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

Category Archives: Operations

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Florida HOA Residents Have the Right to Inspect Official Records of the Association

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

Question: I live in a homeowners’ association. I recently received a letter stating that a decorative holiday flag in my front yard is in violation of the association’s rules and regulations. I am confused because several of my neighbors have similar decorations in their gardens. I sent the community association manager an e-mail asking to… Continue Reading

Donna DiMaggio Berger on WLRN’s Topical Currents

Posted in Legislation, Operations, Voting, Water Sprinklers

Condo and association law shareholder Donna DiMaggio Berger was the featured guest on WLRN 91.3FM’s Topical Currents “At Your Service” edition on Wednesday, June 7. Donna discussed what board members, managers and residents need to know about landmark association laws just passed by the Florida Legislature, including how to avoid the new criminal penalties for… Continue Reading

Summary of HB 653, Impacting Condominiums, Cooperatives, and Homeowners’ Associations

Posted in CALL Alert, Elections, Fire Sprinklers, Governing Documents, Liability, Managers (CAMS), Water Sprinklers

HB 653 (SB 744), sponsored by Representative Moraitis, passed the Florida Legislature but as of today, it has not yet been sent to the Governor for consideration.  When a bill is sent to the Governor, he has fifteen (15) days to act.  He can either sign the bill into law, veto it, or allow it… Continue Reading

Community Association Board Members Can be Considered Limited Purpose Public Figures in Defamation Cases

Posted in Liability

There is a growing body of case law around the country which would make it more difficult for an allegedly defamed community association board member to successfully pursue his or her day in court. Is a community association board member an average, private citizen or is a community association board member really a special category… Continue Reading

Automated External Defibrillator Devices (AEDs) In Florida Condominiums

Posted in Liability, Safety and security

Question: My condominium association is considering purchasing an “AED” for our clubhouse. From the conversation at the meeting I understand that this is an emergency medical device to use when someone is having a heart attack. Is it appropriate for associations to purchase and install these types of devices? Wouldn’t it create significant liability for… Continue Reading

Two More Weeks Left in the 2017 Legislative Session; What Bills are Most Likely to Pass?—CALL Alert for April 24, 2017

Posted in advocacy, Budgets, Reserves & Financial, Fiduciary Duty of Board of Directors, Legislation, Official Records, Operations, Video, Voting, Water Sprinklers

There are two weeks left in the 2017 Legislative Session—assuming it ends on time. Of the many different community association bills that were filed at the beginning of session, the following four (4) sets of bills are the ones that appear to be most likely to pass. Condominium Bills by Sen. Garcia and Rep. Diaz… Continue Reading

Condominium Associations Should List Their Attorney as the Registered Agent

Posted in Fiduciary Duty of Board of Directors, Governing Documents, Liability, Reader Q&A

Question: I am the President of my condominium association.  I just found out that the association was sued by a disgruntled owner.  Unfortunately, I just recently learned that the association has been “defaulted” in the lawsuit because we failed to answer the lawsuit by the deadline.  Apparently the process server served a member of the… Continue Reading

Does Electronic Voting For Community Associations Really Work? How Do You Implement It?

Posted in Elections, Governing Documents, Meetings, Voting

Question:  I heard that the law in Florida recently changed and that owners in community associations can now vote electronically. What is required to implement electronic voting in my community?  And does it really work?  A.A. via e-mail Answer: You heard correctly. During the 2015 Legislative Session, a new law was passed authorizing condominiums, cooperatives… 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

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

Breaking Up is Hard to Do: Part I – How to Navigate Management Company Transitions

Posted in CAM, Managers (CAMS)

Hopefully, most of us enter into relationships with the expectation that they will last. However, for those of us past adolescence, we realize that even long-term relationships can end and, even when they were good for a long time, the manner in which they do can overshadow everything that preceded that ending. In the next… Continue Reading

Florida Condo Associations Cannot Waive Year-End Audits for More than Three Consecutive Years

Posted in Budgets, Reserves & Financial

Question: Our annual budget is always over $500,000 and requires a year-end audit unless waived by the owners, which I understand cannot be done more than three consecutive years. Is there a penalty and what could happen if the association obtains owner approval to waive the audit for more than three consecutive years? M.K. via… Continue Reading

Departing Condominium Board Member Must Relinquish Keys Within Five Days

Posted in Managers (CAMS), Operations, Reader Q&A

Question: Recently, our association’s president resigned and took a job with our management company at another complex. While our office manager was on vacation this former president was in her office for a few hours. If he resigned doesn’t he have to turn in his key to the office. He has no business in there…. Continue Reading

Community Association Leadership Lobby What Community Association Bills Have Been Filed So Far?—CALL Alert for February 1, 2017

Posted in Budgets, Reserves & Financial, CALL Alert, Legislation, Uncategorized

The Florida Legislature met in Talahassee for two weeks in January, but so far, no community association bills have been heard in committee. The House Judiciary Committee, chaired by Representative Chris Sprowls, did hear a presentation about “Condominium Terminations” and the termination provisions in Section 718.117, Florida Statutes.  We expect that there will be legislation… Continue Reading

HOA Board Members Should be Wary about Contracting with Their Association

Posted in Budgets, Reserves & Financial, Fiduciary Duty of Board of Directors, Landscaping, Service Contracts

Question: I own the company that provides landscaping services to the community where I live. The association recently sent out a notice soliciting self-nominations for the board of directors. I submitted my nomination, but the board has indicated that I am not eligible to run given the current contract between the association and my landscape… 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 Condominium Residents Should Leave Contractors Alone

Posted in Common Areas, Construction, Construction Issues & Contractual Disputes, Maintenance & Repair

Question: I live in a condominium association and there has been discussion concerning who has the authority to direct the association’s contractors and vendors, including the landscapers. We feel that because we pay for these services, these individuals work for us, and we should be able to tell them what to do. The manager told… Continue Reading

Condominium Association Must Repair Air Conditioning Lightning Damage

Posted in Budgets, Reserves & Financial, Hurricane/Disaster Issues, Insurance, Maintenance & Repair

Question: Recently, the outdoor air conditioning unit servicing my condominium unit was struck by lightning. I turned the claim into my insurance policy. My insurance carrier denied the claim stating that it does not insure the air conditioning unit, and that the air conditioning unit is supposed to be insured by the condominium association under… Continue Reading

Investment of Condominium Association Funds Warrants Caution

Posted in Budgets, Reserves & Financial, Fiduciary Duty of Board of Directors

Question: I am a member of my condominium association’s board of directors. Recently, we were discussing how the association’s reserve funds should be invested. Historically, we have kept the association reserve funds in savings accounts and CDs, which are fully insured. However, the returns on these accounts have been minimal. Certain members of the association… 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

Condo Association Must Make Records Available Within Five Working Days of Written Request

Posted in Official Records, Reader Q&A

Question: In a recent article, you stated that the Florida Condominium Act requires associations to make records available within 5 working days of a written request. However, I thought that the Association has 10 working days to provide access to the records. Which is correct? (P.G. by e-mail) Answer: You are referring to my column … Continue Reading