Have you had a chance to check out Becker’s new podcast, “Take It To the Board with Donna DiMaggio Berger?” The podcast explores the reality of life in a community association, what’s really involved in serving on its board, and how to maintain the ever-so-delicate balance of being legally compliant and community spirited. Check out this month’s feature for more information on new episodes and make sure to subscribe!
Also be sure to check out this month’s featured articles, and don’t forget to connect with us on Facebook for real time updates!
To ensure the financial well-being of the association, boards and managers should focus on at least four factors in the association: budget, reserves, insurance, and collection practices. “Caring for the Financial Well-Being of the Association,” will take a brief look at each of these.
Before signing that next contract make sure your association carefully reviews the scope of the indemnification clause. Jay Roberts discusses why this is so important in, “My Association Is Responsible for What?!?”
By: Yeline Goin
The “state of emergency” that had been imposed by Governor DeSantis in light of the COVID-19 pandemic expired on June 26, 2021. As a result, the “emergency powers” given to condominium, cooperatives, and homeowners’ associations in Sections 718.1265, 719.128, and 720.316, Florida Statutes, respectively, are no longer in effect. The emergency powers that were in effect during the COVID-19 state of emergency included conducting board meetings and membership meetings with notice given as is practicable, but did not specifically give associations the authority to conduct meetings remotely. Nevertheless, many associations did hold meetings remotely in an effort to slow the spread of the virus and to protect its residents and employees.
Now that the state of emergency has expired, what meetings can associations hold remotely, either in whole or in part?
To ensure the financial well-being of the association, boards and managers should focus on at least four factors in the association: budget, reserves, insurance, and collection practices. This article will take a brief look at each of these, but this is not a finite list. It is recommended that you consult with your association attorney and accounting professionals to ensure you are doing all that you can to address these and any other financial facets of the association in the best way possible for your community.
By: Joseph Arena
Article X, Section 4 of Florida’s Constitution protects homestead property from many kinds of forced sales. However, since foreclosures of homestead properties for unpaid association assessment debts and for unpaid mortgage debts occur routinely, it is easy to see how many homeowners’ associations and condominium associations are lulled into thinking that constitutional homestead property protections do not apply to association matters. However, that is a mistaken conclusion, and there are a number of things about constitutional homestead protections about which associations should be mindful.
By: Jay Roberts
“Indemnity” is a legal term of art which stands for the right of a party to claim reimbursement for its loss, damage, or liability from another party who has such a duty. Ordinarily, the duty to indemnify arises through express contractual agreement. The 2014 adoption of section 468.4334, Florida Statutes, has brought a spotlight to the concept of indemnity in the community association world. The new statutory provision provides guidelines regarding acceptable indemnity provisions in contracts between a community association manager (or management firm) and community associations. The purpose of this article is to discuss appropriate and inappropriate scopes of indemnification clauses in contracts entered by your association.
Question of the Month
Q: I manage a high-rise condominium. I recently received a request from a renter to inspect certain association’s official records, including all the condominium documents. Am I required to provide this renter with access to all the requested official records?
The answer to this question changed recently due to the adoption of new legislation.
Condo Owners, Put Your Masks Back On. COVID Rules Are Returning
South Florida Sun-Sentinal
Tens of thousands of people who live in condos in South Florida will have to start wearing masks again and following other restrictions as COVID-19 skyrockets. Despite a brief period of freedom, restrictions are returning to condos as the delta variant makes Florida one of the worst COVID hot spots in the country.
Resistance from condo owners has made it tough to bring back mask requirements after getting rid of them, [Donna DiMaggio] Berger said. People who enjoyed relative freedom when the pandemic eased are reluctant to give it up now.
[T]he absence of a declared emergency in Florida doesn’t restrain condo associations, said Berger, the lawyer at Becker & Poliakoff. Associations can make the case that they have the authority under the COVID Liability Shield the governor signed into place, she said.
Can They Do That?
Becker’s “Can They Do That” video series tackles some of the unique problems that homeowners and renters face today. We answer your questions, no matter how far-fetched they may seem. From service animals to nudists in your community, we get to the bottom of it and let you know – “Can They Do That?”
FCAP Managers Report
By: Howard J. Perl
Yes, it’s that time of year again. The six month long hurricane season in South Florida. South Florida has seen an increase in hurricane activity over the past years, and that is expected to continue this year. Let’s look at some ways community associations to prepare for such storms.
Information on how to prepare for storms and emergencies usually revolves around preparing the building, securing association property, etc. Let’s talk about some of the other, just as important aspects that community associations need to be aware of in order to properly prepare for a storm, natural disaster or emergency.
2022 Edition of The Best Lawyers in
America Recognizes 25 Becker Attorneys
The 2022 edition of The Best Lawyers in America® honors 25 Becker attorneys across the Firm’s practices. Best Lawyers is one of the oldest and most respected peer review publications in the legal profession. Becker congratulates its attorneys on their recognition as among the best and brightest lawyers in the United States.
- Banking & Finance Law
- Banking & Finance Litigation
- Commercial Litigation
- Community Association Law
- Construction Law
- Construction Litigation
- Corporate Law
- Employment Law
- Government Relations
- Labor & Employment Litigation
- Labor Law
- Real Estate Law
- Real Estate Litigation
Becker Steps Up to the Mic with Podcast,
‘Take It To The Board with Donna DiMaggio Berger’
Becker is thrilled to announce the launch of its community association-focused podcast, Take It To The Board with Donna DiMaggio Berger. For decades, our firm has served the legal needs of this industry through in-person conferences and roundtables, online educational webinars, in-depth blog posts, and easy-to-understand legislative updates; we are delighted to continue the conversation on yet another platform. Join us today!
- Royal Service
- Fiscal Finesse
- Nuisance or Necessary: Solving the “Pet” Problem
- The Technology Tango
- Community Immunity
- Considering the Cost of Counsel
- Rules & Referencing
As leaders in Community Association Law, we not only helped write the law – we also teach it.
Did you know Becker provides over 200 educational classes per year throughout the State of Florida on a variety of topics ranging from board member certification to compliance, and everything in between? Our most popular classes are now available online!
To view our entire class roster, visit:
CALLING ALL BOARD MEMBERS AND COMMUNITY MANAGERS
As a service to the community and industry, we are pleased to offer some of our most popular classes online for you to participate in from the comfort of your own home.
- 2022 Legal Update
- Anatomy of a Water Leak
- Budgeting & Reserves
- Collection and Foreclosure Strategies for Community Associations
- Construction Contracts and the Lien Law
- Construction Projects Gone Wild
- Dealing with Difficult People
- Disaster Preparedness and Recovery
- HOA/Condo Board Member Certification
- How to Properly Run an Election
- Take a Bite out of Fraudulent Assistance Animal Requests
- Understanding Our Bylaws
Community association boards and managers should ensure that their communities have adequate disaster planning measures in place as hurricane season approaches. To help you in weathering the storm, check out Becker’s Hurricane Guide which provides important tips and information to help protect your community.
For more information, contact your Becker attorney.
DID YOU KNOW?
Sweeping New Association Law Takes Effect in Florida
A far-reaching new piece of legislation targeting community associations took effect in Florida on July 1, 2021. “It’s a mixed bag,” says Donna DiMaggio Berger, a shareholder in the Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., office of Becker & Poliakoff. “There’s some good stuff and some not so good stuff.” Good or bad, though, Berger says “there are operational changes boards and managers need to know about.”
UPCOMING CLASSES & WEBINARS
Take A Bite Out of Fraudulent Assistance Animal Requests
1 ELE Credit
9/2/21 | 2pm EDT
2022 Legal Update
2 LU Credits
9/14/21 | 11AM EDT
James Robert Caves, III
9/15/21 | 11AM EDT
9/16/21 | 5PM EDT
Steven H. Mezer
David G. Muller
Collection and Foreclosure Strategies for Community
1 FM or 1 ELE Credit
9/17/21 | 11DM EDT
K. Joy Mattingly
Why You Need Good Governing Documents
9/21/21 | 2PM EDT
Joseph E. Adams
How to Enforce Your Documents
9/29/21 | 11AM EDT
Steven H. Mezer
J. Kevin Miller