FAN's Featured Blog Post
Criminal or Suspicious Activity in your Condo or HOA Community?
posted by Dan Tiernan
July 17, 2013
Suspicious activity and crime occur in communities across our nation.
No community is immune to this activity. Due to recent events such as the Trayvon Martin case, it has become clear that we as people need to be more involved in preventing violence from happening. It is our responsibility as community residents to notify law enforcement professionals when necessary. What should you do if you see something suspicious going on in your community? Read more
Industry News and Articles
Keep in mind some of the articles are directed towards HOAs or Condos specifically, but most can be applied to all types of community associations.
Absentee Unit Owners: What Responsibility Do They Have When Damage Occurs?
posted by Patrick C. Howell, Esq., July 19, 2013
The economic downturn that caused housing values to plunge resulted in a new reality: condominium units purchased by absentee owners for investment purposes. Many times these units are rented long term to residents that assist with the caretaking of the units. However, sometimes such investor-owned units can sit vacant for long periods of time. During such long periods of vacancy, a simple water leak can have devastating results, not just for the unit, but for the common elements of the condominium and adjacent units.
The Division of Condominiums has been presented with disputes over which party, an association or the absentee owner, is liable for damages that are exacerbated by long periods of vacancy. In a piece of good news for associations, the Division has sided with the condominium association in such circumstances. Read more
Satisfied with Your Cable TV and Internet Provider?
posted by Evan Bradley, July 26, 2013
One way many community associations are reducing maintenance costs and increasing satisfaction with their cable TV and internet services is by revisiting their bulk cable agreement. If the residents of your Condo or HOA are not happy or believe they are paying too much for the current services rendered, it may be time to contact your provider or start looking for a new one. For many years, there was only one cable television and internet provider for South Florida. Many associations used that provider year after year simply because they were not aware that there were other competitors out there, or they did not trust the small, private cable TV companies. Over five years ago, Charlie Crist signed the “Consumer Choice Act 2007” into law, allowing cable television providers to apply for a state-issued franchise certificate. This law has bred healthy competition among the cable TV and internet providers and in turn has dropped prices and increased incentives. Read more
What is keeping people from serving on their community association boards?
posted by Donna DiMaggio Berger, Esq., July 21, 2013
I just returned from a weekend in Gainesville where I met a pleasant, intelligent woman who was lamenting the uninformed state of her current board of directors. Lucy described a litany of abuses, mostly stemming from her board's unwillingness to read the governing documents and enforce them uniformly. When I asked her why she and her neighbors did not consider electing a new board or running for the board themselves, I got the answer I always get: "No one wants to run for the board!" Read more
Coping with Arrears
posted by Keith Loria, July 2013
The foundation of any properly run co-op or condo building rests on residents paying their monthly maintenance fees on time and in full, with no delays or delinquencies. Unfortunately, because of the lingering effects of the Recession causing job losses and financial uncertainty - especially here in South Florida - many buildings and associations are feeling the pinch of late and/or missing maintenance payments. Many owners are also unable to pay special assessments to fund much-needed capital repair and improvement projects. Read more
What will Trayvon Martin's legacy be for community associations?
posted by Donna DiMaggio Berger, Esq., July 14, 2013
The widely watched criminal trial of George Zimmerman was concluded this past weekend. The civil action brought by the family of Trayvon Martin against the homeowners' association where their son died has also been resolved, allegedly for a 7-figure sum. What will the long-term impact be on volunteerism in shared ownership communities throughout the country? Read more
Condo Associations Not Required To Keep Bulk Cable Service
posted by Joseph Adams, July 11, 2013
Both the Florida Condominium Act and the Florida Homeowners’ Association Act, Chapters 718 and 720, respectively, permit an association to purchase bulk communication services, including television service, and pay for such service as a common expense, neither statute requires an association to do so. However, it is possible that the declaration for your condominium states that the association will provide bulk television service to the members as a common expense. Read more
New Laws for HOAs and Condos
posted by Lisa Magill, July 11, 2013
Curious as to how the 2013 legislation will impact your community operations? This year Becker & Poliakoff have prepared separate guides for condominiums and homeowners’ associations so each type of community has the changes applicable to them readily available. The Legislative Guides include notes and practical pointers for community leaders and CAMs. Read more
Hedge Funds are Buying Thousands of Single Family Homes - Here are Some Possible Issues for Associations
posted by W. Jeff Earnshaw, Esq., July 5, 2013
There have been many reports recently about large investors, such as hedge funds and investment groups, buying tens of thousands of single family homes in certain parts of Florida. The reported strategy of these investors is to buy single family homes, perform minimum necessary repairs and maintenance, and then rent the homes for a number of years until the homes can be sold for a profit. Many of these large investors specifically target homes within community associations because community associations provide more stability and generally prevent homes from falling into more serious disrepair. Read more
Three things every community association board of directors should never underestimate.
posted by Donna DiMaggio Berger, Esq., June 30, 2013
To underestimate something is to judge it to be smaller or less important than it actually is. Far too many volunteer boards get into hot water when they underestimate the following in their communities:
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