one hundred plus residents that were in attendance at the November 13th homeowner’s association meeting, the bad news fell like a ball in a sand trap: their beloved golf course would cease to be. In its place would be over 500 new homes to be built by 13th Floor Homes, a private south Florida developer which boasts of being “One of South Florida’s most experienced companies in golf course redevelopment.” Residents sat in shock as they learned that ...
  • Woman shot by PBSO deputy who killed self sues condo complex November 15, 2017 The woman shot last month by Palm Beach County Sheriff’s deputy Michael DeMarco, who then fatally shot himself, has sued her Boynton Beach condominium complex and its property manager, as well as DeMarco’s estate, court records show.  Yuly Solano had broken up with DeMarco about three weeks before the morning of Oct. 12. DeMarco was on duty when he pulled up to the Inlet Harbor Club in uniform and in his unmarked sheriff’s cruiser at about 8 a.m. that day, ...
  • Miami Beach Commercial Condominium Unit Owners Embroiled in Legal Battles November 14, 2017 Now, Tequila Chicas and the owners of some of the units, including those occupied by the Mexican restaurant, have sued the condominium association and the owners of other units, some of whom sit on the condo board. The plaintiffs allege the defendants have conspired to force a fire sale of the building to gain ownership of the entire property for much less than what it’s worth on the market, according to the Oct. 19 complaint in Miami-Dade Circuit Court.    Read ...
  • Shouldn’t condo owners have a right to know how their fees are spent? November 12, 2017 Q: Our HOA has a management company that runs our 1,200-unit association. They refuse to tell the owners what individual employees make, claiming they are the management’s employees and not ours. Yet, they tell us they are giving OUR employees a raise. Shouldn’t owners have a right to know where our fees are going and to whom? Thank you for your time.   Read the Q&A………………..
  • Year-end surplus treatment in board’s hands (FL) November 11, 2017 Q: What must be done with a condominium association’s operating surplus at the end of the year? Is it true that it must be returned to the owners in the form of payment or a credit to next year’s budget or assessment?     Read the Q&A…………..
  • Clearwater man fights to keep squirrel as pet in his condominium (FL) November 11, 2017 A Clearwater man is fighting to keep a squirrel as a pet inside his condominium.  Ryan Boylan says he rescued the squirrel shortly after Hurricane Matthew more than a year ago.    The rodent was stuck under someone else’s car.  “She’s just like an inside cat. She just walks around and hides pecans and hazelnuts which are her two favorites,” said Ryan Boylan, squirrel owner.     Read the article……………..
  • Why are miles of Irma debris still sitting on some secluded Miami-Dade streets? (FL) November 10, 2017 Two months after Hurricane Irma ripped through South Florida, while debris cleanup efforts have been slow but steady in most parts of Miami-Dade, thousands of homeowners are still dealing with trash that most people can’t see.  The reason? Those homeowners live on private roads and in communities that learned weeks after the storm that they have to give special permission to the county to come clear their streets, based on federal guidelines.      Read the article……………….
  • No ‘hard’ law offers guidance for when HOAs require buyers to join golf clubs (FL) November 10, 2017 Q:  Our homeowner association recently passed an amendment to our community requiring everyone who buys a resale in our community to join the golf and country club. It is costly to do so, and I am having a problem selling my home. Can the association do this?      Read the Q&A……………..
  • Contractors accused of stealing from condo owners on Marco Island (FL) November 9, 2017 Some Marco Island condo owners claim workers that were paid to fix their properties stole from them.  Many condos along the water in Marco Island still have damage from Hurricane Irma and need repairs.  Marco Island condo owner, Jeanne Wagner, is taking issue with those who have been hired to work on her condo.    Read the article…………..
  • Sandestin Resort Lawsuit Settled (FL) November 8, 2017 For years, Sandestin Investments and it’s founder have been battling back and forth with the Homeowner’s Association at the popular resort. However, one of the battles may soon be over.  The ongoing dispute between the Sandestin Homeowners Association and Sandestin Investments with founder Tom Becnel, went before the Walton County Commission Tuesday, to get their stamp of approval.    Read the article…………….
  • All owners usually must OK converting common elements to private November 4, 2017 Question: Is the majority in a condo HOA entitled to “privatize” common areas? I live in a two-story building in Century Village, with eight apartments on the first floor and eight condos on the second floor.  The owners living on the first floor are looking for signatures in order to get a majority vote to allow them to build and enjoy the “privacy” of their own patio, and prevent other owners from crossing their patios. Can they do this?   Read ...
  • Some owners looking to blame others after Hurricane Irma (FL) November 4, 2017 Many Southwest Florida condominium and homeowners’ association owners suffered damage to their unit, home, cars or other possessions as a result of Irma’s wrath.  While most understand that hurricanes are considered no-fault “acts of God” that caused their damage, there have been a few who what to try to have someone else cover their costs of repairs by trying to find fault with their governing association or their neighbor.     Read the article………………..
  • Holdout widow settles with Westgate Resorts for sale of condo (FL) November 3, 2017 Julieta Meija de Corredor and her family stopped using their Orlando vacation villa years ago.  They had once enjoyed the tennis courts, trees and pool at the vacation community on Big Sand Lake, which was close to SeaWorld Orlando, Universal and the Orange County Convention Center.  Those amenities were long gone when the family’s trouble began with Westgate Resorts, the timeshare giant that needed the Corredors’ sliver of land as part of project to build a pair of $20-million high-rise ...
  • Real estate agents slapped with $35,000 fine for breaking Clearwater’s short-term rental law (FL) November 2, 2017 In April, Nicole Dufala stood before the Municipal Code Enforcement Board and said she “honestly didn’t know” it was against city law to rent out her Countryside home by the night.  Neighbor and homeowner association president Walter Johnson had counted 15 renters rotating through the house over four months, staying three to 14 nights each. Code enforcement inspector Julie Phillips also went on HomeAway.com and was able to reserve the house on Northridge Drive for a three-week stay at $5,987.  ...
  • Colony Cove residents still trying to get hurricane relief from FEMA (FL) November 2, 2017 More than a month and a half after Hurricane Irma damaged many homes in the Colony Cove development in Ellenton, residents are still looking to get help from FEMA. Debbie Tucker, a resident whose roof was severely damaged is spearheading an effort to get answers from FEMA. She says only a few homeowners got help from FEMA while countless others claims have been denied.     Read the article……………….
  • Water damage nightmare lives on for Gardens condo residents (FL) November 1, 2017 When the San Matera luxury condo community settled a lawsuit with builder Kolter’s insurers over shoddy construction, the board president was optimistic relief would come for both soggy, frustrated residents and their leaky buildings.  That hasn’t happened yet for Rick and Anita Riggs, who have mold growing in the garage and a spongy laminate wood floor in the guest bedroom of the three-bedroom, three-bathroom condo they’ve rented for about five years. A wall in the bedroom is saturated with water. ...
  • How often is the board required to perform an audit? (FL) October 29, 2017 Q: I received my annual meeting proxy in the mail and there is a question asking me whether I want to waive the audit for this fiscal year. I can’t remember the last time we actually had the audit performed. Isn’t the Board required to have the audit performed to make sure the financials are in order?   Read the Q&A…………….
  • Condo owners must pay share as specified in governing documents October 28, 2017 Question: We have lived in a condominium for nearly 20 years. The building was built in 1969, and there are a total of 35 units.  The building has always charged a higher assessment on the five units that have exterior balconies, as compared with the interior units. The board president says that this is because those units have a few more square feet, and because this is the way it has always been done. But that is the only explanation. ...
  • Can condo owners force cancellation of cable provider contract? (FL) October 28, 2017 Q: The board of directors of our condominium has recently voted to sign a contract with Comcast that would provide cable and internet service for the entire community. I understand that under Florida condo law there is a provision that allows the membership to force a community wide vote to rescind that contract. Is this true? How does the membership exercise this right?   Read the Q&A……………..
  • HOA warns St. Cloud residents to remove signs supporting law enforcement (FL) October 26, 2017 The Burgess Family has had their “Back the blue” yard sign in their front yard since the tragedy that left two Kissimmee police officers shot and killed in the line of duty in August.  “We support the ‘blue,’ we back them, so we like to show that,” said Bryan Burgess. “We’re showing support for our local law enforcement, two have lost their lives in the line of duty I don’t think there’s an issue with it.”   Read the article………..
  • No sprinklers: Could this condo fire death have been avoided? (FL) October 26, 2017 Nearly two months later, investigators have not determined the cause of the Sept. 7 blaze that killed Means, an Eckerd College graduate whom his professors call one of the most brilliant students they ever had. Whatever the eventual finding, a former Waterside condo owner thinks Means’ death could have been prevented.  “Sprinklers could have saved that boy’s life,” says David Lilling, a filmmaker.  There are no sprinklers at Waterside at Coquina Key, one Tampa Bay’s largest condo communities, because it ...
  • ‘Hi Neighbor!’ event helps new residents assimilate in community (FL) October 26, 2017 With new people moving into the area at a steady clip, the Sun City Center Community Association is ready to tell them about all the activities that are available to them. They have all been personally invited to the annual “Hi Neighbor!” event on Nov. 2, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the SCC Community Hall, 1910 Pebble Beach Blvd. S. This event is a CA tradition — the first one was held 17 years ago.    Read the article……………
  • Elevators pose problems after Hurricane Irma in Boca high-rises October 24, 2017 Boca Raton’s Assistant Fire Chief Matt Welhaf never got more calls about out-of-service elevators than he did after Hurricane Irma from people who live in beachfront buildings.  Turns out there’s a city law about keeping at least one elevator in service for public safety/paramedic access during a storm, Welhaf said at the Oct. 17 Beach Condominium Association meeting in San Remo.   Read the article…………..
  • Why do two statues address same condo issues differently? (FL) October 22, 2017 Q: Recently, our HOA wanted to make a significant material change to our common area. They wanted to do this without a membership vote on the issue. Our governing documents do not address this issue. It is my understanding that the 720 statute does not address this issue. However, the issue is addressed by the Condo 718 statute. This is a frustration for many of us who live in an HOA. Besides this issue, there are probably many more issues ...
  • HOA board may have power to regulate exterior of your home (FL) October 21, 2017 Question: I live in a small development governed by an HOA. Our declaration of covenants states that “no patio-villa owner shall in any way deface or change the color of the exterior of his patio-villa. Exterior walls, roof and the fencing around the courtyard are to be maintained by each patio-villa owner in quality condition at all times.”  The new board has decided to interpret this rule to mean that no wreaths or any other decorations can be hung on ...
  • Can owner install a carport over his parking space? (FL) October 21, 2017 Q: Our condominium documents provide that every owner is entitled to a parking space, either covered or uncovered. An owner is requesting to install a carport over his parking space so that it becomes a covered parking space. Can the board of directors approve this improvement or do the members need to approve this improvement as well?   Read the Q&A………………
  • Scam overbilled companies in downtown’s SunTrust Tower, ends in fraud guilty plea (FL) October 18, 2017 A Ponte Vedra Beach businessman pleaded guilty Wednesday to collecting hundreds of thousands of dollars in kickbacks on maintenance fees charged to businesses at the SunTrust Tower in downtown Jacksonville.  Ashish Bahl, 52, could theoretically face up to five years in prison for cheating companies that bought space in the building at 76 S. Laura St., across the street from the Jacksonville Landing.     Read the article……………
  • Polk circuit judge OKs portion of Poinciana homeowners’ lawsuit against HOA (FL) October 17, 2017 After nearly two years of effort, a lawsuit filed by three homeowners against one of the state’s largest homeowners associations is finally moving forward.  Polk County Circuit Judge Larry Helms ruled two counts alleging breach of contract can proceed to the discovery stage, though several other allegations were dismissed from the latest version of the homeowners’ lawsuit.   Read the article……………
  • Homes could replace part of golf courses at The Meadows as country club struggles financially (FL) October 17, 2017 Golf swings at The Meadows Country Club could soon be paving the way for many more housing units. That’s something that doesn’t sit too well with Pamela Campbell. She has lived in her piece of paradise right next to the country club for 19 years.  “It’s extremely upsetting because I feel the changes that may come about in The Meadows may directly affect the values of our homes,” said Campbell.   Campbell says some of her big concerns include having many ...
  • Attorney for woman shot by PBSO deputy to sue condo complex (FL) October 17, 2017 The Palm Beach County sheriff’s deputy who shot his ex-girlfriend, then fatally shot himself Thursday, was on duty and used his service weapon, Boynton Beach police confirmed Monday.  Meanwhile, an attorney for the victim, Yuly Solano, said Monday night he’s planning lawsuits against the condominium association where the shooting took place and possibly the sheriff’s office.    Read the article…………….
  • Got a condo complaint? There is now an office in Miami-Dade to handle it October 16, 2017 Miami-Dade condominium owners who have complaints or concerns about management at their condos, board elections or special assessments will now be able to seek answers at a new office in Doral.  Florida’s government opened an office in Miami-Dade for the division of condominiums, timeshares and mobile homes of the State’s Department of Business and Professional Regulations (DBPR). The office is located at 8240 NW 52 Terr., Suite 520, near Downtown Doral Park.     Read the article…………….
  • Pensacola Beach neighborhood says dog park needs to move (FL) October 16, 2017 Citing concerns about poorly behaved dogs and dog owners, a Pensacola Beach homeowners association is asking Escambia County to move a beachfront dog park to a more secluded area.  The association, which represents the De Luna Point neighborhood, wants the beach dog park located off Fort Pickens Road moved further west between Park West and Gulf Islands National Seashore.    Read the article…………….
  • Can condo association members vote to rescind a contract? October 15, 2017 Q: Our Board of Directors of our Condominium has recently voted to sign a contract with Comcast that would provide cable and internet service for the entire community. I understand that under Florida condo law there is a provision that allows the membership to force a community wide vote to rescind that contract. Is this true? How does the membership exercise this right? Thanks.    Read the Q&A…………….
  • Association must follow Condo Act in event of hurricane damage (FL) October 14, 2017 Question: What is your take on air conditioners damaged by Hurricane Irma? They are on the roof of each of our condos. Some were damaged because another roof came off the building next door, and some were blown over by the storm. The association is planning to assess all unit owners for these air conditioners. Our deductible is very large, so we have to be assessed. Does the statute overrule the condo docs?  We also had several hurricane shutters blown ...
  • Will insurance cover an Irma-related special assessment? (FL) October 14, 2017 Q: My condominium association lost a portion of the roof as a result of Hurricane Irma. The board adopted a special assessment to pay for the repairs. Will my individual insurance for my unit cover this special assessment?   Read the Q&A…………..
  • Condo board may be ‘terrible,’ but withholding dues will make matters worse October 13, 2017 Q:  I live in a 55+ condominium community and many residents, myself included, feel that the board is doing a terrible job at maintaining our community, despite the high dues that we pay. We have spoken out at board meetings, but it seems our concerns are ignored. Can we withhold our dues, or perhaps pay them into an escrow account, to let them know we are serious?    Read the Q&A…………….
  • Collier County man fights HOA’s rule to bring down flag October 13, 2017 Frank Apuzzo has been raising his American flag every morning since Hurricane Irma hit Southwest Florida.  Apuzzo, who has lived at the Isles of Capri for about two years, received a letter two days ago from his homeowners association asking him to take down the flag.    Read the article………………
  • Court rules Privé’s sidewalk, built through homeowners’ properties, is illegal (FL) October 12, 2017 A judge has deemed Privé at Island Estates’ sidewalk, built through homeowners’ properties, is illegal, as the years-long war between the condo developers and their Aventura neighbors wages on.  Several nearby homeowners and the Island Estate Homeowners Association had filed suit against the developers in 2014, alleging that the sidewalk constituted trespassing. The developers had argued that they used a utility easement to build the sidewalk.    Read the article……………..
  • Attorney General Bondi Takes Action Against Companies Targeting Financially Distressed Floridians October 12, 2017 Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Office filed a complaint against HOA Problem Solutions, Inc., as well as several related companies, for using deceptive and unfair practices to acquire properties from financially distressed homeowners. These Floridians’ homes faced impending homeowners’ association foreclosure auction because of outstanding HOA dues. According to the complaint, HOA Problem Solutions told homeowners that they could walk away free and clear from properties if the homeowners executed a quitclaim deed for a fraction of the value of the ...
  • Appeals court rules in favor of condo owners in Pensacola Beach property tax controversy (FL) October 11, 2017 An appeals court has ruled that condo owners of two Pensacola Beach developments do not have to pay property taxes on their condo developments’ land as it is owned by Escambia County.  The Florida First District Court of Appeal ruled in a 2-1 decision Wednesday that the county can only tax improvements on the land, and not the land itself, if the 99-year lease on the land is not automatically renewing.   Read the article………….
  • Lake County to collect storm debris from gated communities and private roads (FL) October 10, 2017 On Sept. 20, the Lake County Board of County Commissioners approved a resolution requesting FEMA assistance to remove vegetative storm debris from private property, gated communities and non-county maintained roads, up to a collection cost of $500,000.  Homeowners’ Associations (HOAs), those living on private roads and individuals living in private communities without an HOA must fill out a Right of Entry form to begin allowing the county contractor to pick up storm debris in their communities.    Read the article…………….
  • Sandestin, homeowners reach settlement (FL) October 8, 2017 After years of being at odds over various development issues, the Sandestin Owners Association has agreed to a settlement with Sandestin Investments (SDI) over a contested development order.  The dispute was prompted by a change order application filed by SDI owner Tom Becnel and approved earlier this year by the Walton County Commission earlier this year. The Notice of Proposed Change amended certain provisions of the development order for Sandestin’s Development of Regional Impact (DRI). Among the disputed items were ...
  • Who is responsible to repair or replace enclosed lanai after hurricane? October 8, 2017 Q: I enclosed my condominium lanai five years ago. The enclosure was damaged by hurricane Irma and my neighbors are telling me that the condominium association is responsible to repair/replace the enclosure. Who is responsible?     Read the Q&A…………..
  • Association not obligated to reconvene membership meeting indefinitely (FL) October 7, 2017 Question: I live in a community governed by an HOA. This year was the first time an annual members’ meeting was not held in the community.  I believe three factors contributed to not having the meeting: a recent change in the voting procedures; the fact we only had two people submit their names as candidates for the two open positions on the board (which negates the requirement to have an election); and a limited understanding, despite repeated explanations to the ...
  • Living with an HOA: Homeowner heaven and hell October 6, 2017 Let’s first take a whimsical look at European Heaven and Hell:  In European Heaven, the Swiss run the government, the Brits run the police, the Germans make the cars, the French prepare the food and the Italians are in charge of romance.  In European Hell, the Italians run the government, the Germans run the police, the French make the cars, the Brits prepare the food and the Swiss are in charge of romance.  We witness the same “heaven or hell” ...
  • Florida Bar clears Poinciana attorney of complaint filed by arbitrator October 5, 2017 Tom Slaten, an attorney who represents the Association of Poinciana Villages, has been cleared by the Florida Bar of a complaint lodged by a state arbitrator.  The August complaint was by Terri Leigh Jones, an arbitrator for the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, who said she had an “ethical duty” to report Slaten.  Her complaint stated Slaten should have told her about a suit filed in Polk Circuit Court that created conflicting rulings with a decision Jones made in ...
  • County to remove storm debris on private property; may be funded from reserves (FL) October 4, 2017 At the Sept. 26, 2017 Board of County Commissioners regular meeting, Chairman Wayne Dukes moved the agenda item regarding storm debris to the first topic of discussion. Mr. Dukes explained the reason for the agenda modification was to save time, and to “get this thing moving right now.”  The intent was to vote on the county using money from the reserve fund, and to contact managers of Homeowner’s Associations (HOAs) as quickly as possible, since they will need to sign ...
  • Ask An Expert: About Your Condo, HOA Rules October 4, 2017 Q: I am an owner of a condominium unit in a residential community in Boca Raton which is comprised of 10 separate condominiums, all of which are governed by one condominium association. Recently, the board of directors voted to commence a community wide construction project to repaint all of the condominium buildings, demolish and rebuild the community’s office building, repair balconies and replace the roofs on the condominium buildings. I objected to some of the planned repairs and replacements. As ...
  • Residents at recovery center in Abacoa condo given eviction notice (FL) October 4, 2017 Robert “Bob” Darigo, the operator of the Christian Recovery Center where two people were stabbed on Sept. 26, said he signed a lease to open in Abacoa two months ago because “I wanted my people to rub elbows with good people.”  Instead, the faith-based, 12-step recovery center is being evicted from the three-story townhouse on Corbison Point Place, walking distance from Roger Dean Stadium in the affluent non-gated development off Donald Ross Road. The eviction follows the stabbings of Joseph ...
  • Controversy in Wellington: Developer plans changes at golf courses (FL) October 3, 2017 A proposal to make changes at two Wellington developments is stirring controversy, with some residents saying they’re concerned that what now seems like a simple request could lead to bigger changes in the future.  The two communities — Palm Beach Polo Golf and Country Club and Polo West — owned by longtime Wellington developer Glenn Straub, have submitted a pair of applications that would change how each of the properties may be used and add more entrances and exits at ...
  • Westchase’s Hurricane Heroes and Helpers (FL) October 2, 2017 In the aftermath of Irma, we asked for Westchaers’ hurricane heroes and helpers.  And you responded with dozens of names!  Hurricane Irma brought great destruction and fear to our state. Yet, in the days leading up and the day after the storm, it illuminated all that is great about our community. Westchase folks assisted each other in finding supplies, boarding homes and cleaning up the damage. Folks even rallied on Westchase Neighborhood News to provide snacks and food for the ...
  • Hole near Lake Nona causing headaches for nearby residents (FL) October 2, 2017 ….A spokesperson for the city said the neighborhood’s homeowners’ association is responsible for fixing the pipe.  But until it is repaired, drivers in the area said they are frustrated with the roadblock. Many motorists tell News 6 this is a major roadway that leads to Medical City, where there are several hospitals and the VA Medical Center.    Read the article…………….
  • South Florida condos pass challenging test posed by Irma October 1, 2017 One can’t help but wonder how images of Hurricane Irma turning the Brickell financial district and downtown Miami streets into rivers will influence foreign buyers in the coming months. Fortunately, Irma brought with her valuable lessons to help the region’s community of real estate practitioners address subsequent doubts left in her wake. Here’s what we learned.     Read the article…………..
  • Who is responsible for repairing and replacing windows after Hurricane Irma? October 1, 2017 Q: Our condominium suffered wind damage from Irma and the biggest problem is the windows. Our documents require the owners to repair and replace windows but the owners are claiming it is the association’s responsibility. Who is right?   Read the article………….
  • Generator noise may constitute a nuisance if sufficiently pervasive September 30, 2017 Question: Our HOA declaration contains a nuisance clause. Our neighbors installed a whole-house power generator within 8 feet of our fence and 18 feet from our master bedroom window. We were not aware of the unit until we lost power and the unit instantly fired up and shook us out of bed. We cannot sleep when the unit is running because of the noise and vibration from the unit.   Read the Q&A……………..
  • FEMA rules about gated communities muddle cleanup of Hurricane Irma debris September 28, 2017 Mounds of storm debris in a Gotha gated community worry homeowners association president Mike George, who wonders if Hurricane Irma’s mess will ever get picked up — and by whom.  “The whole area really got blasted,” said George, standing in front of a waist-high stack of sticks, logs and bagged leaves in the Oaks of Windermere, a neighborhood of 74 homes southeast of Winter Garden.  “We’re taxpayers. We’re part of the community. I’m a little surprised and extremely disappointed the ...
  • Jupiter stabbings were at ‘drug recovery’ center, HOA says (FL) September 26, 2017 Tuesday’s stabbings took place at a townhome that has been illegally operating as a sober home, the manager for the community association said.  The association found out about three weeks ago and has been working to evict the tenants, known as the Christian Recovery Center.  A board member who lives near the house at 1460 Corbison Point Place had people coming to her door asking if a sober home had opened in the area. Some found an ad on the ...
  • Does the association’s insurance cover hurricane damages to building exteriors? September 24, 2017 Q: I am a member of the board of directors of the condominium association which governs the community in which I reside. While we were preparing for Hurricane Irma questions arose relating to insurance coverage for damages caused to the community’s buildings and other property and to condominium units. Does the condominium association’s insurance policy cover damages caused by the hurricane to all property damages caused to building exteriors and unit interiors?   Read the Q&A………..
  • HOA board wants mandatory membership of golf club September 23, 2017 Q: I live in a gated community that has a golf course. The HOA and golf course are separate entities. As a member of the HOA, I am not required to be a member of the golf club but rather it is voluntary. The HOA board wants to make it mandatory that all HOA members be members of the golf club. Can the board do that?   Read the Q&A…………….
  • Miami-Dade State Attorney’s son sues over rodent-infested condo in Coral Gables (FL) September 22, 2017 Vermin took over a waterfront condominium in Coral Gables, according to a lawsuit filed recently in Miami-Dade Circuit Court.  Justin Rundle, who owns a unit in Waters Edge of Coral Gables at 100 Edgewater Drive, is suing the previous owner Jeanie Fung, listing agent Francine Thomas and Coconut Grove-based brokerage Brown Harris Stevens | Avatar Real Estate Services, for breach of contract and several counts of fraud and negligence. The lawsuit also names the Waters Edge condo association, as well ...
  • Are there requirements about taking down storm shutters? (FL) September 20, 2017 Hurricanes force people to put up storm shutters, but state statutes don’t dictate when they should be taken down.  Some homeowners are part-time residents who leave shutters up for months.  Local governments can pass ordinances addressing the shutters, according to local county attorneys and fire marshals.     Read the article……………..
  • Storm surge damage from Hurricane Irma forces Orange Park condo owners from homes (FL) September 18, 2017 Residents of two Orange Park condominium complexes on the St. Johns River won’t be going home anytime soon.  Orange Park firefighters waded through chest-deep water, and used ladders to evacuate some second-floor residents trapped at River Oak, 2099 Winterbourne, and The Villas Continental and Yacht Club, 2223 Astor St., when storm surge spawned by Hurricane Irma sent the river flooding into both condominium communities.    Read the article…………..
  • This is the Right Way to Respond to Disaster in Community Association Management September 18, 2017 Today is the first day we have been back in the office since our area was hit by Hurricane Irma. I am thankful that all of us made it through the storm in one piece, and I am especially grateful to have power, Internet, and especially air conditioning!  But many of those affected by Irma, Harvey, Katia and even the wildfires in the Pacific Northwest and the earthquake in Mexico are still deep in the thick of dealing with evacuations, ...
  • Community Association Questions Post Hurricane Irma September 17, 2017 As with many Florida communities, my HOA Board had questions in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. Would FEMA pay to pick up all our debris, when should the security guards be asked to return to duty and could we tap into reserves without a membership vote to pay for storm repairs? Here are a few other questions, I’ve received from associations statewide who are grappling with the issues presented by a storm like Irma.   Read the Q&A……………..
  • Board members unlikely to be liable for auto accidents in community September 16, 2017 Question: We live in a large senior community governed by an HOA. The board of directors has suddenly decided that they are personally responsible for auto accidents in our community, and they want to spend upwards of $30,000 to add traffic monitoring devices and/or speed reduction devices (such as humps) in an effort to prevent accidents.    Read the Q&A…………….
  • Large hole forces Brooksville residents out of their homes (FL) September 15, 2017 In the Trillium subdivision in Brooksville, homeowner Bill Dallas is covered in sweat because he’s been working all day to move everything out of his house.  His home survived Hurricane Irma and he endured several nights without power, but now he is being forced to leave his house because a large hole has opened behind his home.    Read the article…………….
  • Elderly, disabled with no power suffering in Century Village September 14, 2017 The power has been out since Sunday in this part of Century Village. Food has spoiled, elevators and lights don’t work, elderly residents watch restoration trucks in the distance, but up close, nerves are frayed and bodies are weary.  “I’ve never seen anything like this in my life, in a senior community, the management company hasn’t come to knock on doors, see if anyone is alive, to help anybody, they don’t give a damn. They ought to be ashamed of ...
  • After Hurricane Irma: Singer Island condo condemned (FL) September 14, 2017 Residents of a Singer Island condominium have been ordered to move out by Friday after the building was condemned during post-Hurricane Irma inspections.  A city building official deemed the Singer Island Yacht Club Condos to be unsafe and a danger to the health and safety of the residents, Riviera Beach Fire Chief Reginald Duren told The Palm Beach Post Thursday evening.     Read the article…………….
  • Poinciana homeowner contests association election again (FL) September 14, 2017 A homeowner is again trying to tip the balance of power within one the state’s largest homeowner’s associations away from developers.  An election challenge filed by homeowner Martin Negron calls for a recount of votes in the Association of Poinciana Villages, but only after the state agency that regulates HOAs tosses out scores of votes he thinks are illegal.  That agency, the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, already sided with Negron in a challenge in June and nullified ...
  • New owner of Seven Hills golf course says he’s up for the challenge (FL) September 14, 2017 Paul D’Anna likes a challenge.  “This is going to be one of them,” said the new owner of Seven Hills Golfers Club, rubbing his hands in anticipation. “Something I like to do is turn courses around.”  The native Michigander, and a golf course owner there, is joined in his enthusiasm by residents of some 2,000 homes in the Seven Hills and Wellington communities and by golfers who deserted the 18-hole Denis Griffiths-designed course over the last decade.  Those who left ...
  • Sandy victims to hurricane survivors: Now it gets tough September 13, 2017 Victims of Hurricane Sandy have a message for Texas and Florida residents devastated by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma: Your torture has only just begun.   Five years after Sandy ravaged homes in New York and New Jersey, victims flocked to Capitol Hill Wednesday demanding changes in the federal government’s National Flood Insurance Program they say made getting reimbursed for storm damage a nightmare.     Read the article…………….
  • Power outage causes Sarasota condo sewerage system to fail (FL) September 13, 2017 Problems abound whenever the power goes out. But for residents at the Fairway Woods condominium complex, Wednesday morning began with an unpleasant sight and smell that stemmed directly from the weekend’s outage.  Around 7:30 a.m. the community’s sewerage lift station failed, spewing gallons of raw waste into the area. Residents say without power, the station was unable to handle the community’s sewerage, which has accumulated over the past several days.     Read the article…………..
  • Hurricane Irma: Condo in flames when power restored after storm (FL) September 13, 2017 Two Deerfield Beach residents lost their condominium to a fire when power was restored after Hurricane Irma on Tuesday afternoon, officials said.  Just south of the Palm Beach County-line, Broward County Fire Rescue crews responded to a call for a fire at 4:21 p.m. on the 600 block of Northwest 47th Street, just south of Hillsboro Boulevard between Military Trail. Firefighters were able to control the fire and stop the flames from spreading to any other residences.     Read the ...
  • Hurricane Irma: Tornado tears off roofs, walls at Crescent Beach condo complex (FL) September 13, 2017 The most powerful tornado to hit Northeast Florida during Hurricane Irma was in Crescent Beach.  An EF2 tornado touched down at Summerhouse Condos. Watch this Drone video.  The tornado had winds of up 130 miles an hour.  It ripped the roofs and walls off several units across the complex.    Read the article…………….
  • How can we get access to the records we requested? September 10, 2017 Q: Our community is fighting constantly over some needed repairs, and how to pay for them. One of our group has made requested requests to our property manager for the email addresses for all owners. The manager is refusing and only giving us mailing and property addresses. How do we get the email addresses?   Read the Q&A……………..
  • Island condo repairs stuck in neutral (FL) September 9, 2017 The Islands condominium complex in Crystal River off of West Fort Island Trail sustained major flooding damage to many units during Hurricane Hermine. The damage has forced many from their homes while others are struggling to remain in their homes.    Read the article………………
  • Condo association may not employ a board member’s spouse September 9, 2017 Question: We live in a 74-unit townhome community with an annual budget over $150,000. The board consists of five members who have been serving for over 10 years, with the exception of the board secretary.  The board president’s husband has served as the maintenance director since 2007. He oversees all of the maintenance personnel and obtains all of the bids for needed services.     Read the Q&A………………
  • South Pasadena condo president to ride out storm and watch over flock (FL) September 9, 2017 He patrols around Harbourside Condos grounds with a clipboard and sturdy Nikon camera, taking note of what’s left on the balconies Friday morning: potted plants     , plastic beach chairs, wicker furniture.  It’s for their own good, he says. “I just can’t have missiles out there.”       Read the article………………
  • What happens when an owner files personnel bankruptcy? September 9, 2017 Q: An owner in our community has been delinquent for a few quarters and is now telling everyone that he is going to file bankruptcy. What does this mean for us?    Read the Q&A……………
  • One person killed, another injured in St. Petersburg condo fire (FL) September 7, 2017 One man was killed early Thursday morning and his roommate suffered severe burns in a fire at a Coquina Key condo.  Firefighters responded to a report of a fire near Coquina Key Drive SE around 4:50 a.m.  Reports of heavy smoke came from inside the Waterside at Coquina Key gated community and nearby residents were evacuated as smoke filled the building, according to broadcast reports.    Read the article……………
  • Your Florida Board of Directors Now Has Emergency Powers as a Result of Hurricane Irma; What Will You Do With Them? September 6, 2017 Governor Scott has declared a Florida-wide state of emergency which now deploys the emergency powers for volunteer boards found in Sections 718.1265, 719.128 and 720.316 of the Florida Statutes. Hurricane Irma may prove to be the testing ground for these emergency powers to determine, post-storm, if boards abused these powers and therefore the powers need to be reduced or if volunteer boards needed more help to cope with Irma than the current emergency powers provided and thus, these powers need ...
  • Preparing for Hurricane Irma (FL) September 6, 2017 Forecasters and South Florida residents are keeping an eye on Hurricane Irma, a system that has recently been upgraded to a Category 5 and is forecasted to possibly impact the Florida Keys through portions of the Florida Peninsula. Although the exact location of where the storm will make landfall is still not known, we encourage all of our community association clients to take the proper steps to ensure their community is prepared and protected in case that it does hit. ...
  • Charges dropped in alleged condo fraud (FL) September 5, 2017 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 Reach Condominium Association of more than $50,000 between 2009-15 after an investigation by Bradenton Beach police.    Read the article……………
  • Community Association Deed Restrictions Expire (FL) September 4, 2017 A Port LaBelle homeowner’s association has apparently lost jurisdiction to govern almost half the properties in the Laurel Oaks subdivision located east of LaBelle.  Attorney Angela Hill has been retained by the Laurel Oaks homeowner’s association to reinstate it’s declaration of covenants and restrictions which had expired many years ago for almost half of the 82 lots in the Hendry county subdivision.     Read the article……………
  • Can we make someone a treasurer without commitment of being a director? September 3, 2017 Q: We have an owner that is a retired CPA and very knowledgeable. He wants to help with the finances, but does not want the commitment of being a Director. Can we make him the Treasurer without being a Director?    Read the Q&A…………….
  • Island woes continue one year after storm (FL) September 2, 2017 One year after Hurricane Hermine and The Islands is practically a ghost town.  A once-thriving condominium community west of Crystal River has come to a near standstill, as a Sarasota contractor hired days after Hermine’s flooding receded is still working its way through renovations to 167 condo units.  The contractor, Statewide Restoration Services II LLC, pulled permits in December for plumbing, electrical and general construction work for all the damaged units.     Read the article…………….
  • Candidates can become directors without election in some instances September 2, 2017 Question: I live in an HOA community with approximately 500 homes. It is time for our annual election. This year there are three positions open on the board. It has been established that since only three people have applied to run for the board, there will not be an election. We feel this means that the one board member running to retain her position on the board will remain on the board because of the hold over principle. But, the ...
  • Editorial: The evolving case for home rule in Poinciana (FL) September 2, 2017 Poinciana is a massive subdivision. It straddles Polk and Osceola counties, and the Polk half alone is home to almost 30,000 people. If incorporated, the community would immediately challenge Winter Haven as Polk’s second-largest city — and it’s still growing.  It seems unimaginable a community that size could live under a cloud of parochial, small-time thinking rooted in an old-fashioned power struggle. Yet that’s where Poinciana is, as we have learned through The Ledger’s Mike Ferguson’s reporting in recent months. ...
  • Intracoastal 31 Condominium Association Inc. accused of negligence (FL) September 1, 2017 A company is suing Intracoastal 31 Condominium Association Inc. for alleged negligence.    Universal Property & Casualty Insurance Company filed a complaint on July 24 in the Broward County Circuit Court, alleging that the defendant breached its duty of good faith and fair dealing.  According to the complaint, the plaintiff alleges that its policyholder’s property suffered damages on July 22, 2013 due to the alleged negligence of the defendant in the maintenance of the condominium building and its common elements. ...
  • How to stop a board president helping himself to HOA resources September 1, 2017 Q: The president of our community association has been putting in extra landscaping and improvements in the common area in front of his townhome and using community resources to do it. I tried calling him out on it at a board meeting and was ignored. What can I do to stop this?    Read the Q&A………….
  • Condo residents seek cheaper option in making fire-protection upgrades (FL) September 1, 2017 A state law is supposed to make condos safer from fire, but most buildings plan to save money by protecting only their common areas, not individual units.  The law requires condo buildings taller than 75 feet and built before 1994 to either install sprinklers in each unit or fortify fire protection to the satisfaction of a safety inspector.  Giving condo buildings a second option — where they pass a safety inspection with modern fire codes in mind — was seen ...
  • HOA asks 23-year-old woman to take down kidney donor car magnet (FL) August 31, 2017 A young woman in Florida has a sign that could save her life on her car, but her homeowner’s association is warning her to take it down.  “‘Are you freaking kidding me?!’ I think is what I actually said,” said the 23-year-old’s mother Tammi Morales.  Deed-restricted communities exist in large numbers in the Tampa Bay area.  “This is something that’s important. It’s not something where we’re just trying to break the rules,” said Tammi.     Read the article…………..
  • Condo residents worried about financial troubles to possibly result from fire safety bill (FL) August 31, 2017 When it comes to condo living, Florida ranks as one of the states with the most buildings per capita in the nation.  Much of that growth has come in the past two decades, but there are thousands of buildings that have been in the area dating back 30 years or more.  Residents of some of the buildings are caught in the throes of a legislative battle involving a fire safety bill that may cost them thousands of dollars or even ...
  • Flooding problems in Manatee County blamed on new construction (FL) August 29, 2017 Bob Labranche dripped with sweat Tuesday morning as he ran a shop vac on the floors of his home in the Centre Lake subdivision in Manatee County.  Labranche was in his home Saturday night when the flood water started to enter his neighborhood.  He grabbed clothing, his wife took the family dog, and they waded out of the neighborhood in waist-deep water.    Read the article…………….
  • Sprinklers Staining Walls (FL) August 29, 2017 In South Florida, most properties have sprinkler systems — and have you ever noticed some of them have brown spots on the fences or buildings? That’s because of the sprinklers hitting them. But if it’s hitting your condo, can you repair or repaint your property? It’s why one woman called Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.    Read the article………..
  • Which rules apply to parking trailers and boats at condominium? August 28, 2017 Q: I live in a condominium on Hutchinson Island in St. Lucie County. When we purchased our condominium, we got a trailer space. There are three (3) boards. Recently, one of the boards decided no more trailers, but boats can stay— which take up two parking spaces instead of one like the trailers do. A meeting was held and the other two (2) boards concurred. There is a large grass area that could be used for parking trailers but we ...
  • Board meetings can be held remotely during summer months August 28, 2017 Q: Our condominium association is largely empty during the summer months but I continuously receive emails and updates from the board, despite knowing that they are scattered across the country this summer. How can the members attend board meetings if they are not in town?     Read the Q&A…………….
  • Can limited proxy votes by tabulated by HOA board? August 28, 2017 Q: HOA environment, limited proxy voting methodology at a special membership meeting to approve special assessment. HOA governing docs do not address this voting situation. Can the Board instruct the property manager to produce during a two-week voting window a spread sheet showing how Members had already voted on this controversial proposal? Can Board instruct the Property Manger to produce during the two-week voting window a print out of which Members had not yet voted?   Read the Q&A……………
  • Snakebite Victim Waits While Insurance Companies Duke it Out in Court (FL) August 28, 2017 The legal machinations involving three insurers duking it out in court over Florida premises liability is overshadowing the suffering of a Florida woman who has undergone various amputation procedures involving her lower extremities following a snakebite on the grounds of her Miami-area condo.    Read the article……………..
  • Tampa’s LM Funding America continues to struggle (FL) August 28, 2017 Founded by Tampa attorney Bruce Rodgers, LM Funding advances money to homeowners’ associations for the right to collect their delinquent fees. The company’s business model has been controversial, partly because of its close ties to the Business Law Group, a Tampa law firm founded by Rodgers that collects on some of the delinquent HOA accounts owned by LM Funding.   Read the article…………..
  • 2 Lawmakers support Poinciana residents in fight against HOA, developer (FL) August 25, 2017 Residents in the Association of Poinciana Villages, a community of about 27,000 homes spanning Polk and Osceola counties, are fighting legal battles with APV and developer AV Homes, commonly referred to as Avatar.   Read the article………….
  • Palm Beach County approves 521 new homes on golf course (FL) August 25, 2017 The community association of the surrounding Villages of Oriole previously voted in support of the golf course redevelopment. The developer promised to build lakes and landscape buffers for the existing homeowners.  “This process was truly a collaborative approach and as a result, we were able to create a low-density and thoughtfully designed development plan that works for all stakeholders,” said Mike Nunziata, president of 13th Floor Homes. “The final project will enhance the community and quality of life for decades ...
  • Ryland Homes accused of breach of warranty, negligence (FL) August 25, 2017 A homeowners association is suing the Ryland Group Inc. d/b/a Ryland Homes for alleged breach of warranty and negligence.  Summerport Commercial Property Owners’ Association Inc. filed a complaint on June 28 in the Orange County Circuit Court, alleging that the defendant failed to follow applicable safety guidelines and regulations.    Read the article……………..
  • How early is too early to mow your lawn on the weekend? August 25, 2017 Could the Westchase Homeowners Association tell residents no lawn mowing or other outdoor house work before 9 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday?  It’s an issue that could go before voting members at its meeting on the second Tuesday in October.  Earlier this month, a resident went before the board, complaining about a neighbor’s lawn service mowing starting at 7:30 on Saturday mornings. Kristen Braghi of the Bridges felt that was much too early for that type of work on the ...
  • Residents Trounce Landowner Looking to Redevelop Lauderhill Golf Course (FL) August 23, 2017 A victory Wednesday before the Fourth District Court of Appeal means residents will get to keep their golf course views at the Inverrary community in Lauderhill.  But their good news is a blow for the investor who owns the course. Owner Victorville West L.P. says it’s shackled to a beautiful—but unprofitable—piece of real estate that the homeowners’ association refuses to relinquish for redevelopment.    Read the article…………..
  • Condo manager suspected of pocketing building repair money (FL) August 23, 2017 A condo manager has been arrested for allegedly pocketing money that was supposed to be used for repair work.  According to officials, condo manager Donovan Staley kept the repair money that was to be used at Admirals Port Condo in Aventura.  It is alleged Staley upped a quote given to him by a contractor to do electrical work at the building.    Read the article…………….
  • Deteriorating irrigation lines cause concern in Lakewood Ranch (FL) August 23, 2017 Lakewood Ranch Community Development District 1 supervisors have been asked to help solve a problem regarding algae-clogged irrigation lines, which are deteriorating in the Hollow section of Summerfield.  The accumulating algae stops landscaping systems from working properly and was a topic at the Aug. 10 CDD meeting.     Read the article…………….
  • Westbay pushes Holmes Beach to remove boat canopies (FL) August 22, 2017 The board of the Westbay Point & Moorings III condominium association is renewing its call for Holmes Beach to order the removal of two boat canopies used to shelter police and fire rescue boats.  A letter dated Aug. 10 and sent to commissioners and Mayor Bob Johnson cites a 1978 ordinance prohibiting canopies as the reason Westbay should prevail in the dispute. The Westbay association asserts the canopies were illegally installed by the city and lower the property values of ...
  • Neighbors may have contributed to July gator attack (FL) August 22, 2017 Personal injury attorney Elizete Velado says it’s hard to tell if a lawsuit can be filed over this. But, Witzel could hold the homeowner’s association responsible for this attack if they knew the alligator posed a threat.  “The question and the issue is going to be whether the homeowners association or the condo association was aware that the gator was being fed,” Velado said.    Read the article…………….
  • New owners are liable for past-due assessments (FL) August 20, 2017 Question: Our HOA recently discovered that two houses in our development had closings without receiving estoppels. An attorney handling one closing emailed a request for an estoppel. Our request form was emailed back, along with instructions on how to deliver a check for $125. A realtor delivered the form and request, but before the envelope was opened, the realtor called to say there had been a “hiccup” preventing the closing, so he returned to pick up the envelope. An estoppel was ...
  • New laws impact community association financial reporting requirements (FL) August 19, 2017 Q: My understanding is there are new laws that impact the annual financial reporting requirements for community associations as well as the right to waive these financial reports. Can you explain the changes?      Read the Q&A……………
  • Yacht Club at Portofino sues to evict city of Miami Beach over nonpayment for repairs (FL) August 18, 2017 A dispute over nearly $900,000 in building repairs, between the condominium association for the Yacht Club at Portofino and the city of Miami Beach, could prevent city residents and visitors from parking cars and using public restrooms at the 34-story luxury tower.     Read the article……………..
  • Separate but equal gyms for men and women probably legally OK August 18, 2017 QUESTION: I live in a building with two gyms — one for men and one for women, each with a sauna, shower and toilet facilities. Recently I was informed by the condominium president that federal law requires both gyms to be open to both men and women. Is this for real? I understand this for public clubs, but not for private facilities.  Read the Q&A………….
  • Cops: Condo worker stole $20,000 worth of items August 17, 2017 When a Singer Island man returned home after a month of traveling, he said he noticed many things missing but no signs anyone forcefully broke into his condo.  Police tracked the man’s gold bracelet engraved with his name on it and discovered Steven Kos pawned it, according to a Riviera Beach Police arrest report.  Kos is an employee at East Pointe Condominiums in the maintenance department, the condo association’s manager said.    Read the article…………..
  • Condominium Sues City Over Cocoa Beach Pier Amusement Rides (FL) August 16, 2017 A condominium association has filed a lawsuit against the City of Cocoa Beach for granting a variance to allow amusement park rides installed at the Cocoa Beach Pier.  According to the lawsuit, the City’s grant of the variance was unlawful because the variance application was made by David Siegel personally rather than properly listing Westgate Cocoa Beach Pier, LLC as the owner of the property seeking the variance in the application.   Read the article……………
  • Westgate Resorts sues Orange County over timeshare in dispute with widow (FL) August 14, 2017 Timeshare giant Westgate Resorts, mired in a struggle with a widow over her vacation condo, has sued Orange County for permission to open its new high-rise timeshare tower in Orlando’s tourist district.  The seven-story, multimillion-dollar tower looms over the fenced-off and shrouded remains of the widow’s two-story townhouse, which was damaged more than a year ago by a bulldozer clearing the tower site for Westgate.    Read the article………….
  • State investigating Pine Ridge election (FL) August 14, 2017 A state agency is conducting a hearing later this month on a man’s complaint that results from the Pine Ridge Property Owners Association spring election should be negated because more than 100 ballots were not counted.   Read the article……………
  • Condo Living: Can the board fine me for property violations? August 13, 2017 Q: I transferred my home to my revocable trust a few years ago. The Board is trying to fine me for property violations. Can the Board fine me individually when my trust owns the property?    Read the Q&A…………..
  • Posting a meeting notice August 12, 2017 Q. Our condominium association emailed owners today to give notice of a board meeting that is two days away. Two days’ notice seems way too short. Is there a law that regulates the amount of notice that must be given? Our bylaws state that “Written or printed notice stating the purpose, place, day and hour of any meeting of members shall be mailed or delivered to each member entitled to vote at such meeting not less than 10 nor more ...
  • New term limits for board members applies only to condominiums August 12, 2017 Q: I understand there is a new law related to term limits in a condominium. Can you explain it?   Read the Q&A……………
  • Yes, condos can likely make rules on leasing units August 12, 2017 QUESTION: Our declaration of condominium contains very specific restrictions regarding rentals.  Rental units at any given time will be limited to 20 percent of the total number of units, leases for a period of less than one year are prohibited, no individual rooms may be rented, no transient tenants are allowed, and subleases are prohibited. Leases must be in writing and are subject to the declaration, articles of incorporation, by-laws and the rules and regulations of the association.     Read ...
  • Oak trees chopped down in Merritt Island neighborhood (FL) August 11, 2017 Flat-topped tree stumps marked with pink spray paint now line Old Parsonage Drive, where Brevard County crews chopped down a dozen majestic oak trees.  The tree-cutting operation roiled the New Georgiana Settlement neighborhood. Officials said wayward tree roots were cracking sidewalks and the road asphalt, so the oaks had to go.  Naturally, some residents were outraged. One decried the “ridiculous massacre” in an opinion piece in the August issue of Merritt Island Now, claiming that “Brevard County orchestrated their Pearl ...
  • Can an HOA require you to keep your grass green? (FL) August 9, 2017 Here in Jacksonville, we have a lot of subdivisions. Most of those have a Homeowner’s Association that makes rules to help keep home values intact. Those rules can range from making sure your trash cans aren’t left on the street for a week to not allowing palm trees to be planted in the front yard. So can an HOA make you keep your grass green and watered?   Read the article…………….
  • Mysterious odor from Miami condo makes residents sick (FL) August 8, 2017 It’s a smell that’s hard to describe and impossible to eliminate. It’s coming from a condo in Miami, and no one can figure out what making the residents sick. What can they do? One suggestion that works: call Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.  In 19 years of doing Help Me Howard, we had never heard of a problem like this.      Read the article……………..
  • Poinciana Villages residents claim more collusion, backroom dealing after latest election August 7, 2017 Homeowners have long considered the Association of Poinciana Villages’ election process to be a mess. But the situation looks to have gotten a bit messier following the Aug. 1 “redo” election.  Developer Avatar, now AV Homes, was again the big winner of the Association of Poinciana Villages election, and the civic nonprofit Friends of Poinciana Villages was again the big loser. The results however, hardly begin to tell the whole story.    Read the article…………..
  • Ask An Expert: About Your Condo, HOA Rules August 7, 2017 Q. Our condominium membership petitioned the board to pursue an amendment to the Declaration of Condominium. The board had the amendment language drafted and circulated a proxy to the membership, but the proxy includes witness signature lines. A number of owners have not submitted a proxy because of the hassle of finding witnesses. Are witnesses required for a proxy?  Read the Q&A……………….
  • HOA board may have right to modify common areas without owner approval August 5, 2017 Question: We live in a small (64-unit) townhouse development governed by a five-member board. Each unit has a garage and a 30-foot driveway, and we have a dozen or so guest parking spaces. Our documents do not address parking, and we haven’t had a problem over the use of our parking, but we have had an increase in the last few years in the number of residents with two cars and overstuffed garages. Our board has decided that we have ...
  • Are condo associations required to allocate handicap parking? August 4, 2017 Q: Our condominium association’s board of directors is wondering if our condominium association is required to allocate parking spaces for “handicap” persons. What does the condominium rules require relating to a condominium association’s duty to provide handicap parking spaces?   Read the Q&A…………….
  • Arbitrator recuses self in Poinciana HOA dispute August 4, 2017 A state arbitrator recused herself on Thursday from a dispute over control of the homeowners association in Poinciana after she filed a Florida Bar complaint against the lawyer representing the association.  Terri Leigh Jones, an arbitrator for the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, wrote that she had an “ethical duty” to report Thomas Slaten to the Florida Bar because he did not alert her to a circuit court case involving the same dispute.    Read the article…………….
  • In state-ordered election, Poinciana homeowners can’t topple developer (FL) August 2, 2017 Despite a state-ordered redo of the vote, Poinciana homeowners again failed to wrest control of one of the state’s largest homeowners associations from the sprawling community’s developers.  As officials worked to count the votes late into the night Tuesday, state Rep. John Cortes, D-Kissimmee, said he tried to watch as a neutral party. However, the lawmaker was barred from the room because he wasn’t a homeowner.    Read the article…………….
  • Southwood resident ordered to remove American flag from mailbox (FL) August 2, 2017 There’s a dispute brewing over a patriotic mailbox wrap in Tallahassee. The homeowners association says it’s not allowed.  The Southwood Residential Community Association sent a letter to the veteran who put up the wrap, asking him to remove it or face penalties. However, the veteran said he’s not backing down without a fight.    Read the article………….
  • Lakewood Ranch HOA hopes to reign in unnecessary irrigation (FL) August 2, 2017 All around Steve Ayers’ yard there are hints of what some may consider an obsession with rainfall and irrigation.  In flower beds and under oak trees, yellow cups made for measuring rain dot the landscape. An irrigation pressure reader hides in a front yard bush, and he even has a weather station positioned at the corner of his lanai roof.  “I’m not the typical resident,” Ayers admits.     Read the article……………
  • Commentary: New Florida law governs condo association websites (FL) August 1, 2017 In today’s digital world, the public’s view of an organization frequently comes with the click of a mouse, leading to a website. Thanks to a new bill governing the operations of condominium associations in Florida, these associations must abide by strict regulations regarding the characteristics of these online properties.    Read the article……………….
  • US Attorney Announces Settlement with Florida Condominium Complex Over Alleged FHA Reverse Mortgage Fraud August 1, 2017 On July 20, 2017, acting United States Attorney Stephen Muldrow announced a civil settlement with the owner of a Florida condominium complex over fraudulent reverse mortgage transactions. Defendant had been accused of violating the False Claims Act (“FCA”) and the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989 (“FIRREA”).    Read the article……………
  • 6 Poinciana villages to have new elections Tuesday under new rules (FL) July 31, 2017 The Association of Poinciana Villages was forced to hold a second election after February’s results were voided by arbitrator Terri Leigh Jones.
  • Are condo associations required to allocate handicap parking? July 30, 2017 Q: Our condominium association’s board of directors is wondering if our condominium association is required to allocate parking spaces for “handicap” persons. What does the condominium rules require relating to a condominium association’s duty to provide handicap parking spaces?     Read the article…………..
  • No standard timeline for turnover from developer (& other questions) (FL) July 29, 2017 Q: Our community turned over from developer control roughly six months ago and the board is still trying to wrap up loose ends. Shouldn’t this be done by now?      Read the Q&A……….
  • HOA covenants can be preserved by board’s vote July 29, 2017 In recent weeks we have discussed some of the new condominium laws, particularly the term limits imposed upon condominium directors. Under the new law, directors cannot serve more than four consecutive two-year terms unless a new term is approved by a supermajority membership vote, or unless there are fewer candidates than available seats on the board.  Read the article…………….
  • I-Team: Dozens of renters of HOA foreclosure properties evicted amid dispute over title ownership (FL) July 29, 2017 In Florida, homeowners’ associations can foreclose on homes when owners don’t pay their dues…sometimes for as little as a few thousand dollars.  Investors who buy the liens get temporary titles and can rent those houses until banks foreclose.  But as the I-Team discovered, leasing these properties can pose plenty of potential problems for renters.    Read the article……………..
  • West Palm tile tussle: Woman, 79, livid over $2,100 ‘maintenance’ fee (FL) July 28, 2017 Condo politics can turn a bucolic setting into a bubonic one.  That’s pretty much what happened this week at Portofino, a 10-story building next to Currie Park, in West Palm’s Northwood neighborhood, when 79-year-old Mary Ellen Eykel and several like-minded residents attempted a sit-in over plans to swap out the old cream-colored hallway tiles for white ones, at a cost of $325,000.     Read the article………………
  • Association wants to fine owners of pickup trucks (FL) July 28, 2017 QUESTION: I live in a gated community with homes ranging from $300,000 to $800,000 in value. Our HOA bylaws state that pickup trucks are not allowed to remain in a driveway after daytime working hours. However, several homes have the trucks in their driveways all day and all night, in violation of the bylaws.   Read the Q&A……………
  • Legal issues continue to plague Walden Lake golf course (FL) July 28, 2017 For most, it would be a no-brainer, a dream come true. For $10 you could have the chance to restore a once celebrated golf course and country club to the glory of its heyday, when it and Disney World were two of the most exciting things coming to Florida   Read the article…………..
  • Community without water for more than 24 hours (FL) July 26, 2017 For more than 24 hours, the Habana Park Condominiums did not have water.  The HOA president, Peter Busto, blamed a leaking pipe that was found underground near an entrance of the community for the inconvenience. The community is located off Habana Avenue in Tampa. Busto said they were forced to turn off the water as early as Monday morning.   Read the article……………
  • Sand fight! Properties will be skipped in beach renourishment (FL) July 25, 2017 A fight over sand! The Pinellas County beaches we all love could be in jeopardy because of 60 missing easement signatures. Despite doing everything the county asked, several beachfront properties won’t be getting sand.  50 Gulfside Condominiums in Indian Rocks Beach is one building that got all 50 of its condo owners to sign off on an easement for a beach renourishment project planned to begin this December. The county required all beachfront property owners to sign the easement in ...
  • Tampa Bay Area’s community uses HOA fees to curb speeding July 24, 2017 The Carrollwood Village Homeowner’s Association is sharing how they were able to fix a big problem in their community: speeding and reckless driving.  They hope other Homeowner’s Associations can learn from their experience.  “We were having traffic crashes beyond anything we could imagine,” explained Steve Shirley, one of the directors of the Carrollwood Village Homeowner’s Association.    Read the article……………
  • Condo owner upset about beach restoration project (FL) July 24, 2017 Lack of signed easements by the neighbors means 50 Gulfside Condominiums in Indian Rocks Beach won’t be getting any new sand during an upcoming beach restoration project.  Condo owner Rick Smith appealed to Pinellas County commissioners July 18, asking them for help to get 50 Gulfside’s section of beach nourished. He said the condominium’s beachfront was hard hit during last year’s tropical storms and all the dunes are gone.    Read the article……………
  • Review of new legislation continues (FL) July 23, 2017 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 1237 only applies to condominium associations.
  • Condo board term limits measured at time of next election July 22, 2017 Question: My question is in reference to your recent column regarding board term restrictions. Am I correct in assuming that, as you understand it, the law passed this year is effective as of eight years ago? That is, someone who has been a board member for eight consecutive years (four two-year terms) as of today must meet the new statutory requirements to run for the board this year?   Read the Q&A…………….
  • Land O’Lakes residents seeing backyards erode away July 21, 2017 Jeff Cole comes out to check on his backyard just about every day.  And his anxiety is up since a sinkhole destroyed two homes just three miles from here.   “When I purchased the home I had no idea that this was an issue,” he said.  The problem in the Plantation Palms subdivision is not a sinkhole, but erosion eating away at the land behind a group of homes along a canal.    Read the article……………..
  • ondo owners battling billionaire’s plan to put amusement rides on Cocoa Beach (FL) July 18, 2017 He is the “King of Time Shares” in Orlando, but on the beach just 40 miles to the east, the billionaire owner of Westgate Resorts is being called a noisy neighbor who locals say wants to be even noisier.  David Siegel is asking the City of Cocoa Beach to approve the addition of three outdoor amusement rides between the parking lot and the beach at the Cocoa Beach Pier. But the owners of the condominium next door, the Ola Grande, ...
  • Mother sues West Palm Beach condo in son’s 2015 shooting death (FL) July 17, 2017 he mother of a 22-year-old man who has shot dead in his West Palm Beach apartment in 2015 has sued the owners and managers of the complex near Palm Beach Lakes and Village boulevards.  In the lawsuit filed last week in Palm Beach County Circuit Court, the mother of Alex Johnson claims Paradise Cove and others failed to provide adequate security    Read the article……………..
  • Somerset Chase Homeowners Association alleges townhomes violate building codes (FL) July 17, 2017 A homeowners association alleges that the property was negligently constructed and violates state building codes.  Somerset Chase Homeowners Association Inc. filed a complaint on June 16 in the 9th Judicial Circuit Court of Florida – Orange County against CalAtlantic Group Inc., also known as CalAtlantic Homes and formerly known as The Ryland Group or Ryland Homes; and Ryland Homes of Florida Realty Corp., alleging violation of building code, negligence and other counts.   Read the article……………
  • 8 residents displaced in Marion County condo fire (FL) July 17, 2017 Residents saw flames and smoke coming from the building. Everyone evacuated, and there were no injuries, officials said.  Flames were shooting through the roof as firefighters arrived on the scene.    Read the article…………..
  • Steps associations should take to adapt to new estoppels law July 16, 2017 Q: There are rumors going around about new laws concerning estoppels. Can you summarize the new requirements?  Read the Q&A…………….
  • Term limits restrict ability to serve on board July 15, 2017 Question: I am hoping that you can explain how the new statutory condominium term limits will work. We have a nine- member board, with each director serving two-year terms. This year, five positions will be up for election — three of the five existing directors will have reached their term limit in accordance with the new law.  Assume that two of the five directors who have not reached their term limit run again. Also assume that there is only one ...
  • National homebuilder to pay Miami-Dade condo association $11M in settlement July 12, 2017 National homebuilder D.R. Horton agreed to pay a bankrupt Miami Gardens condominium association $11 million to settle litigation after the judge previously found the developer engaged in “deceptive practices.”  The settlement between Fort Worth, Texas-based D.R. Horton (NYSE: DHI) and the Majorca Isles Master Association was approved in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Miami on July 7. The funds from the settlement paves the way for a 100 percent distribution to all creditors, with interest, and several millions of dollars to ...
  • Fanning the flames: Naples condos fight fire codes while Marco complies (FL) July 12, 2017 At the high-rise condos that dot the Naples and Marco Island skylines, the threat of a deadly fire is real. Without proper fire prevention equipment, a blaze could consume any of the buildings, some 50 years old, that are symbols of the area’s retirement lifestyle.  At least, that’s the threat that Naples Fire Marshal Bob Rogers sees, and its his job to ensure high-rises meet national fire safety standards, adopted in Florida law, requiring all condo towers taller than 75 ...
  • Westbay condo residents push to restore views, value (FL) July 11, 2017 A dispute over the boat canopies that are said to block the waterfront view from some units at a condominium complex in Holmes Beach is now backed by a claim that the diminished view is hitting one owner’s pocket book.  Some of the residents and the property manager at Westbay Point & Moorings condominiums predicted property values would be reduced by diminished water views.  Read the article……………….
  • What you need to know about new estoppels law effective July 1 July 9, 2017 Q: I heard there is a new law concerning estoppels. Is there anything we need to do?  Read the Q&A………….
  • Management company not obligated to answer all inquires from owners July 8, 2017 Question: I have a question regarding the management company that serves a community association/HOA. I realize that there is a board of directors; however, I am always told by the management company that I can’t call them to ask questions regarding the community and that if I want information I have to come to the meetings. Can the management company require this?    Read the Q&A…………….
  • When should limited proxies or secret ballots be used July 8, 2017 Q: I know secret ballots must be used for members present to elect directors. Just after the first of the year, our condo association had to vote on a material alteration. I attended the meeting rather than send a limited proxy so I could vote in secret. But they would only give me a limited proxy to vote. Shouldn’t I have been given a ballot?     Read the Q&A………………
  • Residents of old high-rise condos in Naples balk at fire prevention costs (FL) July 7, 2017 At the high-rise condos that dot the Naples skyline, the threat of a deadly fire is real. Without proper fire prevention equipment, a blaze could consume any of the buildings, some 50 years old, that are symbols of the retirement lifestyle along Gulfshore Boulevard North.  At least, that’s the threat that Naples Fire Marshal Bob Rogers sees.  But some condo residents, concerned about the cost of improving their buildings to meet fire safety standards, say the threat of such a ...
  • Complaint letters are part of association’s official record July 6, 2017 Q: I live in a condominium and recently sent a letter to the manager complaining about the occupants of a neighboring unit. When the owner of the unit found out that someone complained, they asked for a copy of the letter. The manager gave them my letter. I feel that this is an extreme breach of my privacy and the confidentiality that the association was required to keep. Would I be allowed to sue my association for this type of ...
  • State throws out Poinciana election (FL) July 5, 2017 Days after a state arbitrator sided with a Poinciana resident who disputed how the subdivision counted developer votes in the February election of six of villages, the homeowners association filed a response and a motion for a new hearing.    Read the article……………
  • Port Charlotte residents cry foul over developer’s HOA control (FL) July 5, 2017 Kings Gate residents pay more than $1 million in homeowners association fees every year — but without any input on how it’s spent, they say.  Some within the 55-plus neighborhood off Rampart Boulevard near Interstate 75 are trying to gain control of their HOA, which Benderson Development Company has run for nearly two decades.   Read the article…………….
  • Lightning ignites Dunedin condo fire, displacing residents and injuring two firefighters (FL) July 3, 2017 Lightning sparked a fire Monday at a condominium complex, leaving some residents displaced and two firefighters with minor injuries.  According to Dunedin Fire Chief Jeffrey Parks, the fire at the Country Lakes condo complex, 330 Promenade Drive, started about 12:45 p.m. in the attic when a lightning strike either hit a tree and jumped to the roof or hit the roof directly.    Read the article…………..
  • Keys retreat or alleged rip-off? Unit owners block condo redevelopment proposal at Ocean Reef Club (FL) July 3, 2017 A plan to tear down and rebuild a 1970s condo building at the exclusive Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo is being met with stiff opposition from eight current owners who accuse the developers of trying to muscle them out through a condo termination agreement.     Read the article…………….
  • Florida couple stunned to learn $458,000 paid for gulffront condo may be for nothing July 3, 2017 On June 8, a condo overlooking the Gulf of Mexico in North Redington Beach sold at a Pinellas County foreclosure auction for $458,000.  The winning bidders, an Orlando couple, thought they had gotten a good deal on the 1,500-square unit in the Ram-Sea Condominiums with heated pool and Jacuzzi. Owners can use their condos as permanent homes or lucrative vacation rentals.  But the Orlando couple won’t do either. After the electronic auction was over and the money paid, they made ...
  • Isn’t a quorum required for HOA board decisions and action? July 2, 2017 Q: I am a newly elected member of a seven member HOA BOD. Our documents talk of ‘board action’ which I read as a majority vote at a duly noticed meeting. One or two members – President and VP – meet with out property manager on a weekly basis and regularly make policy decisions, accept contract proposals and approve expenditures. Many times, the board is not even informed of these practices. Often we hear about them after the fact and ...
  • Poinciana HOA asks for new hearing in election dispute (FL) July 2, 2017 Days after an arbitrator ordered one of the state’s largest homeowners associations to toss the results of its latest election and host a new one within a month, the association has asked for a new hearing.  Lawyers for the Association of Poinciana Villages argued that votes cast by developer Avatar didn’t affect the outcomes of several races tossed out in the arbitrator’s ruling. The group also contends the arbitrator ruled outside of her jurisdiction.     Read the article…………..
  • Condo fraud legislation adds teeth to Florida’s laws July 2, 2017 The investigative series by El Nuevo Herald and Univision 23 last year on condominium association fraud exposed severe flaws with Florida’s condo laws and their enforcement. It spurred the state attorney’s office to conduct a grand jury investigation, which culminated in February with a witheringly scornful report that called for major changes to the state’s laws governing condominium associations and the agency that is charged with overseeing them.    Read the article…………..
  • Has your condo building opted out of these Florida statutes? July 1, 2017 The day before I wrote this column, Gov. Rick Scott vetoed House Bill 653, one of the main community association bills that was passed during this legislative session. In particular, this was the bill that would have allowed condominium unit owners to opt out of the installation of an engineered life safety system (ELSS), in addition to fire sprinklers. In his veto letter, Scott stated that he made this decision in order to protect firefighters and first responders; that life ...
  • Will the circle be unbroken: Walden Lake golf course gets a trim, new plan for the future (FL) July 1, 2017 Mowing, among other improvements, has begun around the golf course at Walden Lake.  It’s become part of a routine that could soon end. The grass at Walden Lake Golf and Country Club gets a little too long, the city says something about it, the grass gets cut.  “We go through this every year about the same time,” Code Enforcement Manager Tray Towles said. “I will give him (course manager Lynn Archibald) credit. He has done a pretty outstanding job of ...
  • Condo residents bracing for costly assessments after governor vetoes fire bill (FL) July 1, 2017 Tens of thousands of condominium owners in South Florida and across the state are facing financial pressure to install fire-safety devices in older buildings following Gov. Rick Scott’s veto of a bill that would have allowed them to avoid the work altogether.  Many unit owners could face thousands of dollars in costs to install fire sprinklers where there are none, while associations face the possibility of levying special assessments to fund upgrades in common areas.    Read the article…………..
  • Unit owners can display American or military flags (FL) July 1, 2017 Q. We live in a community that forbids owners from displaying any flag. With Independence Day coming up soon, is this prohibition enforceable?   Read the Q&A………….
  • Family battles homeowners association over fence installation (FL) July 1, 2017 Homeowners associations have all sorts of rules and regulations in their covenants, many of which are backed up by Florida state law.  But one Daytona Beach couple tell News 6 all they want is install a small 4-foot wooden fence to protect their property and their family from strangers cutting through their lawn.    Read the article…………..
  • Beach Bummed (FL) June 29, 2017 Sandpiper has nine units, with 10 private parking spaces … until now.  That’s because the City of Hollywood is reclaiming five spots to make Oklahoma Street wider.  Jeanette Garcia, Sandpiper resident: “They proceeded to tell me that the property that we had as our parking spaces was not really our property.”    Read the article…………..
  • Scott veto means condo hardship, lawyer says (FL) June 28, 2017 Gov. Rick Scott vetoed a bill giving condo boards more control over how they add fire sprinklers but bill backers say condo associations will now be forced to pay for the fire-safety upgrades.  The bill would have affected older high-rise buildings, according to a House staff analysis. Condominium buildings that are three stories or more and have been constructed since 1994 are required to have sprinkler systems and, as result, comply with the requirements. The bill was aimed at older ...
  • Action 9 investigates HOA debt collectors (FL) June 27, 2017 A Winter Park woman claims a past-due homeowners association bill for $145 has turned into an astounding demand for $77,000.  Ranya Hamza blames a debt collector that bought old association debts then, she claims, demanded homeowners pay sky-high fees.    Read the article………
  • 15 fall in water after Boca Raton deck collapses (FL) June 27, 2017 A deck inside a gated community in Boca Raton collapsed, Tuesday afternoon, causing 15 people to fall in the water, officials said.  7Skyforce HD hovered above the scene of the collapse at the Boca Bayou Condominium Association, located at 30 Royal Palm Way, nestled between Dixie Highway on the east side and U.S. 1 on the west side.  Officials said several people suffered injuries after the deck gave way. Paramedics treated three of them at the scene, and two of ...
  • Scott cites London fire in vetoing condo bill (FL) June 26, 2017 Pointing to a high-rise fire in London that killed dozens of residents, Gov. Rick Scott late Monday vetoed a bill that would have eased fire-protection requirements for older condominium buildings in Florida.  The bill (HB 653), which passed the Legislature with only one dissenting vote, dealt with requirements for retrofitting high-rise condominium buildings with fire sprinklers and other types of safety systems. The bill would have pushed back deadlines for the work and provided an avenue for condominium residents to ...
  • Can board have executive meetings without posting them or keeping minutes? June 25, 2017 Q: We are an HOA and our Board is constantly holding, what they call, executive meetings with all Board members present. These meetings are never posted. They transact business at these meetings and don’t keep minutes. These meetings also do not have anything to do with legal issues and the association lawyer does not attend. Under the Sunshine Laws are these meetings legal? Do members have the right to attend these meetings?    Read the Q&A……………..
  • Can the board increase the number of directors? June 24, 2017 Q: Our board of directors has five (5) directors and we want to increase the size of the board to seven (7) directors. We have an active membership and these additional directors would bring a lot of knowledge and experience. Can the board increase the size to seven?   Read the Q&A…………..
  • Associations must allow flags (FL) June 24, 2017 Q: I am a military veteran. Over Memorial Day weekend, I displayed my American flag outside my home. I intend to display the same flag for the Fourth of July. I recently received a letter from my homeowners’ association stating that I cannot display my flag until I submit an application to do so, and until I receive approval from the board of directors. My main concern is that our board does not meet over the summer months, and therefore ...
  • HOA could foreclose on home over unpainted mailbox (FL) June 23, 2017 Paint your mailbox, pay a $1,000 fine or we’ll foreclose on your house.  That’s the message a Wesley Chapel homeowners’ association is sending to homeowner Joe DeVirde.  The problem is DiVerde says he didn’t get the notice, until it was too late. Now, an address mix-up and some chipping paint could cost him his home.    Read the article…………..
  • State orders Poinciana HOA to throw out election (FL) June 23, 2017 As state arbitrator on Friday sided with a homeowner who challenged the way Poinciana’s homeowners association, one of the largest in the state, held its election of board members.  The arbitrator threw out the Association of Poinciana Villages’ results from a February election and ordered the group to hold a new election in August for the sprawling community of 26,000 homes in Osceola and Polk counties.     Read the article………….
  • Florida HOA’s Can Change Rental Rules June 23, 2017 Question: Our homeowners’ association would like to change our current minimum rental period, which is only three days, to a thirty day minimum. If we receive a majority vote for making this amendment, do we have to “grandfather” current owners, some of which own for investing and not for personal use?  Read the Q&A………..
  • Homeowners buy Royal Tee Golf Course in Cape Coral; hire director (FL) June 23, 2017 The Cape Royal Homeowners Association has taken going green to a whole other level.  The members bought and are renovating the former Royal Tee Golf Club in Cape Royal, hoping to open the 27-hole course to the public and keep their lush views of rolling greens pristine.   Read the article…………..
  • Will new laws protect condo owners from apartment conversions and rogue associations? (FL) June 23, 2017 ….Florida lawmakers this spring unanimously approved a bill that requires condo associations to give owners better access to records and imposes criminal penalties for electoral fraud, theft of funds and conflicts of interest. The measure would become law July 1 if Gov. Rick Scott signs it.   Read the article……………….
  • Miami judge partially derails homeowners’ lawsuit against Privé at Island Estates developers (FL) June 22, 2017 Miami-Dade Circuit Judge William Thomas handed the developers of Privé at Island Estates a victory this week in their tumultuous legal war with neighboring homeowners.  Thomas ruled Tuesday that the statute of limitations had long expired for the Island Estates Homeowners Association and the Williams Island Property Owners Association to challenge a vested rights determination agreement. Lawyers for the developers contend the agreement allows Gary Cohen and BH3’s Greg Freedman, Dan Lebensohn and Charles Phelan to build the two-tower, 160-unit ...
  • Residents ask for protection from neighboring developments (FL) June 22, 2017 Before she won a seat on the City Commission in May, Jen Ahearn-Koch met with residents of the Essex House condominium on Palm Avenue. They told her about an aerial assault on their property.  They attributed the problem to the construction of the neighboring Echelon on Palm, an 18-story condo building at 624 S. Palm Ave. They shared pictures of large pieces of metal and wood that fell from above onto their property, of concrete that splattered off the construction ...
  • Refused a reason for rejection (FL) June 22, 2017 For the past seven years, Ken has rented a condo at Heritage Landings in Fort Lauderdale.  Ken Fobes: “And they approved me and I moved in.”  Ken then recently moved from one condo to another … and had to fill out another application.  Ken Fobes: “They turned me down, as I expected that they would.”    Read the article…………..
  • Flooding leads Fort Lauderdale to consider higher fees (FL) June 21, 2017 The rate change would shift costs so that condo owners, and owners of stores, offices, and government properties pay more.  The new rates would be based on how much traffic a property generates — a novel, relatively untested method that city commissioners said they aren’t sure they agree with. The idea was proposed by consultant Burton & Associates, Inc., which conducted a rate study for the city. Commissioners rejected the suggestion last summer but subsequently agreed to reconsider.   Read the ...
  • Can a homeowners association deny my tenant with poor credit history? June 18, 2017 Q: Can a homeowners association deny my tenant because of a poor credit history?  Read the Q&A………………
  • HOAs can change rental rules June 17, 2017 Q: Our homeowners’ association would like to change our current minimum rental period, which is only three days to a 30-day minimum. If we receive a majority vote for making this amendment, do we have to grandfather current owners, some of which own for investing and not for personal use?    Read the Q&A……………
  • Can I run for the condo board if I haven’t paid a fine? June 17, 2017 Q: My condominium association imposed a $500 fine against me in 2016 for an alleged violation of the parking restrictions. I never paid the fine because I disputed their allegation and because the board selectively enforces the parking restrictions. When I received the notice for the 2017 annual meeting and election, I submitted my intent to run for the Board. The association told me I was not eligible to serve on the board because of my unpaid fine even though ...
  • ‘Test Case’: How Attorneys Defeated a $10 Million Class Action Over Condo Costs (FL) June 16, 2017 Putting on “a numbers case” helped the owners of the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach condo hotel defeat a $10 million class action lawsuit by residents fuming over a multimillion-dollar spike in maintenance fees.  Q Club Hotel LLC owns the property at 505 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., which operates under the Hilton brand and includes six commercial units and 333 condos that individual owners could opt to rent as luxury suites through the hotel.    Read the article…………
  • Water Shortage Restrictions Override Deed Restrictions June 16, 2017 Homeowners associations may not require lot owners to pressure wash their homes, or to water or replace their lawns while there are water shortage restrictions in effect.  The Southwest Florida Water Management District (“SWFWMD”), the agency responsible for managing and protecting water resources of southwest Florida, has declared that Modified Phase III water shortage restrictions are in effect from June 5, 2017 through August 1, 2017 in several counties, including Citrus, DeSoto, Hardee, Hernando, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas and Sarasota, ...
  • Poinciana residents challenge developer in election dispute June 16, 2017 A dispute over who should control Poinciana, which says it has the largest homeowners association in Florida, could hinge on a strip of pine woods dotted with soggy marshland on the eastern shore of Lake Marion.  At stake is control over a 44-year-old community with more than 50,000 residents, about the size of Apopka.    Read the article……………..
  • Ceiling collapses in retirement community condo units displace several Sun City residents (FL) June 15, 2017 Several residents of a Sun City retirement community were displaced overnight when water damage caused a condominium’s ceiling to collapse, according to Hillsborough County Fire Rescue.   Read the article…………..
  • FishHawk neighbors, HOA battle over drone use (FL) June 13, 2017 Drones are becoming more popular as a hobby, but many say regulations aren’t keeping up with the technology.  Right now, there’s a battle brewing in FishHawk Ranch: the right to fly drones versus neighbors rights to privacy.  When it comes to enforcement, there are a lot of gray areas about what can be done to keep the peace.  Frank Bragg has a fleet of a half dozen drones, just for fun.    Read the article……………
  • Lakewood Ranch uses record amount of water. And it could cost plenty (FL) June 13, 2017 Even thought meteorologists were predicting a 60 percent chance of rain for the Bradenton area Tuesday, Lakewood Ranch supervisors were certain that some homeowners would be running their sprinklers as if the area were still in a drought.  Some even run their sprinklers during the day, or during a heavy rainstorm.  Steve Zielinski, chief financial officer at Lakewood Ranch Town Hall, called the record water usage shocking, carrying a real financial cost.     Read the article…………..
  • HOA asks military-decorated SUV to be removed from neighborhood (FL) June 12, 2017 Controversy has erupted in a Middleburg neighborhood over an SUV decorated with military decorations.  “We feel that a vehicle designed to create awareness for support for our troops could never be deemed a nuisance,” SUV owner Kathy Signorile said.  Signorile said she doesn’t understand why she got a letter in which the HOA requests her to remove the vehicle from the neighborhood or put it in the garage, implying that it’s “too large” or a “nuisance.”    Read the article………….
  • 1 Injured In Clearwater Condo Fire June 11, 2017 A woman was seriously injured in a Sunday morning fire that broke out in a first-floor unit at the Seville Condominiums near Clearwater mall. According to Clearwater Fire Rescue, the woman was being airlifted to a local hospital for treatment of burns.     Read the article…………..
  • How can we best address repeatedly request for records? June 11, 2017 Q: Our condominium association has an owner that repeatedly requests access to the same records, over and over again, and is looking for a smoking gun to use against the Board. It is consuming a large amount of management resources and half of the time his requests are buried in lengthy emails. What can we do?     Read the Q&A…………….
  • Delinquent owners not eligible for Board June 11, 2017 Q: I live in a homeowners’ association and recently submitted my intent to run for the board. However, my name was not included on the ballot that was mailed out to all of the owners. When I asked the association about it, the association said I was not eligible because I had an unpaid $100.00 fine from a year ago. I do not dispute that the fine is outstanding, because I disagree with the board’s action regarding the fine, I ...
  • Condo owner claims Meadowbrook Condominium Apartments Building #1 Inc. failed to repair water problem June 10, 2017 A Hallandale condo owner alleges the property manager failed to repair water intrusion, which has caused damage to her unit.  Alina Glushkina filed a complaint on May 18 in the 17th Judicial Circuit Court of Florida – Broward County against Meadowbrook Condominium Apartments Building #1 Inc. and Anibal Jose Orta Del Pino alleging breach of contract, negligence and other counts.    Read the article…………..
  • When your neighbor is too loud June 10, 2017 QUESTION: I live in a townhome. The person who lives in the unit that backs up to mine makes a tremendous amount of noise. He is not there all the time, but when he is, there is almost always loud noise, so much that we cannot sleep in our master bedroom. We have to sleep in the guest bedroom in order to not hear the noise. This neighbor plays drums in his unit. The drums are so loud that we ...
  • Division of Condominiums may investigate cooperative complaints June 10, 2017 Question: I hope you can help with a very frustrating situation we have at our cooperative. One of our owners, who is also a director, is a real estate agent. This director regularly violates two of our covenants. First, we are a 55-and-over property, and he regularly sells units to persons of any age, with only a single director signing the approvals. I am afraid he is causing us to be non-compliant with the housing for older persons laws. Second, ...
  • Condo owners allege dozens of construction defects at Artecity in Miami Beach (FL) June 10, 2017 In 2011, the Artecity complex of condominiums near Collins Park in Miami Beach was completed, despite the developer filing for bankruptcy amid an avalanche of lawsuits. Six years later, the unit owners are now taking the developer, Artecity Park LLC, and eight firms involved in Artecity’s construction to court.  According to a lawsuit filed in Miami-Dade Circuit Court last month, the condominium associations for the Artecity north and south towers allege Artecity Park; architecture firm Arquitectonica; general contractors Soares da ...
  • What is the best way to handle frequent email questions from an owner? June 10, 2017 Q: We have a condominium unit owner who emails our property management literally 10 times per day with questions and requests. The manager is doing her best to respond, but the questions can be complicated and rude. How do we handle this?    Read the Q&A…………….
  • Condo enforcement: Pay $25 late fee or… lose your home? June 9, 2017 David Silva’s $340,000 condo faces foreclosure because of a $25 late fee.  Silva, a resident at Ventura Greens at Emerald Dunes since 2007, was having his bank make automatic payments of the monthly maintenance fee for his three-bedroom, 2½-bath townhouse on the outskirts of West Palm Beach just west of Florida’s Turnpike. But the 70-unit development changed property managers in 2014 without advance notice and his payment was never rerouted to the condo association, he said.    Read the article……………..
  • Bike thief targeting Sarasota condo owners June 9, 2017 A prolific bike bandit is making the rounds in Sarasota. He has expensive tastes, hitting only downtown area high-rise condos. So far, he’s taken at least six bikes by getting into ground floor garages.  Signs at the Essex House overlooking Sarasota Bay warn “24 hour surveillance,” and it’s true. Cameras are everywhere, and they caught a guy stealing two bikes in the parking garage.   Read the article…………
  • Seminole County residents resist homeowners’ association demands to re-sod yards during drought (FL) June 9, 2017 A group of Seminole County residents are crying foul after their homeowners’ association has demanded they re-sod their browning yards during the worst drought Central Florida has seen in 100 years.  The homeowners told Channel 9 that they want their yards to look nice and they want to fix the problem, but that doing so in the middle of a drought seems like a waste of money and time. Read the article………………
  • Riverview family wins foreclosure battle with HOA (FL) June 7, 2017 A Riverview family has won a yearlong fight with their HOA to save their home from foreclosure.  10News has been following the Lopez family’s emotional battle, after their Riverview HOA foreclosed on their home, all over a missed $150 homeowners association payment. In May, a judge told the family they’d have to pack up and get out. But the Rivercrest Community Association’s attorney agreed to a deal. Now, The Lopez’s can stay put in the place they’ve called home for ...
  • At Your Service: Condo & HOA Edition Spring 2017 June 7, 2017 South Florida abounds in condominiums—and associations—so today’s Topical Currents is an “At Your Service” edition, with an association expert. She’s attorney Donna Berger.  We touch on bills passed in this year’s legislative session, including those calling for criminal penalties for condo fraud, and term-limits for board members.  Of course, we take your Condo and Homeowner’s Board questions during the hour.    Listen to the podcast………….
  • Lakewood Ranch home in disrepair causes complaints (FL) June 7, 2017 Braden Woods’ Rick Askerud looked across his street and wondered what has gone wrong in his neighborhood?  The home at 6209 95th St. Circle E., has fallen into such disrepair the homeowners association is planning legal action and Manatee County has been issuing fines for code violations and sending landscapers to do yard work.  “It looks like something from ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark,’” Askerud said of the home. “Things have started growing in the roof itself.”     Read the ...
  • Ex-Boynton Beach HOA treasurer admits to embezzling over $50,000 (FL) June 7, 2017 A former treasurer of a Boynton Beach homeowner’s association admitted Tuesday that he embezzled over $50,000 from the HOA, court records show.  Norman Glavas, 70, of Boynton Beach, pleaded guilty to one charge of grand theft over $20,000 and will serve 10 months in jail, 70 months of probation and repay $48,179.26 in restitution to the Quail Run Homeowner Association. Glavas committed the crime from 2012 to 2014.    Read the article…………..
  • On your side: Vacation rental condo booking disasters June 5, 2017 Summer break is here but before you plan your next vacation pay close attention before reserving.  Cozy vacation condos can make for a more homey getaway but customer service won’t likely mirror the on-site staff at a chain hotel.  Complaining Florida vacationers leave hundreds bad reviews on Yelp, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Facebook claiming their condo came with unexpected problems.    Read the article……….
  • HOA security guard accused of hitting resident with patrol car (FL) June 5, 2017 An HOA security officer is facing an aggravated battery charge after a resident accused the officer of hitting him with his patrol car during a dispute about a parking ticket, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said.  Thomas Kabis, 78, of suburban Greenacres is facing a charge of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. He was arrested May 23, the day the incident took place, and released from the county jail the next day on a $5,000 bond.    Read ...
  • Can the board fill a vacancy without an election? June 3, 2017 Q: Recently one of the members of our board of directors resigned from the board and sold their unit. When he announced his resignation, I expected the association to schedule an election to fill the vacancy. However, at the most recent board meeting, the board voted to fill the vacancy. Aren’t the members of the board of directors required to be elected by the unit owners?    Read the Q&A……………..
  • HOA reserves may not be mandatory June 3, 2017 Question: I live in an HOA community and we have had reserves since 1986. Recently, the board decided to eliminate reserves and put all the money in the reserve accounts into our operating fund account. They did this on their own. Was this legal? Aren’t HOA reserves mandatory and statutory for all repairs and replacements with a cost of $10,000 or more, and does the HOA have the right to transfer said funds and eliminate the reserve totally? Or, isn’t ...
  • Ask An Expert: About Your Condo, HOA Rules June 2, 2017 Q: I own a townhouse in a homeowners association (HOA) community. During my purchase interview, the rules and regulations were explained. During the last few years, I have noticed the board members violating the rules and regulations of the complex and not enforcing same. What rights would I have as a homeowner as there is no quality of life where I live any longer? I pay my maintenance on time and yet have no rights, or so it seems. Is ...
  • Dispute among condo board members lands Boca man in jail (FL) June 2, 2017 An altercation between two board members of a Boca Raton condo association landed one in jail this week on a battery charge.  City police arrested Eric Harry Shaw, 73, Tuesday on a charge of battery on a person older than 65.   Read the article……………
  • Two Charged with Stealing from Condo Owners (FL) June 1, 2017 The Bay County Sheriff’s Office has arrested the owners of Vacation Place Rentals, a property management company on Panama City Beach.  “The couple is believed to have rented condos and failed to pay condo owners,” deputies wrote in a news release. “In January of 2017, a condominium owner filed a complaint with the BCSO stating that he had not received any rental fee payments from the property management company managing the rental of his condo since mid 2016. Additional owners ...
  • Owners face losing condos in Kissimmee (FL) May 30, 2017 Polk County resident Laurel Harris and a handful of Legacy Grand condo owners — including a few full-time residents — have been put on notice by their association that the Kissimmee property is becoming a hotel.  The main reason the condo association at Legacy Grand is able to transition the condo property into a hotel, against the wishes of some owners, is that an ownership group holds more than 80 percent of the units and controls the association.    Read ...
  • Which governing documents are most important for associations to rewrite? May 28, 2017 Q: Our condominium association is contemplating rewriting our governing documents. What are the most important issues the board should consider?   Read the Q&A……………….
  • Condo associations, HOAs must take steps to address Airbnb short-term rentals May 28, 2017 The issues created by short-term rentals facilitated by Airbnb and its competitors have been among the most pressing problem areas for condominium and homeowners associations during the past several years. While most community association governing documents prohibit short-term rentals, the enforcement of these restrictions has proved to be challenging and costly, and as a result, many association boards of directors and property managers are implementing strategic countermeasures and monitoring tactics.    Read the article………….
  • New law limits condo directors to four consecutive two-year terms (FL) May 27, 2017 This year, the Florida Legislature passed a host of new laws that will affect shared ownership communities. Assuming that the governor signs these bills into law, they will go into effect on July 1. You may already have read about some of the flashier changes (such as specifying that certain failures to abide by the Condominium Act can subject board members to criminal penalties), but there are many smaller changes that are extremely important, as well.    Read the article………….
  • Can board hold meetings that are not posted? May 27, 2017 Q: We are a homeowners association (HOA) and our board is constantly holding what they call “executive” meetings with all board members present. These meetings are never posted. They transact business at these meetings and don’t keep minutes. These meetings also do not have anything to do with legal issues and the association lawyer does not attend. Under the Sunshine Laws are these meetings legal? Do members have the right to attend these meetings?   Read the Q&A…………..
  • Disney-Built Community Faces Serious Construction Deficiencies (FL) May 27, 2017 The November 16, 2016 issue of the Wall Street Journal ran an article about Celebration, Florida, which is the master-planned community built by The Walt Disney Company in 1996. The title of the article summarized the state of affairs in Celebration as follows: “There Is Little Celebration in the Town Disney Built: Mold, leaks, rot are hurting the 1990s utopia; ‘they’re harassing my team.’” My initial thought was that if this can happen to a community built by the world’s ...
  • Having an HOA comes in handy when dealing with nuisance neighbor May 25, 2017 Q: The house at the end of my street routinely has a dozen or more cars jammed into the front yard at all hours. A friend of mine said it’s probably an illegal gambling operation. We don’t live in an area with a homeowner’s association. What should we do?    Read the Q&A………….
  • Roaches, rats and taxpayer money: Plan to save crumbling Overtown condos in trouble (FL) May 25, 2017 The tax-funded renovation of Town Park Plaza North, a crumbling Overtown community of more than 100 families, was touted as a new beginning for one of Miami’s most impoverished and neglected neighborhoods.  But two years after breaking ground, the ambitious $15 million project has been mired in delays, conflicts and cost-overruns. Renovations have finished at just three of Town Park’s 20 condo buildings, less than half of what planners expected to complete by now.    Read the article……………
  • Handful of families hang on at powerless condo project (FL) May 25, 2017 Mercy Rivera and her three young children are still living at the Heritage Park Inn, even though the rundown condominium has no water and electricity.  They tolerate the blazing Florida heat by drinking donated water and buying ice down the street. Sometimes a neighbor at the mostly abandoned development lets the family plug a stove into his generator.  “It’s not fair. It’s a trap,” said Rivera, who estimated that as many as 10 of the 153 rooms remain occupied. “They ...
  • Couple charged in Bradenton Beach condo fraud (FL) May 23, 2017 A former president and treasurer of Gulf Reach Condominium Association in Bradenton Beach have been charged with defrauding the Florida not-for-profit corporation of more than $50,000 over a six-year period.  Alyson Colosia, 51, and Javier Colosia, 53, who also own a condo in the 1300 block of Gulf Drive North, were arrested May 3 and charged with the first-degree felony.    Read the article……………….
  • Cape condo complex’s pool barrier fails inspection again (FL) May 22, 2017 The barrier installed around a Cape Coral pool where two children drowned last week failed inspection again.  The city says there was an issue with the new barrier’s main gate.  This comes as officials with the Florida Department of Health confirm they closed the same pool back in February due to water quality issues, weeks after neighbors say the initial pool barriers were removed.      Read the article…………….
  • Broward official acquitted of keying car in homeowner association dispute (FL) May 22, 2017 A well-known top official in the Broward Property Appraiser’s Office has been acquitted of a charge that he keyed a car as revenge against the president of a Weston homeowners association where his stepdaughter lives.  The long-running squabble, which revolved around complaints that his stepdaughter walked her dog without a leash, has had accusations of hair pulling and biting, and there have been requests for restraining orders.  A jury took less than an hour Thursday to acquit Ron Cacciatore of ...
  • Judge ends receivership that cost a Miami Gardens condo millions May 21, 2017 A Miami-Dade civil court judge put an end to the receivership of a former judge who billed millions to a condominium in Miami Gardens for two years of work.  During a hearing Friday, Judge Jorge Cueto ended the appointment of Jorge J. Pérez in the case of the Mirassou Condominium.  Pérez had requested on Wednesday to be discharged as a receiver, saying he had completed his job.    Read the article…………….
  • Can association board borrow money without membership OK? May 21, 2017 Q: Our condominium is proposing a significant remodeling project and the membership supports the change, but there is disagreement on how to pay for it. The board claims that it can borrow the money from a bank without membership approval and there are a lot of members who do not want to pay interest. Can the board do this?   Read the Q&A………….
  • Changing governing documents generally requires homeowner approval May 20, 2017 Q: My homeowners’ association is about 12 years old and we are considering doing a complete rewrite of our governing documents. Some members of the board have stated that we cannot replace our governing documents, but only amend them. Is this correct?    Read the Q&A……………
  • Can a golfer be held liable for errant golf ball damage? May 20, 2017 Q: My home is near the tee box of the first hole of a local golf course. Periodically (but very infrequently) an errant golf ball strikes my house. Two weeks ago a particularly bad golfer sent a golf ball right through my window, causing considerable damage. I ran out to get their name and phone number so that they could pay for the damage. They said they wouldn’t pay and rudely told me to “move.” It cost me $500 to ...
  • Eight months after Hurricane Matthew toxic mold discovered at the Ormond Heritage condos (FL) May 19, 2017 The Ormond Heritage’s claim to fame has always been that it sits on the land where the Ormond Hotel, built by John Anderson at 1 John Anderson Drive, once stood.  The 156-unit condominium was damaged during Hurricane Matthew nearly eight months ago and the board association still hasn’t been able to get their insurance agency, Ariel out of Atlanta, to start covering the damage.    Read the article……………
  • Condo building’s insurance policy may not cover individual units May 19, 2017 Q:  With hurricane season right around the corner, I am concerned about insurance for my beachfront condo. Who is responsible for fixing or replacing the building? And if my unit did get damaged, would I still have to pay the mortgage if I’m not able to live there during repairs?    Read the Q&A……………
  • HOA fines traffic offenders; videotapes residents (FL) May 19, 2017 Charles Rivers and Rachael Bagby both say their homeowners’ association fined them for rolling through a stop sign.  “I admit it, I ran the stop sign,” said Bagby. “I’m not perfect, I’m human.”  “You know at the end of the day, you know, we did the violation,” said Rivers.  Both admit they were wrong for not coming to a complete stop. But neither one of them expected what happened next. They were each fined $100, and the ticket wasn’t given ...
  • Flames tear through West Orlando condo building (FL) May 19, 2017 Flames ripped through a West Orlando condo building on Thursday, leaving families without a home.  The fire broke out at the Pine Shadows Condominiums on Pinebark Avenue, just off South Kirkman Road.  The flames did the most damage on the second floor, impacting four units.   Read the article…………..
  • Condo association, owner at odds over Heritage Inn condition (FL) May 19, 2017 The situation at the Heritage Park Inn on East U.S. Highway 192 turned into a “he said, she said” matter between the owner and the condo management association this week.  At a Osceola County Code Enforcement Board meeting Wednesday, officials gave the 2050 Condotel Inn Condominium Association one month to rectify violations that stemmed from November, and two months to take care of    Read the article……………..
  • Altamonte Springs renters living in moldy condo offered new unit after Channel 9 report (FL) May 18, 2017 Renters in an Altamonte Springs apartment said they have been living in deteriorating conditions for a nearly a year, and management refused to help until they turned to Channel 9 to get answers.  Gilretta and Felice Mathieu said they’ve been doing everything right as tenants, and have reported the issues right away, but they feel they’ve gotten nothing except their health jeopardized.  The mold growing inside their unit at Waterside at Crane’s Roost tested positive for black mold.    Read ...
  • 9 Investigates: Plan may be in the works to fix troubled Tymberskan complex (FL) May 18, 2017 9 Investigates uncovered a potential plan to turn around one of Central Florida’s condominium complexes, days after residents there faced the threat of having their water shut off again.  The homeowners association manager for Section 2 inside Tymberskan said she’s been in contact with a company that’s been working in the Lemontree Condos, a complex next door to Tymberskan.     Read the article…………….
  • He charged $525 per hour to save their condo. But two years later, problems persist (FL) May 18, 2017 They welcomed him with open arms, because they thought he was their salvation.  In March of 2015, a judge assigned a professional to rescue a 310-unit condominium in Miami Gardens, at the request of lawyers for Miami-Dade County. The “receiver” was to collect payments in arrears, correct dangerous code violations, carry out repairs and settle county fines running in the millions.  Eleventh District Circuit Court Judge Eric Hendon named former judge Jorge J. Pérez as the receiver.    Read the ...
  • Topsail condo fire leaves three displaced (FL) May 17, 2017 No one was injured in a condo fire at the beach this week.  The three-story Topsail Reef condo building, located at 2182 New River Inlet Road in N. Topsail Beach, caught fire around 6 a.m. Tuesday, said Carin Faulkner, North Topsail Beach’s assistant town manager.    Read the article…………….
  • Hollywood Police investigating after condo board member gets threatening, racist letter (FL) May 17, 2017 Condo disputes in South Florida are nothing new. But in one community, it has gotten personal — and racist. 7’s Brian Entin has our special assignment report – “Guilt by Association?”  For 40 years, Gloria Davis worked long hours as a nurse. She moved into a condo at Washington Palms in Hollywood to retire and relax.  Gloria Davis: “I just wanted to move into a community that would take care of everything for me.”  But then, her monthly maintenance fees ...
  • Pair of siblings drown in pool at Cape Coral condo complex (FL) May 16, 2017 Two children drowned in a pool at a Cape Coral condo complex late Monday night, according to an incident report obtained by ABC7.  It happened at the Aurora Townhouse Condos located at 1330 SW 47th Terrace just before 10:30 p.m.  When police arrived, they found a man in the parking lot saying his kids had drowned in the pool. The responding officer immediately began CPR on a male child who was laying in the parking lot.     Read the article…………..
  • Lawsuit filed against Jupiter police chief for not paying HOA fees (FL) May 16, 2017 Jupiter Police Chief Frank Kitzerow owes about $1,600 in homeowner association fees, according to a lawsuit filed against him in Palm Beach County Circuit Court.  The homeowner’s association could foreclose on its claim of lien on the house if the foreclosure complaint is not settled. Kitzerow’s house then could be sold by Palm Beach County for the homeowner’s association to recover the assessments.    Read the article…………..
  • Clearwater attorney disbarred for misappropriating funds (FL) May 16, 2017 Nicole Mae Frost, an attorney from Clearwater, has been disbarred by the Supreme Court of Florida after an investigation found the attorney culpable in mishandling and misappropriating client funds in two matters.  In both matters, Frost was the representative for two homeowners’ associations, Countryway Homeowners Association Inc. (Countryway) and The Greens of Countryway Homeowners Association Inc. (Greens).    Read the article………….
  • Lyons: Condo owner can’t take a side in this eviction dispute May 15, 2017 Some people might assume I’m an easy sell when residents have a gripe about a condo board or homeowners association allegedly run amok.  I admit that I have enjoyed writing now and again about an HOA or condo board accused of being inanely zealous or heartless or rule obsessed — when the facts supported the accusation.  But I’m no pushover. There are lots of instances where I write nothing, because it seems to me a gripe presented to me doesn’t ...
  • Multiple agencies plan for shut down of troubled Heritage Park Inn May 14, 2017 Multiple agencies are planning to shut down the Heritage Park Inn near Kissimmee and help relocate residents from the troubled condos, according to an email from the deputy county manager.  According to the email, officials with the county—including the Florida Department of Health and the sheriff’s office—met Friday to discuss how to close the property.  The condo association told residents this past Thursday they needed to relocate because power will be disconnected on Monday.    Read the article………..
  • How do proxies work with condo association votes? May 14, 2017 Q: Our condominium association is trying to amend some of the use restrictions in the declaration of condominium. A disruptive owner is going door to door and asking for proxies and telling owners to “trust his judgment” and asking the owners to let him vote on their behalf. I was told that proxies are not discretionary. Can he do this?    Read the Q&A……………
  • Can bylaws allow board of directors to pass amendments? May 13, 2017 Q: Our bylaws provide that the amendments can be passed by a majority of the board of directors. I was always told the membership needs to vote to amend governing documents. Is this valid?   Read the Q&A…………..
  • Man alleges condo was damaged by flood caused by association employees (FL) May 13, 2017 A condo owner alleges his residence was flooded because of negligence in the operation of a water line.  Andrew M. Masciarella filed a complaint on April 21 in the Broward Circuit Court against Deerfield Beach House Condominium Association Inc. alleging negligence.    Read the article………….
  • Condo fire displaces 4 families in St. Pete (FL) May 12, 2017 At least four families are displaced after an overnight fire in Saint Petersburg.  Flames raced through the Enclave condo complex on North Martin Luther King Street just before 11 Thursday night.  Fire crews responded to a 2-alarm fire and multiple units were called in to assist. When crews arrived they noticed heavy fire and smoke on the second floor and flames were coming through the roof and attic.     Read the article…………..
  • Action 9 gets results for SUV owner and disabled vet denied a mailbox (FL) May 12, 2017 A disabled veteran who called Action 9 after a condo association refused to let him receive mail, now has a mailbox after a local congressman saw Todd Ulrich’s first story and got involved.    In Kissimmee, an Action 9 story also led to results for a disabled veteran.  For the first time since moving, in Ricky Hill has his own mailbox.  The Navy vet called Action 9 after the Venetian Bay Villages Condo Association said he could not receive mail ...
  • Troubled condos near Kissimmee to kick out residents, shut off power (FL) May 12, 2017 People who live at The Heritage Park Inn near Kissimmee will have to find somewhere else to live.  The condo association posted a flyer on the front door Thursday night that said the power will be shut off after Friday and the complex will be condemned.  It isn’t the first time people living there have had problems with management.   Read the article……………
  • Seminole County residents resist homeowners’ association demands to re-sod yards during drought (FL) May 11, 2017 A group of Seminole County residents are crying foul after their homeowners’ association has demanded they re-sod their browning yards during the worst drought Central Florida has seen in 100 years.  The homeowners told Channel 9 that they want their yards to look nice and they want to fix the problem, but that doing so in the middle of a drought seems like a waste of money and time.    Read the article…………..
  • Residents angry no asbestos assessment was done before renovations at condo building (FL) May 11, 2017 Residents near a condominium complex are concerned the white powdery dust from a roof repair is toxic.  “My arguing about it, me being upset about it, my telling somebody is not going to prevent it from going on,” Keith Pinder said.  Pinder lives across from the Palm Beach House, the condo building now being question whether or not it had the proper asbestos assessment .    Read the article…………..
  • PropLogix Wins Suit Against Condominium Association May 11, 2017 PropLogix was granted a default judgment in a suit filed against a Kissimmee condominium association after the association failed to appear in court. (Case no. 2016 SC 4316)  In December, PropLogix sued Villas of Emerald Lake Condominium Association, Inc. in the 12th Judicial Circuit Court in Manatee County, Fla., (filing #50001265) because the association allegedly refused to refund the $250 estoppel fee on a transaction that cancelled.    Read the article…………….
  • Florida Condo Board May Have Authority to Approve Changes to Common Areas May 10, 2017 Question: Recently, my condominium association installed a bike rack and bench on the property. Following the installation, I questioned the board whether these changes should have been approved by 75% of all unit owners. In response, the board stated that our documents allow the board to spend up to 5% of the association’s budget on alterations to the condominium property without additional unit owner approval. Can that be correct?     Read the Q&A……………
  • Colony developer and neighboring residents agree on plan for the property (FL) May 10, 2017 When the Colony Beach and Tennis Resort was in its 1970s heyday, Aquarius resident Frank Morneau remembers coming and going through a private entrance between the two properties to buy a morning paper or visit the dining areas. His children took tennis lessons at the resort.  In a contract obtained by the Longboat Observer, Unicorp National Developments and the Colony site’s next-door neighbors, the Tencon and Aquarius condominium communities, have reached an agreement to return similar perks if the resort ...
  • 3-legged rescue dog saves owner from condo fire (FL) May 10, 2017 Buddy the dog only has three legs, but this rescue pup is 100-percent hero. On Tuesday he used his only front paw to wake his owner as their condo filled with smoke from a two-alarm fire.  Dominic Baccus says his three-year-old foster-turned forever fur-baby woke him up around two in the morning by pushing his paw into his chest and neck Tuesday. Baccus soon realized why: smoke was rapidly seeping into his apartment. When he opened his back door he ...
  • 8 Condos Damaged In 2-Alarm Brandon Fire (FL) May 9, 2017 Hillsborough County Fire Rescue is investigating an early Tuesday morning blaze that left eight homes in The Hamptons condominium complex damaged.  According to the agency, fire crews were called to the 500 block of Golden Raintree Place around 2:10 a.m. May 9. When they arrived, they found a two-story condo building ablaze with heavy smoke and flames coming through the roof.     Read the article…………….
  • Woman, 68, tossed into pool when she tries to break up party, teen arrested (FL) May 8, 2017 Nancy James was just trying to break up a loud outdoor party at her apartment complex when one of the party-goers picked up the 68-year-old woman and tossed her into the pool.     Read the article……………..
  • Agreement keeps the water running for Tymber Skan residents (FL) May 8, 2017 The water will stay turned on for residents of the beleaguered Tymber Skan community following an agreement with the Orlando Utilities Commission.  Monday had been the deadline for the neighborhood, located off South Texas Avenue near The Mall at Millenia, to pay months worth of unpaid bills and fees.  But since then, the homeowners association for the one remaining section of Tymber Skan with electricity, Section 2, has worked out a repayment agreement with OUC that will keep the water ...
  • What legal action can be taken against board members, property manager violating the rules? (FL) May 7, 2017 Q: I own a townhouse in an HOA community. During my purchase interview, the rules and regulations were explained. During the last few years, I have noticed the board members violating the rules and regulations of the complex and not enforcing same. What rights would I have as a homeowner as there is no quality of life where I live any longer? I pay my maintenance on time and yet have no rights, or so it seems.  Is there any ...
  • Condo Q&A: Can board authorize changes? May 6, 2017 Q: Recently, my condominium association installed a bike rack and bench on the property. Following the installation, I questioned the board whether these changes should have been approved by 75 percent of all unit owners. In response, the board stated that our documents allow the board to spend up to 5 percent of the association’s budget on alterations to the condominium property without additional unit owner approval. Can that be correct?   Read the Q&A……………
  • Company Helps Condos Crack Down On Illegal Renters (FL) May 6, 2017 For as long as condo associations have existed there have been issues with parking, rentals and people breaking rules.  It is a constant struggle for property managers. That is until now. A software engineer may have stumbled upon a foolproof solution.  For the first time in years, Josh Travieso feels like he’s finally gotten the upper hand in his condo association.    Read the article…………….
  • Extra fees limited in condos; not in HOAs (FL) May 6, 2017 We often get asked by board members, officers and managers of community associations whether their association can charge a capital contribution fee to new owners or charge a fee for processing unit sales and lease applications.  The laws pertaining to such fees are quite restrictive for condominium associations while the laws for such fees in homeowners’ associations allow for generous collection of such fees.    Read the article…………..
  • Manatee teacher steals $134,000 from condo association May 5, 2017 A Manatee High School teacher is under investigation and facing charges of stealing from a condo association.  Alyson Colosia faces a scheme to defraud charge. Bradenton Beach Police say she and Javier Colosia served as president and treasurer of the Gulf Reach Condo Association.    Read the article……………
  • HOAs and pitbulls as therapy dogs May 5, 2017 QUESTION: I live in an HOA, and our board has not been enforcing the provision of our declaration that prohibits pit bulls. On one occasion the board allowed a pit bull because the owner produced an “emotional support animal” certificate. The board says this information is confidential and will not relate any details to members. I would like to see this certificate. We have another owner that says her animal is not a “pit bull”, but a Staffordshire Bull Terrier. ...
  • Innlet condo association sues Dream Finders to stop construction (FL) May 4, 2017 The Innlet at Ponte Vedra Condominium Association has filed a lawsuit against Dream Finders Homes, asking the court to force the developer to halt construction of a 21-home subdivision adjacent to the condos until the company abides by terms of a settlement agreement.  In its lawsuit, the condominium association charges that Dream Finders is refusing to abide by terms of a settlement agreement reached in 2016 to construct a brick wall 10 feet from the Innlet property line that would ...
  • Stars and gripes flying in this neighborhood flag dispute (FL) May 3, 2017 In his mind, Warren Erickson saw his collection of flags as an invitation to conversation and goodwill. Instead, a handful of neighbors are angry, his homeowner’s association is firing off new edicts and most of his flags have been permanently retired to a corner in his garage.  “There’s some friction around here, and I’m not sure why,” Erickson said. “It’s not like I’m flying the flag that ISIS flies.”  For the record, Erickson has an eclectic and personally meaningful rotation ...
  • University Place residents worried for water (FL) May 3, 2017 The future of one of University Place’s largest ponds remains mucky as it battles drought conditions and a failed water well.  The well in Pond 14 has collapsed and can’t refill the pond, which provides irrigation water to a section of homes within University Place.  The University Place Community Development District board on April 26 voted unanimously to approve a $19,500 contract with Parrish Well Drilling to cap off the old well and drill a new one for the lake. ...
  • Ask An Expert: About Your Condo, HOA Rules May 3, 2017 Q. I live in a gated community that has a golf course. The homeowners association (HOA) and the golf course are separate entities. As a member of the HOA, I am not required to be a member of the golf club but rather it is voluntary. The HOA board wants to make it mandatory that all HOA members be members of the golf club. Can the board do that?   Read the article………….
  • Orlando murder victim’s family sues Uptown Place condos, lock company (FL) May 2, 2017 The parents of a 27-year-old Orlando woman, who police said was killed in her condo in 2015 by the complex security guard, is suing Uptown Place Condominiums, the company that made the lock on the victim’s door and the security company that hired the suspect, according to court records obtained by News 6.    Read the article…………..
  • Bad condo boards beware: Legislature passes new laws unanimously (FL) May 1, 2017 The Florida Senate on Monday gave unanimous and final approval to a bill that imposes criminal penalties on condominium violations such as electoral fraud, theft of funds and conflicts of interests — all significant problems in Miami-Dade County.  The 37-0 vote on the bill, already endorsed by the House last week in another unanimous vote, now goes to Gov. Rick Scott for his signature.  “This is very important for Miami-Dade because it’s something that condo owners have been waiting for ...
  • West Palm Beach authorities investigating suspicious fires at downtown condo building May 1, 2017 City authorities are investigating a string of suspicious fires that have occurred in a 24-hour period at a downtown apartment building, a West Palm Beach Fire Rescue official said Monday night.  Fire crews responded shortly before 9:30 to a car fire Monday in the garage at The Strand apartment building at 255 Evernia St.  The fire was quickly contained, but it was the fourth in the same location since Sunday night, West Palm Beach battalion chief Kevin Lewis said.   ...
  • Fire displaces families in St. Pete (FL) April 30, 2017 A condo fire in St. Petersburg displaced several residents Saturday afternoon after it likely spread from the kitchen of one of the units.  The fire tore through eight units of a building at the Peppertree Village Condos on MLK Street North. Several units also had water damage from firefighters attempts to extinguish the fire.  Firefighters believe the fire originated from a pot left on the stove in one of the upstairs units, yet the exact cause remains under investigation. Smoke ...
  • Rules cannot conflict with declaration of covenants April 29, 2017 Question: Our HOA board of directors has allowed the architectural committee to implement its own rules that conflict with the declaration of covenants. Can the board write rules and regulations for the HOA without homeowner approval? The board has told the homeowners this can be done.     Read the Q&A…………….
  • Defibrillators should be properly investigated April 29, 2017 Q: My condominium association is considering purchasing an AED for our clubhouse. From the conversation at the meeting, I understand that this is an emergency medical device to use when someone is having a heart attack. Is it appropriate for associations to purchase and install these types of devices? Wouldn’t it create significant liability for the community?    Read the Q&A……………..
  • How are exterior paint colors determined in an HOA? April 29, 2017 Q: My neighbor just painted his home an awful color that sticks out. Every home in the neighborhood is a neutral color and this house is a bright yellow. He claims that the association president gave him the authorization to paint and that he showed the president a color swatch. Is there anything we can do to fix this?    Read the Q&A…………..
  • After years of work, estoppel bill heads to governor (FL) April 28, 2017 We’ve been writing about it for years, all the while wondering ‘why,’ but 2017 was the winning session for an overhaul of the estoppel letter process.  The House on Friday passed the Senate’s bill (SB 398) on a 117-0 vote, sending it to Gov. Rick Scott.  “This legislation will benefit Florida’s homeowners, associations, and taxpayers,” said Mark Anderson, executive director of Chief Executive Officers of Management Companies (CEOMC). “We encourage Governor Scott to sign this good bill.”    Read the ...
  • Video surveillance allowed in condo’s common areas April 27, 2017 Q: My condominium installed electronic locks with fobs on the building doors along with security cameras recording who is coming and going. I don’t like the idea of the board tracking my movements. What are my rights? —Read the Q&A…………..
  • Ponte Vedra condo association sues Dream Finders over buffer agreement (FL) April 27, 2017 A dispute between a condominium association and a builder in a new development in Ponte Vedra Beach has reached a stalemate that has pushed one side to pursue legal action.  A lawsuit was filed Friday in St. Johns County by The Innlet at Ponte Vedra Beach Condominium Association against Dream Finders Homes.  The suit alleges that Dream Finders, at its development The Palms at Old Ponte Vedra, has refused to adhere to an agreement to provide an easement between the ...
  • 12 days until water shut off at rundown Orange County condo complex (FL) April 26, 2017 Residents living at a troubled Orange County condo complex have 12 days before their water could be turned off at the TymberSkan condos because of $13,000 in unpaid bills.  Residents told Eyewitness News that they have faith that their community will turn things around.     Read the article…………….  
  • Condominium Association Meetings Can Be Adjourned April 26, 2017 Question: Our condominium association is having a vote at a special meeting to authorize major improvements to our property, which must be approved by 67% of all voters. We have a hard time getting people to vote. We understand that we can hold the process open for 90 days to get out the vote. How does that work?    Read the Q&A……………..
  • Proposed condo reform bill expected to go before Florida legislature for final vote April 25, 2017 A bill to reform Florida condo law is in its final phase in Tallahassee after it was unanimously approved by the Senate’s Rules Committee on Tuesday.  The bill is scheduled for a vote on Thursday in the House and is expected to go to the full Senate next week.  However, a last-minute change brought protests from condominium owners and their advocates, who for months have been pushing for approval of the reforms.    Read the article…………..
  • Springs Landing Tries Bear-Proof Trash Cans (FL) April 25, 2017 A homeowners association in Longwood has bought bear proof trash cans for each of its residents. We visit Springs Landing where bear sightings are common, to see how they’re trying to get residents bear wise, and this Thursday they’ll roll out 160 bear resistant trash cans.  Read the article…………….
  • Tampa subdivision accuses former leadership of lying, falsifying records over recall vote April 24, 2017 A Tampa subdivision is accusing its former leadership of lying and falsifying evidence to overturn a recall vote and stay in power, after an expensive arbitration process.  Camden Woods is a subdivision in southeast Tampa with 115 voting homeowners. Records suggest it is managed by Avid Management of Tampa.  Camden Woods’ current Homeowner’s Association president is 58-year-old Julie Patricia McDaniel.    Read the article…………..
  • Homeowners president head-stomped by robber in Broward County (FL) April 24, 2017 An attempt to quell a noisy group outside his residential complex caused a homeowners association president to suffer a brutal, head-stomping robbery.  Arthur Burns, 61, president of the Villas of Lakeview Homeowners Association, suffered multiple injuries in the Nov. 4 attack caught on surveillance video. He recently reviewed the footage and said on Wednesday it stunned him.  “It scared me because I realized how close I came to getting killed,” Burns said.    Read the article…………….
  • How can we best terminate our landscape vendor? April 23, 2017 Q: We are not happy with our current landscape vendor. We already have bids from various landscape maintenance contractors and want to terminate the current vendor. Any tips?   Read the Q&A………..
  • Who’s to pay for car’s damage from steel rod? April 22, 2017 Question: I live in an HOA community. At the end of one of the HOA parking spaces is a cement block. Protruding from this block was a rebar spike around 3½ inches in length.  When I backed out my low profile car, the spike damaged the car bumper and fender. The spike had been there since we came down to Florida in October, and I did not report its existence until after the incident with the car.    Read the ...
  • St. Johns County family projects ‘Blue Lives Matter’ flag on garage after HOA complaints (FL) April 22, 2017 Support for law enforcement officers is now proudly projected on a St. Johns County home.  The house once displayed a “Blue Lives Matter” flag.  “It doesn’t seem to quite be covered that a projector from a vehicle projecting on your garage door is a violation of the HOA,” Jeff Gaddie said.  He said the flag flew outside his daughter’s home in Samara Lakes for years.    Read the article……………
  • Condo Q&A: Board controls management company selection April 22, 2017 Q: Recently the board of directors of my condominium association voted to terminate our management company’s contract and to hire a new management company. Many of the unit owners liked our former management company and are very upset at this change. Can the board of directors, without a vote of the unit owners, change the management company? This seems to be the type of decision that should require unit owner approval   Read the Q&A……………
  • How can we stop the display of unapproved political signs? April 22, 2017 Q: During the last election cycle, we had a lot of political signs in our neighborhood. Our governing documents provide that no signs are allowed except for sale or rent unless otherwise approved by the board. No one got approval from the board to post political signs. How can we stop this?   Read the Q&A…………..
  • Men posing as plumbers rob woman in Pompano Beach condo (FL) April 21, 2017 Clair Casale said she was conned Wednesday by two men who showed up at her Pompano Beach condo posing as plumbers.  The men told her they were sent to make repairs.    Read the article……………
  • Eligibility to Run for Condominium Board Depends on Governing Documents April 19, 2017 Question: The wife of an owner (only the husband is on the deed) is running for the Board of our condominium association. Is she eligible to run for the Board? I thought you had to be an owner under Florida Law to serve on a condominium association Board?     Read the Q&A……………
  • Grande Pointe residents file suit against DR Horton (FL) April 19, 2017 When Chris Smith bought his home in the Grande Pointe neighborhood in Inlet Beach in 2010, he believed he was buying into a neighborhood where all the homes would be a Coastal Cottage architectural style — at least that was what he was told.  However, the original developer had to file for bankruptcy and the community’s remaining 70 lots were bought in 2014 by the Montgomery-based real-estate holding company Inlet Beach Holding Company.  In 2016, that company sold the last ...
  • Condo owners’ assessments for Palm Beach utility project could fall (FL) April 19, 2017 Condominiums and homes in multifamily buildings would fare better than single-family homes in a revised method for determining how much property owners would pay for townwide undergrounding of utilities.  The revised assessments were presented to the Town Council last week by Habib Isaac, senior manager with consultant Raftelis Financial Consultants, who contrasted the new figures with those he developed for the town in 2015    Read the article………….
  • HOA Presidents moves forward with road project despite community outcry (FL) April 19, 2017 Despite dozens of complaints from residents at Sabalwood at River Ridge in New Port Richey, residents say the HOA President Brian Tortarelli will move forward with a road resealing project.  “There is no reason to postpone this,” Tortarelli said. “The only thing that changes is the price, or the weather there are no other options.”  The resealing project has been in the works for several weeks. Tortarelli said the community has been saving for it for more than a decade. ...
  • Criminal penalties in proposed condo law spur controversy in Tallahassee (FL) April 18, 2017 The Florida condo reform bill is moving forward in the state Legislature, but the controversy between those who are in favor of and those who are against criminalizing certain infractions could intensify in the coming weeks.  The bill, led by Miami-Dade lawmakers, seeks to make condo electoral fraud a crime, such as falsifying signatures for condominium elections, and to create penalties for retaining documents to which homeowners are entitled. But lawmakers are facing resistance from colleagues, lobbyists and lawyers who ...
  • 2 injured in Winter Park condo fire (FL) April 18, 2017 Two people were treated for smoke inhalation after a fire broke out Tuesday at a Winter Park condominium complex.  The fire broke out on the backside of a second story unit at The Gallery, which is off Aloma Avenue near the Mayflower retirement community.    Read the article…………
  • Action 9 goes to work for disabled vet denied a mailbox (FL) April 18, 2017 A disabled veteran claims he can’t get mail at a condo he’s renting because the association only allows owners to use the mailboxes. Todd Ulrich asks if the condo association has gone too far and what rights renters have. Every day’s a struggle for Navy veteran Ricky Hill. After renting the condo he never expected another battle just to get his mail.   Read the article…………..
  • Florida Community Association Related Legislative Update 2017 April 18, 2017 Florida’s 2017 Legislative Session is in full swing. As is our yearly ritual, we have kept a close eye on proposed legislation relating to community associations. As many may recall, all major bills introduced last year affecting community associations fell victim to an abrupt and unusual end to the 2016 Legislative Session. Based upon the number of bills currently pending in Tallahassee, it appears legislators are looking to make up for lost time this year. While there are some beneficial ...
  • Condo Q&A: Meetings can be adjourned April 15, 2017 Q: Our condominium association is having a vote at a special meeting to authorize major improvements to our property, which must be approved by 67 percent of all voters. We have a hard time getting people to vote. We understand that we can hold the process open for 90 days to get out the vote. How does that work?     Read the Q&A…………….
  • Community associations are corporations, governed by many laws April 15, 2017 Question: Is there any legislative movement to correct the problems caused by Chapter 617, Florida statutues (the Not For Profit Corporation Act) and the statutes that govern condominiums, HOAs, etc.? I refer to the contradictions in organizational structure and governance, thus responsibilities, authorities and liabilities of “officers and directors.”   Read the Q&A…………..
  • Deputies: HOA president arrested for threatening men with gun (FL) April 15, 2017 An HOA president is facing criminal charges for threatening a father and his son with a gun in an Orange County neighborhood.  The incident comes amid the fallout over the death of Trayvon Martin. George Zimmerman said he was acting as a neighborhood watch volunteer when he shot the teenager.  Police say the HOA president used a gun to threaten the two in an Oakland neighborhood. Officials say the HOA president believed the two were trespassing.    Read the article…………
  • Can condominium association remove palm trees? April 15, 2017 Q: Our condo board wants to remove 44 mature foxtail palms that shade the courtyards of our 22 coach home buildings. They claim their roots threaten the sidewalk pavers, but there are low cost solutions to address that concern. The board also raises a concern regarding the palm fronds touching the roofs, but that is easily remedied by trimming the trees, which has been done before successfully. The palms are a beautiful amenity that we all paid for initially and ...
  • Is it worth suing a rogue condo board president? April 14, 2017 Q:  I live in a community association where the president of the board is violating several statutory provisions and community rules. When a homeowner brought this up at a board meeting, the president told the audience to deal with it or just sue him. What should we do?    Read the Q&A…………..
  • Short-term rentals spark battle between Clearwater Beach condo owners, homeowner’s association April 13, 2017 Crescent Beach Club is a waterfront condominium complex Clearwater Beach managed by Associa Gulf Coast. According to recent records, Joseph N. Joyce Jr. serves as the homeowner’s association president………Each of the five units has been offered as short-term vacation rentals.  None of the plaintiffs have filed for homestead exemptions, signifying all are also non-resident owners.  Bylaws of Crescent Beach Club state that any lease issued by condo owners must be for a minimum of 14 days. In 2015, the homeowner’s ...
  • Convicted Felons Ineligible for Condo Board Service in Florida April 13, 2017 Question: My condominium association’s annual meeting is next month. Several of us are concerned because we have been told that one of the individuals running for the board was charged with felony security law violations. While he was apparently never convicted, a lifetime ban from the securities industry was imposed against him and he was required to pay fines. Is he eligible to run for the board?    Read the Q&A…………..
  • Spring Isle Community Association Inc. alleges units have defects (FL) April 13, 2017 A community association alleges an Orange County corporation failed to reasonably and adequately plan, develop, design and/or construct a community.  Spring Isle Community Association Inc. filed a complaint on March 2 in the 9th Judicial Circuit Court of Florida – Orange County against Pulte Home Corp., now known as Pulte Home Co. LLC, alleging negligence.    Read the article……………
  • Man alleges Key Colony Homeowners Association failed to pay overtime (FL) April 12, 2017 A man alleges he was wrongfully denied overtime pay by his Key Biscayne employer.  Alberto Montes De Oca filed a complaint on March 31 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida against Key Colony Homeowners Association Inc. alleging violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act.   Read the article…………..
  • State hears Poinciana APV vote complaint (FL) April 12, 2017 The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation has required a response by the Association of Poinciana Villages, regarding a complaint filed against the homeowner’s association by a resident about February’s voting for its village and master board directors.  But, the 10th District Court Judge Larry Helms partially granted a motion filed by APV, developer AV Homes and the Village One Association to dismiss a complaint that the HOA violated its own bylaws, written in 1985, and thus its collection ...
  • A handle too high: 82-year-old wants a solution to her condo-door problem (FL) April 12, 2017 Shirley Deutsch is just trying to get a handle on her situation.  Deutsch and her husband, Gene, have spent winters at The Promenade for nearly 10 years. The 112-unit condominium has been undergoing a $2.6 million remodeling project since July. Part of the project included new front doors for the units.  The couple paid their share for the remodeling assessment, which equated to more than $20,000. It was when the doors arrived in February that 82-year-old Deutsch realized she had ...
  • Valet parking squabble pits Alexander Hotel condo association against owner of 40 rooms (FL) April 11, 2017 The condo association for the Alexander All Suite Oceanfront Resort is escalating an ongoing legal battle with a company that owns 40 rooms in the Miami Beach condo-hotel.  The Alexander Condominium Association recently sued Soho Realty over control of the valet services at the 300-room tower located at 5225 Collins Avenue. The association accuses Soho of breaching the condo declaration documents by operating unauthorized valet services for its 40 units.    Read the article……………
  • Gardening in an HOA? Get your legal questions answered (FL) April 11, 2017 In 2009, the Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Legislation (Senate Bill 2080) was passed. This legislation helps to protect a homeowner’s right, for those living in an HOA, to adopt FFL practices. Over the years, some legal issues and HOA disputes have occurred and that is why the Legally Speaking: FFL in the Planned Community workshop has been scheduled for April 26.   Read the article………….
  • Tymber Skan residents feel caught in-between (FL) April 10, 2017 Jamall Davis is one of the residents who received notices on their front doors, making them aware of unpaid utility bills. Davis said he and other residents do pay their bills, and they’re not the ones responsible in the dispute.  “The top people, they’re not doing their part,” said the father of eight as he pulled out of Tymber Skan’s front drive.  Davis is referring to the homeowner’s association of the section of Tymber Skan where 40 residences were noticed ...
  • Fight about truck with HOA president gets man arrested (FL) April 10, 2017 A man upset that a Jupiter homeowners’ association had towed his truck was arrested last week after entering the group president’s home and threatening to retaliate, town police said.  John Whitelock Tellam of Miami faces charges of simple assault and burglary on an unoccupied structure in the incident, which took place Wednesday at the Coppola Villas on East Riverside Drive, north of the Loxahatchee River and west of U.S. 1.      Read the article…………..
  • As homeowner associations disband, some residents cite decline (FL) April 8, 2017 Less than a mile from Orlando’s so-called “restaurant row” on Sand Lake Road stands a community divided.  On one side of Banyan Boulevard are East Bay neighborhood homes with lush green lawns; on the other side are Sand Lake Hills houses with yards filled with sand and patches of grass. East Bay is a section of Sand Lake Hills and has its own mandatory homeowners association. Sand Lake Hills no longer has an association.    Read the article………….
  • HOA may enter into contract with director without membership approval April 8, 2017 Question: I believe that there is a conflict of interest between the president of our homeowners’ association and a contract he signed with the board to do maintenance work in the community. The president has his own maintenance business, and so the contract is between the HOA and the president’s company.  Our association bylaws state that “no director or officer shall receive any compensation from the association for acting as such and may be reimbursed for expenses incurred on behalf ...
  • Can board help with complaint of loud noise? April 8, 2017 Q: My neighbor is keeping me up at night with loud talking and video games. He lives above me and the condominium seems disinterested in this nuisance. What can I do?   Read the Q&A…………….
  • Condo Q&A: Board responsible for minutes April 8, 2017 Q: At the first meeting of the new board of directors of our homeowners’ association, there was concern about approving minutes of the last meeting of the prior board. Because the new members were not on the old board, they were hesitant to approve the minutes. Should the new board approve those minutes?    Read the Q&A………….
  • Ask An Expert: About Your Condo, HOA Rules April 7, 2017 Q:  Can an association sue a member of the association for defaming the board, or can only the individual board member make the claim? What do you suggest an association due to stop harassment from a member of the community, such as abusive e-blasts or defamatory posts on a blog site?    Read the Q&A………….
  • Condo association must defend against foreclosure lawsuit April 7, 2017 Q: A lender has filed a foreclosure suit against a condominium owner in our complex. The lender also has sued our association. It costs our community money to hire a lawyer, and I don’t see how our association is involved, anyway. Can we just ignore the lawsuit? —   Read the Q&A………………..
  • Condos find new way to crack down on owners who secretly rent units (FL) April 7, 2017 At least three South Florida condo associations have found a novel way to put the brakes on owners who break the rules.  They are using a parking app to do it.  “We have implemented new technology to combat both Airbnb and illegal seasonal renters, and snowbirds that rent their units more than what our declarations state,” said Josh Travieso, vice president of the 150-unit Cypress Bend Condominium V association in Pompano Beach.     Read the article…………..
  • Real estate Q&A: Music hits sour note at condo’s public pool April 6, 2017 Q: Our condo pool has a rule stating “no radio playing except when using earphones.” There are people in our condo — actually several board members — who frequently play musical instruments and sing out loud on the pool deck. I interpret the rule to mean that people in the pool area shouldn’t be subjected to anyone’s music. What do you think?     Read the Q&A…………..
  • Riverview neighbors upset about abandoned home owned by HOA (FL) April 5, 2017 Neighbors in a Riverview neighborhood are raising major concerns about an abandoned home that’s owned by their homeowner’s association.  Neighbors say the property at 13522 Fladgate Mark Drive has been vacant for years, but 4 months ago the South Fork of Hillsborough County III HOA purchased the home, according to the property appraiser’s website.    Read the article…………..
  • Proposed condo law reforms need clarification, attorneys say (FL) April 5, 2017 When two condo owners went to the Miami-Dade police department to complain that their signatures had been forged during an election of the board of directors at The Beach Club in Fontainebleau Park, they ran into a wall.  “They took my statement, but they did nothing,” said Paola Silvestri, who alleged that her mother’s signature turned up in a ballot even though she did not live in the United States.    Read the article…………….
  • Condo buyers at 1010 Brickell file lawsuits to get their deposits back on three units (FL) April 5, 2017 There’s some buyer’s remorse swirling around 1010 Brickell.  A man and a woman who put down 50 percent deposits totaling more than $650,000 on three condo units in the 50-floor luxury tower are trying to get out of their deals, according to three recent lawsuits filed in Miami-Dade Circuit Court.   Read the article………..
  • Thieves Make Off With $168K From Condo Office (FL) April 4, 2017 Two thieves wearing white hoodies stole $168,000 in checks and money orders from a condominium property manager’s office.  “Detectives from the Miami-Dade Police Department, Kendall District have released video surveillance footage of a commercial burglary at a condominium property management’s office in Southwest Miami-Dade and are seeking the public’s assistance in identifying and/or locating the two burglars involved in the theft,” explained Detective Marjorie Eloi of the Miami-Dade Police Department on Tuesday.    Read the article……………..
  • Community Association Life: Can owner install camera to monitor his entrance? April 4, 2017 Q: Can an owner install a security camera to monitor his entrance area in a condo complex, and can the board approve this as an agenda item?    Read the article……………….
  • Killearn developer wins key approval from community (FL) April 1, 2017 The nine-hole course at Killearn Country Club known as the Narrows has been a contentious strip of green for several years.  After all the lawsuits and negotiations, the battle over the course may be coming to an end. Killearn Country Club owner Barton Tuck won over the Killearn Homes Association on a plan to sell the Narrows and drive that money back into renovating the club and allow residential development to go forward.
  • Condo Q&A: Correct rule procedures mandatory April 1, 2017 Q: Our homeowners’ association documents say that the board can adopt rules, but don’t spell out how to do it. What procedures must be followed? Can the board adopt a rule at a regular meeting and then enforce it the next day without providing any special notice to the members?    Read the Q&A………………
  • Music hits sour note at condo’s public pool March 31, 2017 Q:  Our condo pool has a rule stating “no radio playing except when using earphones.” There are people in our condo — actually several board members – who frequently play musical instruments and sing out loud on the pool deck. I interpret the rule to mean that people in the pool area shouldn’t be subjected to anyone’s music. What do you think?      Read the Q&A…………..
  • Miami Beach condo buyer sues seller and broker over alleged Airbnb misrepresentations March 30, 2017 Bahamian investor Martina Abosi wanted to get in on the Airbnb action in Miami Beach to help fund her retirement, so she set out to find a condo in areas of the city where short-term rentals are allowed.  Instead, Abosi paid $330,000 last year for a unit in a 1960s mid-rise tower that was allegedly renovated without permits, located in a neighborhood where short term rentals are prohibited. And she faces a $20,000 fine should she seek out renters, according ...
  • Riverview couple may get reprieve from foreclosure over $150 association fee (FL) March 30, 2017 A Riverview family on the brink of losing their home for failing to pay a $150 homeowners association fee has been offered an 11th hour chance at mediation following news coverage of their plight.  Tampa property rights attorney Ryan Torrens, who represents Tina and Luis Lopez, said the law firm for the Rivercrest Master Homeowners Association approached him about mediating the dispute over the Lopez family’s 2009 homeowners association fee.  Read the article………….
  • Man cooking turkey in charcoal pit accuses HOA board member of assault (FL) March 29, 2017 A man who had dug a pit, filled it with charcoal and was cooking turkey next to the pool at a development in the 400 block of Ocean Trail said he was attacked by another resident. He claimed the man, who was a board member, said it was against association rules. The man said when he told the board member that when he finished the turkey he would fill the pit back in and replace the grass he was attacked ...
  • Boats Block View (FL) March 28, 2017 They bought their condos for a water view. Now their view is blocked by 100-foot yachts after their condo board rented out the resident’s dock space. Legally, can a board take away their residents waterfront views? It’s why they called Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.  When people think about buying a condo at Heritage Landings, one fact often seals the deal…   Read the article…………..
  • Florida HOA Board Must Follow Correct Rule Procedures March 27, 2017 Question: Our homeowners’ association documents say that the board can adopt rules, but don’t spell out how to do it. What procedures that must be followed? Can the board adopt a rule at a regular meeting and then enforce it the next day without providing any special notice to the members?    Read the Q&A…………….
  • Proposed Estoppel Bill 398 – Unfair And Inequitable To Community Associations (FL) March 27, 2017 Senate Bill 398 (“SB 398” or “Bill”) sponsored by Senator Passidomo is making its way through the Florida legislature and is a step closer to being passed into law. This Bill puts the needs of Florida’s community associations behind that of its member-sellers (especially those who are delinquent in their assessment obligations, those who have existing fines and those who are in violation of the covenants), plus, real estate brokers and realtors, lenders, and everyone else involved in the purchase ...
  • Condo Q&A: Fining procedures confound board March 25, 2017 Q: Our association tried to fine an owner who violated our rules, but decided the process was too complicated. Can you provide a step-by-step outline of how fines are issued and collected?    Read the Q&A……………
  • Stinky seaweed befouls Palm Bay neighborhood (FL) March 25, 2017 Gene Cate once fished a crystal-clear seagrass bed near the dock at Castaway Shores.  These days, stringy, rancid seaweed carpets the banks of the Indian River Lagoon along the condo’s cove-shaped shoreline.  Looks like, smells like — you know what.    Read the article…………
  • Can directors on condo board exclude a director? March 25, 2017 Q: I am on my condominium board and find myself on the losing side of most issues. The other directors routinely vote as a block and we generally disagree. I am not included on any emails. Can the other directors exclude me like this?      Read the Q&A…………..
  • Morning or evening, board decides when to hold meetings March 25, 2017 Question: In the past, our HOA would hold open “workshop” meetings to discuss issues within the community. These are held in the afternoons, usually once a month. The board would encourage homeowners to attend these meetings and voice their opinions, but the board would not vote on open matters. Instead, the board would also hold evening board meetings once a month for the purpose of voting on the issues discussed at the workshops.    Read the Q&A……………
  • Miami-Dade-backed condo law reforms advance in Legislature (FL) March 23, 2017 A plan from Miami-Dade lawmakers to penalize fraud and abuse in condominium associations earned unanimous initial approval in House and Senate committees this week.  The bills, most notably, impose new criminal penalties for falsifying association documents, committing fraud in association elections and refusing to turn over administrative records, among other reforms.      Read the article……………
  • Miami-Dade-backed legislation cracking down on ‘rogue’ condo associations advances (FL) March 22, 2017 A plan from Miami-Dade lawmakers to penalize fraud and abuse in condominium associations earned unanimous initial approval in House and Senate committees this week.  The bills, most notably, impose new criminal penalties for falsifying association documents, committing fraud in association elections and refusing to turn over administrative records, among other reforms.    Read the article……………..
  • Homeowners Association repairing their own dunes (FL) March 22, 2017 When Hurricane Matthew blew out of town, the 2.3 mile stretch of dunes on the Hammock Dunes Beach was left destroyed.  The storm that crept along the coast Oct. 7, 2016 left just enough of the dunes to protect the homes in the gated community from the Atlantic Ocean.  While the community lost about 15 feet of dune depth, the only structure damage was to the 53 walkovers that were broken off and swept away by the cresting waves. George ...
  • Homeowner’s association tells Florida woman to take down Blue Lives Matter flag March 22, 2017 A Florida woman is being told to take down her Blue Lives Matter flag that’s been flying for several years now by her homeowners association.  Jeff Gaddie told Action News Jacksonville that his daughter has been flying the flag to honor him and many other family members who are law enforcement.  “She called to ask why,” Gaddie said. “They told her they had received a complaint that it was considered racist, offensive and anti-black lives matter,” he said.     Read ...
  • Suntree residents restrict allowable pets (FL) March 22, 2017 Gerbils, rabbits, guinea pigs, reptiles and a long list of other animals are no longer welcome in Suntree.  At least on paper.  Residents voted last week to approve a measure that restricts pets in the planned unit development to domesticated birds, cats, dogs and fish. Every breathing pet beyond the latter is on the shunned list.    Read the article……………
  • Do boards need membership approval to remove trees in commons areas? March 19, 2017 Q: Our condominium has many mature and beautiful trees, one of which has been viewable from my unit for many years. The association removed the tree, claiming it received a report from a professional that the tree was dead. Does the board need membership approval to remove trees on the common areas?    Read the Q&A…………..
  • More Proof That Condo Clout Is Dead In Broward (FL) March 18, 2017 Century Village’s pathetic turnout in the Deerfield Beach city election on Tuesday brings to mind David’s lament from The Bible: “How are the mighty fallen!”  A decade or so ago, Century Village could reliably turn out thousands of votes in any election.  On Tuesday, there were 1,317 votes cast in the 7 precincts.  Compare that with Weston’s Seat 3, where there were 3,441 votes in 13 precincts.  Weston turned out roughly 77 voters-per-precinct more than once mighty Deerfield Beach.   ...
  • Condo Q & A: Don’t need to count proxies March 18, 2017 Q:  In one of your columns last year, you wrote that a special committee must be appointed to count the election ballots in a condominium election. You also wrote that no committee is needed to count proxies. It would seem, that if the proxies are not opened by a committee with unit owners allowed to observe, there could be some irregularities. If the committee does not count the proxies, who does?     Read the Q&A……………
  • Condo building cannot unilaterally withdraw from group March 18, 2017 Question: Our condominium complex consists of four separate buildings of 40 condominium units. Our building, as well as the other three, have their own entrance and exit. Is it possible for a building to secede from the rest of the complex, given that we are responsible for our own roof and parking lot and building maintenance?     Read the Q&A…………….
  • Does electronic voting for associations really work? March 18, 2017 Q: I heard that the law in Florida recently changed and that owners in community associations can now vote electronically. What is required to implement electronic voting in my community? And does it really work?     Read the Q&A…………..
  • Homeowners’ association treasurer gets 3 years for stealing $122,779 (FL) March 17, 2017 The 60-year-old former treasurer of Cimarron Homeowners Association near Medulla was sentenced to three years in prison Friday for stealing $122,779 from the group over an 11-year span.  Martha Beard, who still lives in the 72-home community, told Circuit Judge Wayne Durden during Friday’s hearing that she had intended to pay the money back, but the debt became too great.  “This was a major error in judgment on my part,” she said, “and I take full responsibility.”  Her son, 33-year-old ...
  • Florida Association Boards Can Adopt Rules for Records Requests March 17, 2017 Question: In a recent column, you said that an owner wanting to inspect association records has to make a written request. Does a request by e-mail satisfy the law?    Read the Q&A…………
  • Residents speak out against Pasco community HOA using drones March 17, 2017 Residents of a Pasco community are speaking out against the use of a drone by the community’s association, though they aren’t sure they have any real say in the matter.  Residents of the Concord Station community said they got a notice online alerting them that the homeowners’ association would be flying a test drone Tuesday. Officials with the community said a drone was used today at 200 feet instead 50 feet of because of the wind.    Read the article…………….
  • Speed Busters: Group wants action taken on speeding problem in Seminole Heights neighborhood (FL) March 16, 2017 The Hampton Terrace Community Association is nestled in the Seminole Heights area. They believe there is power in numbers. 65 people showed up when the city of Tampa and the Tampa Police Department joined them in support of their speeding concerns. But without solid answers to the problem, they decided to form their own Traffic Calming Committee and contacted Leslee Lacey to Speed Bust in Seminole Heights.    Read the article…………..
  • U of FL workshop to help homeowners navigate HOA issues for landscaping March 15, 2017 Wondering if that new lawn will mean a discussion with your Homeowner’s Association? The University of Florida Florida-Friendly LandscapingTM program offers a workshop on April 26 to help homeowners navigate the process.  “Legally Speaking: FFL in The Planned Community” will run from 12:45 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the UF/IFAS Extension Seminole County office. The location is 250 County Home Road, Sanford, Florida 32773.  “We are offering the course to help homeowners learn about current legal issues, and to give ...
  • HOA’s rules for trash to prevent bear sightings a hindrance, residents say March 13, 2017 Some residents in an Apopka neighborhood are not happy with new rules meant to keep bears away from trash cans.  The homeowners association for Wekiva Springs Reserve sent a letter to residents telling them that their garbage cans must be put out after 5 p.m. the day before trash day but forces them to put the cans away by 6 p.m. on trash day.   Read the article………….
  • Bella Collina property owners, in lawsuit, allege racketeering (FL) March 13, 2017 One of Central Florida’s most troubled home developments, the upscale Bella Collina country-club near Clermont, has been hit with a proposed class action lawsuit by people who bought lots there before the development went dormant in the Great Recession.  The lawsuit alleges that the owners behind the Bella Collina company, including Palm Beach businessman Dwight Schar, actively sought to destroy property values in order to drive out lot owners so they could repurchase the entire project at super-low prices.   ...
  • Miami-Dade lawmakers want criminal penalties for fraud and abuse by condo directors (FL) March 11, 2017 After decades of struggling against a condo regulatory system that experts say perpetuates impunity and makes it easy to commit fraud, thousands of condominium owners in Florida may finally see substantial changes in state laws.   Last week, state senators and representatives from Miami-Dade filed a bill that includes 21 reforms to Chapter 718 of the Florida statutes. The reforms seek to correct gaps in the laws and establish criminal penalties for some irregularities in the administration of condos.   ...
  • Info on neighbor’s emotional support dog confidential (FL) March 11, 2017 Question: We live in a pet-free community. I saw a lady walking a cocker spaniel yesterday on our grounds. I asked our property manager about the pet and was informed this was a new resident that had papers indicating it was a comfort dog.  As owners, do we have the right to see the documentation?   Read the Q&A…………..
  • Condo Q & A: President can’t buck the association board (FL) March 11, 2017 Q: I am one of five directors on my homeowners’ association’s board. After this year’s annual meeting, we elected new officers. The person voted in as president says that he can make any decision he chooses, and does not need a vote from the board. For example, he has said that he can terminate our manager’s contract and that if the board wanted to change managers and he disagreed, he could stop the action. Is this correct?      Read ...
  • Is it legal for a condo owner to install a security camera? March 11, 2017 Q: Can an owner install a security camera to monitor his entrance area in a condo complex and can the board approve this as an agenda item    Read the Q&A……………
  • Homeowner not legally entitled to unobstructed view March 10, 2017 Q:  We live in a condo with a beautiful waterfront view, but the management company just put up a “Do not feed the wildlife” warning sign that partially obscures our view. We’re concerned this will hurt the resale value. What can we do?     Read the Q&A………….
  • Florida HOA Boards May Appoint an “Election Committee” March 10, 2017 Question: Every year our homeowners’ association’s board appoints an “election committee.” The committee makes sure that the meeting notices are sent out, and otherwise runs the election, including counting the ballots. This year, the chairperson of the committee announced immediately before the final self-nomination deadline that he intended to run for the board, and resigned his committee spot. This seems wrong to me because his position on the election committee would give him an advantage over other candidates. Shouldn’t this ...
  • Attorney: Watch legislation involving condo living March 10, 2017 Condominium associations should pay attention to the Florida legislative session, according to a local attorney.  Donna DiMaggio Berger, a shareholder at Becker & Poliakoff, said there are more than two dozen bills that could directly or indirectly impact condominiums and cooperatives, many in a negative way. The session began Tuesday and lasts for 60 days.   Read the article…………..
  • There’s Something Rotten at the DBPR: Regulating Florida’s Condo Associations March 10, 2017 With more community associations than every other state combined, Florida is a behemoth in the community association management space. Lawmakers in other states look to Florida to set an example for how to legislate an industry that now represents one in every 4 homes in the country. Florida has more laws and regulations to govern community associations than any other state. (Although California isn’t far behind).   In fact, Florida has so many associations (1.4 million condos alone as of ...
  • HOA buys personal alarms for kids following attempted abduction (FL) March 10, 2017 A community is coming together to protect their children, by providing personal alarms and self -defense courses.  Mike Metzger owns Championship Martial Arts, and he is now turning fear into action for little girls in the East Orange County neighborhood of Avalon Park.  “We’re going to teach them number one, common-sense before self-defense,” Metzger told FOX 35.     Read the article………….
  • Lawsuit underway after man beaten in his own condo by naked man on drugs (FL) March 9, 2017 …..He’s hired a lawyer to sue building managment for not doing enough to keep its residents safe.  “One failiure, after another failure, aafter another failure,” said Brevda of the fail-safes inside the building. “The residents pay a considerable amount of money in HOA maintenance fees in part which are to provide for advanced security measures.”  Legal analyst, Michelle Suskauer, said it could be a strong case.     Read the article………….
  • Lake Charleston (FL) homeowners ask HOA for security cameras in neighborhoods after attempted abductions March 9, 2017 The father of a 10-year-old who was almost abducted is asking his community’s HOA board for security cameras around the development.  There are nights when David Harman keeps replaying February 13th in his mind. The day his son was almost abducted.  “There’s no words really, just something that’s always in the back of your mind,” said Harman.  The boy, who we are not identifying says he didn’t notice when the white van pulled up near him on Zurich Circle in ...
  • Icon South Beach renter pursues class action lawsuit against condo association over application fees (FL) March 8, 2017 A recently filed lawsuit alleges the Icon South Beach’s condominium association charges non-refundable application fees in excess of what is allowed by Florida law.  The suit, which seeks class action status, was filed in Miami-Dade Circuit Court by Icon South Beach renter Derek Schwartz, but could end up involving more than 100 plaintiffs, according to the complaint.  Attorneys representing Schwartz and Icon Condominium Association did not immediately return phone calls seeking comment.    Read the article……………
  • Disgruntled Holmes Beach condo owners get sympathy, pushback (FL) March 7, 2017 For sale: diminished water views.  Hearing complaints of devalued homes and blocked waterfront views, Holmes Beach commissioners said they would be willing to work with Westbay Point & Moorings residents to “soften” the look of two new canopies at lifts on the dock at the city’s 63rd Street boat ramp.  Westbay resident Patricia Reed spoke March 2 against the boat canopies, saying they block her “magnificent view” of Watson’s Bayou.    Read the article…………..
  • Can an association board sue a member for defamation? March 6, 2017 Q: Can an Association sue a member of the Association for defaming the Board, or can only the individual board member make the claim? What do you suggest an association due to stop harassment from a member of the community, such as abusive e-blasts to the community?   Read the Q&A……………
  • Beach-side residents cry foul to fowl feeding (FL) March 5, 2017 There are plenty of arguments from both sides. Condo owners complain of swarms disrupting their quality of life. Bird scientists warn of the health risks junk foods pose to birds. Meanwhile, the vice president of the Halifax River Audubon believes there are bigger issues to worry about and questions how the county can enforce such rules fairly anyway. There are also concerns about the county handing more rules and regulations to beach-goers.     Read the article……………
  • Judge rules in favor of Killearn Country Club owner (FL) March 4, 2017 A Leon County Circuit judge Thursday ruled in favor of the owner of the Killearn Country Club, clearing a hurdle for him to further pursue plans to sell and develop a disputed parcel of land.  But Barton Tuck still needs city commissioners to approve a comprehensive plan rezoning of the former nine-hole golf course, called the Narrows, which has been closed for more than a year. Three nine-hole golf courses are within Killearn Country Club.  Residents who live along the ...
  • Suntree wants to ban sex offenders from living there (FL) March 4, 2017 he Suntree Master Homeowners Association, one of Brevard County’s largest residential developments, may soon have one of the strictest policies in the state when it comes to allowing sexual offenders and sexual predators to live there.  The association is asking residents to amend its housing restrictive covenants, which would bar known sexual offenders and sexual predators from owning or renting there. Technically, it’s asking residents to approve expanding the zone of protection of city and county ordinances by restricting sex ...
  • New Florida Condo Bill Filed by Senator Garcia Includes Criminal Penalties March 4, 2017 Last month, the State Attorney for Miami-Dade County released a Grand Jury Report titled “Addressing Condo Owners’ Pleas for Help: Recommendations for Legislative Action”. You can read the Miami-Herald Article about the Grand Jury Report here.  Today, Senator Rene Garcia filed SB 1682, Relating to Condominiums, which incorporates some of the recommendations of the Grand Jury Report. As expected, the bill includes criminal penalties for certain violations, including failing to provide access to official records and fraudulent activities related to ...
  • Condo Q & A: Board can’t wink at house cats March 4, 2017 Q: Our association has a “no pet” policy going back to the developer’s original bylaws. The board has generally enforced it, but has let a few elderly owners keep indoor cats, since they really do not bother anyone. My neighbor recently purchased a large dog which barks constantly, keeping me awake at night. I filed a complaint with the manager, who took it to the board, who then took it to their attorney. The word that got back to me ...
  • Ask An Expert: About Your Condo, HOA Rules March 4, 2017 Q. The board of directors in my homeowners association (HOA) meets every month and provides a cursory financial report with little detail. We have requested the treasurer and board provide more information, but the board responds that we can get the detail at the property management office. Does Florida law provide any redress?  Read the Q&A…………
  • Condo manager orders inspections after balcony collapse (FL) March 3, 2017 The general manager of a Florida Panhandle condominium complex says the building will undergo inspections following a balcony collapse that injured 11 people.  The incident occurred Wednesday at Sandpiper Cove in Destin as seasonal residents gathered to celebrate a friend’s 82nd birthday. The wooden second floor balcony collapsed, spilling residents onto the ground below.  Jack Scelsi says building professionals will conduct inspections to identify any other issues at the complex.    Read the article…………..
  • Country Club Shores residents organize against exceptions to Key height restrictions (FL) March 2, 2017 Construction of a home in Country Club Shores has local residents taking action.  The two-story home on Halyard Lane includes an enclosed elevator shaft that reaches about 10 feet above the 30-foot height limit established for single-family homes on Longboat Key.  Language in the town code allows elevator shafts as an exception to the height limit. Other exceptions include enclosed stairwells and television antennas.   Read the article…………..
  • Florida condo balcony collapses, injuring 11 March 1, 2017 Eleven people were injured Wednesday afternoon after a second-floor wooden balcony collapsed at a Florida condominium, police said.  Two individuals sustained “pretty significant,” but non-life-threatening injuries, Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office public information officer Michele Nicholson told ABC News.    Read the article……………..
  • Can anyone just ride on through? (FL) March 1, 2017 On a recent Friday afternoon, Watercrest Condominium Association employees John Coppenhaver and Ricardo Taliaferro had partially disassembled an emergency-only gate at the back of the Lakewood Ranch condo complex.  Coppenhaver and Taliaferro found that someone had removed the covering to the gate’s electronics box and installed a wire to trick the system. Any remote control device would trigger the gate arms to raise.    Read the article…………….
  • Are condo associations required to record meetings? (FL) February 27, 2017 Question: Our Board of Directors disagrees over whether we are required to record our meetings, and if not, should we?      Read the Q&A…………….
  • Condo Q & A: Can beachgoers be towed? February 25, 2017 Q: We have been having constant issues with outsiders parking in the lot at our beachfront condominium and then trespassing across our property to use the beach. Can we have these vehicles towed away?   Read the Q&A…………….
  • Can a candidate encourage owners to change their vote? February 25, 2017 Q: Our condominium election is approaching and owners have already begun mailing in their ballots. Now, a candidate is telling owners that they can rescind their ballot and change their vote and is encouraging them to vote for this candidate. Is this legal?   Read the Q&A…………..
  • Florida Condo Associations Cannot Waive Year-End Audits for More than Three Consecutive Years February 24, 2017 Question: Our annual budget is always over $500,000 and requires a year-end audit unless waived by the owners, which I understand cannot be done more than three consecutive years. Is there a penalty and what could happen if the association obtains owner approval to waive the audit for more than three consecutive years?    Read the Q&A…………..
  • Grand jury calls Florida agency inept and ill-suited to probe condo complaints February 24, 2017 In Pasco County, residents of one community were shocked when their homeowners association approved a special assessment for new roofs even though a study showed most of the existing roofs still had years of “useful life.”  In a Tampa high-rise, condo owners are fighting a $600,000 assessment they say will mostly benefit an investment group that is trying to convert the entire building to rentals.   Read the article………….
  • Ask your HOA for accessible parking February 23, 2017 Q:  We live in a large condominium complex built decades ago, and it doesn’t have parking spaces for people with disabilites. We have assigned parking, but it’s far from the entrance. Does our association need to make parking accessible for people with disabilities?     Read the Q&A……………
  • Family forced from home over $150 HOA fee (FL) February 23, 2017 A Hillsborough County judge handed down a heartbreaking decision for a Riverview family. The Lopezes are being forced from their home by foreclosure, all because of a $150 missed homeowners’ association payment.  “This is my home and where I grew up. This is where God put me,” said 8-year-old Jessica Lopez through tears.  Her parents, Tina and Luis Lopez, tried to comfort their daughter. The house, in the Rivercrest subdivision is the only home she’s ever known.
  • APV counsel: Homeowners’ claims not valid (FL) February 22, 2017 While homeowners in Poinciana have filed suit against their homeowners association, the Association of Poinciana Villages (APV), the HOA’s lawyers are working to have the case dismissed.  The homeowners are suing because they believe that the HOA has failed to live up to the tenants of its original founding agreements filed in 1985.  The APV, like AV Homes (formerly Avatar) and the Village One Association before it, has filed a motion to dismiss the suit. The suit accuses the three ...
  • Thief steals $20k in landscape lights from Odessa community (FL) February 22, 2017 It’s lights out for one Odessa neighborhood. Someone stole more than $20,000 worth of landscape lighting, getting away with 63 out of 90 pieces.  It happened in the Belle Meade community, off Hutchison Road on February 8. Sometime between 8:30 and 10:40 p.m., the man went light-by-light, cutting the wires.  They may be just outdoor lights to some, but the 90-piece set of landscape lights came out of neighbors’ HOA dues. So when this thief set his sights on the ...
  • High Rise Fire at Boca condo complex (FL) February 21, 2017 Residents were evacuated after a fire at a Boca condo complex Tuesday night. Fire crews responded to reports of a fire at Hythe B in Century Village West.  First arriving crews reported smoke showing from a four story building.  Firefighters started evacuation of the building with assistance from PBSO while additional crews located the fire in a storage room on the third floor of the building and started a fire attack.     Read the article………….
  • Massive fire breaks out at troubled Tymber Skan condo complex (FL) February 21, 2017 A massive fire broke out Tuesday morning at the troubled Tymber Skan condominium complex in Orange County, fire officials said.  The blaze was reported just before 8 a.m. and had been knocked down by 8:30 a.m., Orange County Fire Rescue said.    Read the article……….
  • Litigation heats up at downtown Miami’s Vizcayne condo complex(FL) February 20, 2017 Tally up another construction defect lawsuit for downtown Miami’s two 49-story Vizcayne condo buildings.  The south tower’s condo association just filed suit against more than two dozen construction firms that worked on the Vizcayne project, alleging counts that range from negligence to breach of contract.  “There’s a full gambit of claims,” said attorney Darrin Gursky of law firm Gursky Ragan, which filed the suit on behalf of the association.    Read the article…………..
  • Condominium Association Life: Pool was bigger than approved February 19, 2017 Q: I live in a homeowners association, and I recently installed a pool. I received approval from the HOA for a specific footprint and the final product was bigger as the plans changed after I applied for HOA approval. The HOA is now threatening to fine me and lien my house. Can it do this?   Read the Q&A……………..
  • Rewards offered to keep Poinciana beautiful (FL) February 19, 2017 Residents at the Association of Poinciana Villages complained about hefty homeowner’s association fines for years. However, the association is now handing out rewards as an incentive to keep the neighborhood clean.   A sign in front of Dennis Bruckel’s house reads, “Home of the Year.” It’s something Bruckel is very proud of.  “But I am really pleased. It’s always nice to have your skills recognized,” he said.  Bruckel was in the nursery business for years, and while he’s retired now ...
  • Can candidates reconsider after withdrawing from election? February 18, 2017 Q: The bylaws of our condominium association specify that the board of directors shall be comprised of not less than five nor more than seven members. Six members filed their applications for candidacy by the required deadline (40 days before the annual meeting). One of the members subsequently sent an email requesting that their application be withdrawn. Upon learning at our regular board meeting, held four weeks prior to the annual meeting, that there were only five candidates and would ...
  • Promote fire safety, not substandard condo housing for the elderly February 17, 2017 Ellyn Setnor Bogdanoff, a paid lobbyist of Florida condominium associations, in an op-ed on Feb. 14, advocated for a bill that “would allow older high-rises to opt out of an ELSS and, for those who do not or cannot, provides more time for installation of an ELSS beyond the current 2019 deadline.”  Bogdanoff is part of special interest lobbying aimed at preventing the same level of fire safety in high-rise condominium buildings for the elderly that ...
  • Voter Apathy Plagues Florida Community Associations February 16, 2017 Question: Our condominium association has been trying to amend our condominium documents since the developer sold out 10 years ago. The documents require 75% of all unit owners for amendment. This has failed several times, primarily due to voter apathy. Is there anything the board can do to amend the documents?
  • Convicted Felon on Condo Board? (FL) February 16, 2017 Sometimes living in a condo or homeowner’s association can be a nightmare, but how about this one: a condo president, who has a criminal record, has two residents trying to get a restraining order to keep him away from them. Why? Here is tonight’s Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.  Rose and her husband moved to Leisureville in Pompano to retire in peace and quiet… they are not getting either.    Read the article…………..
  • Palm Beach considering major change to landscaping laws February 14, 2017 Only on Palm Beach would there be a debate on how to keep the town tidy.  Neighbors are butting heads with town leaders over leaf blowers and the noise they make. It’s an ongoing battle that started years ago and is starting to take more shape this month.  On Tuesday, the town council considered banning leaf blowers, only to change their minds after hearing another set of complaints.    Read the article…………..
  • Condo to state: Prosecute former board members for misspent $1 million (FL) February 14, 2017 A major West Palm Beach condo association is urging statewide prosecutors to bring charges against former members of its board of directors who, Florida condominium regulators say, misspent more than $1 million of association money.  Dane Leitner, attorney for Whitehall Condominiums of the Villages of Palm Beach Lakes Association Inc., wrote to the Office of the Attorney General Feb. 8, saying association members want criminal charges brought so they can seek restitution for the 20-building, 480-unit complex on Village Boulevard. ...
  • Former employees accuse Bal Harbour Tower Condominium Association (FL) of labor code violations February 14, 2017 A Miami-Dade County employer is accused of not paying overtime wages to two former employees.  Berkant Hakli and Karim Laroussi filed a complaint on behalf of others similarly situated on Feb. 1 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Miami Division against Bal Harbour Tower Condominium Association alleging violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act.   Read the article…………..
  • Assessments and Combined Lots in Florida HOAs February 13, 2017 Question: I live in a homeowners’ association community. Recently, one of our owners purchased the vacant lot next to their home. The owner has now combined the properties into one parcel with the taxing authorities and is now demanding that the association only charge them assessments for one lot, instead of two. Is this appropriate?      Read the Q&A………….
  • How can we get detailed financial reports at board meetings? February 12, 2017 Q: The board of directors in my homeowners association meets every month and provides a cursory financial report with little detail. We have requested the treasurer and board provide more information, but the board responds we can get the detail at the property management office. Does Florida law provide any redress?    Read the Q&A…………..
  • Board president cannot waive statutory election deadlines February 11, 2017 Question: Our condo will elect two directors to the board in a few weeks. I and a second candidate submitted our intent to run forms by the statutory deadline. However, a third person submitted his intent to run form after the deadline. I alerted the management company to this issue and received no response. Can this third person get elected to the board? Our current president said that, for this election, he will waive Section 718.112(4)(a) for this third candidate. ...
  • Should emails between board members be made public? February 11, 2017 Q: I am on the board of directors and a unit owner recently asked me to send her all emails relative to an ongoing covenant violation dispute. The board has discussed the violation in previous email communication and we have emails from the attorney, neither of which I would want circulated in the community. Do I have to provide these?    Read the Q&A……………
  • Attorney files 60 almost identical discrimination lawsuits against Florida home rental owners February 11, 2017 An extra way to make cash, could end up costing you. As home rental sites become more popular, a Contact 5 investigation found you could end up slapped with a federal lawsuit, paying thousands of dollars, for what you advertise.  Having the surf, the sand, so close to her Fort Pierce condo is a dream for Debra Vazzana. Vazzana decided to share her dream, renting her place when she’s away.  “In the 11 years I’ve had the condo, I’ve never ...
  • 1010 Central condo owners claim ‘defective’ construction, sue builder (FL) February 10, 2017 Condominium owners in downtown St. Petersburg are hopping mad over alleged “defective” construction of their complex, as well as a variety of building code violations.  The 1010 Central Condominium Association, a nonprofit corporation representing owners in the complex at 1010 Central Ave., are suing the project’s owners and general contractor for what they claim was failure to “employ good design engineering and construction practices.”    Read the article…………..
  • Sawgrass Players Club residents give greenlight to golf course proposal (FL) February 9, 2017 Sawgrass Players Club residents voted overwhelmingly Monday to amend the community’s covenants and approve a proposed development agreement with Oak Bridge Club owner Alta Mar Holdings, clearing the way for Alta Mar to sell 40 acres of the golf course for development.   In the final vote tally confirmed by Marsh Landing Management following the Feb. 6 meeting held at the Sawgrass Marriott, residents voted 991 in favor of an agreement reached between the Sawgrass Players Club Homeowners’ Association and ...
  • Florida Condominium and HOA Fining Laws are Slightly Different February 8, 2017 Question: There seems to have been a lot of change in the law about fining. Has the legislature finally made the condominium statute and the homeowners’ association statute the same on this issue?   Read the Q&A………….
  • Former property manager alleges wrongful termination by Silver Thatch Atlantic Plaza Condominium Association Inc. February 7, 2017 A Broward County woman formerly employed as property manager claims she was wrongfully terminated for reporting allegedly unlawful conduct.  Michele Gardner filed a complaint on Jan. 27 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida against Silver Thatch Atlantic Plaza Condominium Association Inc. citing the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Private Sector Whistleblower Act.   Read the article…………..
  • Gated residents sick of their view (FL) February 7, 2017 Residents of a residential community just outside the Interstate 75 interchange with Palm Beach Boulevard say they’re sick of passing a half-mile of trashy-looking fence as they drive to their haven behind the gates.  Several residents of Pine Ridge, located at the end of Orange River Boulevard, say that while the homeowners association in the 462-unit complex has spent upward of $100,000 over two years on beautification of their community, they have to drive past a rotting fence and debris-strewn ...
  • Citrus Co. condo owners still dealing with Hurricane damage (FL) February 7, 2017 Diane Reid’s condo is a mess.  “I go out to eat a lot,” she said.  So is Peter Fox’s.  “The most frustrating thing is waiting. It’s been 5 months since the flood,” he said.  Both are basically forced to stay on the second floor while they continue to wait for repairs at the Islands Condominium Complex in Crystal River.  166 units here have damage caused when Hurricane Hermine went by the Nature Coast in September.     Read the article………..
  • State fails to protect condo owners from board fraud, grand jury finds (FL) February 7, 2017 The Florida state agency that regulates condominium associations does not work to protect the tens of thousands who live in condos, resulting in extensive fraud, mismanagement and conflicts of interest among the boards and management companies that govern them, according to a Miami-Dade grand jury report issued Monday. “Unfortunately, the seems ill-suited to resolve, correct or prevent many of the recurring problems that have been brought to their attention,” the grand jury report ...
  • Caring for a neighborhood: The story of Lemon Tree (FL) February 5, 2017 A jetliner roars through the clouds, momentarily silencing the chirping birds outside Suzy Spivey’s quaint one-bedroom condo just south of downtown Orlando. She bought the home when she was in her mid-20s and became the talk of all her friends, able to afford a place of her own, overlooking a golf course and a lake.  A lot has changed in the past three decades.  The golf course was sold to developers. The lake has all but turned to muck. Roofs ...
  • State: Former West Palm condo board misspent more than $1 million February 4, 2017 State regulators say former board members of the 20-building Whitehall condos on Village Boulevard misspent more than $1 million of their association’s money on themselves and shifted hundreds of thousands of dollars from reserves to cover budget shortfalls without authorization from unit owners, violations so serious that investigators forwarded evidence to state prosecutors.  Lead Investigator Harry Hague of the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s Bureau of Compliance wrote the current board of Whitehall Condominiums of the Villages of ...
  • Rules, regulations don’t require state approval February 4, 2017 Question: At our recent condominium association meeting, the president informed us that all of our association rules, which had been approved by the members and had been in effect since November of 1997, were void because they had not been submitted to the state for approval. He repeated several times that we could tear up our rules and regulations book, and that we had no rules. Is this correct or legal?    Read the Q&A……………
  • Realtor gives tips on avoiding HOA nightmares (FL) February 2, 2017 The beauty of buying a home is a dream for many. It’s incredibly exciting when you finally sign on the dotted line.  Then you realize you have to tack on more fees from your homeowner’s association and possibly deal with oppressive HOA rules: your house isn’t the right color, or maybe your grass is one centimeter too high.  It could be horrible, but many think HOAs play an important role.     Read the article………….
  • Condo feud boils over as neighbors sic city on neighbors (FL) February 2, 2017 A feud among owners at Vantage View Condominiums could land a lot of unneighborly neighbors in hot water with the city.  Since September, the city has received almost 60 anonymous code complaints against individual unit owners accused of doing remodeling work without a permit. There are 174 units in the 40-year-old, 21-story structure at 2841 N. Ocean Blvd.    Read the article……………
  • Poinciana residents head to court (FL) February 2, 2017 Three Poinciana residents named in a lawsuit against their homeowner’s association will have their day in court Friday — they hope.  In the complaint, the third one the Polk County court asked to be drafted, residents Peter Jolly, Victor Destremps and Annette Brown are taking on the Association of Poinciana Villages (the HOA), AV Homes (the developer) and the Village One Association (a sub-organization that represents APV in a few neighborhoods).  Among the claims, they allege three Village One board ...
  • Debt collector pleads guilty to defrauding Lee, Collier HOAs (FL) February 1, 2017 A man pleaded guilty to communications fraud for his role in debt collection scam that took at least $56,000 from three homeowners’ associations in Lee and Collier counties.  Robert Dana Brown also owed more than $48,000 to another nine homeowners’ associations, the Florida Office of Financial Regulation said Wednesday. Brown was ordered to pay a cash restitution of more than $105,000.    Read the article………….
  • Inexperienced lawyer wins epic courtroom battle in Lake (FL) February 1, 2017 Three years ago, a Mount Dora attorney who has been a member of the Florida Bar for 35 years but never really practiced law got annoyed by the builder-controlled homeowner association at Sullivan Ranch, where she lives.  Sara MacKenzie thought that Centex Homes, owner of vacant lots in the subdivision south of State Road 46, should have been paying its share for those lots into required reserve funds — fees that today are estimated at $1 million. She sued.  And ...
  • Jupiter man accused of putting feces on HOA president’s car (FL) January 31, 2017 A Jupiter man was arrested Thursday after he allegedly left feces on a vehicle belonging to the president of a home owner’s association where both live, according to an arrest report.  Jupiter police said that Alexander Ankudinov, 60, was twice caught on surveillance video putting feces on the HOA president’s 2015 Dodge Charger.     Read the article………..
  • What’s best format for showing document changes? (FL) January 29, 2017 Q: Our condominium association is amending its governing documents. The board is not circulating a redlined document. There are too many changes to fully understand the differences. How can we determine the changes?    Read the Q&A…………..
  • Is the association obligated to pay taxes for leased units? January 28, 2017 Q: What is the potential liability to a condo association when it comes to the various taxes that come due from the income that members derive from leasing their respective condos? In other words, if the association is a bit lax in its lease approval process, could it be liable for the collection of such taxes in the event of a member not following through with respective tax collection and forwarding it to the respective tax agency?     Read the ...
  • Condo Q&A: Board election deadlines not flexible January 28, 2017 Q: My condominium association is in the process of preparing for our annual meeting. The 40-day deadline for owners to turn in their self-nominations was at the end of December. In the first week of January, a unit owner submitted their form. She told the board that she had been traveling for the holidays at the time of the deadline. The board has agreed to waive the 40-day deadline. Is this permissible?    Read the Q&A………….
  • Rental restrictions may not survive legal challenge January 28, 2017 Question: I live in a community governed by an HOA. We have more than 150 lots. Our declaration of covenants requires a two-thirds vote to amend, but the bylaws, due to a previous amendment, only require a majority vote.  The current board would like to implement a restriction on renting in the first two years of ownership by amending the bylaws, for the obvious reason that the bylaws are easier to amend. I believe that this is inappropriate, because the ...
  • Special assessments legal but must be publicized January 27, 2017 Q:  I bought a home in a gated community in 2009 and have been paying the maintenance dues annually since then. Last year, the board notified the residents that it now would be charging a road assessment fee of an additional $500 — $250 the first year and then $50 a year until paid in full. Is my association allowed to start making up fees six years after I bought the property?      Read the Q&A…………….
  • Cape Royal homeowners purchase Royal Tee Golf Course (FL) January 27, 2017 Cape Royal Homeowners Association closed last week on a purchase of the Royal Tee Golf Course that was shuttered by course ownership last August.  “Our No. 1 priority was to control the land so that another developer could come in and take over,” said Homeowners Association president Ed Harrington. “We didn’t want our home values to go down, so the association purchased equipment to cut the grass and do basic maintenance on it.”  The purchase includes the 225 acres on ...
  • Missed $150 HOA payment has family fighting for home (FL) January 26, 2017 A Riverview family could soon be kicked out of their home, all because they missed a $150 homeowners association payment.  “This is my life that I worked so hard for, and for them to just come in and take it,” says homeowner Luis Lopez.  10News told you how that $150 payment spiraled into thousands of dollars in fees and fines. Then, the Lopez’s HOA sold the family’s house out from under them at auction. They’ve been able to remain in ...
  • Jacksonville neighborhood’s anti-crime initiative shows thieves in the act (FL) January 26, 2017 One local neighborhood’s efforts to stop crime captured a car break-in as it happened.  A teenager appears to wave to a surveillance camera before he rummages through a car parked in a driveway. Three other teens can be seen keeping a lookout.   Read the article……………
  • Pace residents pushing to close entrance to development (FL) January 25, 2017 For two years, residents of a Pace development say they have been trying to get an entrance to their neighborhood closed.  Homeowners in the Cross Roads Homeowners Association will get a chance to make their case to close the Berryhill Road entrance to Stratford Lane before the Santa Rosa County Board of County Commissioners next month.  In October 2015, 76 of the 90 homeowners in the association signed a petition in support of closing the road, which has been used ...
  • Hearing Thursday in Universal’s lawsuit against county, Enclave (FL) January 25, 2017 A hearing is scheduled Thursday on Universal Studios Water Parks’ lawsuit against Orange County and The Enclave at Orlando Condominium Association.  Orange County says the hearing is on its motion to dismiss the case.  Universal filed the lawsuit in 2015. It aims to stop drainage of stormwater into Sandy Lake, behind Universal’s former Wet ’n Wild water park.    Read the article…………
  • Forty investors who bought rooms in Miami Beach’s Shelborne Hotel lose contentious lawsuit January 25, 2017 Five years after suing Miami Beach hotelier Keith Menin, their condo association and companies tied to developer Russell Galbut for allegedly authorizing nearly $30 million in illegal assessments to renovate and repair the Shelborne Hotel, 40 investors who bought rooms in the historic property have lost their battle.  Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Beatrice Butchko last Friday issued a final judgment in favor of the defendants Menin, Joan Brent, Justo Carlos Padron, Martin Wasserman, and the Shelborne Ocean Beach Hotel Condominium ...
  • Avalon Park residents upset over wild hogs (FL) January 24, 2017 Pat-Ann Gangasingh has had her fair share of run-ins with the wild hogs living in the reserve near her Avalon Park neighborhood. Not too long ago, they tore up her yard. Now it looks like they’re back again. Her neighbor just posted a photo of one on the Avalon Park Voice Facebook page.   “It’s just ridiculous to have these kinds of animals come out and tear up your property and you get nothing out of it,” Gangasingh said.  She ...
  • Condo Q&A: Board members should avoid contracting with their association January 22, 2017 Q: I own the company that provides landscaping services to the community where I live. The association recently sent out a notice soliciting self-nominations for the board of directors. I submitted my nomination, but the board has indicated that I am not eligible to run given the current contract between the association and my landscape company. Is this correct?    Read the Q&A…………………
  • Condo resident sues Palm Beach over code enforcement fines (FL) January 22, 2017 A Palm Beach resident has filed suit against the town alleging that code enforcement and police officers violated his privacy rights when they entered his condo without permission and fined him nearly $25,000.  The suit was filed Jan. 13 by an attorney on behalf of J. Ellis Parker in Palm Beach County Circuit Court.  The suit states that Parker, who owned two adjoining condos on Ibis Isle Road, was improperly charged $24,900 in fines.  According to the suit, the fines ...
  • How can a new owner be sure he received all documents? January 21, 2017 Q: My neighbor purchased his condominium unit and the seller gave him some, but not all of the condominium documents. The seller forgot to give him an amendment prohibiting pets and, unfortunately, my neighbor has a dog. How can a purchaser be sure he or she receives all condominium documents?    Read the Q&A…………..
  • Woman killed in Winter Springs condo fire (FL) January 20, 2017 Fire officials said the flames that tore through a Winter Springs condo unit spread very quickly.  Firefighters made the discovery of a woman’s body inside a burned condo unit. Neighbors said the victim was an elderly woman.  Seminole County Fire Department officials said the victim had medical issues and used an oxygen tank. They believe the tanks in the home may have aided the spread of the fire.     Read the article…………….
  • Man killed in Port St. Lucie condo fire (FL) January 19, 2017 A man in his 50s died overnight after a large fire at condominium in Port St. Lucie.  The St. Lucie County Fire District said the blaze occurred around 3:30 a.m. Thursday in the 1600 block of Green Acres Circle.    Read the article………….
  • Fairway Oaks residents finally get answers, but questions remain (FL) January 19, 2017 Residents of the Fairway Oaks neighborhood who have been fighting for years to get repairs to what they call “poorly built HabiJax homes” are finally seeing results, but one issue still remains.  For months, the News4Jax I-TEAM has been digging into reports that show the area in Northwest Jacksonville, in which HabiJax chose to build the 85 homes in 2000, is located near a landfill that may not have been lined in the 1950s.    Read the article…………….
  • Mother and son stole nearly $123,000 from Lakeland homeowners’ association (FL) January 18, 2017 Martha Beard, 60, and her son, Matthew Beard, 33, each face up to 30 years in prison on charges they stole an estimated $122,780 from their community’s homeowners’ association over an 11-year span.  Martha Beard pleaded guilty to grand theft of more than $100,000 and scheme to defraud, and her son pleaded no contest to the same two charges. By pleading no contest, Beard is not admitting guilt, but is not contesting the charges.  Since neither has a plea agreement, ...
  • Can board deny a request not prohibited in governing documents? January 18, 2017 Q: I want to paint my home to a modern shade of white and the homeowners association has denied my request, citing it would not be “harmonious” with surrounding homes. My proposed color is not prohibited in any document or standard adopted by the Board. Can they do this?   Read the article…………..
  • Florida bills target HOA election policies, disputes January 18, 2017 Poinciana residents who are in disagreement with their homeowners association are rooting for two Florida house bills that have just been filed.  Amanda Geltz has lived in Poinciana for more than a decade. She’s one of the many residents in a deadlock with the Association of Poinciana Villages, APV on leadership.  She is also in dispute with the management company, FirstService Residential, on how delinquent fees should be dealt with.    Read the article………….
  • “Stormwater is expensive. Get over it.” (FL) January 18, 2017 It’s time to face reality. That was Charlie Eck’s advice to beach residents who attended the second meeting of the Estero Island Taxpayers Association Tuesday night, Jan. 10.  EITA executive director Bev Milligan assembled a meeting to “demystify” stormwater and what it means, and Eck has some first-hand experience in it.  As a member of Bay Beach Condominium Association, Eck helped pay for the system which mitigates about 132 acres of runoff for the Estero Bay Improvement System, a private ...
  • Attorney advises communities on support animals (FL) January 17, 2017 Attorney Joshua Gerstin recently provided Alliance of Delray Residential Associations members with advice on medically necessary pets, making decisions through emails and governing documents, topics that community board of directors will face this year.  “A growing number of advocates feel community association pet restrictions should be illegal,” he said. “This is supported by federal and state agencies and federal and state courts being heavily in favor of removing pet restrictions. He cited the wording in the Federal Fair Housing Amendments ...
  • Homeowner Chided for Threatening WCA Board and Staff (FL) January 16, 2017 A Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Deputy attended the Jan. 12 meeting of the WCA Board after a resident, appealing a fine, threatened board members prior to the session.  Opening the meeting, Westchase Community Association (WCA) Directors unanimously appointed West Park Village residents Phil Rainaldi and Carlos Quiros as alternate members of the Modifications Committee.   Read the article………….
  • Condo Q & A: Websites not legally required for Associations January 15, 2017 Q: My condominium association has a website and does send out some information by e-mail. However, the manager will not post or e-mail draft meeting minutes until they are approved, as she has stated that doing so is prohibited by Florida law   Read the Q&A……………
  • Condominium Association Life: How can board implement electronic voting? January 15, 2017 Q. I am the president of my association. The board would like to increase voter participation at our annual election meeting. How do we implement electronic voting?    Read the Q&A…………….
  • Be True To Your Shul by “The Pool Praying” Continues At Deerfield Beach Condo Pool! January 14, 2017 In a bit right from the late great radio legend Nell Rogers. Rogers amongst many funny comedy routines and bits had a song ‘Be true to your Shul” he played frequently.Here in Deerfield Beach Century Village East a controversy about a shul at the pool continues.”Be True To Your Shul by The Pool Praying Continues At Berkshire Condo Pool!  As Deerfield-New,com had previously reported a shul of sorts has been holding services at the Berkshire Pool. A common area for ...
  • Quadriplegic resident may be entitled to bypass rules January 14, 2017 Question: My husband and I, and our 38-year-old quadriplegic daughter, live in a condominium single-family home park. For years, we have been bringing a cargo trailer with us to house our daughter’s medical equipment, as well as to store most of her incontinence products. Basically, we use it as an extra storage shed.  We have been parking our trailer behind our house for many years without complaint. However, last year a few people took it upon themselves to go around ...
  • What are pooled reserves and how do we implement them? January 14, 2017 Q: I am a new director on my condominium association board. At a recent board meeting, there was a discussion about switching to “pooled” reserves. What are pooled reserves and what does the association have to do to implement pooled reserves?   Read the Q&A…………..
  • Naples Police say distraction burglars are targeting condo residents (FL) January 11, 2017 “Their story was, they wanted to check to see if there was any sewage in our water system,” said 91-year-old Jack Thomas, who told Fox 4 that his wife let the burglars in while they posed as plumbers.  They said they had accidentally broken a nearby sewage pipe. Thomas said one of the men asked his wife to go room to room, turning on faucets.  “During which time, apparently, his accomplice came in, went to the bedroom, and removed a ...
  • Windermere Country Club owner files lawsuit against Orange County (FL) January 11, 2017 Unhappy with Orange County commissioners’ unanimous decision to deny him the development rights to a 155-acre plat on his property, the owner of the Windermere Country Club Golf Course is trying – again – to obtain the right to develop the property with 95 homes.  However, this time, he’s taking legal action with a lawsuit against Orange County.  But the Windermere Country Club Homeowner’s Association and nearby homeowners who oppose Bryan DeCunha’s desire to redevelop the course fought long and ...
  • Is vulture abatement right pick? (FL) January 11, 2017 The Greenfield Plantation Homeowners Association has hired the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services to control hundreds of vultures that roost within the community. The USDA cannot kill the migratory birds, so its goal is to get them to move. Its vulture abatement program offers three solutions, including shooting pyrotechnics at the birds as they prepare to land in the treetops where they roost. The idea is to scare them, keep them from landing and encourage ...
  • About Your Condo, HOA Rules January 9, 2017 Q. I live in a homeowners association (HOA) and I have two questions concerning me: (1) What is the board supposed to do when there is a surplus of funds at the end of the fiscal year and (2) Do I have a right to request a copy of the association’s receivable report, as there has been a large amount written off as bad debts?    Read the Q&A………………….
  • Condo Q&A: Some owner information is public record January 8, 2017 Q: I recently purchased a condominium unit. There is a board posted next to the elevator to my unit that contains the names of all unit owners and their unit numbers. Is the association authorized to do this?   Read the Q&A………………
  • Condominium Association Life: What are rules for closed meetings? January 8, 2017 Q: I am a director in a condominium and was recently asked to approve a contract that had been negotiated without my knowledge or without notice being given. The contract was for the general maintenance and management of the building.  I have searched the statutes (718 and 617) and can find only two cases where a director(s) can hold a closed meeting. One is where litigation is being discussed with an attorney, the other is where personnel matters are being ...
  • Associations should send out proxies every year January 7, 2017 Question: We are having an annual meeting soon and don’t need an election, and don’t have anything on the agenda for the owners to vote on. Do we still need to send out proxies?    Read the Q&A…………
  • Can I serve on the board if my name is not on the deed? January 7, 2017 Q: My wife and I took title to our condominium unit in my wife’s name for estate planning purposes based on our estate planning attorney’s advice. Now the board is telling me that I am not eligible to serve on the board because I am not on the deed. We have been married for 30 years. How am I not eligible to be on the board?    Read the Q&A………….
  • Harbour House condo owner feels bullied by her HOA (FL) January 5, 2017 The day after Christmas last year, Karen Durrett’s life changed when her dream home became a flooded mess.  “It’s been a nightmare,” Karen told ABC Action News anchor Wendy Ryan.  Karen came home from work to find a major flood in her condominium caused by work being done in her next door neighbor’s condominium by Alvarez Plumbing Company.  A pipe broke on December 26, 2015 causing Karen’s kitchen, living room and bedroom to be filled with water, producing mold and ...
  • Widow sues Westgate over last-standing condo fight (FL) January 4, 2017 The family of a widow who owns the last standing condo in a development owned by Westgate Resorts has sued the timeshare giant, the latest twist in a long-running saga over her small vacation home.  The family had no choice, said their lawyer Brent Siegel, who is not related to David Siegel, founder of the timeshare company based in Orlando.   Read the article………..
  • HOA worker charged with $94,000 theft from West Palm community (FL) January 4, 2017 The bookkeeper for a suburban West Palm Beach homeowners association has been arrested for allegedly using nearly $95,000 of the association’s money for personal expenses.  Kristine K. Moore, 36, of West Palm Beach, was charged Dec. 29 with larceny and fraud in the disappearance of $94,674 from the master homeowners association of Cypress Lakes, a 1,000-home, 55-plus community off Haverhill Road, just north of Century Village. She was released on $20,000 bond the next day.     Read the article……..
  • Owner sues over denial to develop Windermere golf course into 95 homes (FL) January 4, 2017 The owner of the Windermere Country Club has sued to overturn a county decision that thwarted his plan to turn the shuttered golf course into a 95-home neighborhood.  The challenge, filed last month in circuit court, asks for an order that would nullify a unanimous decision of the Orange County Commission.    Read the article…………..
  • Condo Terminations Expected to Rise as Developers Look to Older Buildings (FL) January 4, 2017 South Florida’s aging condominium stock, especially buildings sitting on oceanfront land, is ripe for glitzy redevelopment as developers push to expand a skyline where little to no prime, undeveloped land remains.  Real estate lawyers who specialize in condo terminations reported a busy 2016 season, despite the noted slowdown in the region’s luxury condo market. As undeveloped land becomes scarce, builders have turned to more creative measures: Redevelop aged buildings on underutilized sites, preferably near the water.     Read the article…………..
  • Sarasota senator wants state to bar short-term rental property restrictions (FL) January 4, 2017 City and county governments would no longer be able to stop homeowners from renting their homes for less than a month or even just a week, under legislation a Sarasota Republican has filed.  Read the article…………..
  • Can the HOA board force owner to clean garage door? January 1, 2017 Q: Our homeowner’s association governing documents provide that owners are responsible to maintain, repair and replace the garage doors. I received a letter from the HOA demanding that I pressure wash the door because it is dirty. In my opinion, it is not dirty and I had it cleaned six months ago. Can the Board force me to incur this unnecessary expense?       Read the Q&A…………
  • Each owner is responsible for complying with HOA covenants and rules December 31, 2016 Q:  I live in a housing for older persons HOA community. When I moved here three years ago, I hired a landscaper to expand my walkway and to enhance the beauty of my property. She never did disclose to me that I needed to present my plan for the new walkway to the HOA. Instead, she merely proceeded to complete the landscape design.  Read the Q&A………………
  • Secondhand Smoke on Condominium Lanai: What are my Rights? December 30, 2016 Question: I just read the question you answered in one of your prior columns about a man wanting to smoke cigars in the common area of his condominium complex. You said that “the ill-health effects of secondhand smoke are well established.” I live on the second floor of a two-story condominium building. When someone smokes on the lanai downstairs, the smoke comes up into my lanai. I don’t mind what anyone does in their own home. But when they smoke ...
  • Condo owners in Tampa’s The Slade At Channelside battle to keep it from going all rental (FL) December 29, 2016 Built in what could become one of Tampa Bay’s most dynamic neighborhoods, The Slade At Channelside condominiums boast an eclectic mix of unit owners.  But they are fighting what could be a losing battle to keep their homes.   Read the article…………..
  • Overnight condo fire sends 2 people to hospital (FL) December 29, 2016 An overnight apartment fire in suburban West Palm Beach sent two people to the hospital Thursday.  Neighbors said the fire occurred around 2 a.m. at the Abbey Park Gardens Condominium located just off of Forest Hill Boulevard.    Read the article………….
  • Golden Gate golf course where homes proposed will reopen for season (FL) December 28, 2016 The course has been closed since last spring, a few months after owner Robert Vocisano petitioned the county to change the course’s zoning to allow him to tear it out and build as many as 700 units of homes, apartments and assisted-living facilities……A nearby homeowners association also has sued the club, saying the owners’ deed requires them to keep the land as a golf course.  Course attorneys have said they won’t move forward with the zoning request until the lawsuit ...
  • Residents want massive hole fixed immediately (FL) December 28, 2016 Residents at Bonaire Village Condos in Delray Beach couldn’t believe their eyes when they saw the ground near the sidewalk suddenly give in.  “Out of nowhere it just dropped down about 10 feet,” said resident Ray Hoeppner.  Officials with the condo association hired a company to investigate what caused the hole in the ground. The company sent down a camera and found that the storm drain lines had been cut.   Read the article……………
  • Crane Creek residents forced to use ‘guest’ lane to get through security gate, lose resident access (FL) December 26, 2016 Some residents of one gated Martin County neighborhood are angry about losing a lane of access to their homes.  Crane Creek residents, will lose access to the resident’s only lane starting Tuesday. They will have to use the guest lane.  Crane Creek is a community inside Martin Downs.    Read the article……………
  • Condo Q&A: Lightning damage to air conditioner covered December 25, 2016 Q: Recently, the outdoor air conditioning unit servicing my condominium unit was struck by lightning. I turned the claim into my insurance policy. My insurance carrier denied the claim stating that it does not insure the air conditioning unit, and that the air conditioning unit is supposed to be insured by the condominium association under Florida law. Is this correct?     Read the Q&A…………
  • How binding are online surveys for feedback? December 25, 2016 Q: Our board of directors is trying to improve on its use of technology. The bBoard recently circulated an online survey to ask whether the membership approved of certain changes to the common elements, including the lobby and the monument sign. The board recently emailed the condominium owners the survey was so successful that it sufficed for membership approval to make the changes. Is this lawful?     Read the Q&A………….
  • Who is responsible for enforcing rule violations? December 24, 2016 Q: A column a few weeks ago stated that a board cannot refuse to enforce rules. I have asked our property manager why the board or someone they assign does not routinely walk around the community to make sure a variety of rules are followed. The property manager informed me that it is not the job of the board to do these so-called walk-arounds as they are not being paid to do it.    Read the Q&A………….
  • Condo board can change rules without amending covenants December 24, 2016 Question: I read your recent column, which answered a question about whether a board can implement rules and regulations without resident consent. My question is similar: our covenants state that owners can have two pets, either one dog and one cat, or two dogs, or two cats. Now, our board has added a rule that pet size is limited to 30 pounds . each. Can this change take effect without amending the covenants?    Read the Q&A…………..
  • Sarasota condo owner threatened with eviction December 24, 2016 Q: I live in Sarasota and have owned my condo since 2003. I’ve had quite a number of issues with the manager of the building. The manager is telling me that they can evict me if they want to. Is this possible? I really need legal help.   Read the Q&A…………..
  • Can HOA use minimum credit score to weed out potential buyers? December 23, 2016 Q: I am trying to sell my house and just found out that our homeowners’ association will not approve a buyer who doesn’t have a credit score of at least 750. Is this legal? –  Read the Q&A……………
  • Golf course owners, HOA committee reach proposed agreement (FL) December 22, 2016 Forty acres of The Oak Bridge Club golf course would be sold in exchange for a deed restriction that would guarantee the remaining golf course stays undeveloped for recreational purposes until 2057 under terms of a proposed agreement reached between the club’s owners and an ad hoc committee representing Sawgrass Players Club residents.   Read the article…………..
  • Palm Beach condo evacuated for cooking fire (FL) December 21, 2016 Residents of the Patrician of Palm Beach condominium on the South End were evacuated briefly Wednesday evening after a small cooking fire broke out.   Read the article………….
  • Fight over La Gorce Palace’s rooftop terrace incites allegations of fraud (FL) December 20, 2016 The rooftop terrace of Miami Beach’s La Gorce Palace condominium is at the center of a nasty dispute between the owners of a penthouse and the building’s condo association involving allegations of false misrepresentation by both sides. The salacious accusations are documented in two separate lawsuits recently filed in Miami-Dade Circuit Court.  On Nov. 21, the La Gorce Palace Condominium Association sued husband and wife Basim and Sahar Sabri, seeking an injunction to force them to sell and move out ...
  • Troubled Tampa-based LM Funding faces class action lawsuit (FL) December 20, 2016 In what could be a major blow, a judge has ruled that dozens of condominium associations can collectively sue an already troubled Tampa debt collection company.  Miami-Dade Circuit Judge John H. Thornon recently certified a class action lawsuit that accuses LM Funding of deceptive trade practices and charging illegally high interest rates.   Read the article……………
  • Solar Panel Showdown (FL) December 20, 2016 A showdown over solar panels in a South Florida community. One man says he was trying to save money, but says his homeowner’s association gave him a hard time. So he called Help Me Howard With Patrick Fraser.    Read the article………..
  • 1 hospitalized after fire at Blind Pass condos (FL) December 18, 2016 Sanibel Fire Chief Matthew Scott told us that only one unit in the complex caught fire and it took them 20 minutes to tackle.  Lee County EMS said they attribute the extinguishing time to pre-planning and that the firefighters often train on that type of structure because of how closed it is.    Read the article………..
  • What are boards supposed to do with surplus funds? December 18, 2016 Q: I live in a homeowners’ association, and I have two questions concerning me: (1) what is the Board supposed to do when there is a surplus of funds at the end of the fiscal year; and (2) Do I have a right to request a copy of the Association’s receivable report from the Association, as there has been a large amount written off as bad debts?   Read the Q&A…………..
  • Condo Q&A: Smoking neighbor plagues condo December 17, 2016 Q: One of our condominium residents smokes on their lanai. The secondhand smoke prevents other residents from opening their windows or using their lanais. What options does the association have to prohibit smoking in the building?    Read the Q&A………….
  • Am I grandfathered in from new rental restrictions? (FL) December 17, 2016 Q: My condominium has always allowed units to be rented for a minimum period of 14 days. I only use my unit a few times a year and rent it when I am not in residence. I usually rent to 10 or more different groups in a given year, always obeying the existing 14-day minimum. I make a considerable amount of rental income during the high season. I just received notice that my condominium association is proposing a rental regulation ...
  • Condo board taking too long to fix cluster mailboxes December 15, 2016 Q:  I live in a condominium, and our cluster mailboxes have been broken since August. I have to go to the local post office to get my mail, as do all of the other residents, and sometimes I wait in a 30-minute line. Our association says it’s working on it, but it has been several months. Is this legal to deny residents from getting personal mail where they live? Why doesn’t the post office deliver door to door until this ...
  • Local family refuses to pull plug on holiday lights (FL) December 15, 2016 With just days left until Christmas, a local family has found themselves in the middle of a holiday light fight.  They’re vowing to keep the cheer bright in front of their Debary home despite a recent warning from their new Homeowner’s Association that challenged their decorative display.    Read the article…………
  • Miami Beach wants to know if you’re renting your condo on Airbnb (FL) December 15, 2016 The city of Miami Beach wants to know if you plan to rent your condo on Airbnb and other short-term rental platforms.  City law permits short-term rentals only in certain areas of the Beach. Neighbors blame Airbnb and its competitors for noisy parties thrown by guests. The powerful hotel industry says the services are unfair competition because hosts don’t pay local resort taxes.     Read the article…………
  • Citrus Springs HOA Board Members Brawl During Christmas Party (FL) December 15, 2016 Indian River County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a disturbance at Citrus Springs in Vero Beach about a fight between HOA board members during the community’s Christmas Party.  Deputies met with Chris Goodwin who said he was involved in a dispute with Thomas Deblase at the party. Goodwin advised that he and Deblase are on the board for the homeowners association in Citrus Springs.    Read the article…………
  • A Comcastic odyssey: $2,000 billing error becomes bureaucratic nightmare (FL) December 12, 2016 Even under the best of circumstances, trying to get a refund from a cable company can be a trying ordeal. But when a small condo association in Florida was inadvertently billed $2,000 by Comcast, an obvious mistake that should have been solved with a quick refund became a months-long bureaucratic nightmare.  The Riggs Landing Condo Association, a nine-unit development in Sarasota, Florida, had been paying for TV service since 1990 under a series of bulk contracts with Comcast and predecessor ...
  • Tampa woman’s carbon monoxide detector saves neighbors’ lives (FL) December 12, 2016 Christina Huff had never paid much attention to the carbon monoxide detectors her mother bought for her new condo until the beeping wouldn’t stop early Thursday morning.   Read the article…………….
  • Common property alteration rules different in condos and HOA’s December 10, 2016 Q: I recently moved from a condominium to a single family home with an association that takes care of common areas. I know that the condominium statute requires membership approval of certain “material alteration or substantial additions” to the property. At the last meeting of the board for my new association, they discussed substantial upgrades to our entry area. Can the board approve this change or is a membership vote required?   Read the Q&A…………..
  • Can the board replace a director who’s not participating? December 10, 2016 Q: We have a director on our board who does not come to meetings and ignores all emails. He still owns his unit but has essentially walked away from the board. Can we appoint someone else to fill his position?   Read the Q&A…………..
  • “Super nice guy” accused of HOA fraud (FL) December 9, 2016 Herons Glen’s problem was discovered early in the summer and a special meeting of the Herons Glen Recreation District was held on July 6. According to the minutes, “some financial discrepancies were found and based on those findings, Josh Hall decided to resign the position of General Manager…District Counsel (Tom) Hart has a letter from Mr. Hall admitting his guilt in defrauding the District of funds. At this time, the total amount of the fraud is not known, but it ...
  • Disney World-area condo units evacuated due to possible sinkhole (FL) December 9, 2016 According to Osceola County Fire Rescue a condominium complex near Disney World had to be evacuated Friday due to a possible sinkhole.  No injuries have been reported. The complex is located on Calypso Court in Davenport.    Read the article…………..
  • Crews battle structure fire in Fort Myers condo community (FL) December 9, 2016 Numerous fire crews responded to a condo fire in the Provincetown community of Fort Myers.  Read the article………….
  • Florida Condominium and HOA Directors Can Usually Serve on Committees December 8, 2016 Question: Can a board member also be a member of a committee, such as the fining committee or the landscape committee?     Read the Q&A……………
  • Miami Beach hotel condo association files Chapter 11, operator vows to reopen December 8, 2016 The condominium association for the Sixty Sixty Resort in Miami Beach filed Chapter 11 reorganization in U.S. Bankruptcy Court on Dec. 5 amid a dispute between many of the condo hotel unit owners and the company that owns and operates the hotel.     Read the article………….
  • Eaglebrooke golf club sale is on track despite some opposition (FL) December 8, 2016 The Golden Lakes Community Development District (CDD) has signed an agreement to purchase The Club at Eaglebrooke, but the transaction is not yet a done deal and some residents oppose the potential acquisition.  The CDD – which provides infrastructural services such as common area landscaping, security and road upkeep for Eaglebrooke – is more than two-thirds of the way through a 90-day due diligence and inspection period for the sale, according to the district chairman, Rich Weaver.    Read the ...
  • Privacy prompts Riva Trace decision (FL) December 7, 2016 Riva Trace resident Barry Cox captured the picture that tells a thousand words.  On his cell phone, Cox has a photo of a moving truck traveling through the gate adjacent to his house, where Meeting Street and San Miguel Cove connect.  Those who live in Riva Trace know thousands of words have been used to argue the necessity of an emergency vehicle access gate to their community, located at that point. While the gate is supposed to be for first ...
  • Remove Our Lady of Charity Statue (FL) December 6, 2016 Our Lady of Charity is the patron saint of Cuba, a saint a little girl prayed to so her mother could be released from Fidel Castro’s prison. Now a South Florida homeowner’s association is forcing her to remove the statue from her yard. Can they do that? It’s why she called Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.    Read the article…………….
  • Directors can usually serve on committees December 4, 2016 Q: Can a board member also be a member of a committee, such as the fining committee or the landscape committee?   Read the Q&A……………
  • Need more time for vote? Consider adjournment December 4, 2016 Q: Our condominium documents require the approval of two-thirds of all owners to amend the documents. Our association has spent a lot of time and money preparing new documents for approval. Our meeting is fast approaching and almost all of the votes are in favor of the new documents, but there are just not enough votes. What can we do?      Read the Q&A………….
  • HOA can’t ban solar panels December 1, 2016 Q: I live in a community with a homeowner’s association and want to put some solar panels on my roof to be more energy-efficient. Our board members aren’t letting me because they say it would violate the rules about how our community is supposed to look. Can they stop me from doing this?    Read the Q&A…………….
  • Developer in prison, but Clearwater condo owners still paying the price (FL) December 1, 2016 When Wayne Chase retired from his nuclear plant job in 2012 and bought a waterfront condo overlooking Tampa Bay, he knew he’d pay the typical fees that come with gated community living.  But when he got his tax bill that year for his two-bedroom unit in Grand Venezia off U.S. 19 and Belleair Road, he was surprised to see $1,600 in assessments on top of the $1,000 in property taxes.  It wasn’t until he started asking neighbors that he discovered ...
  • Rep. Gwen Graham denounces hate crimes; volunteers respond to Killearn Lakes incident (FL) December 1, 2016 U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham Wednesday urged the country to speak out against the occurrences of racial, gender and religious intimidation that has been reported across the country.  Speaking on the House floor, Graham referred to a Tallahassee Democrat report Monday about vandalism at the Killearn Lakes Homeowners Association office.   Read the article………….
  • Homeowners lose 18-year battle for Naples Estates (FL) November 30, 2016 The homeowners association of Naples Estates has lost its 18-year battle to buy their mobile home park.  The Second District Court of Appeals has upheld a decision from a lower court to toss out the case — the longest ongoing case in Collier County — because the homeowners missed their October 2015 deadline to close on the 75-acre property in East Naples.  It’s unclear if the homeowners association, which has pursued the park since 1998, will further appeal the case. ...
  • One month later, Palm Cove residents still unsure of future (FL) November 29, 2016 More than a month after the Palm Cove of Bradenton Condominium Association was terminated, residents who bought what they thought would be their forever retirement homes are still uncertain of where they will end up.  “We don’t know when we have to be out,” said Robert Blakesly, 65, who owns a condo at Palm Cove with his wife, Brenda, 53. “That’s one of those unknown things that’s really eating at us.”   Read the article…………….
  • Fire rips through College Park condos (FL) November 29, 2016 More than a dozen people were forced from their homes when a fire broke out at a condo complex in College Park.    Read the article………….
  • “KKK” vandalism on Killearn Lakes office prompts investigation November 28, 2016 Killearn Lakes Plantation resident Jeff Caster first heard Friday of vandals using paint to smear the front entrance of the building housing the association.  Then, on Sunday, he received a shocking photo showing “KKK” scrawled on the side entrance of the same building. He decided to drive to the Killearn Lakes Homeowners Association Office on Beech Ridge Trail to see for himself.     Read the article……………
  • Man Concerned About Parking Citation Issued by HOA (FL) November 28, 2016 Southport man is concerned about a parking ticket he found on his vehicle during a recent visit to South Walton.  “When you look at the wording, they try to word it in a way to make it look like it was issues by the Walton County Sheriff’s Office,” said Brandon Waldrip. “And, in fact it wasn’t.”  Waldrip said there were no signs warning him public parking was not allowed on Grayton Street in Seaside. He said it’s not the cost ...
  • Condominium Association Life: Response required if issue already addressed? (FL) November 27, 2016 Q: I am on the board of directors for a homeowners association. We received a certified letter from an owner demanding an answer to a very long and complicated question that we have discussed time and time again at board meetings. Do we have to respond?     Read the Q&A……………
  • How can we get a detailed financial report at board meetings? November 26, 2016 Q: The board of directors in my homeowners association (HOA) meets every month and provides a cursory financial report with little detail. We have requested the treasurer and board provide more information, but the board responds that we can get the detail at the property management office. Does Florida law provide any redress?   Read the Q&A………….
  • Conservative approach best when it comes to association’s funds November 26, 2016 Q: I am a member of my condominium association’s board of directors. Recently, we were discussing how the association’s reserve funds should be invested. Historically, we have kept the association reserve funds in savings accounts and CDs, which are fully insured. However, the returns on these accounts have been minimal. Certain members of the association are insisting that the association diversify how the reserve funds are invested, including investing in the stock market. Is this appropriate for a condominium association? ...
  • Cape HOA pays extra after company fails to pay bill (FL) November 26, 2016 An ongoing Call for Action investigation has found another person claiming Goldy Krekic of Cape Coral-based Croat Pavers did not follow through on a job.  Jerry Dout, president of the Rubicon Condo Association in Cape Coral, recently reached out to WINK News after his condo association received a lien for a job he thought he fully paid for.  Dout said he paid Krekic $7,410 in July to put in new pavers around the association’s pool.  But in September, Dout said ...
  • Every director has the right to vote at board meetings November 22, 2016 Question: Which board members have the voting authority in a condominium association?    Read the Q&A………..
  • Can HOA ban campaigning or campaign signs? (FL) November 22, 2016 Q: Our homeowner’s association has a rule prohibiting soliciting. When candidates tried to campaign in our community for the recent elections, they were told they were not allowed to do so. Doesn’t free speech trump (pardon the pun) this HOA rule, or is it also considered soliciting? On the same subject, can our association ban me from placing a sign for my candidate on my lawn?   Read the article…………
  • Tenant sues association over high fees (FL) November 21, 2016 A tenant is suing a Miami condo association over its excessive application and move-in fees, saying they violate state law.  The lawsuit is the first of several class-actions that attorneys say they plan to file against condo associations over high fees. In June, the Miami Herald reported that condo boards routinely charge consumers hundreds of dollars more than state law allows. Florida statute caps the amount condos can charge to apply and move in at $100 per person.    Read ...
  • Difference between electronic voting and electronic notice November 19, 2016 Q: The board of directors of my homeowners’ association recently adopted a rule allowing owners to vote through use of an internet site. I signed a form saying that I wanted to vote on the internet. The board then decided to use electronic voting for our recent annual meeting. I did not get a notice package for the meeting mailed to me and missed my chance to vote. It was apparently sent to me by e-mail, but I do not ...
  • Are social event expenses a proper expense? November 19, 2016 Q: My condominium association holds an annual holiday party at a nearby restaurant. The association pays for everything, including the banquet hall, food and refreshments, by using common funds. Is this a proper common expense?    Read the Q&A…………..
  • Ritz-Carlton Sunny Isles largely wins in appellate ruling: views preserved (FL) November 18, 2016 In a case pitting the Tropicana Condominium Association against the developers of the Ritz-Carlton Residences in Sunny Isles Beach, an appellate court largely sided with the developers.  The court ruled to limit the reach of a state law that allows owners of 10 percent of the units at a condominium to block termination of the building’s condo ownership and a subsequent sale of the entire property.  The Third District Court of Appeals upheld most of a lower court ruling against ...
  • Menorah-lighting ceremony back on after disagreement with PSL Tradition community (FL) November 18, 2016 A large private homeowner’s association changed its holiday Hanukah menorah-lighting cancellation.  Now Tradition property managers will allow a menorah lighting to continue after coming to a compromise with local rabbis.  Protests from those all over our area showed up on social media, with many claiming the move to cancel the menorah-lighting was discriminatory action, albeit on private property.    Read the article…………………..
  • Polk Co. HOA asks parents to keep kids quiet outside (FL) November 17, 2016 Neighbors in Poinciana say they feel unfairly targeted by a letter asking parents to keep their children’s noise to a minimum while they play outside during the day.  The Tuscany Preserve homeowner’s association posted the letter on select homes inside the gated subdivision. The letter says complaints have come in saying the kids are “extremely noisy” and that “noise should be kept to a minimum” so that other neighbors can take naps during the day.    Read the article…………..
  • Is one of Tampa Bay’s premier condo towers sinking? (FL) November 17, 2016 The Plaza condo association is embroiled in a lawsuit alleging that the 20-story, 144-unit tower built in 2007 is plagued with problems. Among them: exterior cracking that is the result of “significant subsidence concerns and structural design deficiencies.”  Geotechnical investigations found “very loose and very soft bay bottom soils” under the first-floor commercial units, according to the suit filed in Hillsborough County Circuit Court. “These soils are completely unsuitable to support the foundation and, as a result, the soils have ...
  • Mold, Leaks, and Structural Problems Plague Homes in Disney-Built Town of Celebration, Florida November 16, 2016 It doesn’t look like there’s much to celebrate, in Celebration, Florida.  The Walt Disney Co.–built town, which opened in 1996 and sits in an 11-square-mile enclave near the Magic Kingdom, was designed to be a modern-day suburban Utopia. But a new report in The Wall Street Journal paints a picture far less colorful.  Condominium owners there tell the paper that 20 years after its opening, their properties in Celebration are plagued with problems, including leaky roofs, moldy walls, and balconies ...
  • PBSO employee and husband accused of fraud, grand theft from HOA (FL) November 16, 2016 A husband and wife from Lake Worth, who are former leaders of the Lantana Homes Homeowner’s Association, are accused of using HOA money for their personal bills.  The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office arrested Darlene Jeannette Cox and her husband William Cox.  Both are facing charges of organized scheme to defraud of $50,000 and grand theft over $100,000.  Witnesses told investigators Darlene Cox worked as the treasurer of the Lantana Homes HOA. William Cox worked as its president for over ...
  • Ask an expert: About your condo, HOA rules November 15, 2016 Q: I have heard a lot of different opinions on whether my condominium association must opt out of the requirement to retro fit a condominium building with a fire sprinkler system by Dec. 31. Can you please explain this issue?   Read the Q&A…………
  • Fiercely Fought Condo Fight Postponed Until Next Spring November 15, 2016 Homeowners who have fiercely fought against developers building a two-tower condominium project on a private island in Aventura must now wait until April to have their case heard in court.  Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Jerald Bagley agreed to delay a trial that was scheduled to begin this week, noting there were overlapping factual issues among claims filed against the developer and the city of Aventura.    Read the article…………..
  • President of HOA in old ‘Morse neighborhood’ would like to transfer road deed back to The Villages (FL) November 13, 2016 The Amenity Authority Committee has been asked by the Homeowners Association of Hickory Head Hammock that ownership of a road deeded to the homeowners be transferred back to The Villages.  According to Paul Schraff, the resident appointed as president of the Homeowners Association of Hickory Head Hammock for this year, Hickory Head Hammock “was originally the home of the Morse family” and was built in the 1980s when it was surrounded by ” undeveloped land.”    Read the article………….
  • Joe Adams: Condo board must act on petition November 13, 2016 Q: I am the president of my homeowners’ association and recently the board voted to proceed with a construction project within the community. Shortly after the vote, the association received a petition signed by a number of owners asking the board to reconsider the issue. Since the board has already discussed and voted on this issue, the board would prefer not to do so again. Does this petition mean the board must consider the issue again and change its decision? ...
  • How much can an association charge for an application? (FL) November 12, 2016 Q: I have an investment condominium and the new management company charges $200 for an application. I thought $100 was the max allowable? Any info is appreciated thank you.   Read the Q&A………….
  • Ask a Real Estate Pro: HOA can’t ban firearms in homes (FL) November 11, 2016 Q: Some of the board members in our community are considering a rule that no firearms can be kept anywhere on the grounds, including in our own homes. Can they do this?    Read the Q&A…………..
  • Miami Beach puts off new rules for Airbnb rentals until December (FL) November 10, 2016 If a property is within the zones where short-term rentals are allowed, owners would be required to submit a sworn affidavit to the city that the home or condo has obtained the appropriate business tax receipt and resort tax registration certificate. If the property is located in a condo, an owner would have to provide proof the condo associations allow transient short-term rentals. Unit owners in an apartment-hotel or condo-hotel not affiliated with a primary hotel operator would have to ...
  • Joe Adams: Condo directors must stand for reelection November 10, 2016 Q: The annual meeting for our condominium association is scheduled for the end of November. Directors serve two-year staggered terms. We have a five-person board and three seats are up for election this year. Only one notice of intent was submitted 45 days in advance of the date of the annual meeting. Will two of the three Directors whose terms are to end at the annual meeting be automatically reelected to the board?     Read the Q&A…………
  • Arson suspected overnight at troubled Tymberskan condos (FL) November 10, 2016 Firefighters spent several hours Thursday morning fighting a blaze at a condo in the embattled Tymberskan community and officials said they believe it may have been set on purpose.  Emergency personnel responded to the fire at about 3 a.m. and found three attached condos burning.     Read the article………….
  • Bonita Springs mother evicted despite paying full rent (FL) November 9, 2016 Confusion over the ownership of a Bonita Springs condo led to the sudden eviction of the mother who had just given birth to premature twins.  Michelle Turner said U.S. marshals knocked on her door without warning to serve her an eviction notice. She had no clue that the owner of her home at The Tides at Pelican Landing had forfeited it to the federal government as part of an agreement in a health care fraud case.    Read the article…………..
  • North Carillon Beach condo association files new suit against Z Capital Partners November 8, 2016 The North Carillon Beach Condominium Association has filed a new lawsuit against the building’s owner Z Capital Partners for alleged fraud and mismanagement, following the federal bankruptcy court in New York’s decision to reopen the project’s Chapter 11 case.  The suit is the latest in ongoing litigation against Z Capital Partners by the project’s condo associations, seeking more than $100 million in damages.     Read the article…………..
  • Osceola County works to improve troubled condo complex (FL) November 8, 2016 Osceola County is taking steps to improve a troubled condo complex.  The county has ordered the owners of Lexin to attend a Code Enforcement and Nuisance abatement board meeting to explain what immediate improvements they’ll be making.  “It was about time. About time the county has gotten involved,” said resident Frank Cooper.  Eyewitness News first began reporting on the problems at the condo complex in Celebration in February.  Cooper told Channel 9’s Cierra Putman in August that he’s living in ...
  • Condominium Association Life: When should notices be mailed instead of sent digitally? November 6, 2016 Q: Under what circumstances are owners entitled to receive regular mail notices, and is the association allowed to save postage expenses by emailing the notice to these owners?    Read the Q&A……………
  • Ex-official who stole from Tamarac homeowners association gets prison sentence (FL) November 4, 2016 A former homeowners association president in Tamarac has been sentenced to prison for embezzling more than $180,000 from her community.  Court records show that Michelle Changar-Coe, 46, changed her plea to guilty on a grand theft charge and was sentenced to five years in prison followed by 15 years of probation. She also was ordered to pay $192,416 in restitution during a court hearing Tuesday.      Read the article…………….
  • Hammocks Community Association Employees Charged In Thefts (FL) November 4, 2016 Hammocks Community Association (HCA) employee Angie Rose Lantigua and former employee Leslie Navarro have both been charged after an investigation revealed that they had diverted $148,050.17 of HCA funds into accounts that they personally controlled. Angie Rose Lantigua was employed by HCA as the Accounts Receivable clerk between 2010 and late 2015. Leslie Navarro was employed as the Accounts Payable Clerk by HCA between 2008 and late 2015.   Read the article…………..
  • Jade Beach condo association sues Fortune over damages from Jade Signature (FL) November 2, 2016 Gil Dezer isn’t the only Sunny Isles Beach developer having a hard time getting along with his neighbors.  Fortune International Group was just sued by the condo association for Jade Beach, a tower it built in 2008, over alleged construction damages from the developer’s latest tower next door, Jade Signature.  According to the suit, Jade Signature’s development team never installed protective netting as the 57-story tower rose out of the ground at 16901 Collins Avenue, directly to the south of ...
  • Beach condo owners prepare tax lawsuits (FL) November 1, 2016 Hundreds of Pensacola Beach condominium owners plan to file tax lawsuits against the county before the end of November.  In the lawsuits, the condominium owners will challenge a decision by Escambia County Property Appraiser Chris Jones not to apply a recent court ruling involving taxes on leased beach land to condominiums.  “The real question is why are condominium associations being treated differently than other taxpayers on the beach,” said Ed Fleming, an attorney representing at least 15 beach condominium associations. ...
  • Condominium Association Life: Who is responsible for clogged drain lane? October 30, 2016 Q: I live in a coach home where two units share a common wall and the air condensate drain line is inside the common wall. When it clogs, my unit sustains water damage. When there is a common wall situation, who maintains the line?   Read the Q&A……………
  • Balcony grills still a burning issue (FL) October 30, 2016 Q: In your February 10, 2016 blog post, you stated that electric grills are no longer permitted to be used or stored on condominium balconies. I consulted with our local fire marshal who issued a letter that says that only gas and charcoal grills are prohibited. Which is correct?    Read the Q&A…………………..
  • What does it mean when reserves are fully funded? October 29, 2016 Q: Our condominium board is adopting a budget next month and they claim reserves are fully funded, but there is clearly not enough funds in some of the categories to replace the component. What does “fully funded” mean?      Read the Q&A…………..
  • South Beach Condo Association Sues Miami Beach Over Ocean Drive “Strip Club” October 28, 2016 This summer, when rumors began to spread that a new King of Diamonds strip club would open on South Beach’s Ocean Drive, rapper Akinyele Adams fought back hard.  The former KOD owner insisted his new venture — which the current KOD proprietors say has nothing to do with their establishment — was nothing more than a sexy soul-food restaurant with “the beautifulest bartenders, the beautifulest waitresses.”  But his upstairs neighbors at the Netherland weren’t buying it, pointing to promotional videos ...
  • National homebuilder loses $16M judgment to condo association October 26, 2016 National homebuilder D.R. Horton lost a $16.3 million judgment in U.S. Bankruptcy Court after a judge found that it engaged in “deceptive practices” that left a condominium association in poor financial condition.     Read the article…………..
  • ‘Condo crime family’ pleads guilty to felonies Trio must surrender HOA-management licenses (FL) October 25, 2016 After nearly 20 years and more than 30 complaints to the state with allegations ranging from rigging elections to stealing funds, the so-called “condo crime family” has finally been stopped.  Married couple Robert and Rachel Dugger, and daughter Rachel Badilla, pleaded guilty Tuesday morning in Miami-Dade court to conspiracy to commit grand theft, with Badilla also pleading guilty to grand theft from the Kennedy House condo in North Bay Village.     Read the article…………….
  • Losing ‘resident’ access through security gate (FL) October 25, 2016 Some residents of one gated Martin County neighborhood are angry about losing a lane of access to their homes.  Crane Creek residents, will lose access to the resident’s only lane starting Tuesday. They will have to use the guest lane.  Crane Creek is a community inside Martin Downs.  They worry this is more than an inconvenience. Some are concerned that it is illegal and a safety hazard.  Flashing signs greeted Crane Creek residents Monday warning them that on Tuesday, the ...
  • $10.1 Million Settlement in Negligent Security Case Involving Father Paralyzed in Shooting (FL) October 24, 2016 The homeowners association, property manager, and other related entities at a Miami townhome community have agreed to pay more than $10 million dollars to 22-year-old Bryan Perez and his infant son to settle a negligent security lawsuit.  On August 18th 2014, in an attempted armed home invasion robbery, Perez was shot 6 times in his family’s rental unit at the Carmel Lakes townhome community, which is located at 20761 NE 4th Place Miami, Florida 33179. As a result of the ...
  • Fire sprinkler law causing confusion October 23, 2016 Q: Do you have any updates regarding the fire sprinkler requirements and whether condominium associations should vote to opt out of them?   Read the Q&A………….
  • Community Association life: What can be considered ‘nuisance’ violation? October 23, 2016 Q: My neighbor is being pursued by our board for a seemingly benign or conjured violation which could result in a fine being levied. Our condominium documents have a “boiler plate,” catchall nuisance provision. Can an open-ended “nuisance” provision be used to manufacture a so-called violation?       Read the Q&A……………
  • Is the board required to obtain bids for new contracts? October 22, 2016 Q: Our homeowners association (HOA) is adopting its budget in a few weeks and there is chatter that the board will be changing accounting firms, but there is no indication that the board has obtained bids and the accounting budget has increased from last year. Shouldn’t this be done at an open meeting?    Read the Q&A…………..
  • Electricity shut off at troubled Kissimmee condo-motel (FL) October 20, 2016 The poor conditions at the Heritage Park Inn have been plaguing residents for months.  The power was cut off Wednesday and was still out Thursday afternoon.  Residents also got a notice their water would be shut off Thursday, so the owners made a last-minute payment, but the full balance has to be paid by Monday.     Read the article…………
  • Don’t lose your home over small dispute with HOA October 20, 2016 Q: Recently I got a letter from my homeowner’s association stating that I owe money that I know I paid. My management company is not the easiest to deal with. What specifically do I need to do to clear this up?     Read the Q&A………….
  • Right to see association employee wages ambiguous October 20, 2016 Q: Do I have the right to know the compensation package of employees of my homeowners’ association?    Read the article………….
  • Flo Rida, homeowners association clash in Broward October 19, 2016 In his latest hit “My House,” hip-hop superstar Flo Rida invites a proverbial babe to “take control.”  Some folks want to take control of Flo’s $1.76 million Broward County house, all right.  The homeowners association where Flo’s Southwest Ranches crib is located, Island at Spring Valley, has placed a lien on the mansion for nonpayment of monthly maintenance fees.  And just two months ago, the town’s administration fined Flo for a code violation.      Read the article…………..
  • Building a Flagpole Antenna in an HOA October 19, 2016 Many homeowner associations (HOAs) frown on ham radio antennas. So dedicated hams are forced to get creative, often turning landmarks into operable antennas.  John did just that, and shared his project with us this week.  John lives in The Villages, Florida, where more than 350 other hams reside, and 227 are members of the K4VRC ham radio club. He recently completed a custom-built antenna/flagpole project with the help of DX Engineering, and mailed us the following pictures and descriptions of ...
  • Palm Cove condo owners in legal battle to stay in their homes (FL) October 19, 2016 Some Manatee County condo owners are now facing eviction, as an investment group tries to turn their units into apartments.  The Harvey family is one of about 30 condo owners now at the center of a legal battle to stay in their units…..According to condo association documents, The Riley Family Trust — a Minnesota-based company belonging to Siesta Key residents James and Johnathan Riley — purchased a lump some of units in the Palm Coves Community. Now the majority stakeholders, ...
  • Orange commissioners side with Westgate Resorts, deny widow’s appeal October 18, 2016 Orange County commissioners Tuesday evening sided with Westgate Resorts in the company’s fight with a widow who refuses to sell a vacation condominium standing in the way of a $24 million time share project.  Commissioners turned down an appeal by the widow, Julieta Corredor, 82, who wanted them to toss out a revised development plan that allows Westgate to build an eight-story, 80-unit tower behind her condo.      Read the article…………
  • Condo Q&A: Not all additions to condo property require owner vote October 18, 2016 Q: The board of our condominium association recently ordered a commemorative bench in honor of a past employee. The board originally intended to pay for the bench using association funds. However, now that the directors have learned that some members are not in favor of the purchase, the board is asking for donations. Assuming the board collects enough donations to cover the cost of the bench, does the board have the right to place the bench on the common elements ...
  • Kelly Plantation battles non-native invasive species October 17, 2016 There’s a green menace slowly but surely taking over Northwest Florida.  The Chinese Tallow tree, also known as the popcorn tree because of its ability to “pop” up anywhere and everywhere, is native to China and Japan. According to local environmental experts, the popcorn tree is on a vegetative vendetta here in Northwest Florida.  Kelly Plantation residents are leading the charge to remove the tree before it poses a more serious threat to the local environment.      Read the ...
  • Who has the authority to investigate homeowners’ associations? October 15, 2016 Q.: Has the law been amended to authorize the Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes to investigate complaints against homeowners’ associations?    Read the Q&A…………..
  • Before Trump attacked foreigners, he helped sell them condos October 15, 2016 Donald Trump built his presidential candidacy disparaging foreigners, describing Mexican immigrants as “rapists,” comparing Syrians refugees to a “Trojan horse” and promising to build a “great wall” on the southern border.  But in South Florida, Trump helped local developers sell condos to buyers from Latin America and Russia, including people allegedly involved in corruption and wrongdoing, as well as to dozens of anonymous offshore companies.     Read the article…………..
  • Can my condo snuff out my right to smoke? October 15, 2016 Q: I have owned my condominium unit for more than 14 years. I enjoy having an occasional cigar at the designated smoking section provided at the condominium pools. About a year ago, a new board decided to ban smoking at all of the pools. Is there a grandfather clause for my type of situation? One of the reasons I purchased a unit in this particular condominium was that it permitted smoking at the pools.  Read the Q&A……………..
  • Is it legal to remove ducks from HOA’s pond? October 13, 2016 Q: We live in a community association that has a small pond behind our villa. One of the residents hired a contractor to remove the Muscovy ducks that lived at this pond and had them euthanized. Is it legal to remove and euthanize the ducks? Also, is it legal to bring in outside contractors without the association’s permission?   Read the Q&A…………..
  • Early morning fire rousts residents of Lauderdale Lakes condo (FL) October 13, 2016 It was a pre-dawn wake up for many residents of a Lauderdale Lakes condominium community when fire broke out in a third-story unit.  There were no immediate reports of injuries from the fire at the Cypress Chase North condominiums at 3341 NW 47th Terrace, from the blaze that broke out about 3 a.m.     Read the article………….
  • Department in legal dispute with in-house arbitrators (FL) October 11, 2016 The Department of Business and Professional Regulation has rankled several lawyers by holding a hearing Wednesday on whether to seek and certify outside lawyers to handle condominium association disputes.  The hearing comes two months after a lawsuit filed by several female attorneys who handle condominium cases claimed they are paid 50 percent less than their male counterparts. They called the hearing unlawful retaliation for the lawsuit on the part of the DBPR and its Division of Condominiums, Timeshares and Mobile ...
  • Dezer slapped with suit from neighboring Sunny Isles condo alleging major damages from construction October 10, 2016 Dezer’s firm and his entire development team — from the general contractor to the engineers — were just sued in Miami-Dade Circuit Court by the Millenium condo association in Sunny Isles Beach. The suit alleges that the building suffered millions of dollars in damages as a result of the Porsche tower’s construction next door.  The dispute, according to Millenium’s complaint, began in 2013 when Porsche’s development team began installing foundation sheet pilings for the tower’s development site at 18555 Collins ...
  • Intracoastal West community keeps power, avoids severe damage (FL) October 9, 2016 Indian Springs was a small island that never lost power — while outages occurred all around it — largely due to having underground utility lines. Power flickered on and off several times but the worst nuisance for the residents was having to re-boot their cable boxes.  “We were incredibly lucky,” said Irene Sloth. “We still can’t believe we never lost power.”  There are 322 home sites within Indian Springs, which was built beginning in 1978. Peter Miller, president of the ...
  • Is there an alternative to commissioning a reserve study? October 8, 2016 Q: I have been pushing my other condominium directors to commission a reserve study, but it is not in the budget and the rest of the board does not want to spend the money. Is there an alternative to a reserve study?    Read the Q&A………..
  • What can done to enforce a ‘No Trespassing’ violator? October 8, 2016 Q: We live in a 55 or older co-op park. Last year the board had a no trespassing order put in place for one year for a problem visitor. This order was supposed to be able to be renewed after that year. Within that year, this person has been seen in the park numerous times and nothing done. The order was put in place in October of last year. If the board does not renew this, as concerned residents, what ...
  • Downtown Sarasota condo sidelined by lawsuits October 5, 2016 The contractor building The Jewel condo tower in downtown Sarasota is suing the owner and the designer of the 18-story high rise, claiming numerous and unexpected changes have delayed the $50 million project’s completion.  Suffolk Construction Co. maintains multiple changes by owner Main Street J Development Co. and Hoyt Architects have added millions of dollars to its original $23 million contract and sidelined workers at the tower.    Read the article…………..
  • Indemnity Provisions can leave Associations holding the bag for someone else’s wrongdoing! October 4, 2016 A recent Broward County negligent security lawsuit filed on August 31st raises issues about who should pay the consequences when a security breach results in a resident’s death. In this case, a community with an entrance feature protected by a 24-hour guard and security cameras became vulnerable to entry when a perimeter fence was not properly maintained. An intruder with a decade-long rap sheet entered the upscale Davie community and fatally stabbed a resident. The multimillion dollar lawsuit was filed ...
  • Is one vote per condominium legal voting mechanism? October 3, 2016 Q: Our condominium association assigns one vote per condominium unit, regardless of the number of owners or the number of occupants. If the owners of a single unit disagree, and the unit is only permitted to cast one vote, is this not disenfranchisement in violation of the US Constitution?   Read the Q&A…………………
  • Regulators approve increases in Citizens Insurance commercial premiums September 30, 2016 State regulators approved premium increases Friday for commercial policies issued by Citizens Property Insurance Corp., including a nearly 12 percent increase for condominium association common property in wind-vulnerable coastal areas.  Premiums on those policies would increase by 11.9 percent effective Feb. 1. Citizens had sought an increase of 12 percent.  Multi-peril policies for other condo association common property will increase by 4.5 percent; and property not belonging to a condo association — but rather to some other form of ownership ...
  • San Matera condo group settles with Kolter for $22.5 million (FL) September 29, 2016 A trial that posed one of the biggest logistical challenges in Palm Beach County legal history was over before it began Thursday when a beleaguered Palm Beach Gardens community agreed to accept $22.5 million to drop its claims against Kolter Homes.  While less than the $36 million the San Matera The Gardens Condominium Association was seeking to repair leaky buildings, its attorney said it allows work to begin so the 676 unit owners can finally move on with their lives. ...
  • Can HOA charge owners extra for gate-control access? September 28, 2016 Q: I live in a gated community in which all homes have a two-car garage. Owners were granted gate-opener bar codes for two vehicles per household. Recently, the board replaced the gate-control system and issued only one new bar code per household, charging $10 for each additional sticker. Can our association arbitrarily alter the original policy and charge residents to gain access to their properties?   Read the Q&A…………….
  • Woman Living Without A/C Frustrated at Condo Association (FL) September 27, 2016 The attorney for the condo board association says they’ve tried to fix the problem but haven’t been able to. According to the attorney, the A/C units rely on an old well-water system to run. They say the water has mud and dirt in it that clogs and shuts down units like Maria’s. The association dug two more wells to try to fix the problem but say both collapsed.      Read the article……………
  • Can condo board change common areas without a majority vote of unit owners? September 27, 2016 Q: Our bylaws were amended to allow the board to approve material alterations to the common areas that cost $10,000 or less by a majority vote of the board. The amendment was properly adopted by the unit owners. Is this a lawful amendment? Seems as though the board could authorize a number of “material alterations” that cost under $10,000.00   Read the article………………
  • Six years on, Kolter Signature Homes lawsuit goes to trial September 27, 2016 After six years of legal maneuvering one of the longest-running cases over faulty construction in Florida is finally going to trial.   Jury selection starts Tuesday in a case pitting the San Matera Condominium Association against Kolter Signature Homes, and other defendants for alleged sub-standard architecture, engineering and construction work at San Matera at the Gardens, located just off PGA Boulevard in Palm Beach Gardens in Palm Beach County.  More than 30 lawyers have worked on the case over the years, ...
  • Too many lawyers spur road trip for Gardens building flaw trial (FL) September 27, 2016 When the more than 1,000 residents of a sprawling Palm Beach Gardens condominium community sued home-building giant Kolter Homes for a whopping $36 million, there was no doubt it would be a big case.  So how big is it?  It’s so big there’s not a courtroom in Palm Beach County that can accommodate the roughly 40 lawyers that will be representing Kolter and 17 subcontractors against claims by San Matera The Gardens Condominium Association that shoddy workmanship turned their promised ...
  • Epic Residences condo association sues developer, architect and subcontractors over incompatible fire safety system (FL) September 26, 2016 Another prominent developer is facing allegations of installing a faulty fire sprinkler system in a South Florida luxury condo tower. This time, litigation surrounds Ugo Colombo’s CMC Group’s Epic Residences in downtown Miami.  In a lawsuit filed in Miami-Dade Circuit Court last month, the Epic West Condominium Association accuses CMC, architecture firm RVL Architecture & Design and two subcontractors of breach of statutory implied warranties, breach of contract, negligence and violations of the Florida building code over alleged construction defects ...
  • 7-year rule does not apply to all condo records September 25, 2016 Q: I recently contacted my condominium association asking to review records since I have serious questions about how things are being done. I asked to see all election documents and was told the management company only had last year’s results. I thought records had to be kept for seven years?    Read the Q&A…………….
  • Can LLC owner be on the board and approve its tenants? September 25, 2016 Q: There is a limited liability company that has recently acquired title to a number of units in our condominium. All of the units are leased. We want to know who owns the units and is it possible the owner of the company could get on the board to approve its proposed tenants?     Read the Q&A…………….
  • Budget Tips: Labor Costs in South Florida are Increasing – 3 ways this might impact your budget. September 22, 2016 In case of you have not noticed, construction has been booming in South Florida for a while. Contractors are faced with labor shortages and their responses include: increased pay and job training programs. This article published in the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel on August 31, 2016 explains the situation in detail.   Read the article………….
  • Cities, associations can protect residents from Zika (FL) September 21, 2016 Government officials, homeowners and condominium association boards, and golf course maintenance professionals must look at a variety of sophisticated initiatives. Some involve altering our natural habits in efforts to prevent our residents from suffering severe illnesses that result from mosquito bites.   Read the article……………..
  • Miami-Dade launches first blow in fight against condominium fraud September 21, 2016 Miami-Dade police launched their first blow in the fight to end local condominium fraud with the arrest Tuesday of a former accounting assistant accused of stealing thousands of dollars from the condo community.  Leslie Navarro, accused of stealing $148,000 from the Hammocks proprietors’ association, a popular residential area in Kendall, was arrested early on Tuesday by a newly created special police unit. She was charged with first-degree grand theft and organized crime to defraud more than $50,000.       Read ...
  • Logic goes out window when association trashes flowers (FL) September 20, 2016 Steve Glaser HAD the nicest yard in his neighborhood.  His Realtor even said so.  “You had the nicest landscaped property in Bradford Place with amazing curb appeal,” Jill Arsenault wrote Glaser. “How did you go from the nicest home in the community to what it is today? We certainly need to lower your asking price.”  What happened had nothing to do with excessive summer rain, fire or armadillos. Landscapers hired by Glaser’s homeowners association yanked out marigolds, impatiens, begonias and ...
  • Florida HOAs Should Regularly Review Architectural Review Board Guidelines September 19, 2016 Question: I live in a homeowners association and serve as chairman of the architectural review board (ARB). An owner recently submitted an application to repaint the exterior of his home a bright yellow color. The home is currently painted light brown. Our ARB rejected the application because we feel that the proposed bright color is aesthetically unpleasing and no other homes in our community are painted this color. The owner is protesting the ARB’s decision and threatening to sue. The ...
  • Must the association approve the home’s exterior color? September 18, 2016 Q: I live in a homeowners association and serve as chairman of the architectural review board (ARB). An owner recently submitted an application to repaint the exterior of his home a bright yellow color. The home is currently painted light brown. Our ARB rejected the application because we feel that the proposed bright color is aesthetically unpleasing and no other homes in our community are painted this color. The owner is protesting the ARB’s decision and threatening to sue.   ...
  • 4 detained after reports of rifle-wielding gunmen atop South Beach condo (FL) September 17, 2016 According to Miami Beach Police, a 911 caller reported he saw the armed subjects on top of the Del Rio Condominiums at 11th Street and Collins Avenue, at around 2 p.m. The caller said he saw the two men holding a high-powered assault rifle. The caller then saw one of them putting on a mask, prompting the eyewitness to contact authorities.  Read the article……………
  • How can I find the official governing documents? September 15, 2016 Q: I am on the board of my homeowners association. I was given a set of the governing documents but am unsure if they are current or complete. How can I find the official governing documents?   Read the Q&A…………..
  • Broward fraud investigator charged in car-keying incident (FL) September 14, 2016 The top fraud sleuth at the property appraiser’s office is accused of etching two deep scratches into the 2003 Ford Focus driven by Weston homeowners association president Jacqueline Puglisi, 73. Surveillance video showed Cacciatore standing between his car and hers, in a parking lot last Oct. 13, when the keying allegedly occurred.      Read the article…………..
  • Only three exceptions to keep board meetings out of sunshine September 12, 2016 Q: Our community has a sizable landscaping maintenance contract.  It is a controversial topic and the board wants to avoid a long and controversial board meeting to discuss this.  Can the board meet in an executive session for this purpose?    Read the Q&A………….
  • How can we stop a board member from disclosing confidential information? September 10, 2016 Q: I am on the board of directors in my community and we are currently involved in litigation. One of the directors disagrees with the board’s strategy and is telling everyone in the community our strategy and strengths and weaknesses based on our attorneys’ opinions. What can we do to stop this?    Read the article……………
  • Miami Condo Manager Claims Retaliatory Firing (FL) September 10, 2016 August claims the board had not maintained the legally required reserves for a condo, and proceeds from a $750,000 special assessment were used for unintended purposes, according to the complaint.  The condo board didn’t notify new buyers and tenants that the garage had been deemed “extremely hazardous” by an engineer and lost its insurance coverage, the complaint said. She also alleged insurance fraud, closed-door board meetings, failure to promptly approve full funding for garage repairs, delaying repair to a damaged ...
  • Marquis Miami condo owners accuse developers of poor construction September 8, 2016 The New York-based developers of downtown Miami’s Marquis Miami residences are being accused of building a poorly constructed tower in a new lawsuit.  And now, the Marquis Miami Condominium Association wants a partnership between Shaya Boymelgreen and Lev Leviev, as well as the construction companies they hired, to foot the bill for an array of repairs throughout the building including common areas and individual units.     Read the article………..
  • Combat vet fighting protracted battle with HOA over covenants (FL) September 8, 2016 While he may not have wanted to go to war with the HOA then, Jernigan’s current situation could easily be described as a protracted battle. Following the conflict over the lighting, he said he was later threatened with fines over issues related to his garbage cans, a ladder, and a satellite dish — all matters he maintains were not in violation of the community’s covenants, and that other residents have not been penalized for.   Read the article…………..
  • Bully in housing development harassing unit owners September 7, 2016 Question: A bully lives in our 55-plus HOA. He is a former police officer who confines his intimidations to our common grounds, including the clubhouse and pool area. In the past, our grievance committee has twice suspended his use privileges — once for three months and another time for six months.  Sheriff’s deputies have been called, and victims have filed reports on several occasions. However, the sheriff’s office chalks up his actions to squabbles between homeowners. Fearing this man’s possible ...
  • Lessons from HOA lawsuit over Florida-friendly grass September 7, 2016 The long-fought lawsuit between a homeowner near Windermere and her HOA makes me realize three fundamental truths at the exact same time, to borrow a phrase from the Hamilton soundtrack.    No. 1: This state’s Florida-friendly law is neither very Florida nor very friendly. The law, passed in 2009, is meant to protect homeowners who want to use plants and grasses in their yards that need less water and fertilizer than the typical lush St. Augustine lawn.      Read ...
  • Shores of Long Bayou wins Golden Mangrove Award (FL) September 7, 2016 Once again the Wetlands Committee volunteers at the Shores of Long Bayou Homeowners Association has been lauded for their work maintaining and restoring the bodies of water on its property – 10 stormwater ponds and two manmade lakes.  Last month, the group found out it won the Golden Mangrove Award for 2015 from the Tampa Bay Estuary Program, which supports community-based restoration and education projects focusing on the Tampa Bay Estuary. This is the second time the Shores of Long ...
  • Pokémon Go Class Action Says ‘Pokestop’ Disturbs Condo Residents (FL) September 6, 2016 The Pokémon Company, Nintendo Co. Ltd. and app maker Niantic Inc. are facing a class action lawsuit filed by a condominium association that claims its unwanted “Pokestop” designation has created a major disruption to its residents.  The Villas of Positano Condominium Association Inc. filed the Pokémon Go class action lawsuit last week in California federal court.  It is a nonprofit organization comprised of residents of the Villas of Positano, an oceanfront condominium complex located in Hollywood, Florida.
  • Carlyle Hotel condo association owes general contractor $1.2M, lawsuit alleges (FL) September 6, 2016 A straightforward job to replace the windows and doors of an Art Deco hotel on Ocean Drive turned into a major project to fix structural damage to the building. And now the company that fixed the Carlyle at 1250 Ocean Drive is alleging the owners haven’t paid for the repairs.  According to a lawsuit filed in Miami-Dade Circuit Court last month, Boynton Beach-based Properties of Elegant Distinction accuses the Carlyle Deco Hotel Condominium Association of breaching its contract by skipping ...
  • Law does not limit association budget increases September 5, 2016 Q: My condominium association board was recently discussing the proposed 2017 budget. It is apparent that the board is intending to increase our assessments significantly. However, I understood that the Association is limited in the amount that it can increase the budget unless the owners vote for the increase. Is that correct?   Read the Q&A…………
  • Condo board president has to follow same rules as everyone else September 4, 2016 Q: Our condominium documents provide that motorcycles are not permitted in the condominium. Our board president routinely brings his motorcycle into the property in violation of those rules. It is not a loud motorcycle, but isn’t there a rule that all officers must be in good standing?  Read the Q&A…………..
  • Manasota Key homes condemned due to beach erosion (FL) September 2, 2016 Two condos and a house on Manasota Key in Charlotte County have been condemned following Hurricane Hermine.  Massive waves caused more beach erosion in an area that was already impacted by Tropical Storm Colin back in June.  Read the article…………
  • Settled lawsuit over grass leaves few answers (FL) September 2, 2016 A legal battle between an Orange County homeowner wanting to eliminate irrigation and fertilizing in her yard and a neighborhood association favoring lush lawns has ended in a secret settlement, disappointing those hoping for an environmentally favorable precedent.  Read the article………..
  • BrickellHouse’s condo association runs into another snag in robotic garage predicament (FL) August 30, 2016 The parking woes at Harvey Hernandez’s BrickellHouse project are about to get worse, according to an attorney representing the building’s unit owners.  “The condo association has been left with this mess,” lawyer Helio de la Torre told The Real Deal. “We have to clean up this mess.”  On Aug. 23, de la Torre’s client, BrickellHouse Condominium Association, filed an amended lawsuit against Hernandez, his company BrickellHouse Holding LLC and Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company, seeking additional damages for ...
  • Buyers are legally owed FAQ documents when getting a condo August 27, 2016 Question: Many years ago, when we did not employ a management company for our 90-unit association, my husband and I were active on the board of directors. Therefore, committees did the work, and our interview committee was required to include with the other pertinent information both a rules and regulations packet and an FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) sheet. Now, an employee of the management company conducts the interview, and three owners participate to a minimum degree.   Read the Q&A…………
  • Boynton condo owners latest to fight CrossFit noises, room shaking (FL) August 25, 2016 Casa Costa, formerly known as Promenade, on Federal Highway in Boynton Beach is a retail development with views of the ocean and Intracoastal Waterway, and businesses on the bottom floor, including CrossFit Chrome. Workouts feature aspects of weight lifting, gymnastics, running and rowing.  Residents who lived in the condos before CrossFit opened have complained to the property management company and each other about the noises they hear from dropping of weights below them.   Read the article……………
  • HUD Reaches Agreement With Florida Condo Association in Disability Discrimination Case August 23, 2016 The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today an agreement with Delvista Towers Condominium Association, Inc., of Aventura, Florida, and its property management company, resolving allegations of housing discrimination against residents with disabilities. HUD claimed the condo association and its property managers denied the reasonable accommodation requests of residents with disabilities who needed assistance animals.   Read the article………………..
  • Disabled combat veteran, family forced from home (FL) August 22, 2016 Court documents show the original homeowner stopped paying her mortgage and her HOA dues back in 2012. In Florida, an HOA can legally foreclose on your home in the hopes of getting its money before the bank forecloses on the house.  HOA foreclosures move faster than bank foreclosures. At auction, an investor pays off that small HOA lien, often just a few thousand dollars. In this case, the HOA lien was around $9,000.   The HOA lien is paid off and ...
  • Short-term rental operator sues Mondrian South Beach condo association (FL) August 22, 2016 A short-term rental operator has filed suit against the condo association at the Mondrian South Beach after it was allegedly blocked from renting out units on behalf of owners. Miami World Rental LLC and Mondrian 1026 LLC filed the lawsuit in Miami-Dade County Circuit Court in mid-July against 1100 West Condominium Association Inc.  Miami World Rental, led by Jack Melki, is seeking to have its renting privileges reinstated on behalf of unit owners after the condo association terminated the privileges. Short-term ...
  • Can an open-ended ‘nuisance’ provision turn into a violation? August 22, 2016 Q: My neighbor is being pursued by our board for a seemingly benign or conjured violation which could result in a fine being levied. Our condominium documents have a “boiler plate”, catch all nuisance provision. Can an open-ended “nuisance” provision be used to manufacture a so-called violation?   Read the Q&A…………
  • Did my association legally adjourn a membership meeting to a later date? August 22, 2016 Q: My condominium association was set to have a big vote on some controversial amendments to the governing documents a few weeks ago. The proposed amendments include leasing changes that are onerous to investors and changes to the pet rules that seem totally unnecessary. I am strongly against these amendments, as are many other owners.    Read the Q&A……………
  • Condo Q&A: Owners may have right to inspect emails (FL) August 21, 2016 Q: Our new board has established an e-mail address to which only the board has a password. Residents can contact the board via that address with a question or comment, but only the board members can see it by using their password. Therefore, the remaining residents are not privy to either the question or the answer by the board. Is this legal?   Read the Q&A…………….
  • Key West business leaders cited a third time for illegal vacation rental August 20, 2016 As reasonable rents continue to disappear in Key West, two leading business owners who often advocate for affordable housing keep getting cited by the city for advertising illegal vacation rentals.  For the third time in 15 months, Chris Belland and Ed Swift, of Historic Tours of America, have been accused by the Code Compliance Department for agreeing to rent two luxury condos at Key Cove Drive for six nights at roughly $4,000 each to an undercover code officer via HomeAway.com ...
  • Holdout homeowners fight Tampa HOA (FL) August 20, 2016 Imagine paying Homeowners’ Association dues for years, along with fines, only to find out your property isn’t legally a part of the HOA. That’s what more than 3 dozen waterfront homeowners in the Bay Port Colony subdivision of Town N’ Country discovered.  Neighbors tell 10News WTSP the HOA is holding their boats captive, but now neighbors are fighting back.   Read the article…………..
  • Trump Palace unit owner who alleged she was being harassed sued by condo association for harassment (FL) August 19, 2016 For the condo association at the Trump Palace in Sunny Isles Beach, unit owner Rhonda Hojandiov has been a disruptive force throughout the building for more than three years. For Hojandiov, the condo association has failed to stop her upstairs neighbor from harassing her during the same time period. So now the association wants a Miami-Dade Circuit Court judge to shut down Hojandiov’s complaining.  According to a civil lawsuit filed by the association against Hojandiov and her husband Samuel last ...
  • What’s easier: Turning off water indoors or outside? (FL) August 18, 2016 To put this data into context, about 50 percent of Floridians’ daily water use is for outdoor purposes, such as landscape irrigation, according to the South Florida Water Management District. The 50 percent figure is 20 percent more than the national average, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  In Lamm’s opinion, homeowners’ association rules – which often require lush landscapes — are part of the reason homeowners won’t reduce their outdoor watering. But she said there’s probably more to ...
  • Family in dispute with HOA over alleged harassment from HOA (FL) August 17, 2016 Complaints about the HOA are not uncommon, but when the complaints involve allegations of overreaching and selective enforcement, it gets attention.  “I cannot not say anything any longer,” says Michael Branck.  In 2015, Branck, his wife Lisa and their five disabled children moved into the Istoria community.   Read the article…………..
  • Troubled Heritage Park Inn owes thousands; families could be left in dark (FL) August 17, 2016 A last-minute anonymous donation saved 70-80 families who live at the troubled Heritage Park Inn in Kissimmee from being left in the dark.  The Kissimmee Utilities Authority had threatened to shut off the power at the troubled Heritage Park Inn, saying it was owed more than $20,000. Even with the donation, the hotel still owes KUA $12,000, officials said.     Read the article………….
  • Ex-official who stole from Tamarac homeowners association gets prison sentence (FL) August 17, 2016 A former homeowners association president in Tamarac has been sentenced to prison for embezzling more than $180,000 from her community.  Court records show that Michelle Changar-Coe, 46, changed her plea to guilty on a grand theft charge and was sentenced to five years in prison followed by 15 years of probation. She also was ordered to pay $192,416 in restitution during a court hearing Tuesday.    Read the article………….
  • Residents at Kissimmee condos may lose power August 16, 2016 Dozens of families at a troubled Kissimmee condo-motel might be without power by the end of the week, a problem that intensifies an already heated battle between the property’s association and owners over claims of rampant mismanagement.  Jim DeBerry, the spokesman for the companies that manage several units at Heritage Park Inn in Kissimmee on behalf of owners, said the power company has issued a shut-off notice for the property.   Read the article……………
  • Reader asks how to compel board to start collecting reserves August 15, 2016 Q: My homeowners’ association will be turning over from developer control in coming months.  The developer-controlled Board has not adopted any reserves, and we will inherit control of the Board with no reserves, and significant repairs will be needed in the future.  How do we compel the Board to start collecting reserves?     Read the Q&A…………..
  • Miami Beach condo association sues over alleged defective glass (FL) August 15, 2016 Eight years after the MEI Condominium in Miami Beach was completed, the building’s owners are looking to collect $4.8 million in insurance bond funds from a subcontractor that allegedly didn’t finish the job.  In a lawsuit filed in Miami-Dade Circuit Court last month, the MEI Condominium Association accuses Miami-based RC Aluminum Industries and its insurance carrier, Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, of breach of contract by not paying the bond.   Read the article……….
  • Judge orders Green Terrace HOA to use reserve funds to pay water bill (FL) August 15, 2016 After going without running water for week, families at the Green Terrace Condominiums in West Palm Beach are finally getting some relief.  The city shut off the water to the complex after the homeowners’ association didn’t pay the bill.  This afternoon a Palm Beach County judge ordered the homeowners association to dip into its reserve accounts to pay a large percentage of the water bill, and the city says when that happens, it will turn the water back on.   ...
  • Condo owners at odds with condo association August 14, 2016 Q. Our original condominium association board foreclosed on a condo unit and rented it out for $1,250/month. A new board was seated that stopped renting this unit out on March 31, 2013. The condo unit remained unoccupied until March 29, 2016 when the board wrote off $34,136 in bad debt expense for these maintenance fees. What recourse do the condo owners have and against whom?   Read the Q&A……………
  • Community Association Life: Concerns rising with chair lift proposal August 14, 2016 Q: Some owners in our condominium want and need to install a chair lift in the center stairwell to the second floor. They want only those who pay for it the use of it. However, if it is in the common element, wouldn’t the condominium association have to maintain it? Finally, can owners who don’t want it, deny those that do the right to have it.    Read the Q&A…………..
  • Condo complex has no water as legal battle looms between owners and tenants (FL) August 12, 2016 Low income families in a condo complex are living without any water. The city has ordered them to leave, but many say they have no place else to go.  This crisis is happening because the homeowners association of the property is apparently in financial trouble and the primary owner was the subject of a federal investigation.   Read the article……….
  • North Carillon Beach condo association files motion to re-open bankruptcy case (FL) August 12, 2016 Litigation surrounding the Carillon Miami Beach just got much more heated.   The North Carillon Beach Condominium Association filed a motion in federal bankruptcy court in New York on Thursday seeking to reopen a Chapter 11 case, as a step toward suing the building’s owner, Z Capital Partners, for alleged fraud and mismanagement.  The motion seeks unspecified damages for Z Capital’s alleged unlawful exploitation of the association and unit owners. It alleges that Z Capital fraudulently induced the association and unit ...
  • Miami Beach condo association sues Z Capital Partners, claims ‘predatory deceit’ August 11, 2016 A Miami Beach condominium owners’ association filed a lawsuit Thursday against the hedge fund that bought the Carillon Miami Beach, formerly Canyon Ranch, out of bankruptcy.  In the brief, the North Carillon Beach Condominium Association accuses Z Capital Partners of “multiple forms of predatory deceit and exploitation” and said the group bought the property “without any relevant development or operating expertise in top-end hospitality and wellness.”      Read the article………….
  • Do you really want to take the HOA to court? August 11, 2016 Q: The irrigation system in my area of our community has not worked for several months. I had new landscaping put in around the time it broke. I pay our homeowner’s association dues every month, and those include the irrigation system. My water bills are sky-high from having to water the plants every day. Can I make the association fix it, and can I get reimbursed for the hike in my water bill?    Read the Q&A…………..
  • Spencer’s Plantation residents take woes to BCC (FL) August 11, 2016 It’s definitely not all fun and games at Spencer’s Plantation, where a dispute over where to put a children’s playground has many of the adult homeowners there seeing red and Clay County commissioners voting to table – at least for now – a decision dealing with the dispute.  The Board of County Commissioners voted at their regular meeting Aug. 9 to table a request from the Spencer’s Plantation Homeowners Association to replat a section of Spencer’s Landing so that it ...
  • Riverview homeowners say HOA taking homes (FL) August 11, 2016 Neighbors say a local homeowners’ association is unfairly targeting homeowners. 10News WTSP uncovers more problems with a Bay area HOA.  “They’re just looking for ways to trip people up, so they can really steal their home,” says Rivercrest homeowner Joseph Matteucci.     Read the article……….
  • Condo tenants must move after water turned off (FL) August 11, 2016 All of the condo’s tenants must move out. The city turned off the water on Tuesday. Another resident, Angela Ciriello told us, “I’m going to have to relocate. My whole family will have to relocate.”    Read the article……………
  • Trapper stops trapping, starts shooting ducks in Waterford Lakes subdivision August 10, 2016 Outside, a man sitting in his pickup truck was picking off Muscovy ducks one at a time at a lake in the middle of Waterford Lakes, a subdivision east of Orlando.   An Orange County deputy — his gun drawn — put a stop to it, but the man wasn’t doing anything improper, said Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Jane Watrel.  The Waterford Lakes Community Association had hired him, she said, and shooting Muscovy ducks on private property is legal.
  • ‘Prevention is better than cure’: Local homeowners association warns residents of Zika threat (FL) August 9, 2016 The news of Palm Beach County’s first non travel related case of Zika is putting many on alert.  Folks in one neighborhood in Palm Beach Gardens taking every measure they can – just in case.   Read the article…………….
  • Board has right to choose how to fill vacancies August 7, 2016 Q: My condominium association has a 5 member board of directors. Recently, one of the directors resigned, creating a vacancy. Upon learning of the vacancy, I submitted a letter to the remaining board members requesting to be appointed to the board. I never received a response and recently learned that, at their most recent meeting, the remaining four directors appointed a person to fill the vacancy. Because I asked to be considered, should there have been an election?   Read the ...
  • Older high-rise condos, co-ops must vote to opt out or install fire sprinklers (FL) August 7, 2016 One major fallout of the quiet session was the lack of any new bill extending the ability of associations to take a membership opt-out vote to avoid having to install expensive fire sprinklers in high-rise residences. In the past, every few years the Legislature amended the applicable statute which extended the opt-out vote since 2002. The last amendment was in 2010 wherein Section 718.112(2)(l), Florida Statutes now reads:    Read the article………….
  • FHA approval and enforcing HOA speed limits August 6, 2016 You may recall that, in 2010, the Federal Housing Authority (“FHA,” not to be confused with the similarly abbreviated Fair Housing Act) made it significantly more difficult for condominiums to get the approval required for buyers to qualify for FHA-insured loans. These regulations include requiring associations to collect adequate reserves; state that no more than half of units can be owned by investors; state that no more than 15% of units can be delinquent more than thirty days; and state ...
  • Hollywood condo association considers lawsuit against ‘Pokemon Go’ creators August 5, 2016 The Villas at Positano is a Pokestop for the popular game, and rare Pokemon are released at midnight Pacific Time, so at 3 a.m. hundreds of players make their way to the condo.  “There (are) no public bath facilities here, so if they are here and they have to go to the bathroom, they tend to use the bushes,” Tabatchnick said. “Garbage is deposited. Some people that late at night are intoxicated. They are loud.”     Read the article……………
  • Water to stay on: City grants reprieve for 84-unit apartment (condo) complex (FL) August 4, 2016 Residents of Green Terrace condominiums in West Palm Beach — bracing for their water to be shut off Thursday — got another reprieve when city officials reluctantly decided to give the homeowner’s association until Tuesday to pay its $30,000 delinquent water bill.  The city posted notices on residents’ doors that it intended to shut off the water on Thursday if the bill was not paid. However, the city balked after a judge declined to hold a hearing Thursday morning about ...
  • Action 9 investigates roofing company who ignores ‘no solicitation’ requests (FL) August 3, 2016 So when five trucks from Jasper Contractors arrived with sales pitches, Colonial Woods HOA president Rocky Ward told them to get out, but that didn’t work.  “They pretty much laughed in our face and told us we didn’t know what we were talking about,” Ward said.    Read the article…………….
  • Water could be shut off again at WPB condo (FL) August 3, 2016 In a matter of hours, residents at the Green Terrace Condo’s in West Palm Beach could face the harsh reality of no water.  The Home Owners Association for the building is refusing to pay the bill, leaving families with no way to brush their teeth, take showers, or was their clothes.  This is the second time in less than a month, residents received a notice their water will be shut off. They’re now fed up and frustrated.     Read the ...
  • Man says bee swarm causing havoc in Centennial Hills neighborhood (FL) August 3, 2016 “I’m gonna have to go back and call the HOA and tell them that we have a situation that is getting kind of critical,” he said.    Andrijauskas told 13 Action News, the homeowners association called the tenant and said they will be out Wednesday to fix the problem.     Read the article…………….
  • Community Association Life: Grey area in defining commercial vehicles July 31, 2016 Q: What is a commercial vehicle, for purposes of parking restrictions, in a community?  Read the Q&A…………..
  • Pasco (FL) doubles up on deputy dispatches; cost to neighborhoods rises July 26, 2016 After shootings of police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge, Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco is mandating his deputies work in pairs when they answer calls for service.  There won’t be two officers per car, but the change, at least temporarily, means emergency dispatches will send two deputies each time someone calls 9-1-1.  The new deployment also means neighborhoods and organizations contracting with deputies for so-called extra-duty — community security patrols or directing traffic after church services — will have to ...
  • Should official requests come through certified mail? July 24, 2016 Q: We have a resident asking for clarification on the proper procedure to obtain copies of an invoice for work performed in the community. In a previous column, I thought you stated that requests for official records in a condominium association must be submitted by certified mail. Does this same requirement apply to a request for official records of a homeowners’ association?   Read the Q&A………….
  • Community Association Life: ‘Glitch’ makes levying fine against owner difficult July 24, 2016 Q: Our condominium association is very small. It only has four units. Three of the owners are on the board. The fourth owner constantly violates the rules and the board would like to levy a fine against him or suspend his use rights. The problem is how can we do that if we have to have a fining committee made up of people who are not on the board or related to the directors?    Read the Q&A…………..
  • Algae blooms in Leon lakes (FL) July 23, 2016 Plant growth and algae blooms are continual problems for the homeowners association. The lakes appear to attract algae as if they were magnets but it actually is just biology – combine the sun, water, plants and food and you get more plants.  The homeowners association has spent more than $14,000 this year to combat algae in the lakes.    Read the article…………
  • Secret DNA collection latest chapter in Palm Beach condo dispute July 22, 2016 What the Perlmutters didn’t know then, but would soon find out in a series of events that unfolded like the pages of a graphic novel that could only be set in Palm Beach, was that every item they touched had been treated with a special solution designed to extract their DNA.  Their neighbor, Harold Peerenboom, sent the items off for testing and, according to court records, found a lab that purported to find genetic evidence linking the couple to a ...
  • Waterside Watchdogs sue builder over neglect (FL) July 22, 2016 Lake County’s perennial protesters at Waterside Pointe recently kicked up the festivities a notch when they filed a class-action lawsuit against the developers of the subdivision where they’ve been protesting for nearly two years.     Read the article………….
  • Can trees be cut to see Gulf again? July 18, 2016 Q: I live in a six-story condominium. My unit is on the third floor and I have, or used to have, a view of the Gulf of Mexico. There are several trees outside my unit that have become overgrown and have severely limited the view of the Gulf from my unit   Read the Q&A…………….
  • Community Association Life: Who gets to pick condo’s new paint colors? July 17, 2016 Q: Our condominium is changing the paint color of the buildings. The documents provide “the Association shall determine the paint scheme.” Who needs to approve the change? Read the Q&A……………..
  • Ask a Real Estate Pro: All owners will have to pay for HOA’s mistake July 14, 2016 Q: I live in a community with a homeowner’s association. The board hired unlicensed workers to paint and replace fences. The city then cited our association with a code violation and a fairly substantial fine. There is also the expense to fix the issue. The board members want to pass the fines along to the homeowners who live close to those fences. Can they legally do this? Are the board members individually liable?    Read the Q&A……………
  • Firefighters attack fully-involved blaze at Tymber Skan condo complex July 13, 2016 An apartment fire at the beleaguered Tymber Skan condominium complex was reported Monday morning, accompanied by a black plume of smoke billowing hundreds of feet in the air.   The city of Orlando has been cleaning out the condo complex, having already bulldozed 11 vacant dilapidated buildings.     Read the article…………
  • Lightning may have sparked condo fire in Temple Terrace (FL) July 13, 2016 A condominium fire in Temple Terrace may have been sparked by lightning, officials said.  About 1 a.m. the owner of a condo unit at 7840 Pine Drive in Temple Terrace was awakened by the blaring sound of a smoke detector.    Read the article…………..
  • Homeowners: From $150 HOA fee to foreclosure (FL) July 13, 2016 Hillsborough County homeowners are battling their HOA in a foreclosure fight, but one missed payment could cost the family their home.      Read the article…………
  • Weathering costs, the elements: Four tips for an association’s landscaping July 12, 2016 Landscaping can consume a huge chunk of a community association’s budget, and hot, dry seasons are rough on that investment.  It’s easy to see when grass turns sandy-colored from lack of water. Other damage is less obvious until too late. Trees, for example, can suffer the effects of drought for up to five years, said Sherman Fields, president at Acres Group landscaping company in Plainfield.    Read the article…………….
  • Sober house HOA ordered to pay water bill (FL) July 11, 2016 A Palm Beach County judge has ruled that the home owner association for a sober living condo complex must make arrangements to pay an overdue water bill.  The ruling was made after the city of West Palm Beach shut off water at the Green Terrace Apartments last week but no one living there received shut off notices.    Read the article………………….
  • Can a board member bid on a contract for the association? July 10, 2016 Q: I sit on my condominium board of directors and also own a landscape company. I want to bid on the landscape contract because I know my team will do an amazing job and I really want it to look amazing. I am also willing to discount my normal rate. Some owners are objecting based on a conflict of interest. What can we do?    Read the Q&A……….
  • Often the only recourse available to HOA lot owners is to sue July 10, 2016 Here’s my real concern. I’ve been trying for the last six months to address these issues thru an attorney who specializes in HOAs, and she advised me that our only course of action is to litigate. I have contacted the DBPR in Florida, and they tell me that there is no organization or authority that regulates HOAs     Read the Q&A…………….
  • Condominium Association Q&A: Are Grills allowed on a Balcony? July 8, 2016 QUESTION: This past 4th of July, a lot of the units in our beachfront condominium association enjoyed the day by firing up a grill of some kind on their unit balcony. Does the Fire Code allow this?  ANSWER: Sorry to say the answer to that question is actually “No.”     Read the Q&A………….
  • Real estate Q&A: Vacant board seat could cost all owners July 7, 2016 Q: We live in a small condominium. We are having a problem with getting anyone interested in filling a seat on the board of directors. Without someone filling that position, we will not have a quorum and will not be able to operate the association legally. Is there anything we can do?     Read the article……………
  • Cypress Data Services Announces Launch of The Florida HOA Database Project™ July 5, 2016 Cypress Data Services, Inc., (“CDS”) announced the launch of The Florida HOA Database Project™, a web-based database designed to assist the real estate, legal and title insurance industries in identifying condominium and homeowners’ associations that affect real estate throughout the State of Florida.      Read the article…………..
  • When the neighborhood is owned by billion-dollar companies (FL) July 3, 2016 Many of the single-family homes in the Piedmont Park neighborhood of Apopka, Florida, used to be owned by families – the Vargases and the Townes, the Pierces and the Riddles. Now, they’re owned by Blackstone, American Homes 4 Rent and Colony Starwood Homes, companies associated with big real estate investment firms.  And the occupants are tenants, not owners.    Read the article………….
  • New law accommodates service members in communities (FL) July 3, 2016 One bill that did pass and became effective July 1 was Senate Bill 184 adopting a new Section 83.683, Florida Statute. This bill to accommodate service members which include “any person serving as a member of the United States Armed Forces on active duty or state active duty and all members of the Florida National Guard and the United States Reserve Forces.”     Read the article……………
  • Fire sprinkler retrofit law in county: Hot air or good safety measure? (FL) July 2, 2016 A state law requiring condominium associations to retrofit their buildings with fire sprinklers is sparking concern among residents of Century Village and elsewhere, who say it’s not clear whether low-rises as well as condo towers need to shell out the thousands of dollars per unit that sprinklers would cost.      Read the article…………..
  • House in foreclosure limbo becomes eyesore for Clearwater (FL) neighborhood July 2, 2016 Beyond the gates of the exclusive reserve neighborhood sits some of Clearwater’s swankiest homes. But then there’s this house, also known as the rat-infested eyesore.  Don Boesch lives right next door and tells me rats actually sit on this wall outside his window and stare at him.    Read the article………….
  • Little legal recourse against rude HOA ex-president July 2, 2016 Question: I live in a large subdivision with 727 homes, and we have a president who treats board members, homeowners and others with rudeness and disrespect. We also have a large management company that witnesses the tone of his messages, and his illegal negative consent votes, and does nothing. At the last meeting, he walked out, and I was elected president.  The ex-president sent me the below letter. If you received a letter with these types of threats, what would ...
  • Lawsuit filed against Yacht and Country Club of Stuart (FL), former homeowner in murder-suicide case July 2, 2016 The association, according to the lawsuit, “negligently failed to provide adequate security” and “exposed Gloria Bono and Michael Bono to a foreseeable and unreasonable risk of harm.”    Read the article…………..
  • He rented his condo to a fugitive — and the guy won’t leave (FL) June 30, 2016 The trouble started in April, when Sergey Umrikhin’s new tenant paid his $1,500 rent a month late — surprising, considering records showed $138,000 flowing into his bank account in December alone.  Then Umrikhin received a violation letter from the property manager at Avant Garde, the highrise Hallandale Beach condominium complex where he owns a unit. Umrikhin’s tenant was throwing cigarettes over the third-floor condo balcony and drinking out of glass bottles on the pool deck, the letter said.    Read ...
  • Short-term rentals become top concern for condo owners, residents (FL) June 29, 2016 The view of sun-kissed tourists hanging pool-side on a gorgeous South Florida day isn’t out of place – except that scene isn’t only playing out in hotels, but condos.  Some of those condos that are attracting short-term renters have bylaws that prohibit leasing for less than 90 days at a time.         Read the article…………..
  • Association must provide timely response to request June 26, 2016 Q: I regularly attend the board meetings of my condominium association. When I cannot attend, I make certain to read the minutes when they are posted. In the association’s quarterly newsletter, the president announced that the association would be changing the configuration of a conference room to allow for storage    Read the Q&A………….
  • Must associations provide a copy of financial report? June 26, 2016 Q: My condominium association administration refuses to comply with the Florida Statute 718.111(13) that requires the distribution of a copy of the annual financial report or a written notification to all unit owners be available to them if they provide a written request. The administration has posted the report on the association website and posted a notice that the report is available in the administration office but refuse to comply with the statute. What recourse do I have as a ...
  • Community Association Life: Who pays for insurance for individual condos? June 26, 2016 Q.: If I own my condominium unit free of any mortgage, do I have to carry insurance on the condominium unit? Can the condominium association force me to acquire insurance?   Read the Q&A………….
  • Scary Scene in Miami (FL): Furniture Blows Off Condo Balconies During Storm, Crashes onto Street Below June 21, 2016 Drivers along Miami’s Biscayne Boulevard are used to seeing frequent heavy rain and thunderstorms, but when the downpours came Saturday afternoon, something else fell with them.  Several pieces of patio furniture were blown off balconies at a condominium that overlooks the roadway, and the bizarre moments were captured by an onlooker   Read the article…………..
  • Should association use uninsured handyman? June 19, 2016 Q: Our association has a handyman that we regularly use as an independent contractor. It is only him and sometimes a helper. He does not have workers’ compensation insurance as he is exempt from being legally required to carry it. Our management company is telling us we should not use this person if he is not insured. Our association has its own workers’ compensation insurance and general liability so I am not sure I understand the problem. What is your ...
  • HOA board not obligated to read letters at meetings June 19, 2016 Question: Can you please tell me if there is any rule about written correspondence that is sent to the board of directors by an owner?  For years I have been under the impression that when an owner writes a letter to the board the letter should be read so it is reflected in the minutes of the meeting. Our board has a habit of mentioning the letter, but it does not read the letter    Read the Q&A…………..
  • TV News Report on Orlando (FL) HOA Neglecting to Act Against Nuisance Resident June 17, 2016 A recent news report by WFTV Channel 9 (ABC) in Orlando focused on the accounts of some of the residents of the Cypress Head at the Enclave gated community in Oviedo indicating that the HOA has neglected to take action against a homeowner whose tenants are creating an extreme nuisance.     Read the article………….
  • Legal battle gets messy at North Miami’s Jockey Club condo complex (FL) June 16, 2016 It looks like the legal fight between developers and unit owners of an aging North Miami condo complex is starting to boil over.  This week, developers of the ultra-modern Apeiron project and the condo associations of the Jockey Club lobbed lawsuits at each other aimed at control of the condo complex’s common areas.     Read the article……………
  • Residents return to complex where mass shooter lived (FL) June 13, 2016 Residents at the Woodlands Condominium Complex are back inside their homes Monday after being evacuated for more than 24 hours. But not before FBI gave the green light.    Read the article………….
  • HOA Delays Couple’s Roofing Project (FL) June 13, 2016 A young couple says when they found out they needed to replace their roof, they did what they were supposed to do, they reached out to their homeowners association for approval.   Read the article…………
  • Can legal action be taken to recover lost rent? June 13, 2016 Q: We own a beachfront condo which is rented out weekly to supplement our retirement income. A main attraction for renters is the balcony directly overlooking the Gulf. Our board approved a balcony renovation project which was scheduled to begin on April 18.    Read the article…………..
  • Can condo staff be used for personal tasks by residents? June 13, 2016 Q: Our condominium rules provide owners may not use condominium staff for personal use, such as asking maintenance individuals to perform tasks inside the unit. Some owners are asking the board to turn a blind eye to this rule. What are the risks?    Read the Q&A…………
  • First step in solving problems begins with defining community June 13, 2016 Question: I recently bought a unit in a condo in Florida. Being from the northeast, I am new to condo living, but I am not new to being a property owner. A few things seem peculiar to me.  The community has three different HOAs     Read the article…………
  • Ask a Real Estate Pro: HOA can’t just start enforcing waived rules June 9, 2016 Q: I bought my condo 21 years ago brand-new from the developer. At the closing, I was given a rulebook that restricted decorating or changing the landscaping around our front doors. Since then, many residents, including past members of the board, have consistently ignored that rule, making each unit look uniquely their own.    Read the Q&A………….
  • Resident: HOA won’t help after UCF students renting next door leave condoms, urinate in yard June 9, 2016 Dan Burns said he’s been living a nightmare for six years inside the gated Cypress Head at the Enclave community in Oviedo.  “We are in a bad situation,” said Burns.  Burns said the situation stems from the home next door on White Heron Place. The owner of that home rents to University of Central Florida students.    Read the article………….
  • Manasota Key (FL) buildings deemed unsafe after Colin’s beach erosion June 8, 2016 Charlotte County inspectors say two homes are now deemed unsafe. In addition, at least two condo buildings are being monitored as well.  Read the article…………..
  • Pool repairs at Icon Brickell to cost $14.4M, with unit owners footing most of the bill (FL) June 8, 2016 It looks like condo owners at Icon Brickell are back in deep water because of their troubled pool deck.  A letter from the project’s master association said the condo complex’s pool repairs will cost $14.4 million, and unit owners are the ones footing most of the bill.    Read the article……….
  • Widow, Westgate still at stalemate over condo (FL) June 8, 2016 In the standoff between Westgate Resorts and an 81-year-old widow who doesn’t want to sell her condo, nobody has blinked yet.   Read the article…………
  • Association of Poinciana Villages, board members settle (FL) June 8, 2016 A board member and a former board member have agreed to pay about $60,000 to the Association of Poinciana Villages as part of a settlement reached Monday.    Read the article…………
  • 500 Brickell’s condo association sues over Chinese drywall (FL) June 7, 2016 Three years after finding defective Chinese drywall in 29 units at 500 Brickell East, owners in the luxury condo tower are still battling to recover $3.3 million in repair costs from the companies that provided the allegedly corrosive construction materials.    Read the article…………
  • Maintenance of common areas by owners is not unusual June 4, 2016 Question: We live in a gated community that has an HOA and a POA. We live in a quad that has four homes, and shares a common area that we do not own. That common area now needs to be repaired, and the four homeowners must share the cost of repairing it. There are other common areas here that the owners are not responsible to maintain. We would like your opinion on what our responsibilities should be. We feel that ...
  • South Florida condo boards rip off consumers with high application fees June 3, 2016 Condo associations across South Florida are ripping off consumers with high application fees in violation of state law, a Miami Herald investigation has found.    Read the article………….
  • Bahia Mar’s Lawyer Did Double-Duty on Nearby Homeowners’ Board (FL) June 2, 2016 A development group is planning to plunk two 29-story towers on the publicly-owned Bahia Mar complex on Fort Lauderdale Beach. In May, we reported that close to 30 people related to the development group bundled between $5,000 and $6,600 to each City Commissioner’s campaign in 2014 and 2015. Also, one of only two homeowners’ associations supporting the project has been run, in part, by the Bahia Mar development group’s top lawyer, Barry Somerstein.     Read the article………….
  • Bayfront condo association files suit against neighboring high-rise project June 1, 2016 When the 18-story Echelon on Palm is complete in a couple years, it may be one of the narrowest high-rises on Sarasota’s bayfront. The residents in the Essex House next door are furious about their new neighbor–saying this is a 26- foot wide property, and bound to cause problems      Read the article………..
  • Board needs to be fair, equitable in its decisions May 31, 2016 Q: The board of directors of our homeowners’ association is totally arbitrary in their application of the architectural rules in our community. For example, they approve applications for some owners, but when another owner applies for the exact same alteration, they are denied. My question is whether the board must be fair and equitable in their application of the architectural guidelines?     Read the article……….
  • Some committees meet in a public setting, some in a private setting May 29, 2016 Q. There are a number of functioning committees in our condominium, some of which meet in a public setting and some of which meet in a private setting without any notice to the membership. This troubles me as I want to know that the committees are open to the members and keeping minutes of business. Is this legal?   Read the Q&A……………
  • Did you sign away your free speech with HOA May 28, 2016 QUESTION: I enjoy your column, as I am a retired lawyer living in an HOA community. We are considering whether to write guidelines to address First Amendment freedom-of-speech rights. While in New Jersey, Massachusetts, and maybe a few other states, there are definitive decisions applying freedom of speech laws to shared ownership communities   I believe that in general (and in particular in Florida) the state of the law is unresolved, and so the resulting policy options extend over a wide ...
  • Lauderdale-by-the-Sea condo sues Related, contractors over alleged shoddy construction (FL) May 26, 2016 For the third time in five months, another condo project developed by the Related Group is facing accusations of shoddy construction work likely to cost millions to repair. Last week, the condo association for Aquazul, a 96-unit condo tower in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, filed a lawsuit against Related, the project’s general contractor Pavarinni, and 18 subcontractors over the installation of a fire sprinkler system that is allegedly leaking water and causing extensive damage to fixtures and personal property.     Read the article………….
  • Does the board have authority to conduct background checks? May 25, 2016 Q: I live in a homeowners association and the board of directors has passed a rule that authorizes the Association to run background checks on renters and buyers within the community? Does the Board have the authority to this? Is this a common practice in HOAs?    Read the article………….
  • Broward condo owners win 10-year battle over Wilma damages May 25, 2016 It took a decade of fighting, but owners of the Southgate Gardens condo complex have finally been compensated for the damage and hardship they suffered after Hurricane Wilma pummeled their units on Oct 24, 2005.     Read the article………..
  • State Fire Marshal’s Office: Cause of Belleza condo fire undetermined (FL) May 24, 2016 Action News Jax obtained the final investigation report by the State Fire Marshal’s Office into the Belleza condo fire, which revealed “the exact cause of this fire would not be determined.”    Read the article…………..
  • Parking violation, fine raises questions from owner May 23, 2016 Q: I recently received a letter from my homeowners’ association stating I had been fined $100 due to a parking violation by a guest visiting my home. This is the first that I’ve heard of the alleged parking violation or the fine. The letter simply stated that I had to pay $100, and if I wanted to “appeal my fine” I could attend the next regularly scheduled board meeting. Can the association just fine any owner without notice and then ...
  • Electronic Voting for Community Associations May 23, 2016 QUESTION: I heard that Community Associations are allowed to vote online for elections. How do we do that?  ANSWER: The Florida Law was amended last year to allow community associations to conduct their election voting on-line. (Florida Statutes, Sections 718.128; 719.129 ; and 720.317)    Read the Q&A…………
  • Claiming a pet is a service animal is risky May 21, 2016 Service animals may travel anywhere their handler goes in public, according to the Americans with Disabilities Act. The same protection is not afforded for therapy dogs and emotional support animals (companion pets), whose certifications are not legally required.    Read the article…………..
  • HOA rule of signed contract before fence approval is rather unusual May 21, 2016 Question: I live in a gated community with 11 individual HOAs, and a master HOA for the common areas. The homes are all “zero lot line” construction. I would like to install two sections of white aluminum fence (which satisfies our standards) on my side yard, towards my neighbor’s wall.  In order to receive approval from the HOA, I am required to submit a signed contract, contractor license and insurance certificate (showing proof of worker’s comp and liability insurance).  Does ...
  • Former treasurer stole over $51K from homeowners association, police say (FL) May 20, 2016 A former Boynton Beach homeowners association treasurer is accused of embezzling $51,000 in part, authorities said, to pay the mortgage on his house that allowed him to maintain his position with the association.     Read the article………….
  • Century Village owners balk after being forced to park farther from units (FL) May 19, 2016 Clara Castillo, a 77-year-old widow who uses a walker, used to park her car near her unit at the sprawling Century Village retirement community.  But now her association has ordered her to use a space in another building’s parking lot – a six minute walk away. Castillo had been using guest parking until last month, when the management posted a notice that cars belonging to residents would be towed if they parked in unassigned spaces.    Read the article…………..
  • DR Horton found negligent in Jax condo case, jury awards $9.6 million May 19, 2016 After a day and a half of deliberations, a jury has found the developer of the Heron’s Landing negligent and awarded the Beach Boulevard condo’s homeowners association $9.6 million Thursday.  Condo residents and experts testified that the Beach Boulevard structures violate Florida building code, and are riddled with defects, including cracked stucco, leaking roofs, and failing windows and sliding glass doors.  Read the article………….
  • Report poses health concerns for Northside HabiJax homeowners (FL) May 18, 2016 Eighty-five homes built in one Northside neighborhood in 17 days by HabiJax and 10,000 volunteers in 2000 are located near a 10-acre landfill that may not have been lined in the 1950s, according to a report assembled by Jacksonville Area Legal Aid for the Fairway Oaks Homeowners Association.    Read the article…………
  • After 36 days, Heron’s Landing case going to jury May 17, 2016 Five weeks and one day after they reported to the Duval County Courthouse for jury service, a six member jury will begin likely deliberations in the case against DR Horton Tuesday.  The lengthy and complicated trial pits the Jacksonville community of Heron’s Landing against the developer, DR Horton. Condo residents and experts testified that the Beach Boulevard structures violate Florida building code, and are riddled with defects, including cracked stucco, leaking roofs, and failing windows and sliding glass doors.   Read ...
  • ‘Bolts fever’ prompts rule change vote at Tampa Bay (FL) condo complex May 16, 2016 The excitement has reached such a fever pitch that one condo complex in Tampa is debating changes to long-standing rules in order to allow fans to display Lightning banners and flags. Take a look around Tampa and chances are you will see a Bolts banner – they seem to be everywhere!   Read the article…………
  • North Naples (FL) boating dispute leads to Nazi name-calling May 16, 2016 A dispute over boaters’ rights in a North Naples gated community led one resident to unfurl a Nazi flag Saturday and erect a sign likening one of his neighbors to a fascist.   Read the article…………
  • Vacation rentals: Good business opportunity or neighborhood nuisance? May 14, 2016 An explosion of short-term rentals by South Florida homeowners has left neighbors complaining and cities scrambling to regulate the practice.  Websites such as Airbnb.com and VRBO.com have soared in popularity, offering travelers the opportunity to rent rooms or homes that are more quaint, spacious and cheaper than chain hotels.    Read the article………….
  • Former treasurer stole over $51K from homeowners association, police say (FL) May 13, 2016 A former Boynton Beach homeowners association treasurer is accused of embezzling $51,000 in part, authorities said, to pay the mortgage on his house that allowed him to maintain his position with the association.    Read the article………..
  • Who pays? St. Pete (FL) condo resident saddled with pricey retrofit from previous owners May 13, 2016 In June, Howard Dowling Jones thought he bought his dream condo for $520,000 at Signature Place in St. Petersburg.  However, the a 61-year-old osteopathic physician never expected to be left with a bill for $18,746 after closing on the property at the much-maligned 36-story building downtown.   Read the article…………
  • Condo fraud laws must be strengthened, say politicians and police (FL) May 13, 2016 …..proposals to strengthen condo laws and regulations in the last two state legislative sessions in Tallahassee never were approved. Police departments kept referring complainants to civil courts or the state Department of Business and Professional Regulations (DBPR), which supervises some condo-related issues. And the DBPR insisted it did not have the authority to investigate many of the complaints     Read the article………..
  • Do homeowners have to comply with new boat rules? May 8, 2016 Q: I live in a homeowners association on a river. In 2014 the board of directors adopted rules allowing boat lifts to be installed with canopies on the boat docks. The rules included certain detailed specifications regarding the height of the lift, how far out of the water the boat must be raised and the height of the canopies.    Read the Q&A…………
  • Who is responsible for maintaining lake banks? May 8, 2016 Q: Our homeowners association has a number of lakes that were dug during development, and in recent months we have noticed significant erosion of the lake banks to the point where there is not much room between our pools and the lake.  Who is responsible to maintain the lake banks, and what are the causes of the erosion?     Read the Q&A………….
  • HOA is not obligated to answer submitted questions May 8, 2016 Q: I recently sent my homeowners’ association a certified letter listing out five disagreements/questions I had about decisions made by the board. The president wrote back by e-mail and said that they would not answer my questions or address my concerns, but I could inspect the records of the association at my convenience. This is unacceptable. I asked them for answers. Can they legally ignore me?    Read the article………….
  • Low attendance hampers condo board’s ability to make changes May 8, 2016 Question: Our HOA documents were recorded at the time of construction, which was approximately 1985. They state that any amendments must be approved by 75 percent of the membership. I have been on the board for 10 years, and no matter what we have tried, we have never had more than two or three owners either attend a meeting or turn in proxies for a membership vote.   Read the Q&A…………
  • Man will not face charges after drone crashes into Fla. high-rise condo May 6, 2016 An Ohio man will not face charges after his drone crashed into a Cape Marco community last month.  A camera on the drone captured the entire incident. The video shows the drone along the water line and can be seen coasting towards the building, crashing into a patio sliding glass door and tumbling to the ground.   Read the article………….
  • Homeowners groups can make sign rules May 5, 2016 Q: Can a homeowners’ association prohibit the display of political yard signs?   A: As the 2016 presidential election draws closer, it is inevitable that we all will start seeing political signs popping up everywhere. You will find them plastered in windows; at most, if not all, intersections; and probably even along the median of Interstate 4. But oddly enough, one place you might not see any political signs is in your yard if you happen to live in a homeowners’ ...
  • Drug Court judge testifies in condo defect lawsuit (FL) May 4, 2016 The plaintiffs rested Wednesday in a landmark construction defect trial against America’s largest builder. The Heron’s Landing community on Beach Boulevard is suing builder DR Horton, claiming the condos are riddled with construction defects and violate Florida building code.  DR Horton disputes the claim. They say any problems are isolated, and the buildings are fine.     Read the article…………..
  • Carillon Miami Beach’s Central Tower condo owners file suit against Z Capital (FL) May 4, 2016 Condo owners at the Central Tower are suing Z Capital, alleging that the private equity firm is artificially driving down property values to acquire units at below-market prices, and is assessing maintenance fees while denying unit owners access to building amenities and failing to allow them to see records.    Read the article………….
  • Drone crashes into Marco Island (FL) condo; video records incident May 4, 2016 A drone was capturing breathtaking, crystal clear video above the Gulf of Mexico and Cape Marco. Aerials showed picturesque blue skies, waves crashing ashore and Marco Island’s coastal high-rises.   Read the article…………….
  • Margate HOA president contacts Call Christina; alleges failing roofs (FL) May 4, 2016 For 10 years, some Fairway Views homeowners say they have been making constant repairs to their roofs. Water has flooded their garages, their skylights have leaked and water has dripped through their roofs.  Residents in the Margate neighborhood blame the shoddy workmanship on the contractors hired to replace their roofs after Hurricane Wilma.    Read the article………..
  • Residents upset over piles of trash at Orlando (FL) condo complex May 3, 2016 Trashy, smelly, a nuisance: All words that could be used to describe what people in an Orange County condo complex think about a mess in their neighborhood.  Garbage had apparently been piling up for weeks at Avalon Condominiums and residents want something done about it.    Read the article………..
  • Laws for condominium insurance can be tricky May 2, 2016 Q: I am a unit owner in a high-rise condominium. At a recent board meeting which I attended, the issue of insurance was discussed. The board stated unit owners are not required to carry insurance. Is that right? I thought the condominium law mandated that all unit owners must carry insurance for their units?    Read the Q&A………..
  • Condo owners lose property-insurance case (FL) May 2, 2016 In a dispute over property-insurance coverage, the Florida Supreme Court will not hear an appeal from condominium owners in Palm Beach County who said they sustained tornado damage when Hurricane Jeanne blew into the state in 2004.  The Supreme Court issued a brief order Friday turning down the case, a move that effectively is a victory for State Farm Florida Insurance Co.    Read the article……….
  • Has HUD gone too far? The rights of criminals to live in your community May 2, 2016 Anyone who believes that big government does not already intrude too far into the lives of the citizenry of the United States of America will be even more disgusted with the April 4, 2016 advisory opinion of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), where HUD most clearly provides felons more rights than non-felons under the Federal Fair Housing Act (the Act).   Read the article………….
  • Snuffing out the smokers in condominium buildings May 1, 2016 Even as of a few years ago, it was almost unheard of for a condominium building to go nonsmoking. Apparently there was fear that in doing so, property values would suffer as potential smoker purchasers would look elsewhere. This is no longer the case.   Read the article…………
  • Community Association Life: Use of handicapped parking spaces raises questions May 1, 2016 Q: Our condominium has enough covered parking spaces so that each unit has one covered space and various uncovered spaces. Our buildings also have two handicap spaces by the front entrance. One building has two owners that each park a car in the covered space, and a second car in the handicap space. Can the condominium force this owner to only use his covered space?  Read the Q&A…………….
  • Requesting Social Security data is fair game when buying in HOA May 1, 2016 Question: My wife and I are looking to purchase in a 55-and-older community in Boynton Beach. We picked up the membership application and started completing the info required by the association. I was surprised that they asked for our Social Security numbers, annual income and for us to sign a hold harmless agreement. Have they overstepped their bounds?    Read the Q&A…………
  • State Attorney found construction defects at DR Horton condo (FL) April 30, 2016 A high profile witness took the stand Friday in case that accuses America’s largest homebuilder of violating state building codes.  Fifth District State Attorney Brad King, who has represented west-central Florida since 1989, owns a condo at Heron’s Landing on Beach Boulevard. He is by far the most recognizable person to testify, but his story was similar to that of other owners at the development.   Read the article…………..
  • Poinciana (FL) residents refile lawsuit against APV, Avatar April 29, 2016 Three Poinciana homeowners filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the Association of Poinciana Villages, Avatar Properties and the Village One Association, claiming they violated an agreement and a contract governing the operation of the homeowners’ association and neglected their financial and fiscal responsibilities.    Read the article…………
  • Woman suspected of defrauding homeowners association (FL) April 28, 2016 A former bookkeeper is accused of defrauding the Kingsland Ocala Waterway Homeowners Association out of more than $11,000 over four years.    Read the article………….
  • Channelside condo owners say investors are bullying them into selling; may be forced to anyway (FL) April 26, 2016 Bullied and forced to sell? That’s what some condominium owners say is happening to them in Channelside.  Gene McDonald thought he found the perfect home to retire in — a one-bedroom condo, high above Channelside with a view and pool.  But just a couple years in, he’s now moving out, afraid he’ll eventually be forced out.     Read the article………..
  • Condemned, blighted, infamous Tymberskan condos – there’s no place like home April 26, 2016 It’s the much-talked about condo complex near Orlando, Fla., with the unusual name – Tymberskan.   And in Orlando, Tymberskan has become synonymous with crime, blight and controversy.   Yet, in my polite circles of friends and colleagues, the same question keeps popping up – “If it’s so bad there, why don’t people leave?”      View the news report………..
  • After crash, some condo owners still paying (FL) April 26, 2016 Are condo owners in an aging North Fort Myers development being assessed more than double what they should be?  That’s the claim of an owner who urged his association to foreclose on the developer for what he calls ‘phantom units.’     Read the article………..
  • HOA president: Squatter threatened to burn down complex before fire at Tymber Skan apts. (FL) April 25, 2016 A fire that destroyed a building at the Tymber Skan apartment complex late Sunday night was determined to be arson, the State Fire Marshal’s Office said.  The homeowners’ association president, Lorenzo Pinkston, said a squatter threatened to burn down the place, and he believes that person set the fire.    Read the article………….
  • Miami (FL) condo owners confused by election monitor April 25, 2016 Condo owners say there’s no clear way to determine whether a monitor has been assigned by the state or privately contracted by an association’s board of directors. The issue reflects the lack of regulations of condo election monitors, who are not state employees and do not have licenses or certifications. The state also stopped issuing identification badges for the monitors it approves.     Read the article…………
  • Sea change for Florida’s 60,000 homeowners associations April 24, 2016 On July 1, Florida law was amended to give condominiums, cooperatives and homeowners’ associations throughout Florida the right to conduct membership votes online. While online voting has been permitted for some time in other states, this new law represents a sea change for Florida’s more than 60,000 community associations.
  • Can the board apply for financing of renovations? April 24, 2016 Q: Our condominium is about to undertake renovations and the membership cannot stomach a significant special assessment to pay for the renovations. The board is considering a line of credit to finance the renovations. I recognize that the financing will make it easier for owners to pay for the improvements, but I do not want to pay any interest. Can this be avoided?     Read the Q&A…………..
  • Condo Consultant: Are changes in rental restrictions valid? April 23, 2016 Question: My husband and I purchased a villa on Jan. 7, 2015. We received the HOA documents and read them. One of the rules stated that owners cannot rent out their villas until they have owned them for 18 months.   Read the Q&A…………..
  • Ask a Real Estate Pro: Yes, your HOA can tell you how to park April 22, 2016 Q: I live in a condominium community, and I have been told that I can’t park by backing into my own driveway. Can my association actually tell me how to park? — Chuck  Read the article………….
  • Valencia Lakes residents picket FPL, asking for LED street lights (FL) April 21, 2016 A debate is brewing over street lights in one western Boynton Beach community.  Residents at Valencia Lakes want to put LED fixtures in the lamps. Florida Power and Light (FPL) said it’s not that easy.  Read the article………….
  • 58 people, 7 pets displaced in Orlando (FL) condo fire April 21, 2016 Dozens of people and their pets were forced from their homes after a fire broke out at an Orlando condo complex Thursday afternoon.  Firefighters said 58 people and seven pets were displaced in the fire, but no injuries were reported.     Read the article……….
  • Owner closes Windermere Country Club (FL) April 21, 2016 DeCunha has proposed developing 95 homes on Windermere Country Club land, which homeowners said should not be allowed, based on county ordinances regarding its zoning as open space within a Rural Country Estate Cluster plan.   Read the article…………..
  • Condo association sues Related Group and Dezer Development (FL) April 20, 2016 The master condo association for Trump Towers I, II and III in Sunny Isles has filed a lawsuit against developers Related Group and Dezer Development, alleging that construction work at the 271-unit development was subpar.     Read the article……….
  • Condo owners testify to widespread defects (FL) April 19, 2016 DR Horton is accused of building structurally deficient condominiums at the Heron’s Landing development on Beach Boulevard. The company has denied the allegations.   Read the article………….
  • Judge rules in two Compass Lake in the Hills lawsuits (FL) April 19, 2016 Circuit Judge Bill Wright has denied approval of a settlement agreement that was proposed to satisfy a class-action lawsuit brought by subdivision property owners James Cowart and Linda Dutch against Jackson County, the subdivision’s property owners association, the county tax collector, and the taxing unit by way of which a special assessment is collected each from lot owners in that community.   Read the article…………
  • A uniformity violation sternly dealt with (FL) April 18, 2016 She might never have thought about the whole thing again if not for the letter she got a few months later. It had news she can’t forget: The HOA said Onorato owed the association $12,266.  The bill was based on association rules that allow a fine of $1,000 per day.    Read the article……….
  • Attorney General’s Office investigating Beach Club bid rigging allegations April 18, 2016 The Florida Attorney General’s Office confirms that investigators are currently reviewing allegations of bid rigging at a West Miami-Dade condo complex to determine if any antitrust laws have been violated.   Read the article…………..
  • HOA Act entitles members chance to speak at meetings April 17, 2016 Q: I recently attended our annual homeowners’ association members meeting. We were asked to vote on several proposed amendments to the declaration of covenants. The changes were substantial and I had a number of comments I wanted to make at the meeting. However, when I was given an opportunity to speak, I was told that I could only speak for 2 minutes   Read the article………..
  • How should extra funds from canceling cable be used? April 17, 2016 Q: We have recently stopped using Comcast as our provider for basic cable to all 144 units in our buildings. The president of our board of directors announced that instead of reducing the condo fee by the $48-plus per month that we were paying, he would just leave it as is and use the extra money for a slush fund to pay for any future expenses. I personally think this is wrong, but do not know for sure if it ...
  • Withholding assessment payments in protest not a good idea April 17, 2016 Q.: Not being satisfied on how the board of our homeowners association is handling things and not taking care of certain issues, i.e., replacing sod, lights, allowing dogs over the weight limits, among other things, under what circumstances can a homeowner put their assessments in escrow and how do you go about doing this.    Read the Q&A………….
  • Hundreds protest against condo fraud in South Florida April 16, 2016 More than 250 South Florida condo residents marched Saturday through the streets of Doral to demand that authorities take steps to stop a wave of fraud hitting their neighborhoods.  With posters, flags and whistles, the group of protesters marched through downtown Doral shouting about alleged abuses by their board of directors and the private companies hired to manage the condominiums.     Read the article………
  • Latest ruling makes inspecting HOA, condo records more cumbersome (FL) April 16, 2016 Some owners mistakenly believe that this right is related to the state’s “government in the sunshine” laws, but those laws only apply to government entities. Instead, the state statutes governing community associations (the Condo Act, HOA Act and Cooperative Act) provide that any owner has a right to inspect the vast majority of the association’s records, save for a few specific categories of documents (such as those protected by the lawyer-client privilege, or personnel files).     Read the article………….
  • Miami-Dade leaders to tackle condominium fraud in Tallahassee April 15, 2016 Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Giménez says he will travel to Tallahassee during the legislative session to support a group of state lawmakers from South Florida who will seek to reform state legislation in order to crack down on a wave of condominium frauds.    Read the article………..
  • Miami (FL) condo assn sues developer over shuttered robotic parking garage on Brickell April 15, 2016 The condominium association for Miami’s Brickell House filed a lawsuit against its developer over a robotic parking garage that has been shut down, leaving residents with great difficulty parking their cars in the crowded city.   Read the article………
  • Tampa (FL) firm probed by Attorney General Pam Bondi accused of fake bidding in foreclosure auctions April 15, 2016 Many other associations have had similar experiences with the firm, Clearwater attorney Brandon Mullis said. He accuses HOA Problem Solutions of an “ongoing scam” that hurts not only the associations but also the homeowners, renters and honest bidders in foreclosure auctions.    Read the article………..
  • Site of animal carcasses cleaned up as promised by the HOA (FL) April 14, 2016 The homeowner’s association of the neighborhood near the site off Inside Loop promised the animals would be cleaned up.  Read the article……….
  • Woman Calls Christina (FL TV News) after condo sustains mold damage caused by neighbor’s leak April 13, 2016 When a South Florida widow felt overwhelmed with mold damage caused by a leak from a neighbor’s condo unit she called Local 10 News consumer investigative reporter Christina Vazquez for help.  Read the article…………
  • Condo celebrates raising of Old Glory April 12, 2016 Old Glory is a common sight on Marco – waving in the breeze from civic sites to condos, homes and businesses – but until Sunday the Stars and Stripes were missing from Pier 81.  “Driving around, I used to see that just about every condo had a flag,” said Pier 81 resident Gerry Rosenblum, “so I decided to suggest one for the property.”   Read the article……….
  • Lawsuit blames D.R. Horton for condo defects (FL) April 12, 2016 The lawsuit alleges that D.R. Horton violated Florida Building Code when it built the 240-unit Heron’s Landing complex on Beach Boulevard. The lawsuit, filed in 2013, specifically cites widespread construction defects, including cracked stucco, leaking roofs and improperly installed balconies. A handful of subcontractors are also named as defendants.    Read the article………….
  • Noise dispute continues between homeowners and plane club (FL) April 10, 2016 The battle rages on between a handful of homeowners and a RC plane club in Escambia County.  Neighbors came out to support the Northwest Florida Modelers Inc., Saturday, while at the same time hear the homeowner’s concerns.  The issue has been on-going for about a year. There have been meetings between the club and the Nature Trail Subdivision Homeowner’s Association.   Read the article……….
  • Is the lawn outside my unit a limited or general common element? April 10, 2016 Q: I live in a condominium with freestanding individual units and I own the inside and the outside of the structure. My condominium documents do not tell me whether the lawn immediately outside of my unit is a limited common element or general common element. Which is it?    Read the Q&A………….
  • HOA may have power to update entrance April 10, 2016 Q: I am on the board of my homeowners association and we are embarking on a significant update to our front entrance, which includes fountains and landscaping and new entry features. Some owners are demanding a membership vote on such a material change. Is the membership required to approve this update?   Read the Q&A………….
  • Delinquent owners can be subject to suspensions April 10, 2016 Q: Our condominium association has a number of owners who are delinquent. We have reviewed various collection options, including liens and foreclosure. I understand that there are other actions the association can take including taking away use rights in the condominium property. How can we take away an owner’s right to use the property? If we can do so, how do you enforce such a suspension?  Read the article………….
  • New owner of former Ponte Vedra Golf and Country Club asks for permission to develop part of property (FL) April 9, 2016 Before Dave Miller appeared before hundreds of Sawgrass homeowners at a meeting Friday, people were lining up to voice their opposition to change the neighborhood golf course into anything else.  By the time he finished his presentation, Miller made it clear things aren’t staying the same no matter what anyone wants. The choice will be whether the homeowners’ association members agree with his vision to salvage the property as some kind of community asset.    Read the article…………
  • Cortes to continue House fight for HOA reform (FL) April 9, 2016 Despite their best efforts, local legislators were not able to pass a bill to the Florida Senate floor regarding relief and recourse for homeowners against their homeowners associations (HOAs) during the recently-completed session.   Read the article………….
  • Carillon South (FL) tower condo owners sue Z Capital for accounting records April 8, 2016 Condo owners at the South Tower of the Carillon in Miami Beach have sued Z Capital, the owner of the project’s amenities, demanding access to financial records tied to millions of dollars in assessments. The South Carillon Beach Condominium Association filed suit last week in Miami-Dade Circuit Court against Z Capital Resort.    Read the article………….
  • What happens when resident vs. homeowners association? Ave Maria (FL) homeowner finds out April 8, 2016 In late March, Miami Management Inc., which runs the homeowners association on behalf of the development, threatened to sue Ospina if he continued to host the workouts, pointing to covenant agreements that are so common among neighborhoods and communities in the Naples area.   Read the article…………..
  • Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s office investigating Tampa property company April 8, 2016 Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s office is finally taking a hard look at what one real estate expert calls an “unscrupulous scam.”  The office confirmed this month that it has an “active consumer protection investigation” into at least one of the companies, HOA Problem Solutions of Tampa. It recently issued subpoenas for company records under a statute that outlaws unfair, deceptive and unconscionable business practices.    Read the article………….
  • West Boca man receives letter from HOA after installing blue lights for Autism awareness April 7, 2016 You’ve probably seen blue lights lit up all over South Florida. It’s part of Autism Awareness Month.  A West Boca Raton man said supporting the cause isn’t as easy as switching a light bulb.   Read the article………….
  • Changes must be highlighted for bylaw amendments April 3, 2016 Q: Our condominium association board recently sent out proposed amendments to our bylaws. Nothing in what was sent indicates what is being deleted and what is being added.   Read the Q&A………..
  • Community Association Life: Condo association all wet on leaky roof repair April 3, 2016 Q: Does a condominium association have an obligation to fix a leaking roof? If so, if the condominium has knowledge of the leak, can it delay the repair based on scheduled roof replacement to occur six months in the future?  Read the Q&A…………
  • County won’t shut off reclaimed water to Timber Pines (FL) March 31, 2016 The retirement community on U.S. 19 has long used reclaimed wastewater to irrigate its common areas and golf courses. Its representatives told commissioners that in a recent meeting with county environmental services director Susan Goebel-Canning, they got the definite impression — mistakenly, she says — that the county would temporarily cut off this supply.       Read the article…………..
  • Attempt to change Poinciana HOA regulations stalls in Legislature (FL) March 30, 2016 Legislation aimed at addressing gaps in state law that have resulted in political and financial disputes in Poinciana and other communities governed by homeowner associations died in the final days of the 2016 legislative session.  Read the article……………
  • Haile HOA Says Yes To Florida-Friendly Lawns March 29, 2016 Since 2009 Haile Plantation, a 1,700-acre development with about 100 individual neighborhoods west of Interstate 75 in Gainesville, has been using reclaimed water, or highly treated wastewater, to irrigate common areas such as parks and playgrounds.   Read the article…………
  • HOA Documents Govern How Assessments are Allocated March 28, 2016 Question: Our subdivision has 20 platted lots. At the time of initial development, one owner purchased two lots and built one home on the combined lots. Our homeowners’ association has only assessed this owner as if he only owns one lot. Shouldn’t the members be assessed based on the number of lots owned as opposed to the number of homes built on those lots?    Read the Q&A………….
  • How long should tapes from board meetings be kept? March 27, 2016 Q: Our board of directors meetings are taped and I understand that the tapes have been reused before our accepting the minutes for the previous board meeting. Sometimes there is a discrepancy regarding the minutes as written but we don’t have the tapes to verify this information. Shouldn’t the tapes be kept as a legal record of matter for a period of seven years?   Read the Q&A……….
  • Community tries to go green with LED streetlamps, but FPL makes it tough (FL) March 25, 2016 It seems like a no-brainer: Save money, use less energy, get brighter lights to improve safety and help the environment all at the same time. That’s what a homeowners association near Boynton Beach wants to do by switching its inefficient old streetlamps to new LED lighting.  Turns out it’s not so easy.     Read the article………….
  • Ask a Real Estate Pro: HOA must accommodate religious beliefs March 25, 2016 Q: Our homeowners association is considering replacing keys with electronic fobs on all pedestrian gates, clubhouse doors and pool entrances. A sizable portion of our community can’t use electronic devices on the Sabbath due to their religious beliefs. If the renovation gets done, must it include a non-electronic method to accommodate the requirement of certain residents’ faith?    Read the Q&A………….
  • 8 months later, victims of Belleza condo fire still waiting on State Fire Marshal report (FL) March 25, 2016 An Action News Jax investigation is getting some answers for local families who are waiting to find out what caused the fire that destroyed their homes.  Twenty units were destroyed when the Belleza Condos caught fire in 2015.  Now eight months later, families say they’re losing money as they wait for answers from the State Fire Marshal.    Read the article………….
  • Attempt to change Poinciana HOA regulations stalls in Legislature (FL) March 24, 2016 Legislation aimed at addressing gaps in state law that have resulted in political and financial disputes in Poinciana and other communities governed by homeowner associations died in the final days of the 2016 legislative session.    Read the article………..
  • Condo Owners Face Financial Losses Under Receiver’s Watch March 21, 2016 Like many other Miami-Dade condominiums, its owners’ association faced grave financial problems in the wake of the crisis. Its funds were shrinking as some owners defaulted on their mortgages and stopped paying the monthly maintenance fees.  And the board of directors had accepted a suggestion by the company hired to collect the fees owed, APG Partners LLC, to ask a judge in a Miami-Dade civil court to appoint a receiver who would help to fix the financial problems   Read the ...
  • Questions Arise Over Bids in Condo Roofing Repairs (FL) March 20, 2016 Condominium apartment owners The Beach Club at Fontainebleau Park are resigned to losing their properties because they can not meet the payments of a million dollar special fee to fix the roofs of buildings. An investigation by the New Herald and Univision 23 reveals that the tender for the contract was fraudulent.   Because of subscription requirements from the Miami Herald, I went to the source material El Nuevo Herald – if you need to, right click and select “Translate” ...
  • Amendment can be reconsidered after it was voted down March 20, 2016 Q: How many times can a board of directors request a vote on an amendment after it has already been voted down?   Read the Q&A……….
  • Can homeowners association decide mailboxes must be replaced? March 20, 2016 Q: The board of directors in my homeowners association voted to replace all mailboxes. This was decided without a membership vote. The board is proposing to use reserve funds for the mailbox expenditure. Can the board do this?   Read the article………….
  • HOA’s rogue president allowed an early peek at the votes March 20, 2016 Question: We live in an HOA. One week ago, we had a meeting to elect our board members. Our president was re-elected at a disgraceful and disrespectful meeting, during which we found that the president and his friend collected many proxy votes after visiting the community — and that he opened them in advance of the meeting.   Read the Q&A………..
  • Condo fire displaces two families, spurs evacuation (FL) March 19, 2016 A two-alarm fire at a 15-story condominium displaced two families Saturday afternoon and required the evacuation of about 40 more people while firefighters worked.     Read the article………….
  • Memo clarifies ADA March 18, 2016 Q: We live in a villa home. Our community has a private golf course and similar recreational facilities. Our local association has a “no pet rule.” We are told that the ADA requires us to permit pets even if we have a rule to the contrary. This does not make sense to me. Can you comment?   Read the Q&A………….
  • Legislative tactic fails; pricey, smelly water still the norm for Summertree (FL) March 16, 2016 A legislative maneuver to encourage a private water utility to relinquish its franchise over the Summertree community in west Pasco failed in Tallahassee, but both the sponsoring senator and the neighborhood residents aren’t tossing in the towel.   Read the article…………..
  • Foundation commissions needs assessment of greater Sun City Center (FL) March 16, 2016 “One of the major reasons for this study is to be sure we are using money left by donors in the most impactful way,” said Marlene Spalten, foundation president and CEO. “We hear hunger is an issue in the area but what the study may find is that while food is abundant, transportation to get the food is really the issue.” “(The assessment) is the best way for us not only determine community needs but also to look at services ...
  • Inside the “Disney for Adults” That Could Help Deliver Florida to Donald Trump March 15, 2016 The Villages appears to be one of the happiest places on Earth. So why are its residents all-in for the candidate of rage?  Read the article…………
  • Law allows ‘emotional support animals’ no matter size or breed March 13, 2016 Q: Our governing documents limit the size of dogs to no more than 30 pounds and prohibit pit bulls. We have a person that is seeking to lease a home and they have a huge pit bull dog. The person claims the dog is an emotional support animal and has a doctor’s note prescribing the dog. Do we have to allow the pit bull?    Read the Q&A………….
  • Association matter March 13, 2016 Q. We have an association of approximately 100 condo units. Our board president is also a Realtor who sells units and finds renters for condos in our association. Is it legal for him to be on our board? Isn’t this a conflict of interest?    Read the Q&A…………
  • Condo owners get more leeway in skirting new rental rules March 13, 2016 Question: Can you please clarify something you wrote in a recent column, regarding limiting the amount of rentals permitted in a townhouse association?  Your last sentence reads: “Any existing owners would be grandfathered, so you can’t retroactively restrict his ability to rent or undo his purchases”    Read the Q&A…………
  • Alachua County (FL) zombie subdivisions slowly coming back to life March 12, 2016 Wayne Bauman bought one of the first six condos in Grand Preserve at Kanapaha in 2008 and moved in that February with his wife. They loved it at the time, he said, but it wouldn’t be long before they were sorry they ever moved into what became known during the Great Recession as a zombie development.  Read the article………
  • Multiple South Florida condos under state investigation for election fraud March 12, 2016 At one Hialeah condo, a 2015 vote received 115% participation of owners; at The Beach Club at Fontainebleau Park, dozens of apartment owners claim their signatures were falsified     Read the article……….
  • Homestead golf course up in air; developer again postpones discussion (FL) March 11, 2016 A highly anticipated discussion about the future of Homestead’s Keys Gate golf course has been postponed again, this time until April.  Developer Wayne Rosen on Thursday deferred the hot topic until the next council meeting on April 20. The subject will no longer be discussed on Wednesday, March 16. The item was initially to be discussed in February and is expected to bring in hundreds of heated residents.    Read the article……….
  • Laurel Oaks homeowners adopt veteran families (FL) March 11, 2016 Kim Gaide, Military Support Coordinator of Lee Memorial Health System thanked Don Barnett and the Laurel Oaks Homeowners Association for adopting four veteran families this past Christmas.  Eight children and 6 adults were supported with gifts and food gift cards from the Laurel Oaks Community of 128 homes, located in south Fort Myers.    Read the article………….
  • House bill could damage Florida’s real estate recovery March 8, 2016 It was John Kenneth Galbraith who once said, “Nothing is so admirable in politics as a short memory.” It appears as though our Legislature is suffering from a mild case of amnesia when it comes to the recovery of the real estate industry.   Read the article………..
  • Last Week of Session Requires Close Monitoring of Amendments (FL) March 8, 2016 As I mentioned in my last Blog Post, one of the things that happens during the last few weeks of session is that legislative “trains” are formed, which allows bills and issues that have stalled to remain “alive.” It is critically important during the last days of session to watch amendments that are filed because this is a way for legislators to get their issues passed, even if it means amending completely unrelated bills.
  • Can condo owners cancel bulk TV contract? March 7, 2016 Q: Our condo has long had a bulk cable TV contract, providing service to all of the units. Recently our board decided that it wants to do the same thing for Internet service. This would represent a discount for residents — but an additional expense for those not interested or those who live here only in the winter. Can the board force this on us?  Read the Q&A…………
  • Following the paper trail will resolve condo parking dispute March 6, 2016 Question: We are a small (40-unit) condo that is about 10 years old. During the latter days of unit sales, one investor purchased the last eight units and was assigned a number of parking spaces (limited common areas per our documents).  Read the Q&A…….
  • Condo owner questions who is responsible for maintenance, replacement of windows and doors March 6, 2016 Q.: My wife and I are senior citizens and own a condominium unit. After the hurricanes of 2004 and 2005, our condominium used insurance proceeds to replace windows and sliding doors. The new doors and windows are very difficult to open and we are physically unable to maintain them properly. The board is claiming the owners are responsible to maintain and replace the windows and sliding glass doors. Is this true?     Read the Q&A……….
  • Homeowners sue developer for control (FL) March 4, 2016 The dispute between Pelican Landing residents and WCI has been building for years. What changed is that WCI is pursuing city of Bonita Springs permission to build up to four high-rises outside the gates on what is presently a golf course known as Raptor Bay today.  Read the article…………..
  • Famous tennis resort serves for redemption (FL) March 3, 2016 In a move that could end a fractious stalemate dating back to 2010, the board of the homeowner’s association at the shuttered Colony Beach & Tennis Resort on Wednesday voted unanimously to work with an Orlando developer to try and re-open the Longboat Key resort.     Read the article…………
  • Repairs begin on Fort Myers condos in ruins March 3, 2016 After paying nearly $1,400 in fines, the owner of the Banyan Tree Condos on Alderman Street filed for the proper building permits, sending crews to begin making major repairs.  The structural issues at the Banyan Tree Condos include broken stairs and rotting floors, which go back as far as 2014.   Read the article……..
  • Missing a simple HOA fee could lead to losing your home (FL) March 2, 2016 Action News wanted to find out why. So we went to the HOA, McNeil Management Company. But when we tried to ask questions, the manager shut us out by shutting the door and refusing to answer any questions.   Read the article………
  • Dog poop DNA testing creates stink in one community (FL) March 1, 2016 Some homeowners in Riverview’s Osprey Run community are upset because the HOA plans to start using DNA testing on dog poop to catch irresponsible dog owners who don’t clean up after their pets.   Read the article………….
  • No place for pets at local condos? March 1, 2016 Fred DeFoor is the board president for the Pierport Condominium Association in Stuart, which prohibits pets.  “With condo living, you have a lot of sardines packed into the can,” he said. “We have a guy here who has very bad asthma problems, he’s very allergic to pets, and to live next door to a pet would be a problem.”   Read the article……….
  • Unicorp, Colony owners consider plan that could end litigation (FL) February 29, 2016 The Colony Beach & Tennis Resort Association’s board will hold a telephone meeting Wednesday night to discuss negotiating a development agreement with Orlando-based Unicorp National Development that will “end all remaining litigation and finally put us on a firm path to redeveloping the Colony” if unit owners approve it, according to an email association President Jay Yablon sent to unit owners Friday.    Read the article…………..
  • Which Miami condo towers will be most affected by sea level rise? February 29, 2016 The slowdown in the luxury residential market might not be the only concern for current owners and prospective buyers. A new map released to The Real Deal shows Key Biscayne, Virginia Key and parts of Miami Beach are among the areas most at-risk of flooding.  Read the article………
  • With Willowbrook repairs complete, a few owners remain wary (FL) February 29, 2016 Most of 272 townhomes in the Willowbrook subdivision near Lakewood Ranch needed repairs for such problems as water intrusion, mold, collapsing balconies and sagging floors. KB Home fixed the problems and signed a settlement with the state two weeks ago guaranteeing it will provide repairs for defective homes it built in Florida during the past decade.    Read the article……….
  • Financial irresponsibility cited in turning down applicant February 28, 2016 Q. My condominium has an application and screening process for tenants. Our declaration has very little information with respect to leases and a lease for my unit was denied by the board due to financial irresponsibility. Is this legitimate?   Read the Q&A………………
  • Community Association Life: Buyers aren’t informed of community restrictions February 28, 2016 Q: When reviewing the sales contract for our condominiums, we often find the Realtor does not follow the wording referring to the condominium documents, as required by the referenced Florida Statute. Therefore, the buyer often is unaware of restrictions required by our documents, which causes problems after they move in.      Read the Q&A………………..
  • Condos turning into animal farms over abuse of law February 27, 2016 Question: My 55-plus condo community of 220-plus units has a “no dog” policy. Within the last two years people with service animals are using disability statutes to preempt this policy that has been in place for years.  Read the Q&A………….
  • Association’s bylaws should guide board election method February 26, 2016 Q: Our homeowners’ association recently had its annual election for the board. We have five board members, and only four people filed papers to run. I came to the annual meeting and nominated my next door neighbor for the fifth seat.   Read the article…………
  • Mastermind of $300 million fraud involving Clearwater (FL) condos gets 40 years in prison February 25, 2016 Clark was convicted in December on three counts each of bank fraud and making a false statement to a financial institution. The charges stemmed from his role as CEO of Cay Clubs Resorts and Marinas, a company that said it would turn Clearwater’s run-down Grand Venezia condos and 16 other tired properties in Florida, Las Vegas and the Caribbean into luxurious “hotel condos.”    Read the article………….
  • Will Creekside Golf Club close? It depends on neighbors (FL) February 24, 2016 After years of losing money, Creekside Golf Club has issued an ultimatum to a bordering homeowners association: Buy us out or collect memberships from each homeowner. Otherwise, the club will be shut down and sold, possibly to a residential housing developer.  Read the article………
  • American flags will continue to fly in Sun City Center (FL) February 24, 2016 When Memorial Day comes around this year, American flags will go up along State Road 674 as they have on all military-related and patriotic holidays since Sept. 11, 2003. But for the first time in all those years the Sun City Center Patriots Club will not be responsible for the effort. Read the article…………
  • Lake Worth (FL) seniors raise a stink over trash collection dispute February 24, 2016 “Seniors in Lake Worth have rights,” Jerri Greene, president of the park’s homeowners association, said. ” It’s more than about business. It’s about people. There’s no reason we should be treated like trash.”  Read the article…………
  • HOAs not getting equal rights: Department helps condo associations, not HOA residents February 24, 2016 A News 6 investigation has found HOA and condo association residents may be facing the same issues of alleged mismanagement but only condo association members are getting state assistance to hold board officers accountable.    Read the article……….
  • Pelican Landing residents file complaint against WCI (FL) February 23, 2016 A court complaint filed Monday by Pelican Landing property owners against WCI Communities shows even luxury gated communities aren’t immune to development pressure.    Read the article………..
  • Celebration (FL) residents held responsible for roof repairs February 23, 2016 Residents in the community of Celebration have been living under blue tarps because of leaking roofs and mold they have been living with for years.    Watch the report………….
  • Another Fine Legislative Mess with House Bill 1357 (FL) February 23, 2016 When Florida’s legislature is in session, there is never a shortage of topics to write about. House Bill 1357 (“HB 1357”) is no exception. It is another overreaching piece of legislation that will only serve to make assessment debts harder to collect and will cause association assessments to increase in order to comply with its overreaching and micro-managing requirements. HB 1357 is inartfully conceived. There is no intent to criticize anyone that participated with HB 1357, but rather to point ...
  • Tampa (FL) condos consider drone ban February 22, 2016 Two Tampa condo towers are trying to ban people from using drones on their property.  The devices can capture incredible video, but management at Skypoint and Element in downtown Tampa also call them a privacy risk. And that only scratches the surface of the concerns.   Read the article…………
  • Tampa (FL) condo complex riddled with moldy walls; association blames builder February 22, 2016 This time, problems have emerged at the Schooner Cove condominiums in South Tampa, built by Texas-based D.R. Horton. From the outside, it was a gorgeous community – until the engineers popped the stucco off 10 buildings last week, revealing a moldy mess.    Read the article…………
  • Palm Beach (FL) condo managers question town officials about utilities plan February 22, 2016 Managers of about 20 condominiums were at Town Hall on Monday to ask questions about the initiative to bury all utilities in town.  Read the article…………
  • Townhomes in HOA community may not have to follow same rules February 21, 2016 Question: My community is 15 years old, and the governing documents have never been changed. The community is comprised of 88 townhomes and 99 single-family homes. The HOA by-laws allow for collection of “reasonable” reserves for all home types    Read the Q&A……….
  • Proxy votes used when member participation is low February 21, 2016 Q: My homeowners association is trying to amend its governing documents and our documents require a majority of the entire community to approve the documents, but we traditionally have dismal voting participation. What can we do if we only have 30 percent participation, for example, at the meeting when almost all of the votes are in favor?    Read the Q&A………….
  • Can a new ballot be issued if the original ballot wasn’t opened? February 21, 2016 Q: I live in a condominium. I sent in my election ballot in with an error on it. I misunderstood something and got a name wrong. I contacted the management company and asked since my ballot has not been opened yet, was it possible to destroy and then reissue me a new ballot, as the original can easily be found because my name is on the outside of the large return envelope? I was told, “No, this cannot be done.” ...
  • Mother, son arrested for stealing from HOA in Polk (FL) February 19, 2016 A Lakeland woman and her son were arrested Friday after an investigation revealed they stole more than $122,000 from the Cimarron Homeowners Association from 2004 through 2015, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office said.   Read the article……….
  • County funds help Venice (FL) condo spruce up February 16, 2016 This winter, the condo reworked a major part of its Venice Avenue street front, dubbed the “Terra Verde Triangle” installing a fountain and using plants such as Asiatic Jasmine, Crotons and Foxtail Ferns.  And it received government money to pay for part of it.   Read the article……….
  • Association answers February 14, 2016 Q: Our association has become very political and appears to be at a stalemate due to fear and disagreement. The committees do not work well with the board and the board can’t agree on anything, including who should serve on committees. We are not getting anything done. Do you have any suggestions?    Read the Q&A………..
  • Community Association Life: Expired rules raises questions for community resident February 14, 2016 Q.: All of our HOA governing documents were not renewed within the 30-year limit of Florida Statue 712 (MRTA) and therefore expired in 2009. In 2012 in accordance with Florida Statute 720 the articles of incorporation, covenants and bylaws were “revitalized” and are now governing the HOA    Read the Q&A………..
  • Condo documents don’t need updating, but if you do, see a lawyer February 14, 2016 Question: Our condo docs have not been updated since it was set up about 15 years ago. How would we go about updating them and could we be fined for this?   Read the Q&A………….
  • Talenfelds Fight for Owners to Get Control of Upscale Plantation HOA (FL) February 13, 2016 Fort Lauderdale attorney Howard Talenfeld and his PR maven wife, Julie, filed a lawsuit to force developer Robinette Homes Inc. to turn over control of the Hawks Landing homeowner association to the residents of one of the most affluent communities in Broward County.    Read the article……….
  • Impact of reverse mortgages on associations is minimal February 13, 2016 Q: I serve on the board of my condominium association and one of the issues we have been hearing a lot about recently are “reverse mortgages.” Are there any specific concerns a condominium association should have with owners taking out such mortgages and does the association’s rights regarding unpaid assessments differ when a unit is subject to a reverse mortgage?    Read the article…………..
  • Grilling on the Balcony: What is Permissible in Florida Condominiums? February 10, 2016 Question: My unit has a screened balcony (some people call it a “lanai”). I understand that I cannot use a gas grill out there, but I enjoy using my electric grill when the weather is nice. The association recently published an article in our monthly newsletter that stated that we are no longer allowed to use or store any type of grill on our balconies, including electric grills.   Read the Q&A………..
  • Bill seeks to ease Summertree utility sale (FL) February 10, 2016 In late January, Pasco commissioners listened as residents of a west Pasco neighborhood asked the county to buy the private utility company serving their community.   Read the article…………
  • Poinciana (FL) board delays action on management firm February 10, 2016 Poinciana’s master homeowners association board voted Tuesday to delay plans to extend its contract with First Service Residential to manage the community and to continue to use 1st One Hundred to collect delinquent assessments.   Read the article………..
  • Developer votes crush challengers in Poinciana (FL) February 10, 2016 Large blocs of votes cast by Avatar crushed insurgent attempts to gain seats on four of the six village board elections Tuesday in Poinciana. Read the article……….
  • Building official preps South End (FL) condo managers for renovation season February 9, 2016 Bucklew led a course for South End condo managers and residents titled “Navigating your way through the permitting process.” The Palm Beach Community Managers Association and the Citizens’ Association of Palm Beach hosted the event at the South Fire Station.
  • Hills POA sues Jackson County (FL) for $9.2 million February 9, 2016 The POA is seeking $9.2 million in relief, excluding attorney’s fees. The suit alleges breach of contract, unjust enrichment, breach of trust, breach of fiduciary duty and unfair practices and seeks certain accounting disclosures and injunctive relief in the matter. The suit also names as defendants Tax Collector Sherry Brown and the actual taxing unit over which the action revolves.    Read the article………..
  • Are law enforcement vehicles subject to Community Association “commercial vehicle” bans? February 8, 2016 One common provision in homeowners association’s and condominium association’s governing documents is a prohibition against the keeping of “commercial vehicles” within the community.   Read the article………
  • Association limits campaign signs in common areas February 8, 2016 Q: I am a candidate for the board of my condominium association. I made some campaign posters which I posted in the community center to announce my candidacy and to introduce myself to the owners. The association told me that I had to remove the posters. As a candidate for the board of my condominium association, am I allowed to campaign for the board position?   Read the article……………
  • Jury awards Panama City Beach (FL) condo association $12 million February 8, 2016 A jury has awarded nearly $12 million in damages to the Shores of Panama Resort Community Association in a lawsuit against several former directors of the association.  Read the article……….
  • HOA board allowed to discuss budget matters without 14 days’ notice February 7, 2016 Question: Our board recently had its monthly meeting and, although the 2016 budget was not on the agenda, the board spent 10 to 15 minutes reviewing and discussing amounts allocated to different expenses, and made and approved some redistribution of funds.   Read the Q&A………………
  • Community Association Living: Election of homeowner to HOA in question February 7, 2016 Q: The Homeowner Association Board is controlled by the developer in our community and the bylaws were amended to reflect the developer control period to be in accordance with the subject statute. A question has developed from the homeowners concerning the following provision:      Read the Q&A……….
  • Action 9 helps local family get their home back after HOA foreclosure February 5, 2016 he Port Orange family who called Action 9 after their home was sold at an HOA foreclosure auction won’t be kicked out after all.  They lost their home after failing to pay just $1,900 in association fees.  The couple’s attorney had filed a motion to vacate the sale as a long shot.  But after Action 9’s story aired, the HOA and the new buyers offered to settle outside the courtroom.    Read the article………
  • Drone Regulation in Community Associations February 5, 2016 QUESTION: One of the residents in the community is flying a drone around the homes. Is there any law on drone regulation?    Read the Q&A………..
  • Can an association report a homeowners unpaid assessments to a credit agency? February 5, 2016 Q: We have a homeowner that has not paid assessments to the association. It has been suggested that the association report the debt to a credit reporting agency. Is this allowed? Is it a good idea?   Read the Q&A……….
  • Top county official accused of keying car in neighborhood spat (FL) February 5, 2016 After a lifetime in law enforcement, Ron Cacciatore now finds himself on the other end of a criminal investigation, one with roots in the most mundane of South Florida scraps – a homeowner association dispute.   Read the article………….
  • Condo allows dogs but doesn’t offer potty park February 5, 2016 Q: I picked my condo because it was dog friendly. It turns out that the building is more dog tolerant. While dogs are allowed, the condo does not provide an area for the dogs to relieve themselves. Owners must take their dogs off the property for potty breaks. Can a condo board allow residents to have dogs without providing a relief area?   Read the Q&A…………..
  • Unit owners battle condo board members for leasing their private pool to YMCA February 5, 2016 Unit owners at Briarwinds Condominiums in Southwest Dade are fuming that association board members quietly negotiated to lease their private swimming pool to the local YMCA.
  • Relief for Poinciana may come in Tallahassee (FL) February 4, 2016 Poinciana residents who are at odds with the Association of Poinciana Villages, their homeowners association, received good and bad news over the past week.  In Tallahassee, local state legislators Mike La Rosa, R-St. Cloud, and John Cortes, D-Kissimmee, have co-sponsored a bill that would clarify the powers of homeowners associations (HOAs) statewide, as well as those of residents in their disputes against management.     Read the article………
  • Condo Association Bylaws May be Path to Board Takeover (FL) February 3, 2016 The acquisition of condominium units by investors, including bulk-buyer unit purchasers, has served a critical role in the recovery of the South Florida real estate market. These concerns acquired scores of units at condominium developments during the height of the foreclosure crisis and enabled the associations of many distressed developments to regain their financial footing.   Read the article…………
  • Palm Bay (FL) HOA President Charged With Scheme To Defraud February 3, 2016 Agents with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement arrested Guillermo Angel Alonso, 53, the former president and property manager of the Palm Bay Club Condominiums (PBCC) Home Owners Association. Alonso is charged with organized scheme to defraud, with a total value of more than $275,000 between August 2010 and June 2014. Alonso had been the property manager and president of PBCC for approximately six years.  Read the article…………..
  • Association Lawyers Get New Florida Bar Certification February 1, 2016 Condominium association lawyers are celebrating a newly created Florida Bar certification for specialists in condominium and planned development law.  With multifamily developments and related litigation on the rise, proponents say the new certification reflects the nuanced complexities of a niche practice area focused on condo developments, commercial and residential community associations, cooperatives and recreational organizations like golf and tennis clubs.  Read the article…….
  • Can an association report a homeowners unpaid assessments to a credit agency? January 31, 2016 Q: We have a homeowner that has not paid assessments to the association. It has been suggested that the association report the debt to a credit reporting agency. Is this allowed? Is it a good idea?   Read the Q&A………….
  • Condo Consultant: Two people on a board should not equal one vote January 31, 2016 Question: Our HOA board president recently put two people on the board, and said that they could have one vote. The board always had six or seven directors, and each had a single vote. How can we have two people on the board using one vote?   Read the article………..
  • Certain procedures should be followed in tie votes January 30, 2016 Q: My condominium association just had their annual meeting and election. Two candidates tied for the final available spot. The manager told everyone a runoff election would have to be held if the two candidates couldn’t “work it out.”   Read the article………….
  • Judge sides with Waterlefe MPOA (FL) January 28, 2016 Judge John Lakin decided six households in The Shores, a private gated community within Waterlefe, owe the MPOA more than $111,000 in past-due assessments collectively, as well as reasonable attorney’s fees and costs.    Read the article………..
  • Court gives go-ahead to airboat-noise lawsuit (FL) January 28, 2016 A state appeals court Wednesday cleared the way for a Polk County homeowners’ association to pursue a lawsuit seeking to bar airboats from a lake because of noise.    Read the article………….
  • Carbon monoxide poisons Orlando (FL) family, condo building January 28, 2016 Six people were taken to a local hospital early this morning with carbon monoxide poisoning from a generator left on inside an under-construction condominium complex, police say.
  • Community Association Life: Buck stops with board of directors January 27, 2016 Q: Our association has become very political and appears to be at a stalemate due to fear and disagreement. The committees do not work well with the board and the board can’t agree on anything, including who should serve on committees. We are not getting anything done. Any suggestions?   Read the article……….
  • Failed Condo Project in Ft. Lauderdale Lands Donald Trump in Florida Appeals Court January 25, 2016 While Donald Trump banks on his brand to boost him into the White House, a Florida appeals court will hear arguments Tuesday in lawsuits accusing the Republican presidential front runner of misrepresenting his role in a failed beachfront project in Fort Lauderdale.    Read the article………
  • Does Florida law require directors to be full-time residents? January 24, 2016 Q: My condominium election is approaching and the ballot was recently circulated. Some of the candidates are not owners and other candidates are owners but only live here a few weeks out of the year. Doesn’t Florida law require directors to be full time residents?    Read the Q&A………….
  • Voting by secret ballots on condo upgrade not allowed January 24, 2016 Q: Our condominium board has formed a committee to develop a proposal to remodel the lobby, mail room, elevator hallway and social room. We have two “twin” buildings with one governing association. This remodeling will include both buildings at a cost of about $1 million.    Read the Q&A………
  • Community Association Life: Security responsibility is complicated issue January 24, 2016 Q: Our homeowners association appears to be safe, with little to no criminal activity. We have become aware of robberies and break-ins in neighboring communities. We do not have a perimeter wall and there are some large holes in the landscape buffer for potential intruders. Does my HOA have any responsibility with respect to the perimeter security?  Read the Q&A………….
  • Tall trees cause turbulence as pilot sues Spruce Creek Fly-In January 21, 2016 It is a neighborhood quarrel unlike any other, pitting some pilots’ love of flying against some of their Spruce Creek Fly-In neighbors whose allegiance is rooted in the ground.     Read the article…………
  • Predawn fire displaces 7 families at Westchester Manor Condominiums (FL) January 21, 2016 A fire early Thursday morning left seven families without a home at Westchester Manor Condominiums, according to Tampa Fire Rescue.   Read the article…………
  • HOA attorney fees a homeowner’s nightmare (FL) January 21, 2016 The past few years haven’t been easy for 61-year-old Joe Mosby. He says finances became tight after he was diagnosed with leukemia. Soon after that, he lost the job he’d held for 18 years.  “For a long time, I was upside down on my house and sold most of my possessions to pay my bills,” Mosby said   Read the article…………..
  • Condo developer hit with $15 million judgment (FL) January 19, 2016 Prominent Orlando condo developer and homebuilder Albert Kodsi was among those recently hit with a $15 million judgment for unpaid debts on the Fairview Grande midrise on Lake Fairview.   Read the article………….
  • Divided on each side: Estero (FL) residents split on accepting retirement community as neighbor January 19, 2016 Volunteers of America, a nonprofit organization that owns and operates senior living and care facilities in Florida and six other states, aims to open a continuing care retirement community on about 21 vacant acres at the northeast corner of Sandy Lane and Corkscrew Road. The property abuts the south end of the Estates at Estero River, and homes along the dividing wall have windows that face the Volunteers of America site.    Read the article………….
  • Vandals drain 400K gallons from drinking water supply in Central Florida town (HOA) January 19, 2016 About 1,700 residents of a central Florida community are under a boil water alert following an apparent act of vandalism that also resulted in low water pressure.  Plantation Bay Homeowners Association manager Margie Hall says the incident affected the entire subdivision on the border of Flagler and Volusia counties.    Read the article…………
  • Condo bears brunt of Siesta tornado (FL) January 17, 2016 The tornado came out of the Gulf, hitting the Excelsior condominiums on the Gulf before crossing Midnight Pass Road and then damaging the development’s bayside condos as well. According to authorities on the scene, the condominium sustained the majority of the damage on the key, although some roads remained flooded and filled with smaller debris as late as noon on Sunday.   Read the article…………
  • Can spouse run for the board if not named on the condo title? January 17, 2016 Q: If a married couple owns a condominium unit, but the title is in the husband’s name, can the wife run for a seat on the condominium board?   Read the Q&A…………..
  • Who pays for ceiling repair after condo building’s leaky roof patched? January 17, 2016 Q. My wife and I recently bought a condo. We currently reside in Florida from May until late December. During this past summer during one of the many rains experienced in Stuart the roof to our building developed a leak and was patched before major damage occurred. I submitted a “work order” because the white ceiling now showed dark yellow and brown staining as a result of the leak.   Read the Q&A…………
  • Sibling board members stick together January 16, 2016 Question: I am a board member of an HOA. We communicate via emails regarding subdivision issues, i.e., violations of documents, maintenance issues, common area maintenance, etc. Are these communications breaking association or state laws?   Read the Q&A………….
  • Directory information subject to privacy protections January 16, 2016 Q: I asked our condominium association for a list of all unit owner e-mail addresses and was refused. We have an “owner directory” that has some e-mail addresses. If the board has new e-mail addresses, shouldn’t they have to give them to me?    Read the Q&A…………
  • Live shark found in condo pool (FL) January 15, 2016 Pool owners are used to dealing with unwelcome visitors, from algae to ducks. Sharks are rarely an issue.    Read the article……….
  • Errict Rhett Foundation settles tab after neighborhood dispute (FL) January 13, 2016 A circuit court judge in September ordered the Errict Rhett Foundation to forfeit the house to pay legal costs for the Woodfield Community Association of Gainesville, which sued the foundation in 2013 over violations of its covenants.    Read the article………….
  • Pool at luxe Brickell condo needs massive repairs, could shut down for a year (FL) January 13, 2016 Residents of downtown Miami’s largest condo complex may want to jump in one of their three pools before it’s too late — the massive two-acre swimming deck at Icon Brickell is in need of major repairs and could be closed for more than a year.   Read the article………….
  • Operator pulls out of Brickell condo’s (FL) disastrous robotic parking garage January 12, 2016 Never send a robot to do a valet’s job.  The company that built and ran the disastrous robotic parking garage at a luxury Brickell condo has pulled out of its contract after declaring bankruptcy.   Read the article……….
  • Community association required to adopt an annual budget every year January 10, 2016 Q: I received my quarterly dues statement and it went up. There was no notice and no explanation. Is this legal? It doesn’t seem right.   Read the Q&A…………
  • Can the master association and sub-association levy fines for the same conduct? January 10, 2016 Q: My homeowners association (HOA) has an owner that routinely disregards the rules, particularly rules concerning landscape maintenance. The master association has fined this person a few thousand dollars. Can our HOA fine this owner as well and, if so, how?   Read the article…………
  • Association should allow political event in clubhouse January 9, 2016 Q: I live in a condominium association with politically active residents. One of our unit owners has asked to host a political event at the association’s clubhouse. I fear this event could attract a large public audience and be a burden to our residents. Can our association disapprove the event?    Read the Q&A…………..
  • Condo official’s illness starts probe that leads to grand theft, fraud charges (FL) January 9, 2016 A medical condition launched the discovery that led to accusations that a woman stole nearly $58,000 while treasurer of a Palm Beach Gardens homeowners association.  Martha Susan Coppock-Hughes, 58, of Palm Beach Gardens, was arrested Tuesday and is facing fraud and grand theft charges.     Read the article………….
  • Getting Results Award: HOA treasurer saves his neighbors thousands (FL) January 9, 2016 HOA Treasurer John Tenuta is this week’s Getting Results Award winner.  Tenuta saved his neighbors thousands when he noticed an accounting error on their books     Read the article…………..
  • Delray (FL) associations get a leg up on liabilities January 9, 2016 The Alliance of Delray meeting last month at the South County Civic Center featured attorneys Peter Mollengarden and Mark Keegan providing legal information regarding liabilities of community association boards.    Read the article………..
  • Fire sprinklers not required in older Collier (FL) condos January 6, 2016 A Marco Island couple is devastated after they saw all their belongings destroyed by fire Monday night. The damage of the out-of-control flames could’ve been contained if there was a sprinkler.   Read the article………….
  • Bankruptcy judge terminates contract for failed robotic parking operation (FL) January 6, 2016 The Brickell House condominium must find a new company to operate its shuttered robotic parking garage after a bankruptcy judge terminated its contract with the system’s developer.    Read the article………….
  • Disabled Woman Sues Aventura (FL) Condo Over Service Dog Access January 5, 2016 An African-American woman who was disabled by seizures is suing her Aventura condominium association for discriminating against her as she fought to keep a service dog ironically named Harmony.    Read the article………….
  • Turkey Creek (FL) homeowners buy golf club, seek manager January 5, 2016 Turkey Creek Golf and Country Club homeowners are now the proud owners of the community’s golf club and are reaching out to management companies to submit bids to lease and run the golf course that has been closed since 2011, as well as the clubhouse, pool and tennis courts.    Read the article…………..
  • Fire destroys Seawatch condo unit January 4, 2016 Marco Island Fire-Rescue personnel were called to a residential structure fire at the Seawatch Condominium complex on South Collier Boulevard late Monday afternoon.   Read the article………..
  • New Year, New Legislation Relating to Community Associations (FL) January 4, 2016 With the new legislative session beginning January 12th, 2016, we begin the New Year introducing new proposed legislation relating to community associations and note their possible effects on community associations. Representative John Cortes filed three separate bills in late November that aim to redefine the roles of several association departments, boards, and regulations.   Read the article………….
  • Lawsuits attack business model of Tampa’s LM Funding January 4, 2016 Tampa-based LM Funding America is off to a rocky start as a publicly traded company.  The firm — which buys the rights to collect delinquent homeowners association dues — is under attack in two lawsuits accusing it of illegal practices.  One suit, filed by a Miami condo association, alleges that LM Funding concocted a “criminally usurious lending scheme” that targeted struggling community associations.   Read the article………
  • Condo associations, in general, can take out bank loans January 3, 2016 Question: Can a board of directors of a condo association enter into a loan or line of credit agreement with a bank, using the condo assets as collateral, without a vote by the unit owners? —   Read the Q&A………….
  • Court gives go-ahead to airboat-noise lawsuit (FL) December 30, 2015 A state appeals court Wednesday cleared the way for a Polk County homeowners’ association to pursue a lawsuit seeking to bar airboats from a lake because of noise.  Read the article……….
  • Broken Gate Part of Security Concerns in $2.66M Verdict (FL) December 30, 2015 Leroy McDonald was killed by burglars in what was supposed to be a safe, gated community.  The 33-year-old father of five was shot while checking up on his cousin’s home in the Briar Oak community in Orange Park, a Jacksonville suburb.  The community advertised itself as secure — but those in charge let a broken security gate languish despite growing concerns about crime, McDonald’s family’s lawyers argued in a Clay Circuit Court lawsuit against the property manager and homeowners association. ...
  • Don’t kill dream of home ownership with ‘home tax’ (FL) December 30, 2015 HB 203, known as the Home Tax, would raise homeowner association fees across the state anywhere from 10 percent to 20 percent — and in some cases upwards of 30 percent.  The bill would force homeowners to pay costs for someone else’s new home purchase in their community. It does this by shifting the financial burden of preparing estoppel letters from the buyer and seller to homeowners and the associations they live in.   Read the article……………
  • No Poinciana Villages (FL) homes foreclosed on for unpaid dues December 29, 2015 The Sentinel’s articles, “Residents wary over foreclosure” (Dec. 20) and “Poinciana residents’ group sues, says HOA broke rules” (Thursday) don’t provide the whole story about the Association of Poinciana Villages.   Read the article………….
  • Hungry to make a change: Boca (FL) residents hope food drive inspires more to donate December 28, 2015 Over the course of the past six years, the Cloister Del Mar Association has refined its food drive method, doubling its collections.  Now that the Boca Raton condominium association says it has the year-round collection process down pat, its board hopes other associations will follow suit.     Read the article………….
  • Ask a Real Estate Pro: All unit owners have to help pay for new roof December 27, 2015 Q: The board of directors of our condominium association is contemplating taking out a loan to help pay for a new roof. That leads to all sorts of questions. How would this affect us? Would the lender put liens on the units and would they be harder to sell? What recourse would the lender have if we were unable to repay the loan?   Read the Q&A…………..
  • 9 units still under evacuation order after Clearwater (FL) condo fire December 27, 2015 “We had, I bet, 15-20 trucks here. It was a nightmare,” said Art Cornwall, who lives in the same complex and saw it all happen.  “Most of these people had family in the area and they were going to be visiting, they had Christmas decorations and toys. It was very much a setback,” said Cornwall.   Read the article…………
  • Does installation of a salt water pool require membership approval? December 27, 2015 Q: I am on the board of directors in my HOA and we want to install a salt water pool system. An owner is claiming this requires membership approval. Is he right?   Read the Q&A………….
  • Leaking water main in Largo (FL) turns into condo sinkhole December 23, 2015 Residents of the Water’s Edge condos at 11485 Oakhurst Road in Largo knew something was amiss Monday when a small depression formed in a newly paved road in that 55 and older complex.    Read the article………..
  • Poinciana group sues APV, developer over election issues (FL) December 23, 2015 Friends of Poinciana Villages sued Poinciana’s homeowner association and its developer Tuesday over what the citizens group claims is improper operation of the association and its board elections.  Read the article…………..
  • Is management association responsible for overgrown trees? December 21, 2015 Q: I have lived in a gated community in Martin County since 1996. The developer of the community did all of the plantings, trees, shrubs and some perennials. According to our bylaws the association is responsible for trimming the trees, shrubs they planted, and mowing and maintaining the lawns, all of the lawns.   Read the Q&A…………..
  • Seek legal counsel to discuss fire codes, retrofitting buildings December 21, 2015 Q: I live in an older condominium without sprinklers. I have been told we need to retrofit the buildings to comply with new building codes and that the retrofit is a costly endeavor. Can you explain our obligations?   Read the Q&A…………
  • Leaky coolant line could be costly for condo owner December 20, 2015 Question: I’m on the second floor of a four-story building. I have a leak in the coolant line that runs from my air conditioner to the roof. They have to open the wall to find the leak. If they can’t find it, they have to open the wall in the apartment above me, and possibly the apartment on the fourth floor. Whose responsibility is it to repair and paint the walls?     Read the Q&A…………….
  • Who is responsible for insuring the windows in my condo? December 20, 2015 Q: I replaced my condominium windows a few years ago with high impact glass. The original building provided by the developer did not have hurricane glass. My condominium documents provide that I am responsible to repair, replace and maintain the windows in my unit. Who insures the windows?  Read the Q&A…………..
  • Thousands of Poinciana (FL) residents face ballooning debt after HOA fees sent to collection agencies December 19, 2015 But now the HOA is under fire for what residents say is a persistent and ongoing effort by outsourced debt-collection agencies to inflate back dues with thousands of additional dollars in legal fees and late charges.   Read the article…………
  • Condo threatens $100 a day fine for wreaths (FL) December 18, 2015 A condo association in West Palm’s Lands of the President development is threatening resident Donna Sozzio with a fine of $100 a day.  Her “infraction”: placing a wreath on her door.    Read the article…………..
  • CREC Closes Unusual Sunrise Bulk Condo Deal (FL) December 17, 2015 “Unlike many bulk condo sales, the 141 units did not represent a controlling interest—38 percent—in the 367-unit condominium complex,” Mekras said. “This transaction and other recent noncore apartment sales speak to private capital’s strong appetite for cash flow generated from multifamily assets.   Read the article……….
  • Residents asked to pay for security for Christmas light display (FL) December 17, 2015 Residents in the Black Haw Bluff neighborhood in Jacksonville has been asked to help pay for security.  The neighborhood has one of the largest Christmas displays in the area. The HOA is asking residents to pay for a patrolman to direct traffic.     Read the article…………
  • 10 home burglaries in Daytona Beach gated community December 16, 2015 Another concern Johnson says she and her neighbors have is how those thieves have been getting into the gated community when security is supposed to be tight.  “You do have to wonder why we’re a gated community, how this type of a thing can happen in a gated community, so those are some concerns,” she said.   Read the article………….
  • Board not required to share proceeds of settlement with unit owners December 16, 2015 Q: I live in a condominium association where the board of directors recently levied a significant special assessment for repairs to the building to address developer construction deficiencies. This repair work is underway, and simultaneously, the association filed suit against the developer.    Read the Q&A………
  • Donald Trump Plaza Residents in West Palm Beach Want Moniker Stripped December 15, 2015 Some residents at one of West Palm Beach, Florida’s most iconic high-rises are pushing to strip the building of Donald Trump’s moniker, and the anonymous group has distributed a petition to all condo occupants encouraging them to sign  Read the article………….
  • What can be done to stop a president acting without authority? December 13, 2015 Q: I am on the board of directors for a condominium complex. My question is what can I do when the president of the board takes it upon himself to change a policy three days after a motion is made and passed by the entire board at a monthly meeting about that policy?     Read the Q&A……….
  • Even if you can’t use it, all HOA members have to pay for fixing lake December 13, 2015 I live in an HOA with approximately 350 homes, half of them on a lake. The half that are not on the water do not have access to the water behind these homes — only a small area by the community pool and play area.  Read the Q&A………….
  • Man found dead after fire destroys South Fort Myers condo December 10, 2015 A resident of the Brandywine Condominium Association community was found dead in his car Thursday after an explosion and fire raced through his unit.    Read the article…………
  • Appeals Court Sides With Insurer In Hurricane Claim (FL) December 10, 2015 In a dispute stemming from Hurricane Jeanne in 2004, a South Florida appeals court has rejected condominium owners’ arguments that they sustained tornado damage — not hurricane damage.      Read the article…………….
  • $1 Billion Lawsuit Alleges Cover-Up In Faulty PVC Pipes December 9, 2015 A class-action lawsuit has been filed over defective fire sprinkler systems and a national cover-up involving what’s considered significant life safety issues in condominiums around the country.   Read the article………..
  • Lawsuit Warns About Faulty Fire Sprinkler Systems (FL) December 8, 2015 A federal lawsuit carries a warning about fire sprinkler systems that may not work when needed.  Owners in two downtown Miami condo buildings claim the CPVC pipes in the fire sprinkler system are failing.  Read the article…………
  • Warning to (FL) HOA’s: Your rules, restrictions may be expired December 8, 2015 The Florida Marketable Record Title Act (“MRTA”), enacted by the Florida Legislature in 1963, was intended to clear up old title defects on property by creating a mechanism for extinguishing title interests of record that were more than 30 years old and were not specifically reserved. However, MRTA has had the unfortunate side effect of extinguishing many homeowners’ association (“HOA”) covenants that are more than 30 years old which has jeopardized many HOA’s authority to enforce the restrictions found in ...
  • Emails can get members and directors in libel and defamation trouble December 6, 2015 In the “old days,” when a homeowner, unit owner, director or officer of a homeowners or condominium association had a complaint about another in the community, he or she would take the time to draft out a well-written letter. In doing so, the drafter would probably go through two or three drafts before signing their John Hancock to the letter and mailing it.     Read the article………….
  • Is the HOA board responsible for damage caused by a tree’s roots December 6, 2015 Question: Some idiots years ago decided to plant a row of ficus trees behind a number of homes where I live. A ficus root has made its way under my porch and damaged the concrete. The HOA is responsible for “maintaining” vegetation, but I am told that doesn’t include roots. Is there any case law on this issue?   Read the Q&A……….
  • Changing security is likely ‘material alteration’ December 5, 2015 Q: I live in a condominium association that has a guard at our entrance gate. If we change from a live guard to video surveillance cameras to save money, would that be considered a material alteration?   Read the Q&A……………..
  • Florida’s clothesline law trumps HOA rules December 5, 2015 Indeed, there are people who don’t like clotheslines. And many HOAs’ rules state that clothesline are verboten. Cross Creek’s rules and regulations, too, state that clotheslines are prohibited.  But those were written prior to the state law, said David DeLaMater, who is a community association manager for Suitor, Middleton, Cox & Associates, the management company for the gated community where Krass lives.   Read the article…………….
  • Rat infestation plagues Naples condo (FL) December 4, 2015 Rats crawling in the walls, floors covered in feces, and an unbearable smell have wreaked havoc for a Lakewood condo owner for far too long.  Thankfully, the feces is cleaned up, but the management company said they’ve had pest control in to put rat traps all over the complex. But in the building, the smell is just terrible. It’s so bad that the person living here has stuffed all of the vents with dryer sheets and scent fresheners.    Read ...
  • Lawsuit alleges faulty fire sprinklers in Miami high-rise condo buildings (FL) December 4, 2015 At least two high-rise Miami condos are among many that used faulty and potentially dangerous plastic pipes in fire sprinkler systems, then covered up the problems for years, according to a newly filed federal lawsuit.     Read the article………..
  • Trapper removing feral cats attacked on social media (FL) December 1, 2015 A Brevard County trapper hired by a community to deal with their feral cat problem is under fire from animal advocates.  Wildlife trapper James Dean was hired last week by the Seaport Oceanfront Condominium Association to remove seven feral cats from their property.   Read the article………..
  • Caution: wasting water could lead to Manatee County fines (FL) November 30, 2015 The Lakewood Ranch Homeowners Association is adding a new caveat to the homeowner’s manual to help educate residents about water efficiency.  According to a state statute, if a resident or business has a automated irrigation system, the system is required to have a sensor to override the scheduled watering sessions to prevent overwatering after heavy rains.    Read the article…………
  • Are HOAs required to have healthy reserves? November 29, 2015 Q: My homeowners association (HOA) was created more than 10 years ago and we just discovered at a recent budget workshop that there are minimal reserves. It is clear that we will need special assessments to replace the perimeter wall and other various improvements because there will not be enough reserve money to pay for the replacements. I thought HOAs had to maintain healthy reserves. Am I wrong?   Read the Q&A………….
  • Condo owners angry town-home problems aren’t being fixed November 29, 2015 Nicely landscaped town homes at Berkshire Park near Windermere are less than a decade old but show signs of spider-web cracking and water damage — and owners see no fixes in sight.  Problems came to a head in the summer when homeowner association President Jeff Tepper tried to hire painters to freshen up the buildings, but the contractors declined the job. They were concerned the paint job would quickly ruin because of underlying cracks and discoloration.    Read the article………….