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

Tag Archives: homeowners associations

Are Wheelchair Lifts Required For Private HOA Pools?

Posted in Disability, Reader Q&A, Reasonable Accommodations or Modifications

Question: We live in a large gated community of over a thousand homes. Our homeowners’ association’s swimming pool is inaccessible to people with severe disabilities. Is there any way to force our HOA to provide a lift for those that need help to enter the pool?  J.C. (via e-mail) Answer: Under the Americans with Disabilities… Continue Reading

Drones & Privacy – Condo and HOA leaders need to know about a new law called the Freedom from Unwanted Surveillance Act.

Posted in CAM, Covenant Enforcement/Violations, Legislation

This new law went into effect July 1. It prohibits a person, state agency or political subdivision from using a drone to capture the image of a privately owned property or anyone on the property with the intent to conduct surveillance. Those that wish to use drone technology in this manner must have written consent… Continue Reading

New Laws Will Impact All Associations in Florida

Posted in Legislation, Reader Q&A

Today’s post is the second and final installment of my annual report on new laws affecting community associations. In the first installment, we looked at some of the changes for condominiums, cooperatives and homeowners’ associations in HB 791, the main Bill affecting community associations. The remainder of HB 791 includes the following: Official Records (Condominiums… Continue Reading

Fair Housing Law: U.S. Supreme Court upholds disparate impact claims

Posted in Discrimination/Fair Housing

Can enforcement of a rule, regulation, practice or procedure that is completely neutral on its face create liability for discrimination?  The U.S. Supreme Court said “yes” today in the case of Texas Dep’t of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project. The Inclusive Communities Project (ICP) claimed that awarding the bulk of low-income… Continue Reading

New Laws for Florida Condominiums, Cooperatives & HOAs Go Into Effect July 1st, 2015

Posted in Legislation, Reader Q&A

Today’s column begins our annual review of new laws affecting community associations, condominiums, cooperatives, and homeowners’ associations. Governor Rick Scott, signed HB 791 into law effective on July 1, 2015. HB 791 impacts condominiums, cooperatives, and homeowners’ associations. (1) Electronic Voting (Condominiums, Cooperatives, and Homeowners’ Associations): The bill provides that associations may conduct elections and… Continue Reading

Florida Shared Ownership Statutes Continue to Catch up with Digital Age

Posted in Elections, Legislation

Given the significant percentage of Floridians living in all types of shared ownership communities, it is not surprising that each year we see at least a handful of bills pass which directly or indirectly impact those private residential communities and one primary association bill which contains both substantive changes and technical fixes needed to address… Continue Reading

Can All HOA’s Levy Fines?

Posted in Covenant Enforcement/Violations, Reader Q&A, Suspensions, Fines & Remedies

Question: Our homeowners’ association governing documents do not have a provision that authorizes fining homeowners. The documents only contain a provision for levying assessments and a lien due to unpaid assessments. Do the Florida Statutes authorize all homeowner associations with the ability to fine regardless of that association’s governing documents? J.K. (via e-mail) Answer: Yes,… Continue Reading

Does Allowing Neighboring Community To Use Storage Area Have Tax Implications?

Posted in Budgets, Reserves & Financial, Common Areas, Reader Q&A

Question: The common area of our homeowners’ association includes an area for storage of boats and recreational vehicles. Very few of our owners actually use the area, but we have received inquiries from people in adjacent communities as to whether they could pay a fee to store their boats and recreational vehicles in this area…. Continue Reading

Is Gambling Legal In A Community Association?

Posted in Covenant Enforcement/Violations, Reader Q&A, Rules & Regulations

Question: We would like to play bingo or have  “50/50” drawings to increase funds for our association’s social committee. Is this legal? M.L. (via e-mail)   Answer: Playing bingo games is lawful as long as the games comply with the law. Section 849.0931(4) of the Florida Statutes specifically allows associations to conduct bingo games. However,… Continue Reading

Voluntary HOA’s in Florida Granted Certain Powers By Statute

Posted in Legislation, Reader Q&A

Question: You recently stated that voluntary homeowners’ associations are governed by Chapter 617, the Florida Not-For-Profit Corporation Act. You also stated that voluntary homeowners’ associations may be entitled to preserve the covenants regulating the community under the Marketable Record Title Act (MRTA) if the association has the authority to enforce use restrictions contained in the… Continue Reading

Voluntary and Mandatory HOAs Differ In Many Ways

Posted in Board Eligibility, Reader Q&A

Question: I am the president of a voluntary homeowners’ association and wanted to know if the members of the Board of Directors of our voluntary homeowners’ association have to comply with the new Board Member certification requirement in Chapter 720, Florida Statutes? R.G. (via e-mail) Answer: No. Chapter 720 of the Florida Statutes, often informally… Continue Reading

HOAs Must Provide a Copy of Any Amendment to the Association’s Governing Documents

Posted in Official Records, Operations, Reader Q&A

Question: I am a member of a homeowners’ association. We were recently asked to vote on amendments to the association’s declaration. After reviewing a copy of the proposed amendment that they sent with the notice of the meeting, I voted by proxy and did not attend the meeting, but I heard that the amendments were… Continue Reading

New Florida Condo & HOA Laws Effective July 1, 2014

Posted in Legislation, Reader Q&A

Today’s column is the fourth installment of our annual series reviewing new laws affecting community associations, condominiums, cooperatives, and homeowners’ associations. In the first three installments, we looked at changes for condominiums and cooperatives in HB 807, the main Bill affecting community associations. Since last week’s column, HB 807 has been signed by the Governor… Continue Reading

Money Judgment An Alternative To Foreclosure In HOA

Posted in Assessment Collection, Foreclosures, Reader Q&A

Question:  “My question is whether a homeowners’ association can sue to foreclose for delinquent assessments, but also ask for a money judgment if there is no equity in the property due to a superior mortgage where more is owned than the property value. P.M. (via e-mail) Answer:  Yes. Florida Statute §720.3085 allows an association to… Continue Reading

Should “Fining Committee” Meetings be open to Unit Owners?

Posted in Covenant Enforcement/Violations, Reader Q&A, Suspensions, Fines & Remedies

Question: I got a notice that the Fining Committee will be considering whether to recommend that the Board levy a fine against me for failure to remove my holiday decorations within the time prescribed in the Declaration. The notice states when and where the Fining Committee will be meeting, but I do not see that… Continue Reading

‘Procedural’ and ‘Substantive’ Changes In the Law Not Always Easily Understood

Posted in Legislation, Reader Q&A

Question: I read your column dated September 1, 2013 entitled Changes Affect Existing HOAs, In that column, you stated that “substantive” changes would not be applied retroactively, but that certain “procedural” changes could be applied retroactively, My question is whether the new provision which states that members have the right to elect a board member… Continue Reading

Volunteers Can Cause Involuntary Liability For Condos and HOAs

Posted in Insurance, Liability, Reader Q&A

Question: Our homeowners’ association was recently informed that our liability insurance does not cover volunteers while they are working for the association. Therefore, the board voted to eliminate all volunteer activities involving manual labor such as pulling weeds, trimming bushes, or laying mulch. What is your view on this? D.L. (via e-mail)   Answer: Volunteers… Continue Reading

Patio, Common Ground Don’t Mix In HOA, Either

Posted in Construction Issues & Contractual Disputes, Reader Q&A

Question: In one of your recent columns, you stated that an individual who constructed a cement patio extension on “common ground” in a condominium probably needed to get permission from all of the unit owners in order for this to be a valid addition. Does the same rule apply for homeowners’ associations?  E.S. (via e-mail)… Continue Reading