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Category Archives: Association Documents

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Eligibility to Run for Condominium Board Depends on Governing Documents

Posted in Association Documents, Board Eligibility, Governing Documents

Question:  The wife of an owner (only the husband is on the deed) is running for the Board of our condominium association.  Is she eligible to run for the Board?  I thought you had to be an owner under Florida Law to serve on a condominium association Board?  D.A. via e-mail Answer:  Florida law does… Continue Reading

Can My Condominium Association Remove Palm Trees?

Posted in Association Documents, Common Areas, Governing Documents, Landscaping, Material Alteration

Question: Our condo board wants to remove 44 mature Foxtail palms that shade the courtyards of our 22 coach home buildings. They claim their roots threaten the sidewalk pavers, but there are low cost solutions to address that concern.  The board also raises a concern regarding the palm fronds touching the roofs, but that is… Continue Reading

Fining Procedures Confound Condominium & Cooperative Boards in Florida

Posted in Association Documents, Governing Documents, Reader Q&A, Rules & Regulations, Suspensions, Fines & Remedies, Uncategorized

Question: Our association tried to fine an owner who violated our rules, but decided the process was too complicated. Can you provide a step-by-step outline of how fines are issued and collected? (M.G. by e-mail) Answer: Fines can be imposed against condominium and cooperative unit owners, occupants, licensees and invitees. The law for homeowners’ associations… Continue Reading

Florida HOA Board Must Follow Correct Rule Procedures

Posted in Association Documents, Governing Documents, Rules & Regulations

Question: Our homeowners’ association documents say that the board can adopt rules, but don’t spell out how to do it. What procedures that must be followed? Can the board adopt a rule at a regular meeting and then enforce it the next day without providing any special notice to the members? (R.L. by e-mail) Answer:… Continue Reading

Florida Association Boards Can Adopt Rules for Records Requests

Posted in Association Documents, Governing Documents, Official Records

Question: In a recent column, you said that an owner wanting to inspect association records has to make a written request. Does a request by e-mail satisfy the law? (B.H. by e-mail) Answer: While the Florida Condominium, Cooperative, and Homeowners’ Association Acts all require that owners submit “written” requests to inspect records, there is no… Continue Reading

President Can’t Buck the Association Board in Florida HOAs

Posted in Association Documents, Elections, Governing Documents, Meetings

Question: I am one of five directors on my homeowners’ association’s board. After this year’s annual meeting, we elected new officers. The person voted in as president says that he can make any decision he chooses, and does not need a vote from the board. For example, he has said that he can terminate our… Continue Reading

Condominium Board Cannot Wink at House Cats

Posted in Association Documents, Housing for Older Persons (55 and Over), Pets, Rules & Regulations

Question: Our association has a “no pet” policy, going back to the developer’s original bylaws. The board has generally enforced it, but has let a few elderly owners keep “indoor cats,” since they really do not bother anyone. My neighbor recently purchased a large dog which barks constantly, keeping me awake at night. I filed… Continue Reading

New Florida Condo Bill Filed by Senator Garcia Includes Criminal Penalties

Posted in Assessment Collection, Association Documents, Budgets, Reserves & Financial, CALL Alert, Elections, Official Records, Voting

Last month, the State Attorney for Miami-Dade County released a Grand Jury Report titled “Addressing Condo Owners’ Pleas for Help:  Recommendations for Legislative Action”.  You can read the Miami-Herald Article about the Grand Jury Report here. Today, Senator Rene Garcia filed SB 1682, Relating to Condominiums, which incorporates some of the recommendations of the Grand… Continue Reading

Assessments and Combined Lots in Florida HOAs

Posted in Assessment Collection, Association Documents, Governing Documents, taxation

Question: I live in a homeowners’ association community. Recently, one of our owners purchased the vacant lot next to their home. The owner has now combined the properties into one parcel with the taxing authorities and is now demanding that the association only charge them assessments for one lot, instead of two. Is this appropriate?… Continue Reading

What are Pooled Reserves and How do we Implement Them?

Posted in Association Documents, Budgets, Reserves & Financial, Meetings, Uncategorized

Question: I am a new director on my condominium association board. At a recent board meeting, there was a discussion about switching to “pooled” reserves. What are pooled reserves and what does the association have to do to implement pooled reserves? R.G. Answer: Cash flow funding of condominium reserves, often referred to as the “pooling”… Continue Reading

Florida Associations Should Consider Amending Rental Provisions Now—CALL Alert for January 13, 2017

Posted in Association Documents, Governing Documents, Legislation, Rental

As we start the New Year and the 2017 legislative session, community associations should be reviewing their current rental provisions and deciding whether to propose any amendments to address minimum rental terms. If your association has a problem with short term rentals in the community and would like to adopt amendments to the governing documents… Continue Reading

Are Social Event Expenses a Proper Expense for Florida Condominium Associations?

Posted in Association Documents, Budgets, Reserves & Financial, Governing Documents, Reader Q&A

Question: My condominium association holds an annual holiday party at a nearby restaurant. The association pays for everything, including the banquet hall, food and refreshments, by using common funds. Is this a proper common expense? J.A. Answer: Maybe. Your condominium association’s governing documents likely include a definition of “common expenses.” If this definition specifically includes… Continue Reading

Owners Must Follow Procedure to Petition the HOA Board for Agenda Items

Posted in Association Documents, Governing Documents, Rules & Regulations, Voting

Question: I live in a homeowners association and have e-mailed our board president a number of times concerning items that I feel should be discussed by our board. While the president has politely acknowledged my e-mails, none of my suggested topics have been brought up. Does the board at least have to consider my issues?… Continue Reading

Right to See Association Employee Wages Ambiguous

Posted in Association Documents, Official Records, Reader Q&A

Question: Do I have the right to know the compensation package of employees of my homeowners’ association?  (J.S.by e-mail) Answer: This is a complicated issue and there is not unanimity of opinion as to what the law actually means. The answer to your question may depend on where the information you seek is contained. The… Continue Reading

HOA Documents and The “Florida Sober Home Bill”

Posted in Association Documents, Disability, Governing Documents, Reasonable Accommodations or Modifications

Question: The issue of “sober houses” and other types of group homes has arisen in our community. We would like to know if we can amend our homeowners’ association documents to prohibit such uses? (S.W. by e-mail) Answer: In 2016, the Florida Legislature adopted the “Florida Sober Home Bill,” which creates a new certification for… Continue Reading

Privacy Rights Should Be Guarded

Posted in Association Documents, Discrimination/Fair Housing, Rental

Question: Our declaration of condominium documents give the board the right to approve sales and leases. We have no one on our board that has experience in reviewing application information. A former board member, who is also an attorney, helps us review the information we receive. He makes a recommendation as to whether the application… Continue Reading

Association Has Several Options to Enforce HOA Documents

Posted in Association Documents, Covenant Enforcement/Violations, Rules & Regulations, Suspensions, Fines & Remedies

Question: The governing documents for our homeowners’ association contain a number of restrictions and rules. However, they do not contain any instructions on what happens if an owner fails to comply with the documents. If an owner is not obeying the documents, what does the homeowners’ association do? (D.H by e-mail) Answer: The association has… Continue Reading

The Airbnb Phenomenon and What It Means for Your Community Association

Posted in Association Documents, Rental

If your community association is located in or relatively near an area that is attractive to tourists, it is time for your board to start discussing the Airbnb phenomenon and what it might mean in the coming years. Sites like Airbnb, VRBO (Vacation Rentals by Owner), FlipKey, HomeAway, and Roomorama tout the fact  that they… Continue Reading

BPBALLOT Online Vote a Success in Santa Rosa Florida

Posted in Association Documents, Uncategorized, Voting

Several weeks ago, our first BPBALLOT online vote was finalized up in Santa Rosa Beach and it was a grand SUCCESS! Since our first vote we have several more communities who have already purchased a BPBALLOT license and have their online votes underway. If your community has historically struggled to achieve a quorum on important… Continue Reading