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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.

Announcing the 2013 Communities of Excellence Awards

Florida CoE Logo


Entries opened this morning for this, the fifth year of the Florida Communities of Excellence Awards.  (Read the press release)


The program has grown each year, and there's a lot new for 2013:
  • The website, which now includes a page of highlights on every winning community
  • The categories, including the new "Communications & Community" category
  • The judges, with many returning from last year
  • The sponsors, including nearly everyone from last year
Here's what hasn't changed:
  • There is no fee to enter, and you may enter in as many categories as you wish
  • Entry is all online, and the deadline is January 15, 2013
  • No fee for the conference and gala for active community association managers, board members, and residents
I'm also delighted to announce that the Florida Communities of Excellence Awards Conference and Gala will be in St. Petersburg on April 5 at the The Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront Hotel.

The Florida Communities of Excellence Awards is the first and only comprehensive, independent recognition program for the tens of thousands of community associations throughout Florida, and it's all made possible by you.  On behalf of the founding sponsors, here's to a great fifth anniversary!

Alan Penchansky
Executive Director
The Florida Communities of Excellence Awards


Political Yard Signs - Freedom of Speech or May Associations Prohibit?

Posted by: Sara K. Wilson, Esq. of Taylor & Carls, P.A.
Political Yard Signs
The political season is upon us, and as the big day in November approaches, many people will increasingly want to display their candidate choices in a more public fashion.  In a residential setting, this might take the form of owners desiring to place political signs on their front lawns.  The majority of governing documents for homeowners‘ associations, however, prohibit signs of any type from being placed on owners‘ lots except in the case of “For Sale” signs.  But what about freedom of speech?  Can associations legally restrict owners from exercising such freedom by prohibiting them from displaying political signs in their own yards?         

The simple answer to this is yes.  The freedom of speech which we as Americans possess actually only applies to government action. Read more 

Time is of the Essence: Responding to Members' Written Inquiries Submitted by Certified Mail

Posted by: Adam W. Carls, Esq. of Taylor & Carls, P.A., September 20th, 2012 
If you happen to be a member of a Condo Board of Directors, you are no doubt the recipient of frequent and wide-ranging questions from members of your association.  These members will often be actively engaged in the business of the association, which is a good thing; an active membership is usually the sign of a healthy community.  However, sometimes it can be difficult for Boards or their property managers to answer these questions in a timely manner due to either the complexity of the question, or the sheer volume of questions received.

Does your Condo Board have to answer these questions within a specific time frame?  The short answer is yes, but only if the questions are submitted in accordance with 718.112(2)(a)2., Florida Statutes. Read more

Attorney Does Not Represent HOA Members Even Though All Members Pay Lawyer's Fees

Posted by: Joseph Adams, Esq.,  September 20th, 2012 
Question: I read your blog dated August 21, 2012, entitled Attorney-Client Privilege Exists Beyond Litigation, and think something is wrong. The members of the association pay the lawyer’s fee. So how is it conceivable that the attorney paid for by all homeowners only represents the board? H.C. (via e-mail)

Answer: This is a common source of discontent in associations. American law recognizes the fiction of the corporation as a legal person. Therefore, a corporation is granted by the law most of the legal powers of individuals, at least with respect to commercial matters. Such powers include the power to enter into contracts, the power to sue and be sued, and the power to hold title to property.
Read more

Anti-intimidation rule – a practical solution?

Posted by: Gary Poliakoff,  September 19th, 2012 
Serving on the board of a condominium, co-op or HOA is perhaps the most emotionally difficult of all the volunteer activities that a person may take part in.  In other volunteer organizations, despite any conflicts, the arguments are over once you leave and go home.  That’s not always the case when serving your community’s board of directors.  When your detractors are your neighbors, you are forced to interact with them and see them on a regular basis.  And let’s face it, most people aspire to have friendly, peaceful relationships with their neighbors.  The issues that arise in a typical community tend to be those that arouse strong feelings in people, and, depending on their individual personalities, owners can direct their frustration at the members of the board. Read more


Does the Community Association Have the Right to Demand Rent from Your Tenant?

Posted by: Rania A. Soliman, Esq. of Taylor & Carls, P.A., September 13th, 2012
In tough economic times, community associations struggle to collect assessments from owners in the community.   In an effort to stabilize property values, the Florida legislature has empowered condominium and homeowners associations to demand rent from tenants occupying property where the owner is delinquent on his or her monetary obligations to the association.

Under Florida Statutes Sections 720.3085 and 718.116, homeowners and condominium associations have the right to demand rent payments directly from tenants when the property owner has fallen behind in their assessments. If the proper procedures are followed by the homeowners and condominium associations, a tenant would be required to immediately begin tendering their monthly rent payments directly to the association instead of the owner of the property.  In addition to providing an association with the right to demand rent payments from tenants of delinquent owners, these statutes allow the association to evict those tenants who refuse to comply. Read more

Why does the mention of Section 8 tenants panic some communities?

Posted by: Donna DiMaggio Berger, Esq., September 10th, 2012 
How many people are under the misconception that Section 8 Housing can be found “somewhere else” but not behind the gated walls of many of Florida’s well-manicured condominium and homeowners’ associations? Think again. You might be surprised to find Section 8 tenants living in beachfront condos and 5-bedroom homes in country club communities.

The Housing Choice Voucher Program sponsored by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is more often known by the name Section 8. Read more

 

Is Your Association Utilizing All of The Tools Available To It?

Posted by:  Laura Manning-Hudson, September 4th, 2012
Many times I receive calls from condominium and homeowners association board members and managers who are at their wits end with certain residents in their community who cannot seem to follow the rules. These are the residents who paint their homes without seeking and receiving approval, move tenants into their units under the cover of darkness, and have a Labrador Retriever in a no-pet building. They play their TVs and stereos too loud and too late at night. There's one in every community. Read more


What records are not open for inspection?

Posted by:  Susan Raphan
It is a fact that records access issues are the most frequent complaints submitted to the Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes Compliance Office.
Some of the complaints are simply a lack of knowledge as to what records are not open for inspection by owners. 
Here is a list of those records:
  • Any record protected by the lawyer – client privilege concerning pending or future litigation. (The definition of what constitutes lawyer client privilege can be found in Florida Statute 90.502)
  • Read more

2012 Legislative Session: A review of 2012 Florida Community Association Legislation

by Yeline Goin, Esq., CALL Executive Director, Becker & Poliakoff P.A.
Florida State Senate Logo
The 2012 Legislative Session was very busy with regard to community association legislation and the fate of many of the bills was not known until the last day of session. In the end, there was no passage of any significant legislation to help associations still trying to recover from the real estate meltdown. The most significant community association bill (HB 319/SB 680) did not pass. Among other things, the bill would
have:
  1. postponed costly elevator upgrades;
  2. imposed a deadline for election and recall challenges;
  3. removed the requirement for a member vote in order for condominium board members to serve two-year terms; and
Read more to see a the rest of the legislative changes

Campbell appreciates your recommendations:

Thanks.Election season is approaching quickly 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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Oct 2012 Calendar
Events & Classes
10/09
West Boca Community Council Monthly Meeting
7:30PM
More Information
Boca Raton, FL

10/12
Broward Coalition Meeting
11:00AM, Sunrise Lakes Phase 1 Clubhouse
More details

Sunrise, FL 


10/13
Condo Board Certification Course
Becker & Poliakoff, P.A.
9AM-12PM
More details
Fort Lauderdale, FL 


10/17
COWBRA

Delegate Meeting
9:30-10:30AM

Coral Lakes
12547 Imperial Isle Drive
Boynton Beach, FL 33437

10/17
Condo Board Certification Course
Katzman Garfinkel & Berger
10AM-12PM
More details
Margate, FL 


10/17
Top Tips for Condo Boards and Property Managers
RSVP. Limited Space.
8:30-11AM
More details
Boca Raton, FL 


10/18
Galt Mile
G.M.C.A. Advisory Board Meeting

Nick’s Italian Restaurant
3496 N. Ocean Blvd (A1A & 35th St)
11:00 AM

10/25
Condo Board Certification Course
Becker & Poliakoff, P.A.
2:30-5:30PM
More details
Fort Lauderdale, FL 


10/30
CAI Southeast Florida Chapter
Hot Topic! Hot Breakfast!
7:30-9:30AM, Jacaranda Country Club
Plantation, FL

New Guinea Impatiens

October Tips:

Keith's Corner: Landscaping
Hello to all the good folks in south Florida!
Yes Fall is here. Soon we will open our windows and enjoy the beautiful smell of flowers. Speaking of flowers remember last year we had the problem with Downey Mildew on the impatiens. Most growers are not going to grow them this season. Due to the demand on the colors they offer, growers are however going to grow more of the New Guinea variety that won’t be infected with the disease.  Because of the new demand they are going to offer them at a very reasonable price. You still can’t go wrong with the begonia and all the color they offer.

Keith Carracher, President
CPM Keith

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

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.

Radio Tower

Free Radio Stations Covering HOA & Condo Issues

  • Condo Solutions: airs every Monday morning from 9:05 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. on WSTU, 1450 AM radio in Stuart, Florida. http://www.wstu1450.com/
‚Äč
September App

October's Featured App

CondoHOALaw App CondoHOALaw Logo
 

Description
Welcome to the FREE CondoHOALaw Application. This App can help answer questions that may crop up during contentious board, membership and committee meetings.
Key features include:
  • Frequently asked questions about Robert’s Rules of Order
  • The common-interest ownership statutes applying to condos, HOAs, co-ops, mobile homes, and time shares for 14 states
  • Disaster Preparedness and Recovery Guidebook for Community Associations
  • Community Association Assessment Collection & Foreclosure
  • 2012 Legislative Guidebook for Community Associations
  • Political Process Guidebook for Community Associations
You can currently get this app on the iTunes store for free. The app is currently only available for the iPhone, iPad, and iTouch, but will become available for the Android OS in the next month.
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