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

Tag Archives: Florida

At Your Service: Condo Call-In with Donna DiMaggio Berger of Becker & Poliakoff

Posted in Elections, Fire Sprinklers, Governing Documents, Legislation, Voting, Water Sprinklers

Florida Legislators have filed bills which could give Condo and Homeowner Association boards a double-take. If passed, a volunteer board member could face criminal penalties if Association records are stonewalled, or if there are fraudulent elections. Might residents avoid trouble by choosing to stay off condo boards? Learn more on the Topical Currents “At Your… 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

Becker & Poliakoff Offers Condominium & HOA Classes Throughout Florida

Posted in Education, Events

We are committed to sharing our legal knowledge to help others. We do so by offering State-approved educational resources in various forms, including more than two dozen courses, conferences, panel discussions, personal meetings, and webinars that you can conveniently attend from your office or home. With this many available options, it is easy for your… 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

Condo Criminal Penalties Bills, Fire Sprinkler Bill, and Estoppel Bill to be Heard in Committee this Week; New HOA Rental Bill—CALL Alert for March 20, 2017

Posted in CALL Alert, Fire Sprinklers, Legislation, Rental, Water Sprinklers

Condo Criminal Penalties Bills Senator Rene Garcia and Representative Jose Felix “Pepi” Diaz filed SB 1682, Relating to Condominiums, and HB 1237, Relating to Condominiums, respectively, which include board member term limits and criminal penalties against volunteer board members for certain violations, including failure to provide access to official records and fraudulent activities related to… 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

Florida HOA Boards May Appoint an “Election Committee”

Posted in Elections, Voting

Question: Every year our homeowners’ association’s board appoints an “election committee.” The committee makes sure that the meeting notices are sent out, and otherwise runs the election, including counting the ballots. This year, the chairperson of the committee announced immediately before the final self-nomination deadline that he intended to run for the board, and resigned… 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

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

Can a Candidate Withdraw From a Condominium Election and Then Change Their Mind?

Posted in Elections, Governing Documents, Voting

Question:  The bylaws of our condominium association specify that the board of Directors shall be comprised of not less than five nor more than seven members.  Six members filed their applications for candidacy by the required deadline (40 days before the annual meeting).  One of the members subsequently sent an email requesting that their application… Continue Reading

Why the Florida Legislature Needs to Fix Condo Sprinkler-System Problem | Sun Sentinel Opinion

Posted in Common Areas, Fire Sprinklers, Safety and security, Uncategorized, Water Sprinklers

For more than a decade older high-rise condominiums throughout Florida have been discussing, debating, and exercising their legal rights with regard to sprinkler system retrofitting requirements. In 2003, the Florida Legislature responded by allowing each community to vote to opt out of sprinklers inside their units and the right to opt out of installing an… 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

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 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

Some Condominium Owner Information Is Public Record in Florida

Posted in Common Areas, Privacy, Safety and security

Question: I recently purchased a condominium unit. There is a board posted next to the elevator to my unit that contains the names of all unit owners and their unit numbers. Is the association authorized to do this? (D.L. by e-mail) Answer: There is no legal prohibition against publishing this particular information. It is a… 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