Florida Association News' Blog is Up and Running
Subscribe to FAN's blog or visit weekly, to get additional original content that provides insight, tips, and resources on hot topics and issues that Florida community associations are facing. These hot topics and issues come from personal experiences that we have faced with our clients and partners. We would also like to hear from your personal experiences on these topics and how you and your association tackled them. We hope you will enjoy and share this blog with others! Click here to visit our blog.
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.
Implementation is power part 2, on the board
posted by Susan Raphan, April 25, 2013
Now that you and your team have been elected to the board, how do you continue to implement? What are the things that you can do to make your community a better place to live? What changes need to be made and where do you start? Here are some questions you may want to ask:
Look at your budget -
Read more for additional questions to ask
How much “bad debt” is your association incurring?
Are you pursuing collections?
Owner sues HOA Board for failing to preserve restrictive covenants
posted by Donna DiMaggio Berger, Esq., April 21, 2013
Occasionally, I will hear from an older Florida homeowners' association that is considering allowing its restrictive covenants to simply expire by application of law. In some of these communities, there is not much in terms of common areas to maintain and insure or the entire concept of a mandatory association has lost its appeal. A new case out of the 4th DCA involves an action centered around an owner’s legal standing to compel the HOA’s Board of Directors to proceed with the “Preservation” of the Association’s restrictive covenants in compliance with Florida Statutes, Sections 720.05 & 720.06 in order to preserve such covenants from being extinguished under Florida Statutes, Chapter 712 - commonly referred to as the Florida Marketable Record Title Act (“MRTA”).
Can HOAs or POAs always amend or enforce covenants?
posted by Jean Winters, Esq., April 18, 2013
Last week, I briefly discussed a case I litigated regarding a property owner’s association (POA) that was created by lot owners (not the developer) long after the original “deed restrictions” (covenants) were recorded and many lots were sold. The original deed restrictions did not contain language creating a mandatory association, then or in the future. The POA decided it wanted to amend the covenants to create an over-55 community, but did so without a valid assignment from the developer. Read more
The Tax Man Cometh for Associations Too!
posted by Donna DiMaggio Berger, Esq., April 14, 2013
Each of us is undoubtedly thinking about our own personal tax returns with April 15th upon us. However, board members have to think about tax time twice: personally and on behalf of the association.
Hopefully, every association has retained an accounting professional to guide them throughout the year and, in particular, when it comes to preparing the association's tax return. I reached out to Monte Kane of Kane & Company CPAs (industry experts in Florida) to give some insight into this process. Read more
Is homeowner association’s agreement with Trayvon Martin’s parents confidential?
posted by Jean Winters, Esq., April 12, 2013
Almost everybody has heard of the Trayvon Martin shooting on February 26, 2012 by an over-zealous volunteer community neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman. For a long time it was the buzz of the community association arena. The killing occurred in a community with a mandatory homeowners’ association. The debates about who was at fault and whether the killing was a result of racial profiling were predictable. Later come the legal threats and lawsuits.
Trayvon Martin’s parents threatened the HOA with a wrongful death lawsuit, but settled before a claim was filed. The attorney for the Martin family filed the settlement in Zimmerman’s criminal court case then curiously directed the clerk to seal it. Zimmerman’s attorney wanted it unsealed to prove the “bias” of the Martin family (this requires unsealing of a settlement?). Regardless, the Clerk of the Court has announced that she will unseal the settlement agreement unless otherwise ordered by the court, because in her opinion, it does not meet the standard of a confidential filing. Read more
Do new owners have “skin in the game”?
posted by Lisa Magill, Esq., April 10, 2013
If your community is like many, the residents pay high assessments to make up for those owners who don’t pay their share. Many of the non-paying owners are in various stages of bank foreclosure which seem to drag on for years. Read more
Jury finds Condo Association and Management Company 90% liable in child’s death
posted by Donna DiMaggio Berger, Esq.
April 8, 2013
In a tragic story dating back to 2011, a jury recently awarded $12 million to the grieving parents and found a Jupiter condominium association 30% responsible, a management company 60% liable and an elderly driver 10% culpable for the death of a 9-year old boy.
The child was struck on his bike by an 81-year old woman exiting her Jupiter condominium community. The driver’s judgment together with association hedges that were twice as high as Jupiter Code permitted and a stop sign that was 4 feet shorter than the Department of Transportation required and in the wrong location, created a fatal combination. Read more
Should boards reveal the names of delinquent owners?
posted by Donna DiMaggio Berger, Esq., April 7, 2013
A blog reader recently asked me what I thought about boards mentioning the names of delinquent owners at meetings when the question "who isn't paying their assessments?" is raised. Read more
Far-fetched arguments against Florida’s homeowner association Senate Bill 596?
posted by Jean Winters, Esq., April 5, 2013
In the midst of all the discussion about the bills being considered by the Florida Legislature, I was thinking about the new assessment foreclosure provision in SB 596. It involves a major change in the process for assessment lien and foreclosure. Under SB 596, the homeowner being sued for assessment foreclosure must deposit into the court registry whatever the association’s complaint alleges is owed or be forever barred from raising defenses not authorized in SB 596. If he contests the amount, SB 596 entitles the homeowner to a hearing, that “shall” be limited to only the issues concerning (1) whether the owner has been properly credited by the association with any payments made and (2) what properly constitutes assessments under the governing documents. Read more
Alert: Small Business Scam Targets ROCs
posted by Scott Gordon
I just finished speaking with the manager of one of the resident owned communities in our area.
An email was received at the community's email address, allegedly from the Federal Trade Commission. The subject of the email was "NOTIFICATION OF CONSUMER COMPLAINT" and the email contained a very official looking document advising that a customer had complained "about your business and believes you have contravened the Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA)". Read more
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