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Community Update

December 2019

In this Issue

As 2019 comes to a close, we look back at a selection of our most popular Community Update articles. Read on for a refresher on special assessments, juggling both your official association communications with your personal information, and speeding issues in your community. Also, we feature our top read article from our new Spanish feature and highlight other top hits from the year!

Unexpected expenses are sure to arise at some point during the life of a condominium building. Save yourself from unneeded legal expenses by learning the proper procedures for levying a special assessment in our first article, Special Assessments in Condo.”

Slow Your Roll: How to Address Speeding Issues in Your Association,” examines the best solutions for the common problems of speeding within private residential communities. What does the board have the power to do? Find out here!

“Who Said What?’ Board Officers Should be Careful How They Handle Their Official vs. Personal Communications to Members – Part I,” delves into why it is important to keep the message of community association boards, and the personal opinions of members separate. This is especially true in the age of social media.

Our last article, “Who Said What?’ When Members Use Social Media and Other Platforms to Inappropriately Communicate about Association Business – Part II,” discusses community associations and social media. What happens when an association member airs the board’s dirty laundry on Twitter? What options do you have?

This year we proudly launched CondoMundoUSA, a new Spanish feature in our monthly newsletter.
Make sure to check out our most popular article, La Agencia Revisa Pregunta Sobre Límites de Término.”

If you have new members on your board or a new manager for your community and want them to be part of our Community Update, have them subscribe:

We look forward to seeing you in the New Year!

Marilyn J. Perez-Martinez, Editor

Question of the Month

Shareholder Joseph Adams writes a weekly Q&A column for The News-Press, featuring commentary on frequently asked questions he receives from community association professionals. Check out the most popular Q&A from this past year:

Q: My homeowners’ association is currently under developer control. Does a developer-controlled homeowners’ association have to hold open and noticed board meetings? (B.P., via e-mail)

A: Yes. Section 720.303(2) of the Florida Homeowners’ Association Act contains the legal requirements for board meetings. The statue requires that notice of all regular board meetings be posted in the community at least 48 hours in advance of the meeting. Additionally, members have the right to attend all board meetings, and speak to all designated agenda items. There is no exception to these requirements for developer-controlled associations…

Click here to read more!


Becker Launches Association Adjusting

Virtually every community association will experience a significant property damage claim at some point during its lifespan. In addition to windstorms, fires and floods there are the everyday water leaks with which volunteer boards and managers must contend. While it is reasonable to believe that after years of dutifully paying your insurance premiums your damage claims will be paid quickly and in full, the reality is often quite different.

Time-strapped volunteer board members and managers are at a significant disadvantage while trying to shepherd an insurance claim on their own. And the insurance company’s adjuster is not there to help you maximize your claim-in fact, it is the opposite. The insurance company’s adjuster is there to minimize or even deny your claim if possible. Our team intimately knows your business and will fight hard to maximize your insurance payout.

Association Adjusting is a licensed and insured Public Adjusting Firm led by Chris T. Cury, an advocate for insurance consumers for more than a decade. Mr. Cury serves on the Board of Directors of FAPIA, the Florida Association of Public Insurance Adjusters, which is the largest state trade association in the nation for the public insurance adjusting profession since 1992.

Recognized as an authority in the community association industry, Association Adjusting has the expertise and experience to help you achieve the most favorable outcome possible. Our team of public adjusters, led by Mr. Cury, provides clients with only the highest level of professionalism and excellence – whether you’re dealing with a claim that stems from hurricane damage, water damage, theft, fire, mold, roof leak, or any other type of calamity, our singular goal is to ensure your interests are always protected.

Promoting Excellence in the Community Association Industry Through Continuing Education

In 2019, Becker was proud to award two CFCAM Scholarships to two deserving CAMs, Tiffany Jackson of St. Petersburg and Deborah Carroll of Orlando, pictured respectively. Both were presented with the scholarship, which is awarded to CAMs who have attained the highest level of Florida-specific professional training and includes all tuition, certification costs, and FCAP membership for one year.

Becker is proud to promote excellence in the Community Association Industry through continuing education. This scholarship allows qualified professionals in the community association field to grow and advance, ultimately making the entire CAM community stronger.

Becker Introduces Trademarking and Logo Creation for Community Associations

Having your community’s name associated with a certain quality of lifestyle goes a long way towards promoting your real property values and keeping you competitive in the real estate marketplace. Trademarking your community’s name (and logo) can also serve two important functions: (a) you can prevent bad actors from using your community’s name and/or logo to create confusion or mischief online and in print and (b) you can license your community’s trademark to valued local businesses and entities as a means to supplement your association’s revenues.

Your community’s brand and how you are perceived in the marketplace is essential. Many developers rely upon name recognition and a stylish logo to attract attention from potential buyers – spending considerable effort and money to build a certain mystique around the community’s name and look. But, they often overlook the critical need to protect that name and logo by registering a trademark. There is no reason, however, that your board cannot take this crucial step. Registering your community’s name and logo as trademarks in Florida protects you against local businesses and neighboring communities trading on your good name. Owning your name and logo also allows the board to prevent anyone intent on setting up a shadow website or other online presence as a way to harass or harm the association.

If your community association has taken the time to thoughtfully create a memorable brand, it only makes sense to protect that investment. If you’ve never thought about the need to brand and protect your community’s name, perhaps now is the time to consider doing so. Our team will guide you through the process of registering your association’s name and logo, and can also design a logo for you in the event your association doesn’t already have one.

Click here to learn more.

BeckerBALLOT.com Launches!

In September 2019, the new and improved BeckerBALLOT.com officially launched! Becker has partnered with SHYFT digital to provide an easy-to-use, secure, electronic-voting solution for community associations across the state of Florida and beyond.

Click here to learn more!

Becker’s Community Classroom

As leaders in Community Association Law, we not only helped write the book of 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? To view our entire class roster, visit www.floridacondohoalawblog.com/classes

Pioneers in Community Association Law
Becker grew out of its pioneering role creating the law pertaining to the operation of common ownership housing, with many of the leading cases in the field bearing the firm’s name. In keeping with our committment to our clients and the industry, Becker attorneys provide over 200 educational classes per year for board members and managers, and also advocate on behalf of clients through the firm’s lobbying arm, the Community Association Leadership Lobby (CALL).

Moreover, Becker has 21 Florida Bar Board Certified Attorneys in Condominium and Planned Development Law – the largest, dedicated team in the state of Florida. Board certification demands rigorous testing and is in recognition of having the highest standards of skill, specialty knowledge, proficiency, professionalism, and ethics in community association law.

Can They Do That? Video Series

Becker’s video series, “Can They Do That?,” tackles some of the unique problems that homeowners and renters face today. We answer 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?”

Don’t miss out on new episodes of “Can They Do That?” Subscribe to Becker’s YouTube channel!

Click here to learn more.

Did You Know?

The 2020 Florida Legislative Session Is Almost Here!
The 2020 Florida Legislative Session begins early this year, convening January 14, 2020. As we do every year, Becker’s Community Association Leadership Lobby (CALL) is gearing up to provide you with frequent updates on the progress of bills that could impact community associations throughout the state. Click here to read our most recent CALL Alert and stay tuned for more important updates!