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Florida Association News
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Communities of Excellence 2013COE Logo

The Florida Communities of Excellence Award represents the pinnacle of achievement for community associations in our state and has recognized dozens of outstanding communities throughout Florida since its founding in 2008. The award is the first and only comprehensive, independent recognition program for community associations throughout Florida. The 2013 Florida Communities of Excellence Conference & Awards Gala is being held this Friday, April 5, 2013 from 2:00 PM to 8:00 PM (EDT) at the St. Petersburg Hilton Bayfront Hotel in St. Petersburg, FL. For more information about the program, visit their website.

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.

Property Managers not immune from claims by owners

posted by Lisa Magill, Esq., March 27, 2013
Claims are brought against community associations and community association managers (CAMs) all the time for various complaints relative to the maintenance, management and/or operation of the community.
Read more

Community Association Directors - Here's How You Should Vote!

posted by Harry W. Carls, Esq.
March 27, 2013
No, we are not talking about how a condominium or HOA director should vote on any particular issue. We are talking about the procedure by which you will perform the important task of exercising your independent judgment as to the many issues facing a condominium or HOA board. The following is a guide to assist a director when considering his or her vote:
   1.    Directors may not vote by secret ballot.  This issue can arise when a board is faced with a particularly divisive issue, and directors may wish to avoid offending particular persons or groups.  The only exception for the rule that directors cannot use a secret ballot is when the directors vote for the election of Association officers.  Read more

The War of the Roses, association styleroses

posted by Charlotte Greenbarg, March 26, 2013
This epic drama comes from Alexandria, Virginia. It reminded me of the movie “The War of the Roses” which, you may remember, ended with both very rich parties in the bitter divorce losing it all. The Virginia battle took four years and cost the HOA community about $400,000, the health of elderly residents whose yearly dues went to $3500 during the court battle, and the loss of the common area, which was the heart of the community, because they have to try to sell it to settle the debt from the case the board lost.

What started it all? An Obama for President sign. The sign was in the front yard of a couple during the 2008 election. It was four inches taller than the docs allowed. It goes downhill from here. Read more


posted by Eric Glazer, Esq., March 25, 2013
As our blog readers know, Jan and I are doing all we can to pass legislation that will help owners in HOAs.  In fact, it's pretty clear that our suggestion of allowing owners to use their cameras and cell-phones to copy the official records will become law as of July 1st.  So far so good. 
Here is what the HOA statute says in terms of what HOA owners must pay for copies of records... Read more

Feeling Exposed? Condo Lien can be Stripped off in Bankruptcy

Sinking house
posted by Lisa Magill
March 20, 2013
The title of Christina Aguilera’s pop cd can take on a special meaning for condo and HOA directors who are unaware of what can happen when a delinquent member declares bankruptcy.  In two recent decisions, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Middle District of Florida, reiterated its position that a lien against an owner’s principal residence for condominium assessments can be stripped away when the amount of the first mortgage exceeds the value of the property. Read more

Riparian Rights: Right to Use Florida's Lakes

posted by Rania A. Soliman, Esq., March 18, 2013
What rights does an owner of property which abuts a non-navigable lake in Florida have to use the entire lake?  Riparian rights are rights to use a water body, such as a lake, where such right is acquired on the basis that the riparian owner’s land abuts upon the lake. His rights stem from the fact that the land abuts the water body rather than ownership of the lake bed.
Under common law, the owner of a portion of land underlying surface waters has the exclusive right to control the water above that property and has a right to exclude others including any other owners of the lake bed, from using his property.   In 1959... Read more

“My tenant wants to keep a pet that he says provides ‘emotional support’ — what’s the deal?”cat

posted by Junilla Sledziewski, March 15, 2013
Each Friday, I ask my Twitter followers to submit an anonymous legal question that I will then answer the following week.  Below is last week’s question:
"I own a condominium in a building that prohibits all pets except service animals.  My tenant recently told me that he has an emotional condition and needs to get a cat.  I heard somewhere that a cat can be considered a service animal.  What’s the deal?"
There are two categories of animals when it comes to housing.  Service animals, which can only be dogs, generally cannot be prohibited under any circumstances under the Fair Housing Act (“FHA”) and other state and federal laws. Read more

Proposed Tactic Probably Won’t Fly

posted by Joseph Adams, March 4, 2013
Question: Our manager informed the board of directors of our condominium association that forming an “LLC” entity to hold title to foreclosed units in our condominium is now being recommended. The manager stated that he has been told that by doing this, banks will have to pay the association more money when they foreclose. How would this work? Read more

Hanging on for far too long...developers' reservation of rights often pose long-term problems for association residents

posted by Donna DiMaggio Berger, Esq.
March 4, 2013
Most new home buyers look at a potential community and rightfully spend quite a bit of time investigating the types of recreational and other amenities that make up the total package attached to that particular community's lifestyle. However, not nearly as many potential purchasers carefully review the association's governing documents to see just how long that developer will continue to play a role in the community both in terms of the use and maintenance of those amenities but the costs associated with them as well. Read more 

Nuisances Often A Matter Between Ownersnoise

posted by Joseph Adams
Question: Our condominium documents used to allow owners to put tile in their units. The documents were later amended, but those units with tile were “grandfathered.” The noise coming from the unit above is a serious problem for me. What can I do? Read more

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April Calendar

Upcoming Events

2013 Florida Communities of Excellence Conference & Awards Gala
2pm - 8pm, St. Petersburg Hilton Bayfront Hotel
St. Petersburg, FL 33701

Condo Board Certification Course
9:30amBecker & Poliakoff
625 N Flagler Drive 7th Floor
West Palm Beach, FL 33401

Board Member Basics
11am - 1pm, KGB
5297 West Copans Road
Margate, FL 33063

Broward Coalition Meeting
11am, Sunrise Lakes Ph. 1 Clubhouse
8100 Sunrise Lakes Dr. North
Sunrise, FL 33322

HOA Board Member Basics
5:30pm, Becker & Poliakoff
3111 Stirling Road
Fort Lauderdale, FL

Material Alterations
11am - 12:30pm, KGB
5297 West Copans Road
Margate, FL 33063

COBWRA Delegates Meeting
9:30-10:30am, Banyan Springs
Boynton Beach, FL 33473

Condo Board Certification Course
9:30am, Becker & Poliakoff
625 N Flagler Drive 7th Floor
West Palm Beach, FL

Condo Board Certification Course
Campbell Property Management
Inverrary Country Club
Lauderhill, FL
Click here to RSVP

Condo Board Certification Course
9:00am, Becker & Poliakoff
3111 Stirling Road
Fort Lauderdale, FL

Hot Topic - Hot Breakfast!
7:30am - 9am, CAI SE Florida
Jacaranda Country Club
9200 West Broward Blvd
Plantation, FL 33324

April Tips

Keith's Corner: Landscaping

Hi to all the good folks in South Florida! Spring is here. This is the time of year to make arrangements for your flowering shrub & ornamental cut backs. This will enable your plants to flush out and improve growth habits and health. Check with your landscaper/gardener to make sure it gets scheduled. As the weather heats up, make sure that your irrigation system is working/covering your turf and landscape areas correctly.
A man entered a florist shop that displayed a large sign that read “SAY IT WITH FLOWERS”  Wrap up one rose he told the florist. Only one she asked? Yes just one, I’m a man of few words.
Remember always install your sod green side up! 

Keith CarracherPresident
CPM Keith

Complete Property Maintenance, Inc.
Corporate Office (954) 973-3333
Jupiter Office (561) 744-3333
Fax (954) 979-1424
Condo Council

Condo Council offers answers for Board Member Questions

The Condo Council is a South Florida organization that provides a wealth of resources to help Board Members deal with everyday issues. The Condo Council hosts a website with valuable, member-only information and also hosts periodic luncheons where key issues are discussed and best practices are reviewed. Previous luncheon topics have included: foreclosures, rentals, emergency response plans, the key factors in selecting a property manager, and many more.

Florida Association Radio Shows

Free Radio Stations Covering HOA & Condo Issues

* Condo Craze & HOA broadcastairs every Sunday at noon on WFTL, 850 AM radio in Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, & West Palm Beach. &

* Condo Solutions: airs every Monday morning from 9:05 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. on WSTU, 1450 AM radio in Stuart, Florida.

*Straight Talk on Condos and HOAs: airs every Sunday at noon WIOD, 610 AM radio in Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, & West Palm Beach. &
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