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Category – Community Update Articles

Are Those Under Age 18 a Protected Class?

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In 1988, Congress added “familial status” – defined to include those family groups with children under 18 – to the list of protected groups under the Fair Housing Act (“FHA”). Since that time, condominiums and homeowner’s associations have been discovering …

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Navigating the Complex World of HOA Architectural Control

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What does a Homeowners Association, under Chapter 720, Florida Statutes, need to bear in mind when evaluating architectural modification requests from its members?

In the case, Young v. Tortoise Island Homeowners Association, Inc., the court …

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Borrowing Money

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As one of a handful of Becker attorneys who assists condominiums, cooperatives, and homeowners associations in obtaining bank loans on a regular basis, I’ve noted a few mistakes that boards make when deciding to obtain a loan.

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Housing For Older Persons

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In 1968 the Federal Fair Housing Act (also known as Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act) was enacted to prohibit discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Subsequently, in 1988 the Act was amended to add …

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Keeping Your HOA’s Covenants Alive

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The Marketable Record Title Act’s (MRTA) purpose is to extinguish old interests and use restrictions on lands and to allow for land sales to be completed more easily and with less expense. Unfortunately, aged homeowners’ association covenants are amongst the …

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Can Anything Be Done About Solar Panels?

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If you are living in a homeowners association you probably know that the Association cannot prohibit the installation of solar panels (or “solar collectors”). But what about a request to install such devices on the roof of a condominium? Section …

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Preparing for Extreme Heat: The New Natural Disaster

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The word “hot” has many connotations: it can reveal anger when you say someone is “hot around the collar”; it can invoke personal appeal or desirability “he’s so hot”; it can refer to a disorganized person or situation, hence the …

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Part 2: Can an Association Prohibit Smoking in Its Condominium?

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As mentioned in Part 1, published in last month’s community update, an association can prohibit smoking in the common elements/common areas by adopting a Rule. An association may also want to prevent smoking on balconies and patios. If the balconies …

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Breed-Specific Dog Bans

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In 1989, in the wake of a series of serious injuries caused by pit bulls, most notably the mauling of a 7-year-old girl and her mother, Miami-Dade County adopted an ordinance making it illegal for residents to own or keep …

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Part 1: Can an Association Prohibit Smoking in Its Condominium?

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Secondhand smoke is formed from a burning cigarette or the smoke exhaled by the cigarette smoker. Secondhand smoke contains over 7,000 chemicals, hundreds of which are toxic and nearly 70 can cause cancer. From 1964 to 2014, the Surgeon General …

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Best Practices for Hurricane Preparedness

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It’s that time of year again. As the days get longer and the weather gets hotter, we know that hurricane season is fast approaching. Therefore, this is a good time to review some of the “best practices” to prepare for …

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Strict Compliance vs. Substantial Compliance – Not Knowing the Difference Can Cost You!

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The Florida statues governing community associations often provide timeframes for notice to owners before the association can proceed with action, including passage of special assessments, adoption of fines and collections. While some statutory sections allow for “substantial compliance” with the …

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