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Community Update

January 2020

In this Issue

The start of the new year means election season for community associations across the state. To help alleviate some of the burden board’s may be feeling this time of year, we focus this month on answering some of the frequently asked questions we receive from communities about election dos and don’ts.

Is a voting certificate required if a unit or parcel is owned by more than one person, a corporation, or another entity? Find out in our featured article, “Is a Voting Certificate Required If a Unit Is Owned by an LLC?”

Make sure your association follows proper procedure and doesn’t accidentally void an election. Learn more in, “Election Process – Part 1 of 2.”

Does an unpaid fine make an owner ineligible for board election? Find out in, “Can a Delinquent Owner Run for the Board?”

HOA members don’t always have the benefit of knowing candidates’ names prior to an election. Find out what can be done in, “Who Are the Candidates?”

Our last article, “Restricting Holiday Decorations in the HOA Setting,” discusses how associations can begin planning now to help prevent resident complaints from getting out of hand prior to this year’s holiday season.

Also, don’t miss this month’s Spanish Feature, Reuniones anuales y procedimientos electorales – SEGUNDA PARTE.”

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 next month!

Marilyn J. Perez-Martinez, Editor

  • Election Process – Part 1 of 2

    With many condominium associations in the midst of election season, many questions arise regarding the election process. For the most part the process varies greatly between condominiums and homeowners associations.

    Condominium elections that fail to follow the procedures …

    Continue Reading →
  • Can a Delinquent Owner Run for the Board?

    Community Association election season is still going strong.  One often asked question during this time is whether an unpaid fine makes an owner ineligible for the board. Simply put, an owner is not eligible to run for the board if …

    Continue Reading →
  • Who Are the Candidates?

    I have been present at elections where the members have no idea “who” is running for the board.  In the condominium setting the members have the benefit of knowing in advance the names of all candidates.  That does not mean …

    Continue Reading →
  • Restricting Holiday Decorations in the HOA Setting

    The holidays just ended but it seems the question of holiday decorations lives on. Every year, holiday decorations seem to appear earlier and get more extravagant, and not just in the retail setting. While studies are showing that people who …

    Continue Reading →

Spanish Feature: CondoMundoUSA

Read This Month’s Article: Reuniones Anuales Y Procedimientos Electorales – SEGUNDA PARTE.

Introducción: En nuestro escrito anterior hablamos de los pasos a seguir para hacer elecciones de plazas vacantes en la Junta de Directores, y la importancia de seguir los pasos al pie de la letra para cumplir con las leyes que gobiernan a los condominios y cooperativas y de esta manera evitar litigios o anulación de las elecciones.   En esta segunda parte continuaremos los pasos a seguir una vez las boletas electorales sean recibidas por la asociación.

Question of the Month

Q: I live in a community that includes a mandatory golf club membership. The restaurant/lounge has been underperforming. The board recently imposed a minimum food and beverage purchase requirement for all members. Is this legal?

Shareholder Joseph Adams discusses the answer to this question and others.

Click here to read more!

You Ask, We Deliver: New Webinar Dates Added!

Join us for an educational program to learn more about our state-of-the-art website development service MyCommunitySite.com. It’s a smart, easy, and fun tool designed to take the drudgery out of community association website management and put you in the driver’s seat.

Here’s what you will learn during the webinar:

  • Walk through of the MyCommunitySite.com dashboard
  • Tour other association websites that were designed via MyCommunitySite.com
  • ​Learn about flexible pricing options
  • Explore how to create different pages
  • ​Find out what documents you can upload, available settings, and general ways to take advantage of the program’s features
  • Participate in a Q&A with our customer support team to answer any questions you may have.

Click here to view upcoming MyCommunitySite.com webinars. 

Technology is an unavoidable and critical part of any business. As such, why not consider implementing a state-of-the-art online voting platform to your associations portfolio of services? BeckerBALLOT.com is the perfect solution to help you streamline operations for your community, is extremely easy to setup, and it will give you the added advantage of increasing both your relevancy and residential appeal, thereby setting you apart from your competition!

Here’s what you will learn during the webinar:

  • Walk through of BeckerBALLOT.com and its administration section/voting portal
  • See examples of how others have successfully utilized the platform to benefit their communities
  • View a demonstration on how to upload users, how to set up a vote, how to cast a vote, and more
  • Learn about the functionality and ease of use
  • Find out about flexible pricing options
  • Participate in a Q&A with our customer support team to answer any questions you may have

Click here to view upcoming BeckerBALLOT.com webinars.

Water leaks in your condo: Who’s responsible?

There are many advantages to living in a multifamily condo or coop building in South Florida: great views, enviable locations and abundant amenities. However, there is always the possibility of water leaks.

Not surprisingly, when these leaks occur, there is often an inherent tension and finger-pointing between the owner who suffers interior damage and the boards who are being asked to pay for repairs.

Click here to read the full article by Donna DiMaggio Berger.

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?

Damages Stemming From an Abandoned Unit – “Can They Do That?” – Episode 12 is Live!

An owner of our community association left a unit abandoned with termites, rodents, and garbage. If we hire a contractor to clean the unit and repair damages, is our association stuck with the bill? Find out the answer in this month’s episode!

When it comes to association rules and bylaws, there seem to be more questions than answers. 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!

Did You Know?

CALL’s HonestESA Initiative Starts Now!
Two bills are currently making their way through committee in the Florida House and Senate. House Bill 209, sponsored by Representative Killebrew and Senate Bill 1084 sponsored by Senator Diaz, aim to protect disabled Floridians and curb some abuses related to emotional support animals (“ESAs”). Growing frustration over perceived illegitimate ESA requests unites Florida community associations. Fraudulent ESA requests harm not only community associations by forcing them to spend limited resources and precious time evaluating sometimes blatantly fraudulent documentation but also harm persons with a legitimate disability-related need for an ESA.

Join CALL’s HonestESA targeted lobbying campaign to achieve legislative relief and curb fraudulent emotional support animal issues in communities across Florida. HonestESA is true to its name with its mission to reduce illegitimate ESA requests. Your association has the opportunity to join in this effort for a $1,000 flat fee, which, according to our ESA Survey (click here to view the survey results), is less than the average association spends in a single year evaluating ESA requests. These bills were introduced last Session and sadly did not make it out of committee. Passing these bills will take a large investment of time and resources to educate your public policy makers on the current impact fraudulent requests are having. Members of our HonestESA lobbying initiative will have access to information directly from our CALL lobbyists throughout the Session and will be provided with the tools to help us increase the likelihood that 2020 is the year that we see some legislative assistance in curbing ESA abuses.