FAN's Featured Blog Post
Are tree roots damaging your sidewalks?
posted by Brian Tight
May 17, 2013
Has your community had to deal with tree roots cracking or lifting your sidewalks?
Florida hosts a wide variety of tree species. Many of these species, such as Oak trees, can be seen near or around your home. When trees are planted near concrete, such as sidewalks or curbs, the tree roots can sometimes uplift the concrete and cause many problems. In communities, tree roots uplifting sidewalks and curbs are not only unattractive, they are also extremely costly and cause safety issues for residents.
Uplifted sidewalks can ruin the aesthetic appeal of a community. These uplifted sidewalks can also become a hazard to residents of the community. People walking at nighttime or those who simply do not see the uplifted sidewalk can fall and injure themselves, resulting in legal action against the community. Read more for solutions to help repair these cracks
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.
Access to units
posted by Bill Raphan, May 23, 2013
It is a fact that condominium associations have the right to enter units. It is stated in Florida Statute 718.111 (5): The association has the irrevocable right of access to each unit, during reasonable hours, when necessary for the maintenance, repair, or replacement of any common elements or any portion of a unit to be maintained by the association pursuant to the declaration, or as necessary to prevent damage to the common element.
The requirement that owners provide keys to the association should be in your governing documents. However, board promulgated rules requiring keys have been supported by arbitration decisions. Read more
Noxious or Toxic Odor
posted by Darlys Walker, May 22, 2013
The complaint of cigarette smoke permeating from one unit to another has become increasingly common. Recently a Homeowner filed a complaint that their neighbor was in violation of their condominium documents, citing they were allowing noxious and toxic fumes to travel from the offending unit into the adjoining unit exposing the Homeowner to second hand smoke and the potential health hazards that this exposure could pose. Read more
What is a statute of limitations and does it apply to community association arbitration?
posted by Jean Winters, Esq., May18, 2013
I have found that both community associations and homeowners often are unaware of a statute of limitations, and sometimes wait too long to bring a claim. If a statute of limitations applies and the opposing party objects, then the case may be barred. By statute, the prevailing party in a case involving a mandatory HOA or condominium association is entitled to attorneys’ fees and costs. That can be expensive for the losing party. Read more
Employee or Independent Contractor-Why It Matters
posted by Lisa Magill, Esq., May 15, 2013
The determination of whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor is important to associations in at least three areas: (1) Federal income tax withholding, (2) Liability for the acts of the worker, and (3) Responsibility for job-related injuries to the worker. An incorrect determination of worker status may have serious financial consequences in one or more of these areas.
An association cannot make a worker into an independent contractor simply by placing such language in a contract. The law will not be bound by the relationship designated by the parties, but will look to all aspects of the relationship to determine whether the relationship is employer/employee or independent contractor. Generally speaking, courts will look to the following factors to determine whether the relationship is one of employer/employee or independent contractor:
Does the worker maintain a separate business with his or her own work facility and equipment?
Does the worker have a federal employer identification number?
Is payment for services made directly to a business?
Read more to see 4-11
Ex-President Refuses to Return Keys
posted by Joseph Adams., May 14, 2013
The former president of our condominium association was voted out of office at the last annual meeting. However, he has refused to return certain property of the association, including the keys to all of the residents’ units. What recourse does the association have?
That is an unfortunate situation. The condominium association, through the new board of directors, should contact the prior president in writing requesting that he return all of the association property and records, including the keys, by a specific date. Read more for the rest of the answer
Inspections, Work Logs Imperative to Protect Condominium Associations Against Defective Concrete Restoration Projects
posted by Daniel Salas, May 9, 2013
Concrete restoration projects are unavoidable during the lifespan of every concrete building in South Florida. They are among the most expensive construction renovation projects that associations will be required to take on, and as such many associations and their property managers try to mitigate the costs as much as possible. However, the old adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure holds true with these projects. Associations should be very careful to avoid cutting corners on the record keeping, making sure to chronicle all of the work that was performed as part of these restoration projects in order to protect against the repercussions of shoddy work and defects. Read more
IS A SALARIED BOARD THE ANSWER?
posted by Eric Glazer, Esq., May 6, 2013
Florida condominium law provides that: Unless otherwise provided in the bylaws, the members of the board shall serve without compensation.
Florida HOA law provides that:A director, officer, or committee member of the association may not directly receive any salary or compensation from the association for the performance of duties as a director, officer, or committee member and may not in any other way benefit financially from service to the association. Read more
Tenants Don’t Have Same Rights As Owners
posted by Joseph Adams, May 6, 2013
It is my understanding that Florida law allows renters in a condominium to use the same amenity as owners. Is the right to have a dog considered an amenity?
Section 718.106(4) of the Florida Condominium Act provides: “When a unit is leased, a tenant shall have all use rights in the association property and those common elements otherwise readily available for use generally by unit owners and the unit owner shall not have such rights except as a guest, unless such rights are waived in writing by the tenant.” Read more
That's Criminal! Dealing with Sensitive Situations
posted by Keith Loria
Serving on a condo board has its challenges—mostly of a relatively mundane, everyday sort, like how to pay for new carpet in the clubhouse, or what kind of flowers to put in the new beds out front. Occasionally however, a much more sensitive issue comes along, involving potentially volatile legal or security situations, like residents with restraining orders or serious criminal histories. How such issues are handled is of crucial importance, and can impact not just a community's administration, but its morale, cohesion, and ultimate value. Read more
Condominium Board May Be Able to Assign Parking
posted by Joseph Adams, May 2, 2013
Our condominium has “open parking.” The developer did not assign any spaces. We have many parking problems. Can the board of directors assign parking spots?
Probably. A competent attorney should review the governing documents to understand the nature of parking rights (if any) and the board’s rule making authority. If the set-up is truly “open parking” as you believe, and if the board is given broad authority to make rules and regulations, the board has the authority to assign parking spaces. Read more
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