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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
Hate dealing with second hand smoke in your condominium? I often hear complaints from board members about the extra costs incurred by the association as a result of heavy smokers. They have staff sweeping up cigarette butts day after day, hire outside vendors to steam clean upholstery, curtains and area rugs and the windows must be washed… Continue Reading
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 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.
Florida developers are required to warrant that condominium buildings and improvements are fit for the intended purposes. HOA owners do not enjoy the same protection when it comes to HOA common areas.
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
HUD charges another condominium association with discrimination as a result of its policies (and practices) related to service or accommodation animals.
Condominium and community association owners are apparently taking advantage of the old adage"the best defense is a good offense". There seems to be a new trend – not a good one – where owners file lawsuits as a result of the amount claimed by the association as due on an estoppel certificate. Condo and HOA laws require… Continue Reading
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
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
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
I am often asked by readers whether guest restrictions are enforceable. Residents often want to know whether the Association can require them to notify management when guests arrive or whether it is appropriate to require guests to register with the Association. The answer to these questions is, almost inevitably, “it depends”. Readers are not usually… Continue Reading
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
The Quail Run story demonstrates the power one, two or a few delinquent owners have over the paying owners. According to the Sun-Sentinel, close to 100 condo owners have been shut out of the pool, clubhouse and other Quail Run recreational facilities, even though a very small minority are behind in payment of maintenance fees…. Continue Reading
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
In our litigious society, lawsuits are just a part of life. Whether its a foreclosure, divorce, business dispute, credit card debt, injury claim from a traffic accident or otherwise, its likely that several of the residents of your community are and will be involved in lawsuits from time to time. When a lawsuit is filed, the Clerk of… Continue Reading
The Firm recently published its last community association newsletter for the year. For the past few years Volume XII of Community Update is a Year In Review. We take this opportunity to re-visit the articles that appeared in our publication during the past year and hope you find it useful as a reference to the… Continue Reading