Associations' resource for news, legal updates,
events, education, and more!
July 2012
Community Association Newsletter
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News, Legal Updates, Events, & Educational Resources
brought to you by  Campbell Property Management

Hope everyone had a fun & safe Independence Day!

Fireworks

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.

Best Practice for Major Projects
Engage Unbiased Construction Advisors

by John Tight, featured in Florida Community Association Journal
When major repair and replacement projects are being considered in a condominium or homeowner association, a lot of questions are raised that may be difficult to answer:
  • What is the root cause of the problem?
  • Do we have warranty or insurance coverage that might apply?
  • Are there regulations that we need to comply with?
  • Should we pursue a short-term solution or a long-term solution?
  • Have any innovative solutions emerged that we should consider?
  • Do we need an engineer’s or architect’s input?
  • Who are some reliable, qualified vendors that can do this work?
  • How should we structure progress payments?
  • Are the contractors performing the work to the specification?
Unless you are lucky enough to have an in-house expert that is up-to-date with the area in question, you might need some help in figuring out the best path forward. Read more 

Effective Collection Tactics for Associations Against Owners Who File for Bankruptcy - 

Posted by: SIEGFRIED, RIVERA, LERNER, DE LA TORRE & SOBEL, P.A., June 28, 2012
Associations have been contending with unit owners who file for personal bankruptcy protection in greater numbers since the start of the economic crisis. In response to a unit owner bankruptcy, and in an effort to preserve and protect the rights of an association as a creditor in the bankruptcy proceeding, a number of effective tactics have emerged for associations and their attorneys when faced with a unit owner bankruptcy filing. This article provides an overview of certain of these strategic measures for condominium associations and homeowners associations.
Read more

Can final decisions be made in HOAs or Condos without an open meeting?

Posted by: Jean Winters, Esq., June 28th, 2012 
On June 25, Daniel Vasquez wrote a blog entitled “Can condo owners attend committee meetings, access committee documents.”

This dovetails with a prior blog I posted on May 18, 2012 entitled “HOA board and certain committee meetings must be open (with limited exceptions).”.

With very limited exceptions, committee meetings in both condos and HOAs must be open. Mark Benson cited F.S. 718.112 (2)(c)(2). That provision requires committee meetings to be open, with the exception that bylaws may supersede this open meeting requirement for committee meetings that do not take final action on behalf of the board. HOA statutes are slightly different and do not have that exception. Read more

Tropical Storm Debby Floods Florida - State of Emergency Declared

Posted by: Lisa Magill,  June 26th, 2012 
Condominium Boards need to activate disaster plans. May exercise emergency powers while the State of Emergency is in effect.
Reports indicate that more than 20 inches of rain fell on parts of Florida. Property owners will have to contend with roof leaks, water extraction, damages from the many tornadoes and sink holes. Now is the time for impacted condominium and homeowners' association directors to activate those disaster plans and take advantage of the emergency powers in the Condominium Act. Read more

What is a Reserve Study?

Posted by: Patricia Staebler, SRA,  June 25th, 2012 
Reserve Studies Demystified Part 1 of 4
Reserve Studies are a myth for many homeowner’s and even the condo and HOA boards most often have no idea if their community needs a reserve study, has reserves in place and most important is appropriately funded. First of all, reserve studies are all about stewardship for your community.

Reserves reduce the risk for special assessments and enhance property values. After the real estate crash in 2006, most banks do not lend money for potential condo or single-family home buyers, if the community is not adequately funded. Educated consumers will shy away from the purchase of a condo or home in a community which is in debt or has no reserves in place. Furthermore, studies have proven, that communities with reserves in place have a much better overall community appearance which in turn is appealing to homeowners and interested buyers alike.
Reserve Study Diagram
Here is a list of components a reserve study should contain, based on CAI standards: Read more
 

Great List: "What You Should Ask When Screening an Attorney"

1. What is your training in homeowner association law and what is your experience in representing homeowners in association disputes?
2. Do you ever represent association boards in association disputes or do you co-counsel with attorneys in such disputes?
3. How many cases similar to mine (ours) have you handled?
4. What are the possible outcomes of my (our) case?
5. What are my alternatives for resolving this matter outside of the courts?
6. Are mediation or arbitration possible dispute resolution tools for my (our) case?
7. Can you assist me (us) in using the association’s dispute resolution procedures (required under Civil Code §§ 1363.810 et seq.?)
8. What are you rates and how will you bill me (us)?
Read more to see 9-16

A Reporter Calls: Part 1

Posted by: Frank Rathbun, CAI, June 19th, 2012 
Great article on how to react when a reporter calls your association:
  1. First things first: Get the full name of the reporter and get his or her phone number and e-mail address. Make sure you identify the news outlet.
  2. Be friendly and respectful. Don’t convey a tone that indicates defensiveness, anger or guilt.
  3. Ask: What’s your deadline? What’s the story about? Don’t hesitate to probe if the initial answer is vague. What prompted your interest in this story? Have you interviewed others for the story or do you plan to do so? Who? Have you covered community association issues before?
  4. Once you have a sense of the particulars, especially if you think this could be a difficult interview, tell the reporter you will call him or her back—even if that’s in 10 minutes. Take whatever time you have to gather your thoughts, anticipate questions, collect information, talk to others, and develop a few basic message points. Have your key points in front of you when you call the reporter back.
  5. Be sure to get the person most qualified to address this particular topic. Don’t hesitate to ask an “expert” to join you, e.g., an attorney for legal issues or your accountant for financial questions.
  6. Make sure the reporter knows whether you’re speaking for yourself, on behalf of the association or the board or some other entity.
  7. Never lie or mislead, and don’t try to answer a question for which you don’t know the answer. Don’t be afraid to say you don’t know the answer, and don’t speculate. Offer to try to find the answer and promise to get back to the reporter.  Read more to see 8-14

 

Timely Insurance Info for Unit Owners at Start of Hurricane Season

Posted by ROBERTO C. BLANCH, June 19th, 2012
At the onset of another hurricane season, now is one of the best times of the year for condominium associations in Florida to remind unit owners about their insurance requirements and liabilities under state law.

Florida law stipulates that the association will maintain insurance for all portions of the condominium property as originally installed or renovated. However, the statutes do not provide that the association's insurance coverage must extend to personal property or limited common elements inside of the individual residences. Essentially, the owners are responsible for maintaining their own insurance to cover damages to the floors, walls, ceilings, electrical fixtures, appliances, cabinets, counters and window treatments in their units. Read more


Property complexes step into DNA testing of dog poop

Posted by Marty Roney, USA Today, June 12th, 2012
Doggy Duty
Property managers across the nation are turning to a CSI strategy to battle dog poo. They're using DNA technology to match which canine is responsible for leaving the piles so their owners can face fines.
Just the idea of of using the technology people are used to seeing on the Crime Scene Investigation TV shows was enough to get residents at Legends at Taylor Lakes, an upscale Montgomery apartment community, to clean up their act.
"We sent out letters to residents about what we were going to do," said Joe Johnson , property manager. Legends has been using the service for about six weeks. "The problem of owners not cleaning up after their dogs just disappeared." Read more

Helpful hints for condo and HOA members

Posted by: CYNTHIA ANDERSON, June 8th, 2012
What Dave Biemel finds most gratifying about serving on the board of directors of Arielle Condominium Association in Palmer Ranch is the feeling of accomplishment in "getting stuff done that didn't seem like it was getting done before."

Least gratifying? Dealing with the conflict in his community of 200 families, and taking the fall when a resident is displeased about something.

"Some people expect their every whim to be accomplished," said Biemel, who has been president since 2009. "They tend to lose sight of the fact that these are volunteer positions."

If, in running for the board of directors of your condominium or homeowners association, you're anticipating universal accolades for selfless service, think again. The job comes with a full complement of responsibilities and pitfalls — things you should consider before you sign on. Read more 

Some of the (real) reasons banks aren’t foreclosing in your community association.

by Donna DiMaggio Berger, Esq. June 4th, 2012
Why does it take so long for a lender to foreclose?

Sometimes the answer to that question depends on where you live. In very large states like California, Florida, New York and Texas, the sheer volume of foreclosures will have a delaying impact on lender foreclosures.

Our fifty states each have different rules about how to bring a foreclosure case to court and some states skip court altogether and allow for a nonjudicial foreclosure. No matter where the property is located, lenders are all required to give notice to the delinquent owner and many try to work out payment arrangements before filing for a foreclosure. Some states require lenders to demonstrate that the borrowers are at least three payments or ninety days behind in their mortgage before taking legal action. In other states, however, such proof is not a requirement and in states with the most lender-friendly laws, lenders can evict a person and sell a home within ninety days of the borrower missing the first payment. Read more

Campbell appreciates your recommendations:

Thanks.Election season is over for most of the community associations in South Florida. Change often follows elections in communities. If you hear about neighbors that are considering a change in their Property Management and think Campbell might be a good fit, please let us know. Recommendations from our clients and partners are what have enabled us to grow and improve over our 59+ years in business.
Feel free to email us at
sales@campbellproperty.com
or have them visit us at

www.campbellpropertymanagement.com/requestquote


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June 2012 Calendar


Events & Classes

7/13
Broward Coalition Meeting
10:00AM, Sunrise Lakes Phase 1 Clubhouse
RSVP details
Sunrise, FL 


7/16
CAI Gold Coast Chapter Presents a Class:

How to be a Budget Manager
8:00-10:00AM

Bogart's Bar & Grille 
Boca Raton, FL
RSVP by 7/13/12


8:45-9:15AM
$10.00 - members and
$15.00 non-members

includes Continental Breakfast

7/23
Siegfried, Rivera, Lerner, De La Torre & Sobel, P.A. Presents:
Condo Board Member Certification Webinar
6:00-8:30PM, Online
Click for more information - RSVP required

7/31
CAI Southeast Florida Chapter
Hot Topic! Hot Breakfast!
7:30-9:30AM, Jacaranda Country Club
Plantation, FL

Larkspur Flower


July Tips:

Hurricane Construction Tips:
Bob Vila does a series on Storm Ready Designs. Episode 1: Rebuilding to Beat a Hurricane discusses hurricane resistant building and stem wall construction.
"In hurricane zones the big enemy is wind. In high-wind events the key to maintaining your structure is to keep the wind out and the structure tied together. Covering windows, doors, and garage doors is the best way to protect against penetration from debris and resulting wind entry that can implode a home. The other key safeguard is keeping the roof on. Maintaining the roof and the connections from roof to wall and floor to floor will keep a house intact."
Click to see the episodes online. 

For other construction advice, feel free to send us an email.

Keith's Corner: Landscaping
Hello to all the good folks in south Florida!
Did you know that July's birth flowers are the Larkspur or Water Lily.
This is the time of year to watch for chinch bug, mole crickets, & fungus. Try to have your lawn cut every seven days to avoid cutting more than 1/3 of the blade of grass. Flowering shrubs only want a little bit of cut back this time of year. This is a great time of year to do sod replacement due to the amounts of rain we have been getting.

What do you call someone in the White House who is honest, caring, and understanding?  A TOURIST. Remember always install your sod green side up!

Keith Carracher, President
CPM Keith

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

 
We Listen


You Asked and We Listened:

A number of readers asked for a printable version of the newsletter. We have listened and are now happy to announce there is a printable PDF version of the email. Just click to download it, print it,  and then share it.

Let us know if you have any other requests. 
Condo Council

Condo Council offers answers for Board Member Questions


A new organization was recently launched in the State of Florida to provide a complete resource of information that will help Board Members deal with everyday issues. This organization is called The Condo Council. 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. The first member luncheon was held on Saturday, May 19th at Wynmoor in Coconut Creek. Over 150 Board Members from dozens of local communities attended and covered a variety of topics that are impacting associations including: foreclosures, rentals, emergency response plans, and the key factors in selecting a property manager.

Sheriff's Office Broward County

 

Broward Sherriff's Office
Community Projects

7/14
Shred-a-Thon & Operation Medicine Cabinet
9:00AM-12:00PM

Bamford Park
Davie, FL
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