Florida Condo & HOA News Archive

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  • 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……………..
  • Condominium Associations Should List Their Attorney as the Registered Agent March 22, 2017 I am the President of my condominium association. I just found out that the association was sued by a disgruntled owner. Unfortunately, I just recently learned that the association has been “defaulted” in the lawsuit because we failed to answer the lawsuit by the deadline. Apparently the process server served a member of the community who hasn’t been on the board in over five years. This person is apparently still listed as the registered agent for the association, which is ...
  • 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………….
  • Departing Condominium Board Member Must Relinquish Keys Within Five Days February 23, 2017 Question: Recently, our association’s president resigned and took a job with our management company at another complex. While our office manager was on vacation this former president was in her office for a few hours. If he resigned doesn’t he have to turn in his key to the office. He has no business in there. Can he do this? He is a resident just like I am.    Read the Q&A………..
  • 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 ...
  • Linda Stewart bill would delay HOA fines on deceased owner’s family (FL) February 16, 2017 State Senator Linda Stewart has introduced legislation that would prohibit Home Owner’s Associations or HOA from charging late fines and fees immediately after the death of a homeowner. The bill aims to protect families from immediate financial scrutiny following the death of a loved one.  The law currently allows an HOA to implement liens immediately following the owner’s death. Senate Bill 950 would change that by placing a hold on how quickly they can begin levying fines and special assessments ...
  • 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 ...
  • What Community Association Bills Have Been Filed So Far? (FL) February 1, 2017 The Florida Legislature met in Talahassee for two weeks in January, but so far, no community association bills have been heard in committee. The House Judiciary Committee, chaired by Representative Chris Sprowls, did hear a presentation about “Condominium Terminations” and the termination provisions in Section 718.117, Florida Statutes. We expect that there will be legislation filed on this subject   The following are a few bills of note that have been filed so far:     Read the article…………..
  • 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 ...
  • Landscaping Violations Should be Resolved Early in Florida HOAs January 26, 2017 Question: I was recently elected to the board of directors for my homeowners association. One of the issues that led me to run was better enforcement of the restrictions in our governing documents. One of the homes in our community installed landscaping which violates our regulations. I have learned that the board was aware of this landscaping issue when it happened and that is was installed over ten years ago. Is there anything the association can do now?    Read ...
  • 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 ...
  • Florida Associations Should Consider Amending Rental Provisions Now—CALL Alert for January 13, 2017 January 17, 2017 As we start the New Year and the 2017 legislative session, community associations should be reviewing their current rental provisions and deciding whether to propose any amendments to address minimum rental terms. If your association has a problem with short term rentals in the community and would like to adopt amendments to the governing documents to address those issues, the amendment should be approved and recorded as soon as possible. For example, some governing documents require rentals to be for ...
  • 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…………..
  • Florida Condominium Residents Should Leave Contractors Alone January 3, 2017 Question: I live in a condominium association and there has been discussion concerning who has the authority to direct the association’s contractors and vendors, including the landscapers. We feel that because we pay for these services, these individuals work for us, and we should be able to tell them what to do. The manager told us not to speak to contractors or vendors and said that only she, as the board’s authorized representative, has that authority. This is completely unacceptable ...
  • Two New Lawsuits Filed Against Walton County (by HOA’s) (FL) January 2, 2017 Filed on Dec. 11 was a lawsuit brought by the Greater Driftwood Estates Homeowners Association and individual parties owning property within the Driftwood Estates Part I subdivision. Defendants include Walton County, the Walton County Board of County commissioners (BCC), two current Walton County commissioners, and one former Walton County Commissioner.  The commissioners and former commissioner are named in the 59-page complaint both as commissioners and individually. They include current commissioners Sara Comander and Bill Chapman and former commissioner Bill Imfeld. ...
  • 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 ...
  • Condominium Association Must Repair Air Conditioning Lightning Damage December 29, 2016 Question: 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………….
  • 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…………….
  • Investment of Condominium Association Funds Warrants Caution December 1, 2016 Question: 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? ...
  • 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 ...
  • Condo Association Must Make Records Available Within Five Working Days of Written Request November 16, 2016 Question: In a recent article, you stated that the Florida Condominium Act requires associations to make records available within 5 working days of a written request. However, I thought that the Association has 10 working days to provide access to the records. Which is correct?    Read the Q&A…………..
  • 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……………
  • Owners Must Follow Procedure to Petition the HOA Board for Agenda Items October 22, 2016 Question: I live in a homeowners association and have e-mailed our board president a number of times concerning items that I feel should be discussed by our board. While the president has politely acknowledged my e-mails, none of my suggested topics have been brought up. Does the board at least have to consider my issues?   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…………..
  • HOA Documents and The “Florida Sober Home Bill” October 13, 2016 Question: The issue of “sober houses” and other types of group homes has arisen in our community. We would like to know if we can amend our homeowners’ association documents to prohibit such uses?     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 ...
  • Are Florida HOAs Permitted to Host “Penny-Ante” Games of Chance? October 6, 2016 Question: I’ve heard that homeowners associations are permitted to permit “penny-ante” types of card games on common property, but don’t know what exactly is considered gambling and what’s permitted under the law.    Read the Q&A…………….
  • 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…………….
  • Privacy Rights Should Be Guarded September 22, 2016 Question: Our declaration of condominium documents give the board the right to approve sales and leases. We have no one on our board that has experience in reviewing application information. A former board member, who is also an attorney, helps us review the information we receive. He makes a recommendation as to whether the application should be approved or disapproved and the board then acts in accordance with his recommendation. Is this appropriate?    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………….
  • Service Contracts Should Always be Reviewed by Association Attorney September 21, 2016 Question: My condominium association entered into a landscaping contract a few months ago. The contract calls for the landscaping contractor to cut the grass, trim the trees, replace dead vegetation, and (overall) keep the property looking good. In just a short period of time the contractor is doing a lousy job. The grass isn’t cut on time, dead vegetation isn’t being replaced timely, etc. I am the president of the board and I wrote a letter to the contractor notifying ...
  • 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……………
  • Association Has Several Options to Enforce HOA Documents September 15, 2016 Question: The governing documents for our homeowners’ association contain a number of restrictions and rules. However, they do not contain any instructions on what happens if an owner fails to comply with the documents. If an owner is not obeying the documents, what does the homeowners’ association do?   Read the Q&A………….
  • 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………..
  • “Action Without Meeting” Generally Permissible For Associations September 1, 2016 Question: Our condominium association intends to conduct a membership vote on a matter without holding a meeting. Many members are interested in voting by e-mail, but do not have equipment to scan a signature. Is there any way around this?    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……………
  • Term Limits Contained in Condominium Bylaws are Likely Enforceable August 24, 2016 Question: I have been serving on my condominium association board for four years. We have one year terms. An owner is now challenging my right to be on the board. Our bylaws state that no owner may serve more than three consecutive one year terms on the board without taking a year off. I recall attending a legal conference years ago and the lawyer presenting informed us that terms limits are not enforceable in Florida. Are term limits enforceable in ...
  • 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…………..
  • Board Member Certification Requirements in Florida Condominiums August 15, 2016 Question: I am a member of the board of directors of my condominium association. One of our members has not completed a board member certification course and has not signed the form stating that they have read and will uphold the documents. My understanding is this is required by Florida law. What are the consequences of a board member not complying with the certification requirement?    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…………..
  • There is a Difference Between Requests to Inspect Official Records and Certified Inquiries July 28, 2016 Question: 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…………..
  • 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 a New Condominium Board Change or Rescind a Policy Adopted by a Previous Board? July 21, 2016 Question: When a board adopts a motion or resolution, is a subsequent board bound by the vote if it does not agree? Can a subsequent board change or rescind a policy adopted by a previous board?    Read the Q&A………………
  • 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……………
  • Can a Florida HOA Reject the Votes of a Tenant Proxyholder? July 14, 2016 Question: I recently attended the annual meeting of my homeowners’ association. Many absentee owners sent in proxies. The association’s attorney advised the association to reject several proxies because they named a tenant as the proxyholder. The attorney said that only association members may serve as proxyholders. Is this true and should these proxies have been disregarded?    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………………….
  • Wildlife Dangers Create Association Liability Concerns in Florida Communities July 11, 2016 Question: We live in a gated community with a golf course. There are a number of lakes and ponds. Alligators seem to come and go, but are spotted frequently. In light of the recent tragedy that has been widely reported in the news, there has been discussion about posting warning signs. What are your thoughts on this?     Read the Q&A…………..
  • 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………….
  • Homeowners Have the Right to Inspect and Copy Official Records of the Association June 22, 2016 Question: 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 Q&A………….
  • HOA and Condominium Association Boards Must Keep Documents Current June 22, 2016 Question: Our condominium documents are more than 30 years old. From what I understand, the association membership must take action at some point to make certain that the documents are not extinguished, but I think we might have missed the deadline. Is that the case? If so, does that mean that our declaration of condominium is no longer enforceable?    Read the article…………….
  • 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……………
  • New Rental Application Processing Requirement for Servicemembers (FL) June 14, 2016 If your community requires a prospective lessee to be approved by the association, you will want to take note of a new law that becomes effective on July 1, 2016. In short, the bill requires community associations to process rental applications from service members within 7 days after submission regardless of the time frame provided in your governing documents.    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……….
  • Pet Issues are Highly Contentious in Florida Condominiums June 8, 2016 Question: I live in a condominium. I am an original owner and have lived here for ten plus years. One of the reasons I purchased a unit in this condominium is because they had minimal pet rules. I have two large dogs. The only pet restriction when I bought was a rule in the recorded declaration against tenants having pets.    Read the Q&A…………
  • 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………..
  • What are considered “Official Records” in Florida Condominiums and HOAs? May 31, 2016 Question: I am the secretary of my homeowners’ association. In reading the bylaws, I see that I am responsible for making sure that the association maintains all official records. However, our bylaws do not specify what constitutes an “official record.” We just had our annual elections. We now have ballots, and a large number of torn open envelopes. Are these all official records? And, if so, how long do I have to keep them for?   Read the Q&A…………….
  • 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…………
  • Can a Condominium Board Take Away Delinquent Owners’ Rights to Common Areas? May 6, 2016 Question: 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 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………….
  • Associations Must Make Financial Statements Available to Members May 4, 2016 Question: I belong to a voluntary property owners’ association which has raised money for various projects within our community. However, I did not renew my membership this year by paying the annual dues because I was dissatisfied with the association’s prior accounting of its funds. Is there any way to force a voluntary association to give its members an accounting of its funds?    Read the Q&A………..
  • 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……….
  • Florida HOA Act Allows Owners to Speak for at Least 3 Minutes at Annual Meetings May 2, 2016 Developers of condominium projects, and the professionals they retain to draft condominium subdivision plans, should be alerted of changes to MCL 559.166 which took effect February 1, 2016. First, to eliminate any confusion about the licensing status of professionals authorized to draft condominium plans, MCL 559.166(1) states that only licensed architects, licensed professional surveyors, and licensed professional engineers may prepare these plans. The prior subsection arguably permitted unlicensed architects and surveyors to complete condominium subdivision plans.   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…………..
  • Poinciana (FL) HOA board advertising for management firm April 18, 2016 The Association of Poinciana Villages board has published a legal notice seeking proposals for management firms.  Day-to-day management is handled by First Service Residential, which was hired by the board in 2013.    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……….
  • HOA Documents Determine Who is Obligated to Replace Landscaping April 12, 2016 Question: I live in a homeowners’ association where the association maintains the landscaping on all of the individual lots. Recently, I had a number of plants, including hedges and palm trees die, and I do not know who is responsible to pay for their replacement. Because the association maintains the landscaping, is the association responsible for replacing the landscaping?    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………….
  • Condominium Directors “At Large” Have the Right to Vote April 7, 2016 Question: I was recently elected to the board of my condominium association as a “director at large.” In doing my due diligence since being elected, I have been researching what my duties and responsibilities as a director at large will be.    Read the Q&A………………
  • 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………….
  • Election Ballots Can Only Counted by an Impartial Committee April 6, 2016 Question: I attended our recent condominium annual meeting and election. There were quite a bit of shenanigans during the meeting. One of the most disturbing issues was the opening of the envelopes and counting of the ballots by a committee of three people.   Read the article…………
  • Florida Community Associations are Obligated to Provide Financial Reports to Owners April 4, 2016 Question: At the recent annual meeting for my condominium association the owners were presented with a question asking whether the association should waive the requirement to have an audit of the association financial records conducted.    Read the Q&A…………
  • 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………..
  • Florida Homeowners’ Association Act Defers to the Association’s Bylaws Regarding Elections March 21, 2016 Question: 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. I was ruled out of order and told the four people who had volunteered could appoint the fifth director at a later time. This seems fishy to me. What do you think?   Read the Q&A……..
  • 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………….
  • HOA Reserve Accounts: What Are You Missing? March 18, 2016 Maintenance, repair and upgrade of the common areas of a community can be costly, and reserve accounts can be a great planning tool for large projects. In 2007, Section 720.303(6) of the Florida Statutes was added to the Florida HOA Act establishing procedures and rules related to reserves if a) they were originally established by the developer prior to turnover; or b) a majority of the homeowners voting to establish specific reserves.   Read the Q&A…………
  • Service Dog Handlers in Florida Condominium Associations March 18, 2016 Question: We recently received an application from a prospective tenant who is a “service dog handler”. He trains dogs for disabled people. Our condominium documents prohibit tenants from keeping pets. Must we allow him to keep and train dogs while living in the community?    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…………..
  • Condominium Board Can Appoint Vacant Seat Without Regard to Previous Election March 16, 2016 Question: I live in a condominium and recently ran for the board. There were five candidates for three seats and I came in fourth. A few weeks after the election one of the newly-elected directors resigned from the board. The board then appointed an owner who did not even run in the election to fill the vacancy. Can they do this? I feel they should have appointed me since I was next in line.    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…………
  • 2016 (FL) Legislative Session Ends With No Major Community Association Bills Passing March 14, 2016 The 2016 Legislative Session ended last Friday, with no major community association legislation passing. Although a number of condominium and HOA related amendments were filed during the last week of session to HB 1187 and SB 1050, Relating to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, they were not considered.   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.
  • HOA Governing Documents Determine Director Eligibility Requirements March 7, 2016 Question: The annual meeting of our homeowners’ association was held in November. At that time, we had an election to fill two of the five seats. One of the directors elected to fill a seat is not an owner of a home in the community. The board has met several times since the annual meeting and voted on a number of issues. Are the votes of the illegally elected director on those issues valid?   Read the Q&A…………
  • 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……….
  • Condo/HOA Legislative Train Has Been Formed (FL) March 4, 2016 One of the things that happens during the last few weeks of sessions is that legislative “trains” are formed, which allows bills and issues that have stalled to remain “alive.” These bills typically have very broad titles, such as a “Bill Relating to Education” or a “Bill Relating to Transportation.” Last week, a train was formed out of a bill that originally dealt only with the regulation of professions and occupations, and which now is a “Bill Relating to the ...
  • 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……….
  • Reverse Mortgages and Unpaid Assessments in Florida Condominiums March 1, 2016 Question: 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 Q&A………….
  • 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…………..
  • Condominium Associations May Prohibit Campaign Posters in Common Areas February 29, 2016 Question: 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 Q&A…………
  • 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……….
  • Can a Representative of an LLC Unit Owner Serve on the Board of a Condominium? February 23, 2016 Question: I am a part of a limited liability company that owns a condominium unit. The condominium documents provide that to be eligible to serve as a director, you must be a member of the association. Unfortunately, the documents are silent as to who may serve on the board. I am the “manager” of the LLC. Am I eligible to serve?    Read the Q&A………….
  • 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…………
  • Florida Administrative Code Governs Condominium Association Runoff Elections February 22, 2016 Question: 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……………
  • 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……….
  • High Springs (FL) woman gets 10 years for embezzlement February 18, 2016 Charges of embezzlement from 11 homeowner associations (HOA) in Alachua and Gainesville led to combined charges and a conviction of racketeering for an employee of a Gainesville-based HOA management company.   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……….
  • Keeping an Eye on HB 1357, Relating to Community Associations (FL) February 15, 2016 One of the bills that is still being considered in Tallahassee this year is HB 1357, Relating to Community Associations. Among other things, the bill requires condominium associations with 500 or more units and homeowners’ associations with 7500 or more parcels to post many of its official records on a website.   Read the article………..
  • Associations Can Suspend Rights of Delinquent Owners Only by “Properly Noticed Board Meeting” February 15, 2016 Question: My condominium association board is looking at ways to address owner assessment delinquency. We are interested in suspending use rights and voting rights. Our board does not meet frequently, and we do not want the additional administrative hassle of holding meetings just to suspend delinquent owners.    Read the Q&A……….
  • 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…………..
  • Recalling Board Members is a Tricky Proposition in Florida Condominiums February 11, 2016 Question: All sorts of rumors have been flying around our condominium community about the actions (or inactions) of the current board and, more specifically, the president of the association. A group of owners started a recall against the president and asked me to sign a form to show my support for the recall.   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.
  • Condominium Board Cannot be Forced to Disclose Email Addresses of Owners February 4, 2016 Question: I asked our 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……….
  • 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…………
  • No Regulation of HOAs by DBPR this Legislative Session in Florida February 3, 2016 Yesterday, the Senate Regulated Industries Committee failed to approve SB 1122, Relating to Homeowners’ Associations. The bill would have required all homeowners’ associations to pay $2.00 per parcel for the purpose of authorizing the Department of Business and Professional Regulation to regulate the HOA.    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…………..
  • Does A Florida Condominium Board Have To Answer Owner Letters? February 1, 2016 Question: I live in a condominium association and serve on the board. Our property manager recently received a letter from an owner with a list of over twenty questions concerning the operations of the association. The letter was sent via certified mail. Are we required to answer these numerous questions? It will take us hours to answers these questions. The owner who sent the letter is constantly complaining about the board, always threatening to go to his attorney.    Read ...
  • 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……….
  • Can Florida Condo & HOA Owners Organize Political Rallies On Community Property? January 27, 2016 Question: 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………….
  • Can Senior Housing Communities Allow Underage Residents? January 26, 2016 Question: I live in a 55 and over community and the board of directors for our association is considering a policy that would allow under-aged occupants to live in a community under certain circumstances. Would such a policy threaten the community status as a 55 and over community?     Read the Q&A………….
  • 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…………
  • How Is Special Assessment Excess Adjusted After Sale Of Condominium Property? January 21, 2016 Question: The board of directors of my condominium association levied a large special assessment, which I paid. I then sold my unit. Shortly thereafter, the board decided that one of the purposes for which the special assessment was levied could not be implemented and, thus, the board determined that it would apply these funds toward future assessments. Can I request a refund?   Read the Q&A………..
  • 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………..
  • Can My Condo Association Prevent Me From Renting My Unit? January 9, 2016 Question: Before I purchased my condominium unit, my association amended its governing documents to state “an owner may lease or rent his apartment only once during the period of his ownership”. I now work several hours away, which has created a burden, and I need to rent my unit. How can I get the association to reevaluate the amendment or provide me with an exception?   Read the Q&A………….
  • 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………..
  • Can Husband and Wife Serve On The Board At The Same Time? January 4, 2016 Question: Can co-owners (for example a husband and wife who own only one home) sit on the board of directors at the same time?  Read the Q&A………..
  • 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……………
  • Do Budget Workshops Fall Under Sunshine Law? December 29, 2015 Question: I live in a homeowners’ association. The board of directors has historically held a budget workshop with only the chief financial officer of the management company and two of the five directors present. The association is governed by a five member board, so that board argues that because a quorum is not present, they do not have to post notice of the meeting or allow owners to attend. Is this legal?   Read the Q&A………..
  • 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………….
  • Is A Change In Security Considered A Material Alteration? December 23, 2015 Question: 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…………
  • 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…………..
  • Are Loan To Value Requirements Legal? December 17, 2015 Question: I am a realtor and I have been working in the real estate industry for many years. I have a potential buyer who learned about a new resolution passed by a homeowners’ association requiring a minimum of 15% down on all loans. I don’t do many deals that require financing and I have never heard of this. Can the association do this legally?    Read the Q&A…………….
  • 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…………
  • New Bills Will Significantly Impact HOA Operations in Florida November 29, 2015 Representative John Cortes has filed three separate bills which significantly impact community associations, and in particular, homeowners’ associations. The bills are:   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………….
  • HOA sues to evict Arlington woman’s dog (FL) November 25, 2015 An Arlington woman is fighting to keep her dog after her Homeowners Association filed a lawsuit demanding she get rid of him. Bianca Raphael admits her dog bit her neighbor but said it happened after that neighbor barged into her house uninvited.     Read the article………….
  • Police Bust Weekly Mahjong Game Played By Elderly Women (FL) November 24, 2015 Police in Florida busted a game of mahjong in Florida at a condominium clubhouse. The group accused of the crime: four women between the ages of 87 and 95.   Read the article…………..
  • Are there rules about flying drones in communities? November 24, 2015 Q: We are a homeowners association in Martin County. We have a homeowner who is flying a drone around our community and we have received several complaints from homeowners, as they are concerned about their privacy. They also have raised safety concerns. Is there anything we can do as a board?   Read the Q&A………….
  • Citizens expands clearinghouse to condo units November 23, 2015 Condo owners seeking new or renewed coverage from Citizens Property Insurance Corp. will be required to first await offers from private insurers beginning Dec. 14.  That’s because condo units will be shopped along with single-family homes in the state-run company’s Property Insurance Clearinghouse, which was introduced in 2014 to help reduce Citizens’ risk exposure.     Read the article………….
  • Neighboring condominium owners say water being stolen by Tymber Skan residents (FL) November 23, 2015 Residents of The Village say someone has tapped their water lines and run hoses to units next door at Tymber Skan, which has been without water for two weeks.  The Orlando Utilities Commission cut water service to Tymber Skan because the home owners association was more than $100,000 behind on payments.    Read the article……….
  • Condominium Board Candidate “Forty Day Deadline” Can’t Be Waived or Extended November 23, 2015 Q: I live in a condominium association and recently submitted my intent to be a candidate for the board for the upcoming election. Following receipt of my notice the association advised because I missed the “forty day deadline,” my name would not be included on the ballot.    Read the Q&A…………..
  • Can board change rule to now allow street parking? November 22, 2015 Q: Our homeowners association (HOA) board is rewriting the parking rules to allow parking on the street for homeowners and guests. The board says they can lessen the county law because we are deed restricted, thereby we can park on the streets. The roads in our community are narrow, which by parking on the street, will block the right-of- way.   Read the Q&A………….
  • Destin (FL) condo wants doggies’ DNA tested to track down problem poopers November 20, 2015 Pet owners living at Harbor Landing in Destin said they have recently received a strange request from their condominium homeowners association — doggie DNA testing.   Read the article…………
  • Condo owners in South Beach (FL) seek bulk sale, report says November 19, 2015 A group of condo owner in South Beach want to sell their units in bult, according to a news report.  The 40 owners of the 30-year-old building on trendy Lincoln Road hired commercial brokerage Avison Young to sell their units, the South Florida Business Journal reported.     Read the article………….
  • 9 displaced after condo fire in Marion County (FL) November 19, 2015 Nine people are now without a home after their condo caught fire in Marion County.    Read the article……..
  • Former homeowners’ association treasurer gets probation, 60 days of jail for stealing nearly $23,000 (FL) November 19, 2015 A former treasurer of a homeowners’ association has been sentenced to five years of probation and 60 days of jail in a weekend work release program for stealing nearly $23,000 from Lake Deeson Woods Property Owners Association.    Read the article…………..
  • Are Skylights A Window or Part of the Roof? November 17, 2015 Question: I live in condominium consisting of 46 free-standing single family homes; 22 of them were built with skylights. During the rainy season, my roof developed a leak originating from the skylight.   Read the article………….
  • Former Palm Beach Hotel (FL) condo employee files whistleblower lawsuit November 16, 2015 A former Palm Beach Hotel condominium employee claims he was fired because he would not conceal alleged mold problems and “structural defects” at the building, a town landmark at 235 Sunrise Ave.  In a whistleblower complaint filed last week in Palm Beach County Circuit Court, Charles Barone claims he was fired by condominium President Shay Pallas after bringing up those alleged issues.   Read the article…………
  • History Differs Between Condominium and HOA Statutes in Florida November 16, 2015 Question: As an association manager, I have a question that has always bothered me. Why are there so many differences between the condominium statute and the law for homeowners’ associations? You would think it would make sense for the two statutes to closely mirror each other, but there are significant differences   Read the Q&A……….
  • PCB (FL) residents seek parking solution November 16, 2015 The Palmetto Trace homeowners association wants the Panama City Beach Council to pass a law that would ban parking on streets in their community, but some homeowners aren’t taking kindly to the proposal.  Read the article………
  • State division has limited authority over homeowner associations November 15, 2015 Question: This question refers to an article that was published in July of 2015. In the article you refer to Section 720.306 of the HOA Act. In the same article you also refer to Section 720.303 of the HOA Act.  In a later article, you end your answer by saying there is no state agency to enforce HOA issues.     Read the Q&A…………..
  • Are older condominiums required to have sprinkler systems? November 15, 2015 Q: I live in an older condominium without sprinklers in case of fire. I have been told that 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…………
  • Condo lawyer mum on flower spat (FL) November 14, 2015 ……But no need to alert board members. They are on it. They have sent Morgan a series of threatening letters — the last one from a lawyer — demanding action. They tell her she is in violation of the rules of Center Gate Estates Condominium Association, Section 1. The alleged violation:   Read the article……….
  • Rep. John Cortes files HOA reform bill (FL) November 13, 2015 State Rep. John Cortes, D-Kissimmee, has filed a bill (HB 653) that will attempt to change state law governing homeowner associations in at least two important respects.  Read the article………….
  • Ponte Vedra Beach (FL) condo fire displaces 2 November 13, 2015 No one was injured, but two people were displaced after a condominium unit on Ponte Vedra Beach caught fire Wednesday night.  Read the article……………
  • Homeowners say association collects dues, does not provide services (FL) November 12, 2015 Homeowners in a Brevard County neighborhood say they are being hit twice with fees; first by their Home Owners Association, then by the Property Owners Association.  The POA collects fees but does not provide the services promised, according to homeowners.   Read the article………….
  • Condo owners’ fines reduced from $2.3 million to $26,000 (FL) November 11, 2015 For more than seven years, the Hamptons at MetroWest complex worked to deal with numerous code violations that built up fines totaling more than $2.3 million.  Code enforcement issues included leaky walls, rotten wood and mold, and while the problems have been remedied, the fines remained.    Read the article………..
  • Community Association Life: Fines statute undergoes revisions November 9, 2015 Q: Our condominium has an active violations and fine committee and it is our understanding Florida law recently changed. Can you explain the changes and new procedures?   Read the Q&A……………
  • Osceola, Polk leaders nix push to incorporate Poinciana (FL) November 9, 2015 Poinciana residents have been fighting for their community to become a city for years.  But the push stalled again on Monday during a meeting.  Some leaders wanted to incorporate to bring services to the more than 60,000 residents, but state officials said the reasons for the change weren’t strong enough.    Read the article……….
  • Tymber Skan residents forced to move after water shuts off November 9, 2015 Tenants in an Orange County apartment complex are being forced to move after their water service was cut off.   Read the article………….
  • Can Florida Condominium Board Members Vote By Proxy? November 9, 2015 Question: I am on the board of directors of my homeowners’ association. I travel quite a bit so I am often out of town for our board meetings. The board is considering a special assessment at our upcoming meeting. I would like to vote because this special assessment is a very visible issue in our community. I have asked for a proxy so that I can cast my vote, but the property manager has told me that I am not ...
  • Tymber Skan condos’ water shuts off Monday after failing to pay bills (FL) November 8, 2015 The water is getting shut off Monday at the crumbling Tymber Skan condominiums in Orange County.  Management has let the bills fall way behind and are now thousands of dollars past due.  It’s the latest frustration for residents, but some said they aren’t moving out of the complex, because they have nowhere else to go.     Read the article………….
  • Condo Consultant: Membership meetings vs. board meetings November 8, 2015 Question: In a recent column, you answered a question by advising the writer that he did not specify whether he was referring to a board meeting or a membership meeting. I am a board member at my HOA, and I would appreciate your description of how these two meetings differ.   Read the Q&A……….
  • Can board adopt budget without owners’ approval? November 8, 2015 Q: The board of directors in my community is considering adopting a budget for next year that will increase our quarterly dues by more than 18 percent from last year. Someone told me that there is a state law that prohibits the board from doing this without approval from the owners. Is this true?   Read the Q&A……….
  • Laws differ for condo, homeowner associations November 7, 2015 Q: As an association manager, I have a question that has always bothered me. Why are there so many differences between the condominium statute and the law for homeowners’ associations? You would think it would make sense for the two statutes to closely mirror each other, but there are significant differences.   Read the Q&A………….
  • Ex-HOA pres. arrested in Polk County (FL) November 6, 2015 A 66-year-old man who was president and treasurer of a homeowners’ association has been charged with the theft of more than $60,000.  Read the article………….
  • Be wary of unregulated property insurance companies (FL) November 5, 2015 There is a dangerous trend in the property insurance market affecting commercial residential condos. Associations are increasingly becoming insured by unregulated or “surplus lines” companies. By doing so, they risk forfeiting consumer protections against excessive rate hikes, reduced coverage levels and good-faith claims handling. They are also left without the back-up protections provided by the Florida Insurance Guarantee Association if the carrier is financially unable to pay claims.    Read the article………….
  • Former homeowners’ association treasurer gets probation, 60 days of jail for stealing nearly $23,000 (FL) November 4, 2015 A former treasurer of a homeowners’ association has been sentenced to five years of probation and 60 days of jail in a weekend work release program for stealing nearly $23,000 from Lake Deeson Woods Property Owners Association.   Read the article…………….
  • What does the future hold for Tymber Skan, Orlando’s most troubled condo complex? November 4, 2015 It’s strangely quiet as the morning sun climbs over the weedy palm trees and tall oaks behind the buildings of Tymber Skan on the Lake condominiums.  Right around the corner, other apartment complexes and condo communities are waking up. Kids walk to school and adults wait in bus shelters for the Lynx to whisk them off to work. Impatient drivers race down Texas Avenue on their way to wherever.    Read the article………..
  • Extensive damage at luxe condo after October gas explosion ripped through building (FL) November 3, 2015 When a gas leak ignited in the penthouse boiler room of a brand-new Sunny Isles Beach condo, the explosion tore through walls and down the 34-story tower’s service elevator shaft, knocking out or buckling doors from their tracks all the way to the ground floor.     Read the article………….
  • Does Condominium Board Have Right To Withhold Legal Opinions From Owners? November 3, 2015 Question: I am an owner in a “55 and over” condominium community. The board refuses to provide copies of legal opinions about how the board should interpret and apply certain provisions of the association’s bylaws. None of these opinions involve lawsuits. Does the board have the right to withhold these opinions?     Read the article…………
  • Who Can Recover Attorneys’ Fees in Disputes Between Associations and Law Firms? November 2, 2015 Question: My homeowners’ association is in a dispute with our prior law firm regarding the payment of legal fees. We have not been able to come to a settlement and are currently scheduled to go to trial later this year. Our question is can the winning party recover their attorneys’ fees and costs in such a dispute?    Read the Q&A…………..
  • Deerfield (FL) mayor fights citation against her neighborhood’s hedge November 2, 2015 A brouhaha over shrubbery has blossomed here after the company the city hired to handle code enforcement issues cited Mayor Jean Robb’s homeowners association for an overgrown bougainvillea hedge.     Read the article…………
  • Can a condo board charge owners a resale capital contribution for resales? October 27, 2015 Q. I am on the board in my condominium association, and we have heard of other communities charging a resale capital contribution for resales. This seems to be a great way of generating additional revenue to supplement assessments and prevent increases in assessments. Can our board of directors pass a resolution to implement such an assessment?   Read the article…………..
  • Rage-fueled CPA turned sleepy condo complex into sober complex (FL) October 27, 2015 A year after an FBI raid, Ken Bailynson – a CPA known for explosive outbursts of rage – is continuing his efforts to take over Green Terrace, a shabby condo complex where Bailynson once housed more than 125 recovering addicts in the more than 30 units he owned and called Good Decisions Sober Living.    Read the article………….
  • Declaration should define majority for amendment change October 24, 2015 Q: I recently received a notice from my condominium about an amendment to our declaration of condominium. The notice stated that this amendment could be approved by a two-thirds vote of the members who attend the meeting. This strikes me as ridiculous. A quorum for a meeting in our association is only half the members; therefore a very small number of people could approve an amendment that would affect everybody. Is this legal?   Read the article…………..
  • Residents fight big loan, thousands in monthly fees in condo takeover (FL) October 23, 2015 When three members of the Green Terrace Condominiums board — all given condos by Ken Bailynson — were asked during a court hearing in May about Bailynson’s sober housing business, they took the Fifth.  Board members also told the court they did not know the details of the $1.5 million loan they had approved from a lending company created by Bailynson, who ran Good Decisions Sober Living before it was closed after an FBI raid.     Read the article………….
  • Residents mobilize against redevelopment of Windermere Country Club golf course (FL) October 22, 2015 In accordance to the 1986 agreements between the county and original golf-course owners, the county owns the development rights for the Windermere Country Club golf course. Those rights were given to the county as part of the club’s County Estate Cluster District designation to preserve the land as “permanent open space” in exchange for the option to build smaller lot sizes elsewhere on the property.     Read the article……………
  • Does the Condominium Board Have Right To Change Locks? October 21, 2015 Question: I recently received an email from my condominium association about a law requiring the association to change the locks for all units. We are located in a high rental tourist area. The e-mail stated that within the next few months, all of the locks will be changed and all units that are rented will be required to have a security lock.      Read the article………….
  • Grove Isle (FL) developers settle lawsuit after six years October 21, 2015 After six years, the developers of Grove Isle have agreed to settle a lawsuit brought by its condo owners.  In 2009, Coconut Grove’s Grove Isle condo association sued the development company and related entities over annual club dues, and alleged that unit owners were unfairly assessed for common area maintenance, including to maintain the bridge between the Grove Isle Hotel & Spa and residential areas, as well as security and other upkeep for facilities.   Read the article…………..
  • Fact Check: Flag-flying ban not behind painted lawn October 20, 2015 A social media photograph shows a man who painted his lawn to look like an American flag because his homeowners’ association wouldn’t let him fly one.   Read the article……………..
  • OKO Group pays $48M to buy out Brickell area condo owners (FL) October 20, 2015 A unit of OKO Group has paid nearly $48 million to buy out all the condominium unit owners in a building at the south end of Brickell, with plans to create a luxury condo tower, CBRE announced. Miami Waterfront Ventures, a division of the OKO Group, acquired all the condominium units at the 25 Bay Tower Condo, at 175 Southeast 25th Road. The 11-story building sits on nearly one acre on Biscayne Bay, CBRE said.    Read the article…………
  • OUC cuts water at troubled Orange County condo complex (FL) October 19, 2015 Hundreds of residents in the Tymber Skan on the Lake Condominiums were notified on Monday that water service will soon be shut off at their homes.  Orlando Utility Company and Orange County Code Enforcement workers went door to door in sections 1 and 3 in the complex. With a deputy escort, they told residents their water would be turned off on Nov. 9.   Read the article………….
  • Condo owners in St. Pete’s troubled Signature Place will get a tax break, but buyers have dried up October 19, 2015 The not-so-good-news: Sales in Tampa Bay’s tallest condo building have all but dried up since news broke in August that owners face a $8.7 million bill to repair what experts have called “major construction defects.”   Read the article…………
  • Answers to puzzling irrigation pattern possibly found in covenants October 18, 2015 Question: In 2009 I purchased a residence in a gated community. At that time, the HOA monthly fee included mowing and trimming, irrigation, home security monitoring and basic cable. Eventually, cable was dropped, and that was reflected in a slightly lower monthly fee.     Read the Q&A…………..
  • Can unit owners attend committee or task force meetings? October 18, 2015 Q: The board of directors of our condominium has established several committees and task forces. The committee meetings are not noticed and we are told unit owners cannot attend. Also, the board says some of the groups are not committees, but rather task forces and thus any rules regarding committees do not apply. Is this true?     Read the Q&A…………
  • Active duty sailor loses home to unpaid HOA fees (FL) October 16, 2015 The home Mark Bryant purchased in 2006 is modest but he loves it.  “I worked real hard for my house,” he said.  While stationed at Mayport, the gunner’s mate purchased the house in the Creekside subdivision with hopes of returning to Jacksonville when he retires.  “Now it is being taken away from me due to a wrongful foreclosure,” he said.    Read the article………..
  • Association Regulations Can Lose Their Teeth If Not Enforced October 16, 2015 Question: Our homeowners’ association board and management company do not enforce the restrictions contained in our governing documents. While the association occasionally sends out a letter to an owner advising them of a violation, there is no fining committee and to my knowledge the association has never filed any legal action to enforce our documents. Are our rules enforceable and are threats made by the association meaningless if there is no follow-up?     Read the article………….
  • More buildings at trouble Orange County (FL) condo complex set for demolition October 16, 2015 Orange County taxpayers likely will be paying about $140,000 to demolish two more buildings at the troubled Tymber Skan condominium because of serious code violations, officials say.   Read the article………….
  • Lakewood Ranch CDDs consider towing ordinance (FL) October 14, 2015 A situation in the Edgewater neighborhood has led to proposed action by supervisors on the Lakewood Ranch Community Development District 2 board, who hope to bridge the gap between community deed restrictions and the enforcement of them.   Read the article………….
  • Poinciana (FL) board OKs budget, extends debt collection contract October 13, 2015 The divisions among Poinciana residents over the homeowners association governance continued Tuesday during a sometimes-raucous board meeting.   Read the article……….
  • Does Each Unit Get One Vote in a Florida HOA? October 12, 2015 Question: There are 10 homes in our community. The declaration of covenants provides that it can be amended by a majority of the voting interests. It also provides that homes 1 through 9 each get one vote and home 10 gets 10 votes  Read the Q&A…………
  • Pros, cons when HOA president joins property management firm October 12, 2015 Question: Our HOA has a full-time management company working for us on-site. Our HOA president has taken a job with this management company as a licensed community association manager at a different property. Should this person remain president of our HOA? As president, he will be in direct control of our on-site property manager. How could the president raise a concern about the management company, without fear of losing his job?    Read the Q&A………….
  • Rec lease complicates condo refinancing October 9, 2015 Q: We live in a large 55-and-over community that has a “recreational lease” in addition to our condominium association. We have been told by several mortgage lenders that they can’t refinance our mortgages to take advantage of the current low rates due to the rec lease. What can we do?   Read the Q&A…………..
  • Explosion rocks Sun and Surf condo, several cars damaged (FL) October 9, 2015 The condominium, at 130 Sunrise Ave., was rocked by an explosion in the garage around 5:34 a.m. Thursday. The explosion ripped apart a manhole, and sent its cover and brick pavers flying. Several cars were damaged.     Read the article………
  • Appeals Court Upholds $12 Million Award in Wrongful Death Lawsuit October 7, 2015 South Florida law firm Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley PA (Searcy Denney) today announced that a Florida appeals court has now upheld a circuit court’s decision finding three parties negligent in the 2011 death of nine-year-old Andrew Connor Curtis. The lower court awarded Curtis’ estate $12 million, plus interest and costs.  In 2013, a Florida jury found that three parties shared responsibility for Curtis’ death – Bygel, Villas on the Green Condominium Association, and the property management company overseeing ...
  • Condominiums That Fail To Properly Fund Reserves Will Usually Resort to Costly Special Assessments October 7, 2015 Question: My condominium association has no reserve funds for our roof. Every year at the annual meeting, the board asks the owners to waive the reserve funding and every year the owners vote to waive the reserves. Now we need a new roof for the building and the board is telling the owners that there will be a special assessment of over five thousand dollars per unit. Can the board just levy such a large special assessment without the owners ...
  • Sunny Isles Beach (FL) condo tower cited after explosion injures 6 October 7, 2015 The developer and general contractor of the luxury Sunny Isles Beach condo tower where there was an explosion in the boiler room last week were cited for the improper “purging of gas piping system.”   Read the article…………
  • New Owner Trashes Fine in Florida HOA October 5, 2015 Question: I live in a homeowners’ association and the declaration of covenants provides that trash cans may not be put at the curb until 7PM the night before trash pickup. I am new to the community and was not aware of this provision and put my trash cans out at 5PM.   Read the Q&A………………
  • Florida leads U.S. for FAA drone approval in real estate October 4, 2015 As the remote-controlled devices increasingly claim air space, they have also drawn the attention of homeowner associations and commercial pilots.  A recent newsletter from a homeowner association in Brevard County reads that drones “trespass by flying low over a person’s property to interfere with the owner’s reasonable use and enjoyment of their property.” It went on to advise owners to call the Sheriff’s Office to report any related problems.     Read the article…………
  • Cleanup Efforts Won’t Be Quick For Sunny Isles Highrise (FL) October 4, 2015 The damage to the top floor of a high-rise condominium in Sunny Isles Beach may take longer to fix than expected.  The boiler room on the 34th floor of the “Chateau Beach Residences” at 17475 Collins Avenue exploded Friday morning, injuring six people and blowing up the top floor.   Read the article……….
  • Bill to reform HOA elections in Osceola County (FL) rejected October 4, 2015 Things got heated Friday as local legislators in Osceola County decided not to move forward with a new bill that would impact homeowners associations and their election process.  While the meeting was only slated to last a few hours, legislators and Poinciana residents discussed the proposed bill all day Friday, ultimately deciding not to move forward and bring the bill to Tallahassee this upcoming legislative session.    Read the article………….
  • Owner may not deny entrance for lanai inspection October 3, 2015 Q: I own a condominium unit but only live in the unit seasonally during the winter. Recently, I received a letter from the association stating that over the next few weeks they would be entering every unit to perform inspections on the lanais  Read the Q&A…………..
  • Explosion at Sunny Isles Beach condo tower injures six (FL) October 2, 2015 A 34th-floor boiler room blew up atop a new waterfront Sunny Isles Beach condominium Friday, injuring six people, including at least one worker in or near the boilers at the time of the explosion.     Read the article………….
  • Lawmakers consider HOA reform bill for Osceola County (FL) October 1, 2015 Osceola County legislators are considering a bill that would reform the way homeowners associations elect leaders. But the bill may not be able to help the largest community in the area – Poinciana.  State Rep. John Cortes, D-Kissimmee, and his staff said they are working on an Osceola County HOA bill. The new bill would impact Osceola County HOAs only by creating the following election guidelines:    Read the article……….
  • Is There A Limitation On The Use of Drones In Community Associations? (FL) October 1, 2015 Question: The issue of remote-controlled “drones” was recently brought up at our homeowners’ association meeting. There was concern by certain residents that people might start using drones within the community. Are there limitations on the ability of the people to use drones within a community?   Read the article…………..
  • Can The Condominium Association’s Lawyer Also Represent The Manager? September 28, 2015 Question: A unit owner in the condominium where I live filed separate complaints with the Department of Business and Professional Regulation against the condominium association and the management company, The association’s legal counsel represented both the association and the management company with respect to these complaints, Is it legal and/or ethical for an attorney to represent an association as well as the management company with which the association has contracted?   Read the Q&A……………….
  • Publishing early results of proxies is legal, spurs voting September 27, 2015 Questions: Our HOA membership is in the process of voting on a proposed update change to our documents. The documents presently refer to voting by proxy without any indication of, or requirement for, secret proxies. The actual meeting is in two months.     Read the article……….
  • Community Association Q&A: Clarification of 2015 Laws Related to Fining September 26, 2015 QUESTION: Did the laws change regarding fining procedures for Community Associations?  Read the Q&A………….
  • No law requiring associations to change its locks September 26, 2015 Q: I recently received an email from my condominium association about a law requiring the association to change the locks for all units. We are located in a high rental tourist area. The email stated that within the next few months, all of the locks will be changed and all units that are rented will be required to have a security lock.   Read the Q&A……….
  • Family battles homeowners’ association over tree roots September 24, 2015 Taylor said she’s stressed about the damage to her home. The damage to the wall in her 6-year-old daughter’s bedroom started with a small splinter, then grew into a large crack, which now spans the length of the wall and goes to the ceiling.  On the other side of the wall is a large tree. The roots can be seen above ground and appear to be growing right into the foundation.     Read the article………..
  • Drug-plagued and condemned, Blossom Park condos may close September 23, 2015 Blossom Park Condominiums, the former Days Inn Motel that has been linked to more than half of the county’s heroin deaths, may soon close as code violations have mounted and tenants have left the deteriorating condo complex.  Read the article……….
  • Man, 82, arrested for threatening landscapers (FL) September 22, 2015 Vincent Pelliccione, 82, spent Friday night in jail after police say he threatened to kill a group of lawn care workers outside his home at Olympia Pointe near Lehigh Acres.  It all started when Pelliccione says he came home Friday morning and found the oak tree in his front yard had been chopped down.    Read the article…………
  • Orlando MetroWest (FL) condo complex faces millions in code-violation fines September 20, 2015 Orlando’s biggest challenge with building-safety violations isn’t in a blighted area. It’s a manicured MetroWest condo community where landscapers weed and security guards check guests.  The English-themed Hamptons community of 743 condominiums faces $4 million in code-enforcement fines for violations — the largest tab in the city, according to Orlando officials.    Read the article………..
  • Condo Consultant: Revitalize old HOA covenants September 20, 2015 Question: In 2002 our HOA filed a Notice Preserving Covenants and Restrictions after our original covenants, recorded on Dec 1, 1970, expired. This was approved by a majority of the membership at a duly noticed meeting.  In 2004 Florida created a statute with mechanisms for reviving covenants. Feeling that we had complied in 2002, we did not refile in 2004.   Read the Q&A………….
  • When can an owner speak at a board meeting? (FL) September 20, 2015 Q: Our community has long struggled with owner comments at board meetings. The board recently enacted a policy whereby owners are provided an opportunity to speak once and at the very beginning of the meeting before old and new business is discussed. I find this problematic and contrary to the intent of Florida law because we often don’t know what is going to be discussed until the board arrives at new business on the agenda — at which time we ...
  • Snead Island feud ignites Manatee County (FL) code violations sweep September 19, 2015 A neighborhood feud born when Manatee County officials received a complaint about a 3-year-old girl’s swing set blocking a neighbor’s view of Terra Ceia Bay continues to fester after county investigators then discovered multiple code violations at nine homes more than a year ago.
  • Bright House keeps cable, Internet on for Tymber Skan (FL) September 19, 2015 The cable company, concerned about the safety of technicians who service the crime-ridden condominium complex, had planned to cut TV, Internet and phone services to Tymber Skan on Sept. 21. Residents called on Orange County government this week to intercede.    Read the article…………
  • Can legal counsel represent two parties in complaint? September 19, 2015 Q: A unit owner in the condominium where I live filed separate complaints with the Department of Business and Professional Regulation against the condominium association and the management company. The association’s legal counsel represented both the association and the management company    Read the Q&A…………..
  • Delray (FL) Condo Associations Claim Defective Roofing Product September 19, 2015 Attorney Ian Kravitz said applying another coat of a substandard product is useless: “The only good solution is to tear out the roofs and repair them,” he said.  The roofs aren’t on fire, but they might as well be after residents of two Delray Beach condominium communities say they got burned by a roofing manufacturer’s inferior product and warranty.    Read the article………..
  • East Lake (FL) resident’s porch decoration leads to lawsuit September 17, 2015 On a quiet street in East Lake Woodlands, the homes are nearly identical, with carports in front of neat lawns.  But one homeowner’s decorative taste is creating a stir. Lorraine Jacovides, 55, has a piece of ironwork hanging outside her front door.   Read the article………..
  • Clay (FL) homeowner associations squawking over issue of residential backyard chickens September 16, 2015 Some Clay County homeowner associations say they don’t object to residential backyard chickens per se, but just don’t want the fowl in their planned neighborhoods.     Read the article…………..
  • FL Rep Cortes: FirstService must communicate with Poinciana residents September 16, 2015 Florida House Representative John Cortes, D-Kissimmee, is trying to serve as a mediator between the residents of Poinciana and FirstService Residential, who acts as the homeowner’s association and answers to the Master Board of the Association of Poinciana Villages.     Read the article………
  • Fight the HOA or risk damaging your home… One man’s fight over tree in Oviedo (FL) September 15, 2015 An Oviedo couple said they’re being singled out by their homeowners association in a battle over a tree.  The HOA wants the couple to replace a large tree the couple removed from their front yard, but the couple said they’ve since learned the previous tree was damaging their home underground, and they’re refusing to plant a new one.   Read the article………
  • Long list of problems with Orange County (FL) condo complex laid out for commissioners September 15, 2015 Orange County sheriff’s officials told county commissioners Tuesday that the troubled Blossom Park condominium complex is one of the county’s worst areas for drug overdoses.  Commissioners got a briefing on crime statistics for the area and heard what the Sheriff’s Office is doing about it.    Read the article…………….
  • Does a Florida Association Have To Have A Website For Owners? September 14, 2015 Question: What information is required to be on a homeowners’ association website? My association maintains a website, but it only contains minimal information. I cannot find the minutes of board meetings, copies of contracts, or insurance policies.    Read the Q&A………….
  • Fighting for grandfathering rights can be costly September 13, 2015 Question: I live in a 100-unit condo complex and have recently received a notice from the management company, notifying me that I am in violation of the rules and regulations approved by the newly elected board. I have a small “Welcome to the Beach” sign hanging below the outside light next to my front door. This would be considered a “common area.”   Read the Q&A…………..
  • Condo owners cry foul over Panama City Beach (FL) proposal September 13, 2015 Condominium owners are raising concerns about a proposed Spring Break ordinance that would require them to register their units with the city for short-term rentals.  Several have contacted the city to complain about a proposed law that would, among other things, require them to go through a lengthy registration process with the city for their short-term rentals and pay a $45 registration fee for each unit.    Read the article…………
  • Who would pay for replacing polybutlene plumbing? September 13, 2015 Q: I’m a Realtor and I’ve noticed that polybutylene plumbing has become a significant issue for resales. Insurance companies are refusing to provide insurance due to this type of plumbing. Since the plumbing is in the walls, is it the condo association or the condo owner who would be responsible for paying to have it replaced? Any insight would be appreciated.    Read the Q&A………..
  • Costly roof assessment result of not funding reserves September 12, 2015 Q: My condominium association has no reserve funds for our roof. Every year at the annual meeting, the board asks the owners to waive the reserve funding and every year the owners vote to waive the reserves. Now we need a new roof for the building and the board is telling the owners that there will be a special assessment of over $5,000 per unit. Can the board just levy such a large special assessment without the owners voting on ...
  • Find a progressive condo association that will welcome electric car September 11, 2015 This week, we celebrate our 250th column! Thank you to everyone for your interest and readership. I’m sorry I can answer only a small fraction of your emails, but your questions are still greatly appreciated.  Read the Q&A……….
  • Homeowner’s Association Recommends Capturing UAVs September 11, 2015 A homeowners association in central Florida apparently is urging residents to capture any UAVs flying in the neighborhood and hold them to see who comes to the door.  Read the article………..
  • Confusion continues over Orlando HOA question (FL) September 10, 2015 Some Orlando residents whose homes are at risk gathered Wednesday night in hopes of finding out who’s running their homeowner’s association.   But following the meeting many of the Vista Lago residents said they still aren’t clear.    Read the article…………
  • Prepare Your Association for Hurricane Season September 9, 2015 When hurricane season rolls around, it’s a frightening and busy time for many different areas of the country. Homeowners need to make sure that their properties are safe from any potential storm and hurricane damage. This is also important for homeowner’s associations. Hurricane season for an HOA presents specific challenges. To make sure the property and the residents are safe, having a policy that details hurricane season readiness is important. Creating a policy that covers what will happen before, during, ...
  • Family wins right to put up fence after battle with HOA (FL) September 9, 2015 A local family has been allowed to put up a fence for their son with Asperger’s syndrome, which is commonly associated with the autism spectrum, after a months-long battle with their homeowners association.     Read the article…………….
  • Rep. Cortes (FL) to propose homeowner association overhaul September 9, 2015 State Rep. John Cortes has announced plans to attempt to overhaul state laws governing homeowner associations to clarify the law and to improve enforcement.   Read the article……….
  • Tampa Bay (FL) couple in ‘awful situation’ as condo converted to apartment September 7, 2015 If someone forces you to sell your property, shouldn’t they be required to give you at least as much as you paid for it? • That’s what Nadia and Tyson Le Monte thought when they learned they would have to sell their St. Petersburg condo — bought in 2006 for $254,900 — because the complex is being converted to rentals. • The couple were stunned, therefore, when told they would get just $127,000.   Read the article…………
  • Managers set to clear out trouble Orange County (FL) condo complex September 7, 2015 The homeowner’s association said it’s preparing to give tresspass warnings to people who haven’t moved out.   Most of buildings in the Tymber Skan complex are boarded up, and many people have moved, but Tabitha Dykes is one of a few dozen holding out.   Read the article……….
  • Manatee County code enforcement to meet with Snead Island (FL) homeowners about mass code violations September 6, 2015 What started with a neighbor complaining about a 3-year-old girl’s swing set blocking his view of Terra Ceia Bay from Snead Island blossomed into a neighborhood feud that caught the attention of Manatee County code enforcement for violations that have gone unnoticed for years.   Read the article……..
  • Trashcan fine is legal but not fair September 6, 2015 Q: I live in a homeowners’ association and the declaration of covenants provides that trash cans may not be put at the curb until 7 p.m. the night before trash pickup. I am new to the community and was not aware of this provision and put my trash cans out at 5 p.m.   Read the Q&A…………
  • Wet ‘n Wild owner sues condo association, county September 6, 2015 The owner of Wet ‘n Wild has sued a nearby condominium association and Orange County to stop drainage of stormwater into a manmade water body known as Sandy Lake.   Universal Studios Water Parks LLC sued The Enclave at Orlando Condominium Association and Orange County last week in Orange Circuit Court.
  • Should HOA Boards Update Developer’s Documents To Stay Legal? September 4, 2015 Question: One of our members told the homeowners’ association board that there is a new “rule” that recently went into effect that would invalidate our status as a homeowners’ association. He says that this is because the bylaws have never been revised and we continue to operate under the developer’s original bylaws. Is what he is saying true?  Read the article………..
  • Who Is Responsible For Lanai Screen Repairs in Florida Condominiums? September 2, 2015 Question: My condominium association recently sent me a letter demanding that I replace the screen on my lanai or they would do it for me and bill me. A little over a month later they hired a contractor to rescreen my lanai and then sent me the bill and have threatened to lien my unit if I don’t pay. Can they do this?  Read the Q&A…………….
  • Push to revise HOA rules statewide underway (FL) September 2, 2015 Channel 9 has reported on a battle among HOA members in Poinciana that grew heated and ended up in front of a judge. Now that battle could lead to a new state law that would affect HOAs statewide.  State Rep. John Cortes said HOA disputes shouldn’t have to play out with residents protesting in the streets and board members heading to court.  In Poinciana, the board members fired the property management company and moved $1.6 million in HOA funds to ...
  • Residents at Altamonte Springs condos relieved to have water again September 2, 2015 When a pipe broke, the water shut off for everyone in a section of the condos.  “We had football practice. My boys got all dirty and sweaty so we had to go to my aunt’s in Casselberry to get a shower,” said resident Christine Henderson.  Residents said it’s been a big inconvenience and they don’t believe enough is being done.    Read the article……….
  • FAA warns six Miami (FL) towers could be too tall, including Related Group projects September 1, 2015 The FAA notified developers of six high-rise towers in Miami in August that their proposed projects could be too tall, including two condo buildings by the Related Group.  The “notice of presumed hazard” letters are interim warnings and not final rulings.    Read the article………..
  • Fortune International, Chataeu win ruling against Sunny Isles Beach condo association September 1, 2015 A Miami-Dade County judge ruled against a condominium association in Sunny Isles Beach in its lawsuit against developers Fortune International Group and Chateau Group, which control five units in the building.     Read the article………..
  • Judge reverses Poinciana (FL) master board’s decision over finances, management company August 31, 2015 On Monday a court reversed a decision by the community’s master board to fire the community management company and move its money to a separate account.  Poinciana includes roughly 2,300 homes, but its master board is divided.  The dispute led to protests and landed in Polk County Court.   Read the article………..
  • Must Community Associations in Florida Provide Handicapped Parking? August 31, 2015 Question: In a previous blog you stated that under some circumstances an association may be required to designate a particular parking space for an owner’s use if they were handicapped. What provision of the fair housing laws would require such a designation?    Read the Q&A……………
  • Am I obligated to pay the assessment for bulk service? August 30, 2015 Q: Our homeowners association (HOA) signed a bulk contract with a pest control company to provide pest control to each home within the community. The price of the contract is built into our budget and the assessments include the cost for pest control. I can get the same service at my home for a better price than the association received on a bulk deal and do not want to pay for the pest control through my assessments. Also, the words ...
  • Homeowners reject Russell Property request (FL) August 30, 2015 Port Orange officials want to give the public greater access to a piece of property along Spruce Creek that currently can only be reached by water.  Last month they formally asked a gated subdivision for permission to use its roads.   Read the article………..
  • Walden Lake Community Association votes to fight golf course development (FL) August 29, 2015 The board of the association that represents Walden Lake’s homeowners has voted to join the legal fight against proposed development of a closed golf course.  The Walden Lake Community Association’s leadership voted 5-4 this week to become a party to the lawsuit filed in January to stop rezoning of the shuttered Walden Lake course. The suit was filed by a group that includes homeowners who live on the course, known as The Hills.    Read the article…………
  • Owners in Tampa Bay (FL) condo complex are losing their homes August 28, 2015 …..But with rents shooting up, condos are again becoming apartments, including the 600 units of Bay Isle Key in north St. Petersburg near the Howard Frankland Bridge. And despite a new state law that better protects owners, thousands are being forced to move out or become renters themselves.     Read the article………
  • Kristin Glansen pleads not guilty in grand theft case (FL) August 28, 2015 A former condo manager accused of embezzling more than $225,000 from The Waterway condominium on Hollywood Beach over a two-year period pleaded not guilty on Friday.  Hollywood police issued a grand theft warrant for the arrest of Kristin Glansen, 35, in June but were not able to track her down until July 4, when she was found in Clearwater.   Read the article………
  • Taxing district settles lawsuit with fire company. Commissioners also favorable to annexing Tavernier firehouse (FL) August 28, 2015 The special taxing district that oversees Key Largo’s firefighting and ambulance services settled a lawsuit with the department that provided firefighters to the area until 2013.  The Key Largo Fire-Rescue and Emergency Medical Services District cut ties with the Key Largo Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department Inc. in the spring of 2013. The district formed a new fire company under the leadership of the Key Largo Ambulance Corps.   Read the article……….
  • Man says homeowners association had his legally-parked car towed from handicapped spot (FL) August 27, 2015 A man says his car was towed from a handicap parking spot after a homeowners association instituted 15-minute parking while he was out of town.  Jeff Chapman says the homeowners association changed the parking sign, without warning, and his car was towed while he was out of town over the weekend.     Read the article………..
  • Are Wheelchair Lifts Required For Private HOA Pools? August 27, 2015 Question: We live in a large gated community of over a thousand homes. Our homeowners’ association’s swimming pool is inaccessible to people with severe disabilities. Is there any way to force our HOA to provide a lift for those that need help to enter the pool?   Read the Q&A………….
  • Residents to demand change in Poinsiana HOA battle (FL) August 27, 2015 Residents spent the day protesting property management company First Service Residential, alleging the company mishandled millions in HOA dues.   “This the tip of the iceberg,” said protester Val Ramos. “We don’t know how much there is, because we don’t have access to those records.”    Read the article…………
  • Mickey Mouse lawn irks Yulee homeowners association (FL) August 26, 2015 When you move into a deed-restricted community, you must comply with the homeowners association’s rules. But sometimes those rules seem a little cartoonish.  In 2010, Rachael Dennis, a huge Disney fan, moved into the Timber Creek subdivision.    Read the article………..
  • Bird Key residents guard against criminal activity August 26, 2015 After the city turned away a request to add a gate at the entrance of Bird Key, how can residents address lingering concerns about crime while complying with existing regulations?   Read the article……….
  • Pasco (FL) homeowner’s association hit with high water bill August 25, 2015 Pasco County residents aren’t the only ones complaining about high water bills. Now, a homeowner’s association with 500 homes, is stuck with a giant bill for water it insists it didn’t use.   Read the article………..
  • Is too much fresh water used to water Florida lawns? August 25, 2015 Emerging from this study is the conclusion that “the largest barrier , pressure from the HOA to have perfect grass by watering excessively, will have to be addressed.” They note that, “even with the proper information and the ability to perform the new skills needed to reduce their water use, participants were concerned about repercussions from the HOA.”
  • 55 arrested after 15 heroin overdoses in 1 Orange County complex August 24, 2015 Orange County deputies arrested 55 people after more than a dozen heroin overdoses in one day at one condominium complex.  A mobile intervention team set up at the Blossom Park complex, on Landstreet Road near the Beachline, made those arrests.    Read the article……….
  • Becker & Poliakoff Chief Criticized After Departures August 24, 2015 A host of veteran lawyers, primarily in the community association division, have left Becker & Poliakoff in recent months, some citing morale issues and a shift of focus from the traditional condominium practice.  The community association group represents condo and homeowner associations and has traditionally been the backbone of the Fort Lauderdale-based firm.    Read the article……….
  • Associations are not required to maintain a website August 22, 2015 Q: What information is required to be on a homeowners’ association website? My association maintains a website, but it only contains minimal information. I cannot find the minutes of board meetings, copies of contracts, or insurance policies.  Read the Q&A…………….
  • Homeowners in legal war allege retaliation by condo board August 21, 2015 The Applegreen condos in Margate are a lot like other complexes, seemingly rundown with crumbling door frames, holes in the walls, cracks in the ceilings, lousy laundry machines and a lot of residents wondering what they are getting in return for their monthly maintenance fees.     Read the article………….
  • Many left without place to go after Venice (FL) condo fire August 20, 2015 It was a chaotic scene Wednesday, and residents are left picking up the pieces.  “I can’t even explain how bad I feel right now. That’s how bad it is. Makes you realize that anything can happen,” said Bill Freeman.    Read the article………..
  • Documents Govern Landscaping Responsibilities in Florida HOAs August 20, 2015 Question: The “Architectural Review Committee” in my homeowners association is now charging individual “villa” owners for work done on the HOA common area. The work includes planting and tree removal. New homeowners have been billed by the association, at the direction of the Board, for this work (performed and billed by the landscaper) with the explanation that the new homeowner/villa owner inherited the responsibility from the previous owner.   Read the article……….
  • Rogue rooster ruffles feathers in Osprey subdivision (FL) August 20, 2015 When Daniel Knauf agreed to step in as president of the Park Trace Estates Homeowners Association, he knew he wasn’t assuming the most glamorous position in the world.   Read the article………..
  • Fire in Venice (FL) condo leaves one dead August 19, 2015 Venice officials have confirmed that the person killed in the fire was an approx. 48-year-old male, though his identity has yet to be released. There were four units total in the complex.    Read the article………..
  • Poinciana Meeting Questions Remain (FL) August 19, 2015 Poinciana residents may be hearing more about Section 720.303 of Florida Statues. This is the one that covers the conduct of homeowner association boards.  According to the latest news from Poinciana, both sides–resident-elected board members & board members installed by AV Homes– are claiming the other side has met and taken action improperly.    Read the article……….
  • Dozens of vehicles burglarized at Pompano Beach (FL) condo complex August 19, 2015 Scores of cars and SUVs in the parking lot of a Pompano Beach condominium were burglarized and damaged early Wednesday, the Broward Sheriff’s Office said.     Read the article……….
  • Condo owners at St. Pete’s Signature Place (FL) stunned by $8.7 million assessment for repairs August 19, 2015 Condo owners in Signature Place, Tampa Bay’s tallest and newest condo tower, are being hit with $8.7 million in special assessments to correct “urgent construction defects” that endanger residents and pedestrians.    Read the article………..
  • HOA and parents at Seminole Co. (FL) elementary school at odds over short cut August 19, 2015 With Seminole County Schools back in session, an old problem is back in the Hollow Brook subdivision. The neighborhood has a sidewalk that connects Hollow Brook to the back side of Red Bug Elementary school’s yard. It’s a quick way for neighborhood families walk their children to the campus. The problem is, folks who don’t live in the neighborhood are using the path as a drop off and pick up point for their children too.     Read the article……….
  • Condo owners fund school supplies (FL) August 19, 2015 On August 12, Bungalows by the Gulf presented a check for $1,500 and over $100 worth of school supplies to the Franklin County School Principal Kris Bray, right. They were touched by the generous donation and excited for our help for the second year. They have wonderful volunteer opportunities for those in need. Condo owner Joani Chase, left, organized and presented the check to the school.    Read the article………….
  • Palm Beach Gardens investor backs off threat to dissolve condominium association, force out elderly residents August 18, 2015 The Palm Beach Gardens investor who in March threatened to dissolve a Century Village condominium association and force residents out, has changed his mind.   Read the article………….
  • $1.5 million valet parking dispute pits luxury condo board in Miami (FL) against developer August 18, 2015 In Miami’s surging real estate market, even the price of parking has hit overdrive.  Residents of a downtown luxury condo have been told they must cough up $1.5 million for the 50 parking spots they’ve used for valet parking — for free — since the building opened in 2008.   Read the article…………
  • 6 units evacuated at Altamonte Springs (FL) condo complex due to sinkhole August 17, 2015 Altamonte Police evacuated condos after an approximately 12ft wide by 20ft deep sinkhole appeared near the homes Sunday afternoon.   Read the article……….
  • What can a unit owner do about a nuisance neighbor? August 16, 2015 Q: Let’s just say my neighbor and I do not get along. He lives in the condominium next to my unit, intentionally plays loud music with the speakers directed at my unit, smokes on the lanai with a fan blowing the smoke to my unit, and speaks loudly on the telephone until late into the night on the lanai. Can I, or the board, do anything about this?   Read the Q&A…………..
  • Inactivity does not invalidate homeowner’s association August 15, 2015 Q:One of our members told the homeowners’ association board that there is a new “rule” that recently went into effect that would invalidate our status as a homeowners’ association. He says that this is because the bylaws have never been revised and we continue to operate under the developer’s original bylaws. Is what he is saying true?    Read the article……….
  • City threatens to turn off running water at West Palm Beach condo August 14, 2015 Earlier this month, the city of West Palm Beach sent a letter to Woodstock condominium owners, stating the community’s Homeowner’s Association needs to pay the community’s water bill, which is long past due. The bill is nearly $62,000.   Read the article………..
  • Developer sues Clearwater (FL) to stop demolition of unfinished Strand tower August 14, 2015 It was supposed to be a luxurious condominium complex on the outskirts of downtown, with 88 units and a concierge, pool and spa.  Instead, the unfinished Strand condominium tower, at 1100 Cleveland St., has become a city eyesore. The 15-story concrete structure is visible from a mile away.   Read the article……….
  • Poinciana (FL) board members lay out complaints; charge mismanagement August 13, 2015 Allegations that Poinciana’s management company has engaged in financial mismanagement, questionable legal maneuvers and attempts to thwart citizen activism were laid out in public before a crowd of more than 150 residents.     Read the article………
  • FL: Could Lower Real Property Tax Bills Result in a Healthier Financial Picture for your Association? August 12, 2015 Becker & Poliakoff is now offering a Tax Abatement Program for Community Associations of all types and sizes of communities throughout Florida.    Read the article………..
  • Tamarac (FL) Creates Drop-Off Box for Tattered and Worn Flags August 11, 2015 Thanks to one community association, Tamarac residents now have a flag drop-off box for all of those patriotic residents that don’t have a place to dispose of their damaged or tattered flags until they can be retired.    Read the article……….
  • Florida’s Community Association Arbitrators seek Salary Review August 9, 2015 Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation pays six full-time “Senior Attorneys” to act as arbitrators in the Arbitration Section of the Division of Condominiums, Timeshares and Mobile Homes approximately $52,000 per year to handle numerous disputes throughout the State.    Read the article…………..
  • Is the association always responsible for water leak damage? August 9, 2015 Q: I am on the board of a condominium. We tend to have frequent water leaks from upstairs units that damage the units below. I understand that the Condominium Act requires the association to insure all the drywall in units for water leak damage such as this.     Read the article…………
  • SJC condo fire damage estimated at $2.5 million August 9, 2015 A massive fire that destroyed 20 condos in Ponte Vedra Beach last month caused roughly $2.5 million in damage, according to estimates from a St. Johns County Fire Rescue investigation.     Read the article……….
  • Condo Q&A August 9, 2015 Q: I would like some clarification regarding fees charged by condominium associations. The Florida Condominium Act states that no charge shall be made by the association in connection with the sale or lease of a unit, unless the association is required to approve such transfer and a fee for such approval is provided for in the declaration, articles or bylaws.     Read the article…………
  • Florida residents in one community fear losing homes in HOA battle August 9, 2015 It’s being called a homeowners association headache.  Several Orlando homeowners could lose their largest investment after being told to stop paying their association dues.  At least six people in the Vista Lago community have liens on their homes.     Read the article………..
  • FL: Criminal complaints filed in condo catastrophe August 9, 2015 It’s one of dozens of condos at Jade Winds in North Miami Beach that have unusable sealed-off balconies for years, and it’s just the beginning. The place seems to be going to seed, with large cracks in some buildings, a general state of disrepair, and the historic office tower that has been the pride and joy of the community empty and condemned from neglect and failure to pay rent. Recently, the condo association filed for bankruptcy in federal court claiming ...
  • Standing up for Florida-friendly lawns not easy when HOA says no August 2, 2015 All Dominic Bruno wanted was a lawn that was less work for him and took less water to maintain. That set off a battle that has lasted six years, generated two lawsuits and cost him at least $15,000.    Read the article………
  • Condo Q&A August 2, 2015 Q: I would like some clarification regarding fees charged by condominium associations. The Florida Condominium Act states that no charge shall be made by the association in connection with the sale or lease of a unit, unless the association is required to approve such transfer and a fee for such approval is provided for in the declaration, articles or bylaws.  Read the Q&A…………
  • Common area improvements not individual’s burden August 1, 2015 Q: The Architectural Review Committee in my homeowners association is now charging individual villa owners for work done on the HOA common area. The work includes planting and tree removal.   Read the Q&A…………..
  • Community association rules different from state laws July 31, 2015 Q: A recent story in the Sun Sentinel said cities can’t ban short-term rentals under state law. I own a condo in Pompano Beach. The board has a rule that limits owners from renting the unit for the first year, and only one rental is allowed per year. Doesn’t that violate state law?    Read the Q&A………….
  • Residents being evicted from Tymber Skan Condos Thursday (FL) July 31, 2015 Moving day has arrived at the troubled and crime-ridden Tymber Skan Condominiums, and neighbors received their eviction notice only a few days ago.  The homeowner’s association is telling them it’s not safe to live in certain homes, and there is no insurance should they be harmed.     Read the article…………
  • Buyers still feel burned by Donald Trump after Tampa (FL) condo tower failure July 31, 2015 Jay Magner was watching the noon news one day when he heard that real estate tycoon Donald Trump and a group of local developers were planning a 52-story condo tower on the river in downtown Tampa.  Read the article………
  • Residents say Pasco (FL) flood fixes didn’t help July 30, 2015 “Trinity Oaks and Thousand Oaks are not going to be the sacrificial lambs anymore for this county. We are fed up,” said Ron Levi, Trinity Oaks HOA president.   Read the article………
  • HOA asks for help in getting squatters out of troubled Tymberskan complex (FL) July 28, 2015 Residents of an Orlando condominium complex have just two days to move out.  The homeowners association in charge of clearing out the Tymberskan complex on Tuesday asked the Orange County Commission for help.   Read the article…………
  • Estero Fountain Lakes (FL) residents experience heavy flooding July 27, 2015 Flooding in the Fountain Lakes Community made it hard for some people to get home Monday.  The homeowners association is hoping for less rain so the water will recede.  Read the article………..
  • What Rights do Homeowners in HOAs Have to Inspect Official Records? July 27, 2015 Question: I recently asked the property manager for my homeowners’ association whether my next door neighbor applied for approval of an expanded landscaping area, including a new garden area. I was told by the manager that I am not entitled to this information and/or documentation as it is confidential. Is this correct?      Read the Q&A……………
  • Can the association charge a fee on the sale of a unit? July 26, 2015 Q: Our homeowners association charges a fee on the sale of each home. The amendment authorizing the fee is somewhat vague and there are rumors that the board has arbitrarily waived the fee for certain transactions. I just bought a home in the association and feel that the charge is not enforceable. What are my options?    Read the article………..
  • Clarification sought for fees charged by association July 25, 2015 Q: I would like some clarification regarding fees charged by condominium associations. The Florida Condominium Act states that no charge shall be made by the association in connection with the sale or lease of a unit, unless the association is required to approve such transfer and a fee for such approval is provided for in the declaration, articles or bylaws.    Read the Q&A……………..
  • Tenants of crime-ridden Orlando condos told to find new homes (FL) July 25, 2015 Tenants of a crime-ridden condominium complex in Orange County have been given a week to find a new home. Residents of the Tymberskan complex received a notice giving them until July 30 to pack up their belongings.    Read the article……………..
  • Progress made in case filed against BGIPOA, TSIHA and others (FL) July 24, 2015 Defendants have begun to answer accusations made against them in a lawsuit over access to Three Sisters Island.  The lawsuit was filed almost immediately after the resolution of decades’ worth of acrimonious dispute between homeowners in Boca Grande Isles, a private, planned community connected to Gasparilla Island by bridge, and Three Sisters Island, a private island adjacent to Boca Grande Isles, connected by a small strip of land.   Read the article………
  • Tampa (FL) military family gets inside home after HOA rented it to squatters July 24, 2015 A military family turned to 8 On Your Side last week after they returned from the Middle East to find strangers living in their home in Tampa’s Camden Woods neighborhood. Their homeowner’s association was collecting $1,000 a month in rent. “This should be criminal,” said homeowner Douglas Tupper. And it might be.     Read the article…………
  • Directors Can Choose Certification Alternatives in Florida HOAs July 23, 2015 Question: I have a question regarding the new director certification/education requirement found in Section 720.3033(1)(a) of the Florida Homeowners’ Association Act. The HOA Act provides that a newly elected or appointed director has two choices. He or she can sign a form that says he or she has read the association’s governing documents, will work to uphold such documents to the best of his or her ability, and will faithfully discharge his or her fiduciary responsibility to the association’s members. ...
  • Is resident’s hot tub medically necessary? July 22, 2015 Q: About two years ago my chiropractor advised me that daily soaks in a hot tub would be good for my medical condition. I installed a small hot tub on the patio of my townhouse and have been using it daily ever since. Last week I received a letter from the association demanding that I submit a “property modification request” form to the architectural committee for approval to keep my hot tub. Can they make me do this?    Read ...
  • Fire safety consultant suspects Belleza (FL) condo fire may have been caused by someone smoking a cigarette on balcony July 22, 2015 Action News spoke with a fire safety consultant who got an inside look at the Belleza at Ponte Vedra condo building, which caught fire last Monday, and he said he suspected the cause was linked to someone smoking a cigarette on the balcony of a second-story unit.     Read the article…………
  • Deployed family returns to squatters, HOA getting rent (FL) July 22, 2015 A military family returns to their vacant Hillsborough County home to discover squatters had moved in, and the HOA has been cashing in on it.  “We had no idea someone was living in our home and paying our HOA rent,” says Doug Tupper.    Read the article…………
  • Can A Homeowners’ Association Be Terminated? July 21, 2015 Question: I live in a small homeowners’ association which does not have any amenities or common areas such as a community pool or park. The association only maintains a small landscaped area at the entrance of our community and each owner maintains their lot and home. It seems like a waste of time and money to continue to operate the homeowners’ association. What would be involved in terminating or abolishing the association?   Read the Q&A………….
  • Edmonton condo-lawyer has little sympathy for Oliver Garden residents July 19, 2015 One Edmonton condo-lawyer isn’t too sympathetic to the plight of the owners of the Oliver Gardens condos. Robert Noce believes they and their condo board brought a giant repair bill upon themselves.  Read the Q&A……………
  • Miami-Dade (FL) firefighter’s GoPro shows dramatic condominium fire July 18, 2015 A Miami-Dade firefighter’s GoPro that was mounted to his helmet captured large flames spewing from a condominium unit in northeast Miami-Dade County on Father’s Day.   View the video………….
  • Homeowners have right to examine ‘official records’ July 17, 2015 Q: I recently asked the property manager for my homeowners’ association whether my next-door neighbor applied for approval of an expanded landscaping area, including a new garden area. I was told by the manager that I am not entitled to this information and/or documentation as it is confidential. Is this correct?     Read the Q&A…………..
  • Ex-HOA official Vicki Yancey, wife of BHS coach, arrested on larceny (FL) July 17, 2015 A woman accused of stealing thousands of dollars from a homeowners association was taken into custody Friday.  Vicki Ann Yancey, 56, was arrested at her Ocala home by Marion County Sheriff’s Office Detective Brandon Spillman on a charge of larceny.   Read the article…………..
  • How Do You Find Volunteers to Serve on a Fining Committee? July 17, 2015 Question: I serve on a condominium association board. I’ve read about fining committees. Not surprisingly, no one in our community wants to serve on such a committee. This makes it almost impossible to enforce our rules. Our association’s governing documents state that people being fined must have a hearing before the board of directors. Do our documents apply or do we still need a fining committee to levy fines?    Read the Q&A……………
  • Government agencies raise red flags over Walden Lake (FL) golf course rezoning July 17, 2015 People living on or near the closed golf course have protested the development plan, arguing that they paid a premium for lots on a golf course. They are suing to block the development. The Walden Lake Community Association voted a few weeks ago to support the lawsuit.   Read the article……….
  • Engineer weighs in on residential fire protections following massive Ponte Vedra Beach (FL) fire July 16, 2015 “In many ways, modern houses burn quicker than they used to,” Neptune Fire Protection Engineering senior fire protection engineer Steve Kowkabany said.  Kowkabany showed Action News the type of sprinkler system commonly used in a three-story condo building, like the one involved in Monday’s fire.   Read the article………
  • Naples (FL) home invasion victims suing HOA July 16, 2015 The victims of a violent home invasion in Naples are suing their homeowners association.  Mike and Sabrina Ferry claim they’ve suffered severe emotional injuries since thieves dressed as ninjas held them captive last year inside their home in the gated Grey Oaks community.    Read the article……….
  • Ponte Vedra (FL) resident called 911 three times to report smoke July 16, 2015 Griffin, who lives in the building behind the condo that was on fire, said she was simply doing what was right.  “I would do it again in a minute. I didn’t really accomplish anything except for calling their (fire department’s) attention to it,” she said. “If they had listened to me , I could’ve saved that building from burning down at all.”     Read the article……………….
  • ….foreclosure auction fraud for Tampa Bay (FL) community association July 15, 2015 Ellis said bidders who pay an initial fee but never follow through with the property purchase are hijacking online, court-ordered auctions. “We are seeing this happen countywide,” said Ellis. “The fraudulent investor can rent or lease a property for a longer time period before another sale is scheduled, throwing a roadblock in the process,” he said.     Read the article…………
  • HOA shuts down boy’s lemonade stand (FL) July 14, 2015 It wasn’t tax evasion, insider trading, health code violations or bankruptcy; eleven-year-old Gavin Gundersen’s lemonade stand was shut down because four neighbors complained, and it was against neighborhood rules.   Read the article………..
  • No Political Sign in Window (FL) July 13, 2015 It seemed like a simple thing; putting a small sign for a presidential candidate in her living room. A small thing to her, a violation to her homeowners association. So can they block you from showing your support for Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio or Hillary Clinton? It’s why we now bring in Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.     Read the article……….
  • Is Board Certification Really Necessary for Board Members in Florida? July 13, 2015 Question: I read your blog on “board certification” in condominiums and have suggested to our president that all board members take such a course. I received no reply. I sent a document production request via certified mail and received as proof the “notice of intent to become a candidate” forms with the required State certification quotation that they have read all of the documents, etc. Does the State accept this type of board certification?   Read the Q&A………..
  • Dozens lose homes in massive Ponte Vedra Beach (FL) condo fire July 13, 2015 A condominium building containing 20 residences at Belleza Condominiums was destroyed early Monday morning by a massive fire, leaving at least 30 residents without homes.     Read the article………..
  • Can the board adopt a rule limiting occupancy of a unit? July 12, 2015 Q: Our condominium association has a minimum rental period of 30 days. Some owners are circumventing this restriction by designating occupants as guests and renting the unit for one or two weeks. Our documents do not make any allowance for guest occupancy in absence of the unit owner and our rules only require the owner to notify the association when guests will occupy the unit. Can the board adopt a rule limiting occupancy in the absence of the owner?  Read ...
  • Amendments go into effect as soon as they are recorded July 11, 2015 Q: My homeowners’ association recently adopted amendments to our declaration. One of the amendments affects new owners’ ability to lease their units. However, a question has arisen as to when the amendments become effective. Are they effective when voted on at the meeting or when recorded in the public records?   Read the Q&A………….
  • Spencer’s Plantation HOA board, residents entangled in ugly fight (FL) July 9, 2015 There are 222 homes in Spencer’s Plantation and some of those homeowners are in a fight with the Homeowners Association board.   Read the article………….
  • Confederate flag prompts eviction, Naples (FL) resident says July 9, 2015 A Naples family could be out on the street, and they say it’s all over a confederate flag.  Genice Horta has lived in the Timberwood of Naples community for two years.  Last week she said her 15-year-old son – who is mentally disabled – put a confederate flag in his window.     Read the article………
  • Woman set up elaborate system to bother neighbor with music (FL) July 9, 2015 The victim said the noise would rattle her Dr. Phillips condo at different times throughout the day.  Investigators said a system with speakers was set up so that the suspect, Marianna Seachrist, 41, could set the noise off anywhere, anytime and with a smartphone.   Read the article……….
  • Assessing the political damage in Heritage Lake (FL) July 9, 2015 The Heritage Lake Estates neighborhood in west Pasco is a popular destination for high-profile, door-to-door campaigning. Jeb Bush visited twice as governor to champion his brother’s presidential bids. Legislative candidate Richard Corcoran spent Election Day 2010 camped outside the clubhouse greeting voters, and Charlie Crist stopped by last year to woo the residents in this Republican stronghold.    Read the article……….
  • CEVA HOA takes on new role: home owner (FL) July 8, 2015 Typically, homeowners associations’ hands are tied in maintaining distressed properties, but one Lakewood Ranch HOA is in a unique position to protect its owners.   Read the article……….
  • Former Longboat Key (FL) condo manager ordered to begin serving 3 years in prison for stealing more than $200,000 July 7, 2015 The former manager of a Longboat Key condo association convicted in 2013 of stealing more than $200,000 of the association’s funds was ordered to begin her three-year prison sentence Tuesday.  Judy Paul, 51, was convicted in July 2013 of felony counts of grand theft in excess of $100,000 and scheming to defraud more than $50,000. In September 2013, she was sentenced to three years prison, followed by 10 years probation, and ordered to pay $200,000 in restitution to the Sandy ...
  • West Palm woman charged with stealing thousands in merchandise from Port St. Lucie Staples store July 7, 2015 Virgo gave the manager account information and authorization codes from a condominium association located in Clearwater, Fla. The authorization was approved, and Virgo was able to take the merchandise from the store.     Read the article……….
  • The Many Reasons to Support the Buck-A-Door Campaign (FL) July 6, 2015 As a community manager, I attend the monthly educational luncheons presented by Community Associations Institute – Orange County Regional Chapter (CAI-OCRC) and listen to the CLAC “Moment” presented by the Legislative Support Committee. However, I never fully understood what it meant or what impact the California Legislative Action Committee (CLAC) had on our communities and profession until I went to Sacramento to participate in the Legislative Day at the Capitol. I came back from Sacramento with a better understanding on ...
  • Association should not prohibit permanent flagpole (FL) July 4, 2015 Q: I live in a community governed by a homeowners’ association and recently asked permission to install a permanent flagpole on my lot. My homeowners’ association denied the request and stated that the documents only permitted the use of portable and removable flags and only allowed the display of the flag on specific dates. Can my homeowners’ association do this?     Read the Q&A……………
  • Fire rips through Marco Island (FL) condos July 1, 2015 A fire ripped through a condo on Hartley Avenue Wednesday, forcing neighbors to evacuate.  The fire caused major smoke damage and the heat was so intense, it melted the blinds off the windows.     Read the article………..
  • Poinciana (FL) residents fight for amenities paid for in HOA fees July 1, 2015 A battle over the amenities in the Cypress Woods neighborhood is brewing in Poinciana.  Residents in the community on Marigold Avenue near State Road 580 are vowing to fight for improvements they said they’ve paid for in homeowners association fees, but never received.  After almost 20 years in Cypress Woods, Geraldine Bailey is fed up.    Read the article……….
  • For thousands of Miami-Dade (FL) homeowners, tax increases coming after mix-up in special districts June 29, 2015 The well-heeled residents of Star Island didn’t need a break from Miami-Dade County last year, but they got one: the special assessment that pays for the ritzy enclave’s security gatehouse was taking a steep dip — from $5,581 a year to $1,015.  Now Miami-Dade County wants to retract that deal, part of a widespread fix of what officials say was a flawed accounting system governing hundreds of special taxing districts throughout the county.     Read the article……….
  • Condo president charged with grand theft tried to repay money, police say (FL) June 29, 2015 A Hollywood woman was arrested for allegedly stealing money from her boss for her own profit and that of her condo association.  Police said Theresa Brunetto, 70, was taking money from a trade organization where she worked as treasurer to pay her own bills, nearly $50,000, as well as those of the Hollywood condo association where she still serves as president.     Read the article…………..
  • Can HOA Prevent Flag Pole In My Yard? June 29, 2015 Question: I live in a community governed by a homeowners’ association and recently asked permission to install a permanent flag pole on my lot. My homeowners’ association denied the request and stated that the documents only permitted the use of portable and removable flags and only allowed the display of the flag on specific dates. Can my homeowners’ association do this?   Read the article………….
  • Would a single management company work for our community? June 28, 2015 Q: Our general manager announced that the master association is planning to provide a Neighborhood Property Management Service as a cost reduction service to the community. He points out several reasons for which this program will be a success, all of which remains unsubstantiated.      Read the article………
  • Statutes require board members to become certified June 27, 2015 Q: I read your blog on “board certification” in condominiums and have suggested to our president that all board members take such a course. I received no reply. I sent a document production request via certified mail and received as proof the “notice of intent to become a candidate” forms with the required state certification quotation that they have read all of the documents, etc. Does the state accept this type of board certification?   Read the Q&A……………
  • Does a Condominium Owner in Florida Have the Right to Have Records Mailed to Her? June 26, 2015 Question: I requested that my homeowners’ association send me a copy of the association’s contract with the pool cleaning company. I sent this request via certified mail, but the association has refused to send me a copy. Rather, the association president is insisting that I go to the office to review a copy. He further noted that a copy will only be provided if I request a copy and pay for the copy in advance. Is this legal?   Read the ...
  • Is that legal flag behavior? Some Florida laws may surprise you June 26, 2015 It’s a grand old flag.  And there are some interesting state laws governing how it’s purchased, displayed and treated in Florida.  The All-American Flag Act, which becomes law on July 1, is the latest in more than a century’s worth of legislation governing the symbols of the nation, state and even the Confederacy.    Read the article……….
  • New Laws for Florida Condominiums, Cooperatives & HOAs Go Into Effect July 1st, 2015 June 24, 2015 Today’s column begins our annual review of new laws affecting community associations, condominiums, cooperatives, and homeowners’ associations. Governor Rick Scott, signed HB 791 into law effective on July 1, 2015. HB 791 impacts condominiums, cooperatives, and homeowners’ associations.  Read the article……….
  • Sheltering condo owners from unwanted takeovers (FL) June 24, 2015 In the category of Putting Profits Before People, it would be hard to top investor Donald T. Kelly.  The Palm Beach Gardens resident has been hell-bent on buying up all the condo units in a building at Century Village in West Palm Beach, even though it means forcing elderly residents out of their homes.     Read the article………….
  • Sun City Center (FL) takes on contractor fraud June 23, 2015 Contractor fraud is the major concern of the SCC Community Association’s Consumer Affairs Committee, whose key purpose is to help seniors make good decisions when choosing a contractor.     Read the article………..
  • Amendments to Condominium Termination Law Impede Ability to Terminate (FL) June 22, 2015 Responding to perceived abuses in condominium terminations, the 2015 Florida Legislature passed Chapter 2015-175, amending the termination provisions of the Condominium Act.  This statute clears up certain problems experienced in prior terminations while imposing a number of impediments to future terminations.    Read the article……….
  • Lightning strike may have sparked Largo (FL) condo fire June 22, 2015 A fire Monday morning at a Largo condominium complex may have been sparked by a lightning strike.   Read the article……….
  • What the Heck is an HOA Manager or “If I Knew Then What I Know Now, Would I” June 22, 2015 Have become a HOA manager? I do not think any of us went to our high school guidance counselor and discussed a career path as an HOA manager; none of us played HOA manager out in the back yard with the other children and I can almost bet we didn’t say “when I grow up I’m going to be a HOA manager just like my Mom/Dad”. So how did we all end up here and more importantly would we be ...
  • Can the board hold a closed meeting for ‘personnel’ reason? June 21, 2015 Q: Our condominium has a property manager who works full time for our condominium and is employed by the condominium association. The board met via telephone conference to discuss the manager’s performance and the membership was not able to attend. The agenda, which admittedly was posted, only said that it was closed for ‘personnel’ reasons. Can they do this?   Read the article…………
  • Former Hollywood Beach (FL) condo manager wanted on embezzlement charges June 19, 2015 Kristin Glansen is accused of embezzling nearly a quarter of a million dollars from a Hollywood Beach condo she was managing.     Read the article………
  • (FL) Governor signs HB 643 making condo terminations more difficult June 18, 2015 On June 16, 2015, Governor Rick Scott signed HB 643 into law, making sweeping changes to Section 718.117 of the Florida Condominium Act relating to terminations of condominiums. The changes, which are effective immediately, make optional terminations of a condominium more difficult.    Read the article………….
  • How Does Board Certification Work With Re-Elected Condominium Association Board Members? June 18, 2015 Question: I know you have addressed the new board member certification requirement previously, but my question involves when a director is considered “newly elected.” Would a board member who has continuously served on the board, prior to the amendment to the statute, but who has now been re-elected to the board be “newly elected” and have to comply with the certification requirement?    Read the Q&A…………..
  • Is this the condo from hell? Aquarius residents complain of endless construction, millions of dollars wasted (FL) June 18, 2015 The dream of living on the ocean is alive and well in Hollywood Beach.  “It was my dream to live on the beach in beautiful Florida,” said Yelena Kazakova, who owns a unit in the Aquarius condo there. “The sun and the ocean, just every day you wake up and you see this beauty.”    Read the article…………
  • Homeowner says proper building inspections may have helped prevent nightmare (FL) June 17, 2015 A Hillsborough County homeowner is speaking out about a problem you could soon be dealing with: County building inspectors not doing a thorough job…….. An engineering report was prepared on behalf of the homeowner’s association. In it, engineers note that 19 units were inspected and the overwhelming majority had building code violations.  Yet Hillsborough County building inspectors signed off on the work.      Read the article…………
  • Tax confusion creates ‘serious financial headache’ for South Florida condo developers June 17, 2015 Call it the law of unintended consequences.  South Florida condo developers thought they had struck gold when they realized they could finance their luxury towers with hefty, all-cash deposits from buyers. No more worries about an economic downturn scattering investors to the wind. No more begging banks on bended knee for a loan to get a project off the ground.     Read the article……….
  • Years after vacating their homes, borrowers still can be stuck with HOA fees (FL) June 16, 2015 Seven years ago, Renee Abuton realized she was juggling too much — student loans, car payments, mortgage payments and homeowners association fees.   Abuton, a single parent, declared bankruptcy and let the mortgage company repossess her Pasco County home. Once the company had the property, she figured, it would start paying the HOA fees.     Read the article………
  • Blossom Park (FL) condo complex continues to sit in ruins June 16, 2015 Owners of the troubled Blossom Park condos in Orange County are supposed to be turning the complex around, but some have complained about heaps of trash on the property.  Every dumpster at the condominium complex is full. For weeks the garbage has not been picked up because the bills haven’t been paid, Channel 9’s Shannon Butler found.   Read the article……….
  • 2 small dogs at center of Orange County (FL) HOA lawsuit June 16, 2015 Two puppies are at the center of a lawsuit filed by an Orange County homeowners association.  The two dogs, a 10-pound Maltese named Shotsy and 19-pound Maltese named Miley Cirus, are accused of being aggressive, and their owner, Emily Straight, is accused of violating the HOA’s neighborhood rules.     Read the article……….
  • Winter Park (FL) residents upset over plan to remove feral cats June 15, 2015 There’s a fight over feral cats at a Winter Park community.  Residents at the Winter Park Villas said their homeowner’s association plans to remove all of the feral cats living at the condo complex. But some of them told Channel 9 they’re not happy about the plan.  Read the article………
  • Is A Hearing Required Before Attorney’s Fees Are Assessed Against Condominium Owner? June 15, 2015 Q:  I read one of your recent blogs on the levy of fines by associations. Do the same “due process” requirements apply to collecting attorney’s fees from a unit owner?   Read the Q&A……….
  • Poinciana HOA (FL) Addresses Resident Issues June 15, 2015 Homeowner association meetings in Poinciana have taken a different tone these days.  They’re in the evenings when more of the community‘s 48,000 residents can attend rather in the mornings that were more convenient to the Association of Poinciana Villages’ administrative staff.     Read the article………
  • Fort Myers condominium is ‘Comeback Kid’ June 15, 2015 The Towers condominium near the Edison Mall fell on hard times in the first years of the 21st century: battered first by hurricanes Charley and Wilma and then clobbered by the housing price implosion that started in early 2006.     Read the article……..
  • Can an owner request and review association records? June 14, 2015 Q: When community association statutes provide that an owner or his agents can request and review records, what exactly does this mean? I have some owners that believe that if they make a records request they can bring 10 of their neighbors with them. Can you please clarify for me?      Read the Q&A………..
  • Should Background Checks Be Performed On Renters in Florida Condominiums? June 12, 2015 Question: Our condominium association would like to conduct background checks for rental applicants. Our manager advises that we cannot do this because our documents do not permit it, and that we would need one hundred percent approval from the owners. Is this correct?   Read the Q&A………….
  • Condo owner wants Banyan Tree Condominium condemned (FL) June 11, 2015 The owner of a condo at Banyan Tree Condominium is devastated. He says his $40,000 investment he made 37 years ago is now worthless. Not only that, but code enforcement wanted to slap him with a fine for not maintaining his building.  “I lost my total $40,000 investment,” Donald Miller told WINK News. “There is no recovering unless somebody wants to take it off my hands.”   Read the article……….
  • Section 8 renters were harassed (by condo assn), complaint says June 10, 2015 The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced June 3 an agreement with a North Miami Beach condominium association settling allegations its board president harassed and made discriminatory remarks about Black and Hispanic residents and attempted to evict them.   Read the article………
  • Association Funds Patriotic Contribution to Community June 10, 2015 Thanks to one community association, Tamarac will soon have a flag dropbox for all of those patriotic residents that don’t have a proper place to dispose of damaged or tattered flags until they can be retired.    Read the article……….
  • Another reason Citizens Property Insurance (FL) should be your last resort June 7, 2015 After Hurricane Wilma struck almost 10 years go, Citizens Property Insurance, run by the State of Florida, was the insurer of last resort for many beachfront condominium buildings and homes, because for many, Citizens was the only provider that would write insurance on their property. Many insurance carriers quit writing policies on beachfront properties or left the state after Wilma.   Read the article……….
  • Condo Consultant: HOA president cannot rule the roost without board OK June 7, 2015 Question: Does the president of an HOA have the right to unilaterally make a decision without checking with the board? The president of our HOA decided to place pyramid-shaped traffic devices in front of our clubhouse to deter parking. At our last meeting, the president admitted that she authorized the action, but did she have the right to do so on her own, without board approval, or without bringing it up at a board meeting?    Read the Q&A………….
  • Collecting attorney’s fees not same as collecting fine June 6, 2015 Q: I read one of your recent blogs on the levy of fines by associations. Do the same “due process” requirements apply to collecting attorney’s fees from a unit owner?     Read the Q&A………….
  • Family battles homeowners association over fence for son with Asperger’s syndrome (FL) June 5, 2015 A local family is in a battle with their homeowners association over a fence for their son, who has Asperger’s syndrome.  “He has a very real disability that you cannot see and he can’t have the one thing he really needs,” Kristin Seekings said to Local 6 News with tears in her eyes.     Read the article…………
  • Are Informal Workshops Subject to Sunshine Laws in Florida? June 4, 2015 Question: If the board of directors of a homeowners’ association is meeting to just discuss routine operational or housekeeping issues, such as landscaping issues or minor repairs, must this meeting be noticed and open to the members?    Read the article………………
  • Judge refuses to drop lawsuit against Aventura condo tower developer (FL) June 3, 2015 A judge has refused to throw out a lawsuit filed by Aventura residents against a developer who wants to build two condo towers near their exclusive communities instead of sticking to the single-family homes he had planned.  Read the article……….
  • Milton (FL) residents at odds with Homeowners Association June 2, 2015 A motor home located outside a residential home in the Jaimees Ridge neighborhood of Milton put two residents at odds with the neighborhood’s homeowners association.     Read the article………….
  • Elderly Residents Told To Stay Put During High-Rise Condo Fire June 1, 2015 It’s drilled into our heads that when a fire alarm goes off, you leave the building.  But after a fire sent smoke throughout a condo high-rise on Singer Island, residents were told to stay put.  “Lots of people, like, ended up not being able to leave their apartment so they are stuck up there right now.”    Read the article…………
  • Florida condominium and homeowners associations legislation June 1, 2015 As a result of the Florida’s House of Representatives walking out of the 2015 legislative session several days early due to a disagreement with the Senate over Medicare and the State’s overall budget, the much anticipated “Estoppel Bill” (House Bill 611 and the companion Senate Bill 736) which showed all signs of becoming law, did not get to the House floor for final vote. However, other bills related to homeowners associations (Chapter 720 of the Florida Statutes) and condominiums (chapter ...
  • Phoenix Towers: Highrise condo evacuated on Singer Island after fire on 21st floor, May 31, 2015 A highrise condominium fire at 2800 N. Ocean Drive on Singer Island has prompted an evacuation of the residents, Riviera Beach Fire Rescue says.  According to Riviera Beach Fire Rescue, the building is being evacuated.     Read the article………..
  • How many directors should serve on our board? May 31, 2015 Q: Our condominium documents provide that the board shall consist of at least three (3) and no more than seven (7) directors. How many directors should we have on the board?   Read the Q&A……………..
  • 1 unaccounted for after large condo fire on Fort Myers Beach (FL) May 25, 2015 One occupant is unaccounted for after a large condo fire on Fort Myers Beach late Sunday night.  The blaze broke out after 10 p.m. on Estero Boulevard near Anchorage Street. Smoke and flames were visible for miles.  Witnesses told us they heard a loud explosion, and not long after, the flames started. Cameras along the beach caught a fireball lighting up the night sky.   Read the article…………
  • Did the bill to allow electronic voting pass? May 24, 2015 Q: In an earlier column you mentioned that the law was going to be changed to allow electronic voting in condominium, cooperative and homeowner association (HOA) elections and other member votes. Did that law pass?  Read the Q&A…………..
  • Tampa (FL) condo complex saved from fire by sprinkler system May 24, 2015 A fire that may have been sparked by a lightning strike was quickly extinguished by a sprinkler system at a condominium complex at 4115 Chatham Oak Court, Hillsborough County Fire Rescue said Sunday.  Residents said they thought they smelled something burning after the lightning strike on the roof of the complex late Saturday, but they could not locate a fire, according to fire officials.      Read the article………….
  • Board vacancies can be filled by appointment or election May 23, 2015 Q: In January, our “master association” had an election to fill three seats on the board. There were four candidates. Five months after the election, a board member resigned. For me it would have been entirely logical to replace that board member with the fourth candidate who ran for office.    Read the Q&A………………
  • Community managers get to keep traditional tasks (FL) May 23, 2015 A recent Florida Supreme Court ruling hands a victory to community association managers trying to keep their legal authority over tasks they traditionally perform for condominium boards or homeowners’ associations.  Mark Benson, a longtime community manager in Fort Myers and expert in property management, said managers are happy with the court’s May 14 ruling.     Read the article………….
  • $15 Million Construction Claim Revived on Appeal (FL) May 22, 2015 A state appellate court revived a $15 million construction-defect claim that was presumed dead when the trial judge ruled it was filed three days after a no-excuses cutoff.  A panel of the Fifth District Court of Appeal reversed the lower court May 8, deciding the lawsuit made it to the courthouse in time     Read the article…………
  • Walden Lake Community Association (FL) votes to fight golf course development May 21, 2015 he board of the association that represents Walden Lake’s homeowners has voted to join the legal fight against proposed development of a closed golf course.  The Walden Lake Community Association’s leadership voted 5-4 this week to become a party to the lawsuit filed in January to stop rezoning of the shuttered Walden Lake course. The suit was filed by a group that includes homeowners who live on the course, known as The Hills.    Read the article………..
  • Foreclosure Crisis Fallout: HOA’s Owe Cities Money (FL) May 20, 2015 The Crossings in Boynton Beach is home to hundreds of people and like so many other places, the housing crisis hit hard.  City officials say in 2010, the development had many homes in foreclosure and those homeowners stopped paying their HOA dues.   Read the article……………
  • Sarasota Judge rules Colony Association must repair units May 19, 2015 Sarasota Judge Rochelle Curley agreed with Sheldon and Carol Rabin and entered a final judgment on May 13 ruling that The Colony Association had failed in its fundamental duty to maintain the 237 units at the long-closed resort and that immediate actions must be taken to remedy the situation.   Read the article…………
  • Winners of the 2015 Florida Communities of Excellence Awards Announced May 19, 2015 The winners of the 2015 Florida Communities of Excellence Awards were announced on May 15 at the Awards Ceremony at the Bonaventure Resort & Spa in Weston. The awards, in their seventh year, are the only recognition program for community associations throughout Florida. These awards recognize communities and managers for outstanding achievements and are points of pride for current residents. The awards are independently judged by a panel of industry professionals who help recognize communities for their best practices and ...
  • Seniors upset that hoarder restocked condo with food after truckloads were removed (FL) May 19, 2015 Three months after seniors in Golden Lakes got a hoarding assistance company to remove two truckloads of rotting food from Morton Green’s condominium, Green has once again piled up stacks of food in his kitchen and screened porch, and neighbors say rats are running through their attic spaces.  Read the article………
  • What does ‘enhanced life estate deed’ on a land record mean? May 17, 2015 Q: We have a condominium owner who recently recorded a deed in the land records titled “enhanced life estate deed” where it appears both the owner and her children have an interest in the property. Who is entitled to membership and voting rights?   Read the Q&A…………
  • Condo association may affect satellite dish installation May 16, 2015 Q: Can a condominium association prevent the installation of satellite dishes on rooftops?     Read the Q&A………..
  • Condo owners fight back against former sober home operator May 15, 2015 A ragtag alliance of West Palm Beach condo owners is suing a former sober home operator who they say overtook their association, hired bully security guards, and is forcing them out with monthly fees that rival high-end gated communities.The March lawsuit raises the claims against the Green Terrace Condominium Association and Ken Bailynson, who owns 36 of the community’s 84 units, is a member of the governing board, and founded Good Decisions Sober Living.  Rest of story available only if ...
  • Florida Supreme Court Rules Favorably for CAMS May 15, 2015 After much testimony and deliberation the Florida Supreme Court has finally ruled in the Unlicensed Practice of Law issue. The 27 page advisory opinion is summed up on the last page with the last paragraph concisely named “conclusion”:   Read the article…………      Download the PDF of the opinion…..
  • $3.35M Construction Defect Award for Pompano Condo (FL) May 15, 2015 The condominium association at Pompano Beach’s luxury Sonata Beach Club won a $3.35 million construction defect verdict against the property’s developer and general contractor.  Sonata Beach Club Condominium Association Inc. operates the 16-story condo tower with 64 units, private elevators, Italian cabinets, granite countertops, spa, saunas, steam rooms, 24-hour concierge, security and valet parking.  But residents say the million-dollar condos with ocean and Intracoastal Waterway views also came with unexpected flooding in common areas and leaks in the fitness center. ...
  • Supreme Court strikes down lawsuit against Florida insurer May 14, 2015 The Florida Supreme Court is ruling that the state’s major property insurer is immune from certain types of lawsuits.  The state’s high court on Thursday unanimously ruled that Citizens Property Insurance was shielded from a bad faith lawsuit filed by a Pensacola-area condominium association.      Read the article…………
  • Bill Would Protect Condo Owners Against Bulk-Buying Abuse (FL) May 14, 2015 Lawmakers were primed to finally address one of the more highly publicized consumer crises facing Floridians during the Great Recession.  For years, condominium owners and consumer advocates have loudly criticized a law that allows bulk buyers with a large stake in a condo to terminate the condo and, in certain relatively common scenarios, force the building’s other owners to sell their units for less than what they paid.     Read the article……..
  • New Home Nightmares: First Coast News Investigates May 13, 2015 Each year, tens of thousands of people buy new homes in Florida. Most do so with the belief that a new home will have fewer problems and headaches than an older one.  But a First Coast News investigation has found that some new homes — including those in very prestigious communities, with half-million dollar price tags — are plagued with construction defect allegations, leading to massive costs to homeowners, and years of legal wrangling.    Read the article…………
  • Lawsuit: Property manager embezzled $228,000 from condo association May 12, 2015 A property manager at a 100-unit condo on Hollywood Beach embezzled $228,000 from unit owners during a two-year period, according to a lawsuit filed by residents.    View the news report………..
  • Plantation condos evacuated when unit catches fire (FL) May 12, 2015 Residents of the Plantation Pines condo complex were forced to evacuate Tuesday after a second-story unit went up in flames about 3 p.m. and spread to the balconies of two other units.      Read more………..
  • Feud over oceanfront property results in death by acid (FL) May 12, 2015 South Florida condo disputes have become notorious for a ferocity far out of proportion to the pettiness of the quarrel.  In no case is this so evident as that of Leonard “Rudi” Houda, a Lauderdale-by-the-Sea resort manager who became embroiled in a longstanding feud with the president of a neighboring condo.   Read the article………..
  • Legislative Update: Estoppel Certificate Bill Dead, Bill to Make Administrative Changes to Association Practices Passes May 11, 2015 The premature adjournment “sine die” of the recent session of the Florida House of Representatives spelled the demise of various bills that had not yet been passed. One such bill was HB 611, which was the subject of one of our blog articles describing the various changes that were being proposed by the bill in connection with procedures and charges related to estoppels provided by community associations.    Read the article……….
  • Homeowners Assn. trys to stop Walmart construction with lawsuit May 11, 2015 Now, the Glenn Abbey Club Homeowners Association is suing the DeBary City Council.  In a hearing Monday morning, a lawyer representing the HOA said the city’s comprehensive plan does not allow for big box stores at the property, and he complained that people were denied the right to speak at public meetings.    Read the article……….
  • Florida Condo/HOA Q&A May 10, 2015 Q: A decision was made to relocate the mailboxes from within a wall of our condo lobby to the interior stairway adjacent to my condo. I already contend with door slamming when people use that stairwell. The door slamming will now occur multiple times a day and be accompanied by mailbox door slamming.       Read the Q&A……………
  • Fining committee can not anonymous May 10, 2015 Q: We live in a small homeowners’ association and everyone knows everyone else. Is it possible for the association to impose fines but have the members of the fining committee remain anonymous?    Read the Q&A…………
  • Miami Beach Condominium Reportedly Being Used As A Hotel May 9, 2015 What wasn’t advertised on the internet rental ads – describing the apartment and property – were the two red warning flyers that are posted to the front door of Octagon Towers.  One was issued by the fire chief of Miami Beach who deemed that the operation of the building as a hotel as an “imminent life safety danger.”  The other posting cautions that power to the entire building will be shut off in 30 days if owners don’t cease and ...
  • Local 10 (FL) investigates management company dubbed ‘Condo crime family’ May 9, 2015 Local 10 investigator Bob Norman has uncovered numerous cases of rampant mismanagement in homeowners associations across South Florida. One family-run management company stands out when it comes to complaints and alleged crimes, in fact, one former state senator has dubbed them the “condo crime family.”   Watch the news report………….
  • Once Again, HOA Oversight Bill Fails to Gain Support by Florida Lawmakers May 7, 2015 For the second consecutive year, new legislation aimed at increasing state oversight and regulation for homeowners associations did not receive the necessary support to become ratified by the state legislature. A bill that would have granted the Department of Business and Professional Regulation the authority to investigate complaints against HOA’s and provide educational programs for HOA board members failed miserably, as it did not even make it to its first committee hearing.     Read the article…………
  • Florida legislature approves bill making condo terminations more difficult May 6, 2015 The Florida legislature approved sweeping changes to condominium association rules that could make it more difficult for a developer to terminate a condo.  Dozens of bills plus the state budget were left out to dry when the Florida House adjoined three days early, but Senate Bill 1172 and House Bill 643 were easily approved. Greenberg Traurig shareholder Gary Saul, the co-chair of its Miami real estate department, said all indications are Governor Rick Scott will sign the bill.    Read ...
  • Gated communities swiping driver licenses may be illegal (FL) May 5, 2015 I thought I was the only person who didn’t want my driver license swiped at the entrance of some gated communities in Lee and Collier counties.  I have no idea what these people are doing with the information they are obtaining from the magnetic stripe on the back of my license. Are they keeping it secure? Are they selling it? Is it going to some boiler room in a foreign country where someone is making up a fake ID to ...
  • Grove Isle (FL) Dispute Lingers, But Residents at Least Get a Victory With One Issue May 5, 2015 A developer looking to build luxury condominiums on Miami’s Grove Isle will have to hold off until August after residents filed for an emergency injunction to block his project.  Developer Eduardo Avila owns about 7½ acres adjacent to three residential towers on the private island off Coconut Grove. His holdings include the Grove Isle Hotel & Spa as well as 12 tennis courts, a salon, pool, restaurant, tiki bar and other amenities long used by owners of the 510 condominiums ...
  • Action News gets answers from registered property owner after child drowns in retention pond (FL) May 5, 2015 After her death Sunday, the Westside neighborhood is looking for answers about who owns the property. We did some checking with the homeowners association on who owns the pond. They sent us a map showing Drees Homes as the property owner.    Read the article…………
  • Marco (FL) votes to include condos in new rental rules May 4, 2015 After months of flip-flopping on its votes, Marco Island City Council Monday voted to include condos in its short-term rental ordinance, despite massive opposition from condo owners.  Council voted 4-3, with councilors Victor Ríos, Bob Brown and Larry Honig against, to require property owners to pay to register rentals of 364 days or less and undergo fire inspections.     Read the article………..
  • Girl drowns in pond; neighbors say fence and property not maintained (FL) May 4, 2015 Action News made some calls to find out who’s responsible for fixing the fence and learned that a company named Drees Homes owns the property but, according to the neighborhood homeowners association, has not been maintaining it.    Read the article………..
  • Former Crestview pond is now a meadow April 30, 2015 Okaloosa County crews repaired a serious washout in Grandview Drive within two months of the April 29-30, 2014, storm.  But discussion within the Grandview Heights homeowners’ association has yet to produce a decision to repair the dam that failed that morning, draining the lake.   Read the article………..
  • Condo owners battle Citizens in sinkhole case (FL) April 30, 2015 Concerned condo owners say they’re living on a sinkhole, dealing with damaged walls, and worrying when their homes could crumble. Right now, Citizens Insurance is refusing to pay up. Owners at Brandywine Condos in New Port Richey reached out to 10 News.    Read the article……….
  • Environmentally friendly lawn? Not so fast (FL) April 29, 2015 In a lawsuit advancing more slowly than grass grows, a new judge is pushing for a trial this summer over a neighborhood association’s complaint that landscaping meant by a resident to be environmentally friendly is not aesthetically appropriate.  Jeffrey and Renee Parker were sued in 2012 by Summerport Residential Property Owners’ Association Inc. after they planted a type of grass they chose because it needs less watering and fertilizing. But it was not specifically permitted by association rules.     Read ...
  • Florida House Adjourns Sine Die: CALL Alert for April 28, 2015 April 29, 2015 In a surprise move, the House of Representatives adjourned “sine die” today. The 2015 Legislative Session was scheduled to last until Friday of this week, although we knew that there would be a special session or an extended session because of the impasse between the House and Senate over the budget and Medicaid expansion. By adjourning “sine die”, all bills that still require House action are “dead.”    Read the article………..
  • Dolphin Tower condos may reopen this summer (FL) April 28, 2015 Five years after being forced out because of severe structural problems, the owners of the 116 residences at Dolphin Tower will finally be able to move back in this summer.  With sizable special assessments out of the way and occupancy within sight, the prices of units in the 41-year old building have climbed back out of the bargain basement levels reached in 2012-2013.    Read the article………..
  • Code board fines Atlantic Avenue property(FL), owner appeals April 27, 2015 The owner of 224 Atlantic Ave., once a condominium building, breached a “unity of title” agreement with the town that affects parking spaces between 224 and its sister condo building on the north side of the street at 223 Atlantic Ave., according to town officials. A previous Town Council had required the property-joining agreement between 224 Atlantic LLC and the town as a condition for granting a 1979 special exception to create seven supplemental off-site parking spaces for 223 Atlantic. ...
  • Can Association Boards Control Pets On Private Property? April 27, 2015 Question: My association has a rule that states that dogs should be “properly leashed and not run loose.” Pets must be “kept inside at all times except when being walked” and are “not to be chained in any of the common areas”. After finding my dogs in the back yard and barking, the Association fined me stating that “pets must be kept inside at all times”. The Association also stated that the dogs were a “nuisance” and were “disturbing the ...
  • Is the board required to post only an agenda prior to a meeting? April 26, 2015 Q: The good news is that our condominium board of directors meetings are very short and efficient. The bad news is that this efficiency is because the board has already discussed everything via email before the meeting and everything has already been decided before the meeting begins. Is this proper and is the board required to circulate any details to the membership in advance of the meeting other than the agenda?      Read the Q&A…………..
  • Tenants can legally be excluded from board meetings April 25, 2015 Q: I live in a condominium unit. However I am not the unit owner, I rent the unit. I have rented this unit for several years, and as a long-term occupant of the condominium feel I have the right to know what is going on in the community. I recently attempted to attend a board meeting held in the clubhouse for the condominium and before the meeting commenced I was asked to leave. As a resident in the condominium, am ...
  • Bill would limit homeowner lawsuits against builders (FL) April 25, 2015 A bill before the state Legislature would cut back the amount of time property owners have to sue builders for construction defects.  Feelings about the bill are running high on both sides in Southwest Florida, where many homeowners became aware of defective Chinese-made drywall starting in 2009 – years after some of the affected houses were built.     Read the article…………
  • Condo president admits wrongdoing in court after Local 10 investigation April 24, 2015 Local 10 News investigative reporter Bob Norman is in court as the president of a condo association admits that he had broken the law.   Watch the news report………….
  • Fort Lauderdale Beach (FL) condo residents hit with $60,000 assessment April 21, 2015 Residents at the Embassy Tower 2 building on Fort Lauderdale Beach were outraged after finding out that they had to quickly come up with thousands of dollars.   Watch the news video………….
  • Wasn’t Me! Trump Hollywood Subcontractors Blame Each Other After Lawsuit April 21, 2015 Condo owners complained of multiple defects, including a faulty post-tension cable system and incompatible steel and plastic PVC pipes in the fire sprinkler system throughout the high-rise at 2711 S. Ocean Drive in Hollywood.  They sued for breach of contract and of statutory implied warranties, claiming a chemical casing used for antibacterial insulation in the steel pipes caused cracks and leaks in the PVC.   Read the article……….
  • Community Life: Condo Q&A April 20, 2015 Q: My association has a rule that states that dogs should be “properly leashed and not run loose.” Pets must be “kept inside at all times except when being walked” and are “not to be chained in any of the common areas”. After finding my dogs in the back yard and barking, the association fined me stating that “pets must be kept inside at all times”.   Read the Q&A………..
  • Is Gambling Legal In A Community Association? April 20, 2015 Question: We would like to play bingo or have “50/50” drawings to increase funds for our association’s social committee. Is this legal?   Read the Q&A…………
  • Turkey Creek (FL) owners to get appraisal on golf course before vote to buy April 17, 2015 The latest plan to try to reopen the Turkey Creek Golf and Country Club would involve the homeowners association buying the club, with homeowners paying an additional assessment on their membership dues, and leasing the club to a professional golf operator.  The decision would be up to a vote of the homeowners, with 75 percent having to vote yes for the purchase to move forward.      Read the article………
  • Louise Sunshine sues Grand Venetian’s condo association April 17, 2015 Real estate powerhouse Louise Sunshine, who owns two penthouse units at the Grand Venetian Condominium in Miami Beach, has sued the condominium owners association for allegedly requiring her to pay an arbitrary $1 million fee to combine the two penthouses into one, The Real Deal has learned.       Read the article………
  • Board “Certification” Required By Florida Law April 15, 2015 Question: I am on the board of my association and recently attended a board certification class where the requirement that board members be “certified” was discussed. The other members on my board question this requirement. Can you please explain?    Read the Q&A………..
  • HOA oversight bills DOA in Tallahassee (FL) April 13, 2015 Homeowners hoping for more state oversight of the association boards that rule their communities are out of luck this year as legislation to increase scrutiny of HOAs died for lack of support in Tallahassee.    Read the article………..
  • Extension of distressed condo bill advances (FL) April 13, 2015 A program that encourages the purchase of multiple units in distressed condominiums will get an extension through 2018 under a bill approved Monday by a House committee.  The bill (HB 791) extends a 2010 law that was created to help revive condominium projects that collapsed following the Great Recession. The provisions are aimed at encouraging bulk buyers – defined as buyers who acquire seven or more units in a complex – to purchase units in distressed condominium projects.  Read the ...
  • Condo bill passes House Finance & Tax on party-line vote (FL) April 13, 2015 A bill to continue Great Recession-era relief to homebuilders and bulk buyers of bank-owned condominiums was approved in House Finance & Tax during a Monday afternoon meeting held specifically to consider the proposal.     Read the article……….
  • Are audio recordings of meetings available to owners? April 12, 2015 Q: Are audio recordings of condominium board meetings available to be heard after the meeting? Does the association have to give me a copy?    Read Q&A………
  • Thefts of fire alarm panels in South Florida putting thousands at risk, fire officials warn April 11, 2015 Thieves have stolen more than 150 fire alarm control panels, rendering them inoperable and putting thousands of lives at risk at condo and apartment complexes throughout Broward County, fire officials said Thursday.  Following the arrest of an alarm technician accused of swiping numerous fire alarm panels, officials from the Division of State Fire Marshal and the Fire Chiefs’ Association of Broward County gathered at the Broward County Emergency Operations Center to shed light on the widespread thefts.       Read ...
  • Poinciana (FL) HOA leaders meet to discuss president’s future, mishandled funds April 10, 2015 A special meeting was called in Poinciana Friday to find out what happened to the funds that were allegedly mishandled by the company in charge of managing it.  The meeting ended very much the same way it began: with a deep divide between a group of residents and people charged with managing the community.     Read the article………
  • Document Amendments Can Shift Maintenance Responsibility in Community Associations April 9, 2015 Question: I live in a community composed of townhouse villas with shared party walls and roofs. Our governing documents state that the owner is responsible for exterior maintenance, repair, replacement and insurance. The Association is considering amending the declaration to shift responsibility for all exterior maintenance, repair and replacement of the villas (or at least painting and roofs) to the association, and increase the assessments accordingly. Is such an amendment enforceable? Does the fact that the owner insures the building ...
  • Homeowner sues HOA over never-built horse center (FL) April 6, 2015 A Lake County homeowner is taking her developer to court this week, saying her community never built the equestrian center promised when she moved in in 2007.  Sara MacKenzie still has the brochure from when she moved into the Sullivan Ranch community in Mount Dora. Along with lush, rolling hills it promises, “horses grazing near our privately-owned equestrian center.” The site plan shows its location near the clubhouse.    Read the article…………
  • Homeowners association wins court fight, developer must pay to keep street lights on (FL) April 6, 2015 An East Naples homeowners association has won its legal battle after a judge agreed Glen Eagle Golf & Country Club didn’t pay their electric bills, leaving 105 homes without streetlights for five weeks after FPL flipped the switch.  Collier Circuit Judge Hugh Hayes ruled that Glen Eagle, the development’s master association, must pay Lago Villaggio Homeowners Association $18,000, with 4.75 percent interest from March 18, 2014, and reimburse the HOA for its lawyer’s fees.    Read the article………..
  • Condominium Flood Insurance Obligations Subject To Debate April 6, 2015 Question: I live in a 12 unit condominium. Our declaration of condominium provides that the flood insurance “may be purchased if the association so elects.” The association currently carries flood insurance, but 9 of the 12 owners would like for the association to discontinue this policy. Is there a state law that requires the association to maintain flood insurance?    Read the article…………
  • Poinciana Political Infighting Escalates (FL) April 6, 2015 The political struggles in Poinciana appear to be escalating.  There will be a special meeting of the Association of Poinciana Villages board Friday at 10 a.m. Two-item printed agenda includes reorganizing the board, which is being interpreted as a move to oust Board Chairman Peter Jolly, who has been demanding records and recently sent a letter to the state attorneys in Polk and Osceola counties asking for an investigation of possible financial irregularities.    Read the article……….
  • REAL ESTATE: Condo Q&A April 4, 2015 Q: Our condominium documents do not specifically mention any parliamentary rules or procedures that are to be used in conducting our meetings. Our president says that the meetings must be conducted pursuant to the “Florida sunshine laws.” Does Florida require that meetings be run pursuant to Robert’s Rules of Order, or some other parliamentary procedures?      Read the article……….
  • Board considers taking responsibility of shared spaces April 4, 2015 Q: I live in a community composed of townhouse villas with shared party walls and roofs. Our governing documents state that the owner is responsible for exterior maintenance, repair, replacement and insurance. The association is considering amending the declaration to shift responsibility for all exterior maintenance, repair and replacement of the villas (or at least painting and roofs) to the association, and increase the assessments accordingly. Is such an amendment enforceable? Does the fact that the owner insures the building ...
  • Attorney in Royal Palm Beach condo scheme disbarred April 1, 2015 An attorney who handled closings at the Kensington of Royal Palm Beach condominium during the housing boom was disbarred for five years after pleading guilty to bank fraud in federal court.  The Florida Bar announced Tuesday that Rashmi Airan-Pace, 43, was granted a “disciplinary revocation with leave to apply for readmission” by the Florida Supreme Court.    Read more……….
  • Gated community’s residents mixed on radar gun use (FL) March 31, 2015 The use of a radar gun to clamp down on speeders in one Naples gated community is leaving mixed reaction with residents.  Radar guns used by a private security company are causing a stir in the condo community where residents agree to rules to live there and management says the 10 mile-per-hour rule is no exception.    Read more………
  • No charges in HOA dispute (FL) March 30, 2015 Expect no criminal charges in the case of an Ocala property management firm being investigated by the state over allegations it spent homeowners’ association money in violation of state law and improperly conducted association meetings.  Assistant State Attorney Mark Simpson said members of a homeowners’ coalition whose members filed complaints with the state against Property Management Consultants, Inc. and its principals had their best opportunity to pursue criminal charges in the matter several years ago.    Read more………
  • Don’t leave Castaways high and dry March 30, 2015 Daytona Beach Shores is trying hard to prove Charles Dickens’ claim that the law sometimes can be a, well, donkey.  The city is threatening to evict more than a dozen residents of the Castaways Beach Resort because their modest retirement condominiums do not meet code.    Read more………
  • Condo Owners Fear Takeover (FL) March 28, 2015 Off Aloma Avenue near Full Sail University, Dorothy Parr is the only individual owner of a condo in a small complex called Sage at Winter Park. She said she was unaware of state condo laws and feels fortunate that the project’s developer, Ian McCook of Nvision Group, has been responsible in leasing out the remaining condos there. Whether McCook stays in the picture, though, is uncertain. About a year ago, Parr said, a buyer from China had been interested in ...
  • Condo Owners Claim Shoddy Construction and They Are Fuming; File $45M Suit (FL) March 27, 2015 When Jackie Durham closed on a new condominium within walking distance of the posh Gardens Mall in late 2005, she thought she’d made a solid investment in a vibrant Palm Beach Gardens community bustling with high-end retail, restaurants and luxury homes.  But she said the first major rainstorm washed away that impression, leaving her and other owners at the San Matera condos fuming about leaking roofs, damaged windows and what they say is widespread shoddy construction by a developer affiliated ...
  • Possible lawsuit over proximity of high-rise (FL) March 26, 2015 The condo association at 1350 Main Street in downtown Sarasota is reportedly ready to sue the City and developers of the next door lot, 33 South Palm.  If the developers get their way, they will build a 17- or 18- story high-rise across a narrow driveway from the existing 17-story structure.    Read more……….
  • Property Management Consultants settles with state, will pay fines (FL) March 26, 2015 A developer paid $17,350 in homeowners’ association fees and an employee with an Ocala property management company then wrote his company a check for that precise amount, according to documents obtained from the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation.   Read more……….
  • Tymber Skan condos plagued with violence (FL) March 25, 2015 An Orlando couple was shot while watching TV on their couch late Tuesday night, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.     Read more…….
  • Maintenance man stole $70K in jewelry from condo tenants, Brevard (FL) cops say March 25, 2015 A maintenance man at a Brevard County condo complex was arrested Tuesday after deputies said he stole thousands of dollars worth of jewelry from tenants at the complex.  Investigators said as much as $70,000 worth of necklaces, bracelets and rings were stolen from the residents at the Ocean Oaks condos near Ridgewood Avenue in Cape Canaveral.      Read more………
  • Estoppel Bills Dealt Severe Blow in Florida Legislature March 25, 2015 The so-called “estoppel bills” (HB 611 and SB 736) were dealt a severe blow this week when the Senate version, SB 736, was “temporarily passed” by the Senate Regulated Industries Committee.     Read more………
  • Couple sues HOA over home invasion robbery (FL) March 24, 2015 Theirs was the fourth Collier County home invasion in a five-week span.  Now the couple is suing their homeowner’s association, saying the Estuary at Grey Oaks neighborhood promised a secure community and failed to deliver despite knowledge of the recent home invasions going on in the county.    Read more…….
  • Legal Battle Pits Wealthy Developer Against Senior Condo Board (FL) March 24, 2015 Did one of Miami’s wealthiest real-estate developers and several associates buy apartments in a plain condominium popular with seniors—just to keep the property from being sold to competitors?      Read more…………