June’s edition of CUP brings a range of topics for managers and board members. Whether you’re wondering how SB 154 will impact your association, struggling with a unit owner who has not paid dues, or submitting an SBA loan application, we’ve got something for you. Discover an incredible journey through the eye of a storm as Joseph E. Adams sits down with Donna DiMaggio Berger on her popular podcast Take It To The Board and shares his harrowing experience riding out Hurricane Ian from his home on Fort Myers Beach.
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 prepare and review the timely article, “Best Practices for Hurricane Preparedness” by Kevin L. Edwards.
Is your association in strict compliance with the statutory timeframes required for notices? K. Joy Mattingly discusses the Florida statues governing community associations in, “Strict Compliance vs. Substantial Compliance – Not Knowing the Difference Can Cost You!”
Secondhand smoke contains over 7,000 chemicals, hundreds of which are toxic and nearly 70 can cause cancer. Many people do not want to be subjected to secondhand smoke, so what can an association do? Elizabeth A. Lanham-Patrie discusses this and more in, “Part 1: Can an Association Prohibit Smoking in Its Condominium?”
If you do not follow proper protocols in taking enforcement action, you will lose the legal battle. Jay Roberts emphasizes this important lesson in, “THIS CASE: Dwork v. Executive Estates of Boynton Beach Homeowners Association, Inc.”
By: Kevin L. Edwards
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 and protect the association in the event a hurricane comes our way.
By: K. Joy Mattingly
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 statutory requirements, associations should be aware that the statutory timeframes require “strict compliance.” This means that any deviation from the statutory timeframes will result in the association’s actions being unsuccessful and subject to challenge from owners.
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 reported that 2.5 million nonsmoking adults died from inhaling secondhand smoke. These are scary numbers and many people do not want to be subjected to secondhand smoke. So what can an association do?
Dwork v. Executive Estates of Boynton Beach Homeowners Association, Inc.
219 So.3d 858 (Fla. 4th DCA 2017)
Proper enforcement procedure, and what can go wrong if it is not done, is the lesson of this month’s THIS CASE.
Jonathan Dwork (“Owner”) owned a single-family home in the community of Executive Estates of Boynton Beach, which is governed by Executive Estates of Boynton Beach Homeowners Association, Inc. (“HOA”). The HOA’s governing documents required owners to keep their roofs, fences, and driveways in good condition. HOA sent several notices to Owner stating that he was in violation of the governing documents. Receiving no compliance or response, the HOA began down the route of the fining procedure pursuant to F.S. §720.305(2). The HOA sent a notice to Owner that in 13 days there would be a hearing with respect to whether fines would be imposed. The HOA fines committee did approve the fines. Fines remained unpaid and the HOA recorded a claim of lien and later filed a two-count lawsuit seeking to foreclose the claim of lien or, in the alternative, monetary damages for the fines imposed. The lawsuit also sought to have its attorney’s fees awarded by the court. The HOA prevailed on the monetary damages count and awarded the HOA its attorney’s fees. The Owner appealed.
The appellate court pointed out that this case ultimately involves a matter of statutory interpretation. The appellate court pointed out that F.S. §720.305(2)(b) states that a fine or suspension may not be imposed unless the board first provides at least 14 days’ notice to the parcel owner of the committee hearing on the issue. The HOA argued that it “substantially complied” with the statutory provisions by giving 13 days’ notice. The appellate court was clear that F.S. §720.305(2)(b) must be “strictly complied” with, and that substantial compliance when dealing with this statute did not cut it. The appellate court reversed and remanded the lawsuit to the trial court with a mandate to enter judgment in favor of Owner (although not discussed, this likely meant awarding Owner his attorney’s fees and court costs as well).
This lesson of THIS CASE should be painfully clear. If you do not follow proper protocols in taking enforcement action, it does not matter how “in the wrong” the violator was, you will lose the legal battle. Be proactive and talk to your association attorney about making sure your community has appropriate authority to levy fines and/or suspensions, as well as setting up an enforcement protocol which makes sure that all proper due process procedures are met at each step of enforcement. Anything less could be end up being a very expensive lesson.
QUESTION OF THE MONTH
SUBMITTING AN SBA LOAN APPLICATION
Florida Community Association Journal
By: Joseph Arena
In recent years, when the federal government has offered assistance to Florida community associations, it has primarily done so through the availability of U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loans. In response to natural disasters such as Hurricane Ian (2022), SBA loans have been made available to repair and replace disaster-damaged property (physical disaster loans) as well as to meet financial obligations that cannot be met as a direct result of the disaster (economic injury disaster loans).
CALLING ALL BOARD MEMBERS AND COMMUNITY MANAGERS
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: beckerlawyers.com/classes
UPCOMING CLASS OFFERING:
- Condo Board Member Certification
07/06/23 – 10:00AM – Registration Coming Soon
- Understanding Our Bylaws
07/11/23 – 10:00AM – Registration Coming Soon
- Disaster Preparedness & Recovery
07/13/23 – 10:00AM – Registration Coming Soon
- The Ins and Outs of Florida’s New Condominium & Cooperative Safety Law
07/18/23 – 11:00AM – Registration Coming Soon
- Anatomy of a Water Leak
07/20/23 – 11:00AM – Registration Coming Soon
- HOA/CONDO/CO-OP Board Member Certification
07/25/23 – 10:00AM – Registration Coming Soon
“Becker is a wealth of knowledge. I learn each time they present. The timeframe of the webinars are enough that you stay tuned and engaged. I’m very happy that my Board selected Becker for their legal representation.”
~ Sonya Cronin, FirstService Residential
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?”
Becker Steps Up to the Mic with Podcast,
‘Take It To The Board with Donna DiMaggio Berger’
Think you know what community association life is all about? Think again. Residents must obey the rules, directors must follow the law, and managers must keep it all running smoothly. Take It To the Board explores the reality of life in a condominium, cooperative or homeowners’ association, what’s really involved in serving on its board, and how to maintain that ever-so-delicate balance of being legally compliant and community spirited. Leading community association attorney Donna DiMaggio Berger acknowledges the balancing act without losing her sense of humor as she talks with a variety of association leaders, experts, and vendors about the challenges and benefits of the community association lifestyle. Don’t have a streaming app? You can now find all episodes on YouTube! Click here to listen now.
- Pickleball Mania and How it is Affecting Your Community with CA Messana
- Navigating the Negative Impacts of Sea Level Rise with Professor Harold R. Wanless and Dr. Esber Andiroglu
- Donna DiMaggio Berger Celebrates 50th Episode with Business Attorney and Husband, Michael Berger
- Guns, God, and Gab – A Constitutional Analysis with Jay Roberts, Esq.
- Why Local Government Matters Most with Vice Mayor Sarai “Ray” Martin of Lauderhill
- Surviving the Storm: A Journey Through Hurricane Ian and Beyond with Joseph E. Adams, Becker & Poliakoff
Featured Episode: Surviving the Storm: A Journey Through Hurricane Ian and Beyond with Joseph E. Adams, Becker & Poliakoff
What would you do if you found yourself in the eye of a devastating hurricane? This week, our guest and Becker Shareholder, Joseph E. Adams, sits down with Donna DiMaggio Berger and relives this very question when he rode out Hurricane Ian in his home on Fort Myers Beach. In this gripping episode, Joe shares his harrowing experience and provides valuable insights into preparing for and recovering from such catastrophic events.
CALL ALERT: Governor Signs Glitch Bill SB 154
Governor DeSantis signed the much anticipated Surfside Glitch Bill, SB 154, into law earlier today. This lengthy law will be the subject of future Becker webinars and classes as well as be featured in our 2023 Legislative Guidebook along with more than a dozen other bills that passed this Session which may impact your community.
CHAMBERS USA RECOGNIZES BECKER’S CONSTRUCTION AND LITIGATION PRACTICES; SIX ATTORNEYS IN 2023 EDITION
Becker is thrilled to announce that the firm and its attorneys have been recognized in the 2023 edition of Chambers USA, a prestigious annual guide of leading law firms and attorneys. Chambers’ sources describe the firm as having a “diverse knowledge base” and a “strong presence across the state.”
This year, Becker once again received top recognition in Band 1 in the Construction category, an honor the practice has received every year since the publication’s inaugural edition. Also ranked as Highly Regarded (Band 3) is Becker’s General Commercial Litigation practice. Three Becker attorneys received the highest Band 1 recognition this year: Florida Construction Chair Steven B. Lesser, Construction Vice Chair Lee A. Weintraub, and New Jersey Financial Services Shareholder Paul H. Shur.
Congratulations to Melanie Townsend on Winning Our Survey Giveaway!
We appreciate your feedback! Thank you to Melanie for responding to our survey and congratulations on winning a $50 Amazon Gift Card.
We want to hear from you! Give us your feedback on an online program and one lucky winner will be selected each month. View our full online class library here.
DID YOU KNOW?
Joseph E. Adams and Jay Roberts will be teaching Gun Rights and Prohibitions in Communities – Condo, HOA’s and Clubs – An Association’s Duty to Secure and Options to Protect at the Ralph E. Boyer Institute on Condominium and Cluster Development.
This year’s event will take place on Thursday, September 28 and Friday, September 29, 2023, in Boca Raton, FL. The 48th Institute will cover the latest on key topics for attorneys and professionals involved in condominiums, homeowners and community association law and development, including the latest Surfside legislation.