Communities of Excellence 2013
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.
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 style
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
WHAT TO DO ABOUT RECORDS REQUESTS?
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
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?”
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
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 Owners
posted by Joseph Adams
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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