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

Category Archives: Arbitration & Court Rulings

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What is an arbitration decision?

Posted in Arbitration & Court Rulings, Covenant Enforcement/Violations, Reader Q&A

Question: I’m new to the board of my condominium association. I was just copied on a lengthy opinion letter from the association attorney. There are several references to various court decisions. There are also references to arbitration decisions. What is an arbitration decision?  A.Z. (via e-mail) Answer: Since 1992, all condominium “disputes” (as that term… Continue Reading

Changes to Condominium Property are Highly Scrutinized

Posted in Arbitration & Court Rulings, Maintenance & Repair

The Board of Directors has the responsibility and authority to maintain the common elements of a condominium. On the other hand, Section 718.113(2)(a), Florida Statutes, requires 75% of the entire membership to approve a material alteration or substantial addition to the common elements, unless the declaration provides for an alternative approval method. The determination of… Continue Reading

Condo Directors Need Thick Skin

Posted in Arbitration & Court Rulings, Operations

Arbitration Ruling Finds Unit Owner Actions “Repugnant” but Not a Violation of Documents The arbitration case of Majestic Shores Condominium Association, Inc. v. Carillo, describes what is all too often experienced by condominium directors. The association filed the petition for arbitration with the Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares and Mobile Homes claiming that abusive and… Continue Reading

Can Complaints About Association Operations Become a Defense Against Foreclosure?

Posted in Arbitration & Court Rulings, Assessment Collection, Foreclosures

One of the principles I learned when I first became a member of this Law Firm has now been called into question, at least somewhat, by a new ruling issued by the Fourth District Court of Appeal. I initially learned that the obligation of the association to maintain and care for the property is completely independent… Continue Reading

A Few Notes About the Florida Supreme Court Ruling in Cohn v. The Grand CAI

Posted in Arbitration & Court Rulings

The Cohn decision follows long-standing precedent in Florida regarding the applicability of statutory amendments to condominium or community association operations.  If the governing documents of the association contain “magic language”  incorporating statutes (in this case, the Condominium Act) as amended from time to time, statutory changes impact operations, rights and obligations of owners, the association governing the owners and, in some cases, third… Continue Reading

MRTA: Recorded Amendments Didn’t Make a Difference

Posted in Arbitration & Court Rulings

Appellate Court Allows Homeowners to Build and Maintain Structure on Lot Despite Recorded Restrictions.  We’ve discussed the Marketable Record Title Act (MRTA) on this site in the past in the post entitled: HOA Leaders Need to Understand MRTA.  Please refer back to that post for background information concerning this important issue. There are several appellate decisions involving MRTA issues,… Continue Reading

Arbitration – A Primer

Posted in Arbitration & Court Rulings

There are times when a person’s “day in court” is not immediately available in the condominium setting in light of the arbitration [§718.1255] provision in the Condominium Act. This post is one of three which will be address different aspects of arbitration. This post defines disputes which require arbitration and gives insight on the general arbitration process.

Covenant Enforcement: Think Twice Before Taking “Self Help”

Posted in Arbitration & Court Rulings, Covenant Enforcement/Violations, Operations

Parton v. Palomino Lakes Property Owners Association, Inc.   While the legal process may seem slow and involve a significant amount of paperwork, this case shows what can happen if owners and directors decide to take enforcement matters into their own hands. The Partons owned a lot within the Palomino Lakes Community, subject to the… Continue Reading

Business Judgment Rule & Fiduciary Obligations of Boards

Posted in Arbitration & Court Rulings

Fourth District Court of Appeal Enunciates Two-Pronged Test to Evaluate Decisions Made by the Board of Directors of a Community Association. The officers and directors of community associations have a fiduciary relationship to the members (owners), as stated in §718.111(1)(a) and §720.303(1), Florida Statutes.  The directors are obligated to discharge their responsibilities in good faith. … Continue Reading

D&O Coverage Exclusions Revisited / Eastpointe Case Upheld

Posted in Arbitration & Court Rulings, Construction Issues & Contractual Disputes, Fiduciary Duty of Board of Directors, Insurance

I talked about the distinction between a carrier’s duty to defend and the duty to indemnify early in the year in connection with the U.S. District Court’s ruling that a D&O policy did not provide coverage for claims of breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract and negligence. In Eastpointe Condominium I Asn. Inc. v. Travelers Casualty & Surety Company an owner sued the… Continue Reading

Association’s Options to Push Bank Foreclosures Are Still Viable Despite Tadmore & Coral Key

Posted in Arbitration & Court Rulings, Assessment Collection, Foreclosures

Fourth District Court of Appeal Rules that Lender Cannot be Compelled to Pay Assessments Prior to Acquisition of Title. Deutsche Bank National Trust v. Coral Key Condominium Association (at Carolina), Inc. and Luna, Opinion April 14, 2010. An earlier post discussed the Third District’s appellate ruling in the U.S. Bank National Ass’n v. Tadmore case which held that the… Continue Reading

Enforcing Vehicle and Parking Restrictions – The “Devil is in the Details”

Posted in Arbitration & Court Rulings, Covenant Enforcement/Violations, Operations

Appellate Court sides with Homeowner in Parking Enforcement Litigation.  Owner Permitted to Park Large Pick-Up Truck in Driveway. Eagles Master Association, Inc. v. Vizzi – link to Summary Judgment Ruling. Interpreting governing documents of condos & HOA is tricky sometimes.  While there is an emphasis on the ‘plain meaning’ of the words – sometimes the… Continue Reading

Mandatory Country Club Memberships May Not be Mandatory After All …

Posted in Arbitration & Court Rulings

Fourth District Court of Appeal Affirms Ruling Invalidating Amendments to Master Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions Governing the Ironhorse Community.  With the economy the way it is, country clubs are losing members while costs continue to rise.   The costs associated with maintaining and operating a golf course and related club facilities, including the clubhouse, restaurant, etc., as well… Continue Reading

Condo Owner Blocks Association from Collecting Assessment

Posted in Arbitration & Court Rulings, Assessment Collection

Appellate Court Allows Owner to Seek Injunctive Relief and Reverses Award of Attorney’s Fees and Costs. In Mitchell v. Beach Club of Hallandale Condominium Association, Inc., 17 So.3d 1265 (Fla. 4th DCA 2009), the Fourth District Court of Appeal ruled that a condominium owner has the right to proceed with a lawsuit aimed at preventing… Continue Reading

Construction Defect Case Ruling in Favor of HOA

Posted in Arbitration & Court Rulings, Construction Issues & Contractual Disputes, Developer Obligations

Developer’s Challenge to Notice of Meeting not Proper Defense to Construction Defect Claim Lake Forest Master Community Association, Inc. v. Orlando Lake Forest Joint Venture, et al., Case No. 5D08-2096 Lake Forest Master Community Association, Inc. (“Lake Forest”) filed a lawsuit for construction defects against the Developer, after the membership voted in favor of doing… Continue Reading

In Re: Petition For Arbitration: Cypress Bend IV Condominium Association, Inc., v. Cheryl Pepper and Richard Frisbie, Arbitration Case No. No. 00-0417 (Final Order 6/26/00)

Posted in Arbitration & Court Rulings

A.    Facts: In this case, the Cypress Bend IV Condominium Association (“Association”) filed a petition for arbitration against unit owners Cheryl Pepper and Richard Frisbie (“Respondents”). The Association alleged that the Respondents violated Article XIII, Section E of the Declaration of Condominium (“Declaration”) and Federal Law by installing a satellite dish on the common element… Continue Reading