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

Tag Archives: condominium law

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 Boards’ Access to Unit Limited by Court Decisions

Posted in Case Law & Court Rulings, Fiduciary Duty of Board of Directors

Two recent cases decided by Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal impose conditions on access to individual units by condominium association boards.  The statute provides the association with the irrevocable right of access.  Section 718.111(5), Florida Statutes says:   RIGHT OF ACCESS TO UNITS.  The association has the irrevocable right of access to each unit… Continue Reading

Condo cannot collect safe harbor from mortgagee after foreclosure

Posted in Assessment Collection, Case Law & Court Rulings, Foreclosures, Safe Harbor

Court explains “safe harbor” and says: “individualized charges, such as interest, late fees, collection costs and attorney’s fees do not fit within the statutory or common sense understanding of “regular periodic assessments” A little more than a year ago there was a huge debate over the interpretation of the “safe harbor” language in §718.116, Florida… Continue Reading

Screening potential purchasers or tenants in Broward County

Posted in Discrimination/Fair Housing, Land Use and Government Issues

A proposed change to the Broward County Human Rights ordinance impacts how your association will process applications for transfer (sale or lease) approval. Compliance with federal, state and local fair housing laws is mandatory and thus community leaders must become familiar with what the law prohibits. The Broward County Human Rights Ordinance prohibits discrimination in… Continue Reading

New Foreclosure Law Benefits Condos & HOAs

Posted in Foreclosures, Legislation

Gov. Rick Scott signed House Bill 87 on Friday.  The new law takes effect immediately and is intended to speed up the foreclosure process.  Yeline Goin’s take was published by the local newspaper in Tallahassee.  Read the article by clicking below: Yeline Goin: Foreclosure bill offers benefits for associations.  

HUD issues memo to housing providers regarding service animals and assistance animals for disabled persons

Posted in Disability, Discrimination/Fair Housing, Reasonable Accommodations or Modifications, Service Animals/Emotional Support Animals

 Fair Housing accommodation cases receive a lot of press.  It seems like there are more and more cases all the time, most of which are resolved at the investigative/agency level than actually filed in court or go to trial.   HUD issued a memorandum reminding housing providers of their obligations pursuant to the federal laws with… Continue Reading

Property Managers not immune from claims by owners.

Posted in Liability

Claims are brought against community associations and community association managers (CAMs) all the time for various complaints relative to the maintenance, management and/or operation of the community. If you are reading this you probably already know that these kinds of lawsuits seem to be on the rise. Did you know that subtle distinctions in the… Continue Reading

Condo Associations & HOAs Losing Millions Nationwide

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

According to recent reports, more than 1.2 million worthless checks enter the banking system every day in the United States.  Check fraud losses account for more than 20 billion dollars per year and the number of cases is increasing by approximately 25% each year. I know from my own experience with community associations that fraud,… Continue Reading

Preeminent Regional Law Firm Joins Becker & Poliakoff

Posted in Uncategorized

Becker & Poliakoff announced today that Cornett, Googe & Associates, P.A., a Stuart, Florida-based law firm that represents more than 300 community associations as well as businesses, individuals and professionals throughout the Treasure Coast, is joining Becker & Poliakoff. Effective October 1, the attorneys and staff of Cornett, Googe will become part of the Becker… Continue Reading

Citizens’ Property Insurance – Higher Deductibles & Less Coverage

Posted in Insurance

If you have insurance through Citizens’ Property Insurance Corp. then you need to know this information. Can you imagine having a 10% insurance deductible for hurricane claims?  For homeowners that means if you have $300,000 of coverage you have to cough-up the first $30k before you are entitled to any insurance proceeds. For associations its even worse… Continue Reading

Disaster/Hurricane Planning for Condos & HOAs

Posted in Hurricane/Disaster Issues

Tropical Storm Debby reminds Condo & HOA leaders of the importance of proper disaster planning.  Here are some tips to assist in your planning efforts.  I’ll include more tips in the coming weeks. Some examples of ways that managers, board members, etc., can prepare their offices in advance of a natural disaster: The first step is… Continue Reading

Tropical Storm Debby Floods Florida – State of Emergency Declared

Posted in Insurance

Tropical storm Debby made a major impact on property in Florida. Condominium and Homeowner Association Boards need to activate disaster plans and not rush to enter into restoration contracts. We have plenty of educational materials to assist those dealing with crisis management.

Mortgage Termination Lawsuits Do Not Give Associations Clear Title

Posted in Assessment Collection, Foreclosures

  The largest title insurance company in Florida (Attorneys’ Title Fund Services, LLC, also known as “The Fund”) recently published an opinion by its underwriting counsel cautioning attorneys and title insurance companies against closing and insuring any transaction where the association’s title was obtained through a “mortgage terminator” lawsuit. What is a “mortgage terminator” lawsuit?… Continue Reading

Association Contracts: Beware of Doctrine of Apparent Authority

Posted in Operations

More in our series of questions asked by local community leaders.  Question:  What makes a contract legal? Who has to sign it? Is it only our Secretary? Answer: There are entire treatises devoted to this subject. From an attorney’s point of view, contracts must contain mutual obligations and adequate consideration to be valid and binding. The… Continue Reading

Failing to Handle Requests for Reasonable Accommodations (Emotional Support Animals) Appropriately has Consequences

Posted in Disability, Discrimination/Fair Housing, Reasonable Accommodations or Modifications, Service Animals/Emotional Support Animals

The case against a condo association in Century Village reported by the Sun-Sentinel prompted me to alert readers of the consequences associated with violations of state and federal fair housing laws. If you aren’t familiar with the case click HERE for the most recent article.  In short, Broward County filed a lawsuit against the condominium association for discrimination and… Continue Reading

What happens if you buy a brand-name condo and the brand name backs out?

Posted in Developer Obligations

Big prestige brings big money – at least that what developers hoped for when marketing some fabulous projects (or projects that were supposed to be fabulous) in South Florida, Las Vegas, New York and other high profile places.  Buyers rushed to put down deposits on condominiums in the Canyon Ranch building, the Jorge Perez/George Clooney building, the new Trump… Continue Reading

Has Your Association Updated its Frequently Asked Questions & Answers Disclosure?

Posted in Official Records, Operations

The Florida Condominium Act requires both developer-controlled associations and unit-owner controlled associations to prepare a “Frequently Asked Questions and Answers” (commonly referred to as a “Q&A Sheet”).  The Q&A Sheet must include information: regarding unit owners’ voting rights; unit use restrictions, including restrictions on leasing of a unit; indicating whether and in what amount the unit owners… Continue Reading

HUD Proposes Rule to Prohibit Housing Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity

Posted in Discrimination/Fair Housing

Associations, community leaders and managers are often the target of housing discrimination claims.  It is against Florida law to discriminate against anyone with respect to sale, rental or terms and conditions of housing based upon race, color, national origin, sex, handicap, familial status or religion. New HUD rules would expand the categories of persons entitled… Continue Reading