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Florida Condo & HOA Legal Blog News & Updates on Condo & HOA Laws & Legislation in the State of Florida

Questions & Comments

Posted in Operations

Every day readers pose questions and/or submit comments regarding different posts on this site.  We respond to these questions and comments regularly, but do not always send the inquirer the response by return email.  The volume of questions and comments prevents us from responding individually to each one.

The responses are generally contained in the comment field, after that particular blog post.  Click the term "comments" below the actual post to read reader questions and responses. 

Remember, the responses are general in nature, intended as informational only and are not designed as or to be deemed legal advice.  Each question presupposes facts and circumstances that cannot be evaluated on an individual basis and most of the time answers depend upon the governing documents of the community involved or other factors.  Nonetheless, we try to guide you in the right direction and often include links to statutes, rulings, case decisions and other resources.  Our Firm is committed to law related education and keeping community leaders, CAMs and homeowners informed about matters affecting their communities” operations. 

We thank the thousands of readers that visit this site regularly and applaud your commitment to improve community operations.

  • Faye Coles

    Question:
    When a board member votes no on a motion, can the minutes reflect the reason for the no vote? I would appreciate you discussing proper recording of meeting minutes in this blog with any recommendations you might have since SB1196 addressed the intentions of board members. Thanks….
    RESPONSE: The minutes must record how each director votes on each motion. It is not necessary to include the director’s grounds for their vote. Thank you for the suggestion – a post addressing what should and should not be included in the minutes is a good idea.

  • Dani Barker

    Does SB1196 which became law on 06/01/2010 apply to both Condo & HOA? My question specifically relates to 414.31 on page 28 referring to cable service.
    RESPONSE: SB 1196 contains changes to the laws governing condominiums, cooperatives and homeowners associations. If you are referring to the portion of the law allowing board members to contract for bundled communications services (voice, video, data) that provision governs condominium associations. However, the determination of common expenses for a HOA depends upon the governing documents for the community – it is very possible that your HOA does have the authority to contract for bundled services.

  • CBK

    If a condo unit goes into foreclosure and the Condo Board had previously filed a lien prior to the foreclosure due to non-payment of an assessment earlier in the year and the owner of the unit does not live on site, but allows their adult child to reside in said unit….is it possible to evict the relative of the owner and then possibly begin renting the unit to get the overdue assessment? Apparently the monthly maintenance fees are being paid, but I would suspect they are being paid by the parent as the adult child is not gainfully employed.

  • Paul M. Epstein

    My question pertains to what and how much information a manager can furnish a unit owner in a condominium from the association official records. Specifically, one of our unit owners who was out of country developed a leak in the water line of their refrigerator which went to the unit below it. The unit owner below insists that I provide all of the information from the above unit to include telephone numbers as well as e-mail addresses. However, my understaneing of SB 1196 forbids this. So how about the low down?
    Sincerely,
    Paul M. Epstein
    RESPONSE: Very important issue – I predict the new rules regarding disclosure of personal information are going to cause more controversy in association/management operations.
    The official records still include a roster list – the roster list contains the unit address and any other contact information the unit owner has provided to the association for notice purposes. It is also still required to include telephone numbers, if known.
    For example, if the owner says “mail any association notices to this [New York] address – then that address remains part of the roster and available for inspection. If the owner says “fax notices to this number” that number remains part of the roster.
    However, as you mentioned, the new statute prohibits the asn from disclosing personal information – including telephone numbers. So, without any case law or division ‘pronouncements’ I think the best answer is to keep phone numbers on the roster but NOT allow other members to inspect them. Either black them out or have 2 different versions of the roster – one with and one without the telephone numbers.
    Sorry for the long answer – this is a sticky issue & I hope other property managers are up to speed or inquire, like you did.

  • Josh

    I had a dispute with my neighborhood homeowner’s association. They are suing me, but now want to settle. A friend of mine had a similar problem (also settled), but she said that the association ended up having to pay her attorney’s fees. My attorney never mentioned that being an option, and I couldn’t find anything in the papers he prepared mentioning fees, but the other sides papers do mention it, and their papers say that I could get stuck paying. Will I have to pay all that money if I settle? Can I get them to pay my attorney’s fees?
    Thanks
    RESPONSE: A settlement is a voluntary agreement between the parties to the lawsuit. You will have to decide whether you are willing to pay any attorney’s fees to the other side as part of a settlement.

  • Roe

    does the condo assoc have the right to restrict ovrenight guests to no more than 30 times per yar?
    RESPONSE: Use restrictions (including guest restrictions) are set forth in the particular community’s governing documents.

  • Roe

    what if the documents do not address overnight guest restrictions?
    RESPONSE: The general reference to “documents” can mean many different documents, such as the rules and regulations, policies, operational procedures and the like. In a condominium, you may submit a written inquiry to the board by certified mail asking the association to identify guest and occupancy restrictions.

  • Roy Lenard

    With the recent changes regarding records, salary records of staff are no longer accessible to unit owners. Does this mean salary information i.e. actual salary amount paid cannot be given to a unit owner or does this pertain to inspection of salary records?
    Thank you in advance for your assistance.
    RESPONSE: Personnel records are not accessible to the members – that includes payroll records.

  • Ken Driscoll

    If a condo owner fills out a voting certificate as Robert A Jones, and then submits a ballot by signing as Rob Jones or Robert Jones, is the ballot valid or does it have to be thrown out.
    RESPONSE: As long as voter intent is clear, I would have no problem accepting the voting document where the voter uses a nickname.

  • TheQuill

    Our condo board had a meeting with our association insurance agent after our regular board meeting to discuss our insurance options and costs for upcoming renewal. No mention of the meeting to the owners attending the regular board meeting was made and no prior announcement of the meeting was made. Should the board president have informed the attending owners that the meeting would be taking place and should the board have announced the insurance meeting along with the regular board meeting the prerequisite 48 hours in advance?

  • Dan Epstein

    Can several members of a household in an HOA be members of the board (i.e., husband and wife, etc.)?
    RESPONSE: This is not prohibited by the Florida HOA law.

  • Dorrie Visser

    I am renting and I have been told that I have to pay the full rent to the Assocaition instead of our landlord as he is delinquenton his Assessment obligations to the Assocaition. I have asked our landlord & he says it is a mistake! Does the Assocaiton not have to prove anything before they demand rent, can they in fact demand rent when they have no contract with me?
    thank you
    RESPONSE: The 2010 changes to the statutes allow associations to demand rent from tenants when the owner is delinquent. You will need to consult with counsel with regard to your obligations.

  • Harold Margate

    I would like a description of Fla 720.3086 in that “itemized list of expenditures”. Is this the standard income and expense statement which groups broad items under a general heading or should I be able to see exactly where and to whom the money flows?
    eg: Lawn Service Residential $57000.00, Lawn service Common $27072. I live in a Builder development, builder owned and controlled HOA with an agency for management. I was recently at a meeting where the Head of the agency stated this was ” as clear as it gets’ or a letter asking for specific items if not happy with the statement.
    Thanks
    RESPONSE: The report of cash receipts and expenditures must comply with §720.303(7), F.S. The homeowners association act permits members to request access to the financial and accounting records of the association kept according to good accounting practices. I suggest review of the actual records to see more detail.

  • Julie Pugh

    Are all condo unit owners required to have a voting cert. for their vote to count? Must your ballot be enclosed in the ballot envelop for your vote to count?
    Thank you
    RESPONSE: Voting certificate requirements are set forth in the governing documents.

  • Michael Litz

    I moved from Florida to Arizona, when I left my home in Florida we did not have a management company, we handled our HOA ourselves in the neighborhood. I filed my change of address with the U.S Post Office and it was reflected in my property record. However, in the time I was gone, the neighborhood hired a management company who neglected to check the property record and simply mailed my notice of dues to the home. This caused a delay and they hired an attorney to look in the property record and mail my notice to me at my listed address in Arizona. Now I am being billed $250 for an attorney to do this! My question is this, I did not hire this attorney nor did I do anything to cause this attorney to be hired. They hired him to look up an address and are billing me for it. I didnt do anything wrong, I paid my dues within 1 hour of recieving my first notice? Why would they not send the notice to the owner address on the property record and how does this make me responsible for the attorney? I have paid my dues but have not yet paid the attorney, who I agree deserves to be paid his fee for services rendered but should be paid by the management company for hiring him needlessly to do a simple address check. What can I do?
    RESPONSE: I cannot give you legal advice, but I can say that further correspondence back and forth with the attorney is likely to increase the charges. Why not explain this situation to the board of directors and ask them to either waive the fee or address the issue with management? Ultimately the board decides whether to waive or collect late fees, interest and attorney’s fees. Maybe one or more board members will be sympathetic to your plight.

  • DENNIS

    Question. Can a person under age 55 ( actual age 33 )reside with a unit owner in a 55 and over community?
    RESPONSE: It depends on the occupancy restrictions in the documents governing that particular community. Community associations will typically allow other adults to reside with the person age 55 or over so long as that person is residing in the unit – not a snowbird. I often hear stories where applications for rent or lease are approved because the applicant promises the of-age person will reside with the under-age person, but in actuality the younger person lives in the property as a primary residence and the other person does not.

  • Charles J Schebesta

    What is the law in florida pertaining to pickup ownership in a condo association regardless of past association rules and Florida statute.
    RESPONSE: Parking regulations (including limitations on the types of vehicles permitted) are specific to a particular community. We have several posts on this site regarding covenant/rule enforcement.

  • J.D. Karnes

    I lease a condo from a friend, he assured me that he had no problem with a small dog and upon his buying the property there was nothing forbidding tenants having pets, however the HOA now is saying only owners who occupy a residence can have pets, not tanants and this was amended after my friend bought the place. Is this leagl? right? I dont want to move, but I also don’t want to get rid of my dog either. He’s only 6 lbs, house trained and couldn’t damage anything if he wanted to and if the owner has no problem, why and how could the HOA?
    RESPONSE: Condo regulations are subject to change from time to time. The board usually has the power to make certain rules and the members can vote to change the declaration of condominium. The question is whether the rule changed before or after you brought the dog on to the property, not whether the rule changed after the owner bought the unit.

  • David Novak

    We have an elderly woman of 92 who has a caregiver for 8 hours most days, provided by her daughter, who also maintains frequent phone contact with her mother. The woman is failing to where she is a danger to herself and potentially others in her 8-plex building. Individuals have pleaded to no avail with the daughter to move her to a more intensive care environment.
    As an association, is there any recourse or, at a minimum, can we protect the association with an insurance solution to cover the possible scenarios?
    RESPONSE: Talk with your insurance adviser regarding any special coverage that may be available.
    There are a number of avenues the association can explore if the resident is incompetent or has violated the documents. You will need counsel to evaluate the situation and then advise how to proceed.

  • Betsy Cox

    Our “old” Condo Assn Declarations have ruling that states that all residents must be at least 18 years old. One of our owners is letting her daughter live in the unit with her 5 year old child. Are there any descrimination laws or statues that override our rules. I don’t believe we are a 55 and over filed assn.

    RESPONSE: Check out Chapter 760, Florida Statutes and search on the site for “Housing for Older Persons”.

  • messes

    Does Condo Association have right to have caregiver fill out an application for lease or rental.  This would be a 24/7 caregiver.  This is in the state of FL

  • http://www.floridacondohoalawblog.com/ Lisa Magill

    It depends on what it says in the governing documents.  The ability to regulate the use and occupancy of the units is all predicated on the language of the governing documents.  Your community can seek to amend those documents (with an owner vote) if they aren’t strong enough or don’t suit the needs of the community.

  • Michael

    Michael

    When should condo residents be allowed to discuss proposed issues with the board?
    There is a workshop that occurs prior to the board vote. Home owners are not allowed to speak. During the official board meeting the issues are voted on by the board members. At the end of the meeting homeowners are allowed to speak for 3 minutes which is after the voting by the board has occurred.