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Community Update

June 2024

In this Issue

June means the start of Hurricane season in Florida and while we always hope for a quiet year, it’s important that your community is prepared. Check out Becker’s Hurricane Guide for helpful tips before, during, and after the storm. This issue of CUP also features common questions on violation notices, a bird’s eye view of the legislative process through the lens of a lobbyist, and the opportunity for permit extensions due to South Florida’s flash flooding.

There are also big changes happening at BeckerBALLOT, Becker’s online voting platform. See BeckerBALLOT FAQs here.

Of note, there will be no CEU credits submitted to the DBPR between September 1 and October 15. Be sure to take the classes and submit the form well before the deadline. Please also note, you have 90 days to download any class certificate or you will have to re-take the class. Visit our class library here.

When Florida lawmakers concluded the 2024 Legislative Session, several bills passed affecting community associations. House Bill 1203 changes the game when it comes to fining in homeowners’ associations. Jennifer L. Biletnikoff explains what your HOA needs to know in, “HB 1203, Effective July 1, 2024, Changes HOA Fining Requirements.”

The Florida Legislature adopted House Bill 1021, which makes certain changes to the Chapter 718, or the Condominium Act. How will these changes impact your association? “New Requirements for Condominium Association on Inspections of Official Records,” by Karyan San Martano, emphasizes the importance of having reasonable rules in place to ensure compliance with these new laws.

How does your community association deal with unruly or disruptive members? The Legislature has given condominium, homeowner, and cooperative associations limited power in regulating this behavior. Mary R. Hawk provides helpful advice for your association in this timely article, “Meeting and Records Request Rules.”

Many people believe that an association has the inherent authority to approve all transfers. Is this true or false? Allison L. Hertz explains the need for explicit power to approve transfers and emphasizes the importance in seeking legal counsel in, “THIS CASE: Webster v. Ocean Reef Community Association, Inc.




HB 1203, Effective July 1, 2024, Changes HOA Fining Requirements

By: Jennifer L. Biletnikoff

When Florida lawmakers concluded their 2024 Legislative Session, a number of bills passed that affect community associations. House Bill 1203, which was signed by Governor DeSantis and is effective July 1, 2024, changes the game when it comes to fining in homeowners’ associations that are governed by Chapter 720, Florida Statutes.

Click here to read more!


New Requirements for Condominium Association on Inspections of Official Records

By: Karyan San Martano

The Florida Legislature adopted House Bill (HB) 1021, which was recently signed into law by the Governor which makes certain changes to Chapter 718, Florida Statutes, known as the Condominium Act. It will become law on July 1, 2024. A comprehensive review of all of the changes is beyond the scope of this article, but one of the areas of law impacted by this bill is the inspection of the official records of the association by unit owners. The association should have reasonable rules in place regarding records requests and inspection. If the association does not, this would be a good time to talk to association counsel about adopting such rules. If there are already rules in place, association counsel should be consulted to ensure that the updates to the law reflected in the rules.

Click here to read more!


Meetings and Records Request Rules

By: Mary R. Hawk

Unfortunately, one of the more common calls I receive from community association clients concerns how to deal with unruly or disruptive members. These members disrupt association board meetings and committee meetings, often by speaking out of turn, refusing to sit down, yelling, screaming, and defaming board members. Other disruptive methods employed by some members include making multiple official records requests (every week or even daily); or sending multiple written inquiries to the condominium board for response.

Click here to read more!



Webster v. Ocean Reef Community Association, Inc.
994 So.3d 367 (Fla. 3d DCA 2008)

By: Allison L. Hertz

The need for the explicit power to approve transfers highlights the importance of THIS CASE. A homeowner quitclaimed her property into her trust and the trust later quitclaimed the property to the former owner’s adult son, who was living there full-time. The Association objected to both quitclaim deeds and asserted both transfers were required to be submitted to the Association for review and approval in accordance with the governing documents. When the adult son submitted an application, it was rejected by the Association and the adult son sued. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the Association and held the transfers were subject to review and approval or rejection by the Association and the lack of approval violated the governing documents. On appeal, the adult son argued the governing documents did not prohibit either of the two transfers since they were intra-family transfers.

The appellate Court began its opinion by examining the exact language contained in the governing documents. The governing documents provided that the Association could approve the sale and lease of lots and any sale or lease not approved was a violation of the governing documents, but there was an exception for the sale or conveyance of a lot by the owner to their spouse, adult children, or a trustee corporation where the owner continued to be the sole beneficiary.

The appellate Court stated an association cannot act in any way not authorized by its governing documents, and any ambiguities in the governing documents are construed against the Association. The Court also noted Florida public policy holds absolute restraints on transfers are valid only where the person exercising the right must purchase the property at fair market value. Applying these rules to the facts at hand in the case, the Court held the two transfers were gifts and not sales, purchases, or leases subject to approval by the Association.

So why does THIS CASE matter? Many people believe that an association has the inherent authority to approve all transfers. An association only has the specific approval authority set forth in the governing documents with respect to transfers. The Court provided the following remark in the case regarding the approval authority the association attempted to enforce:

“…. If this is what the Association ultimately intends, lawyers can surely find the language that will allow the Association to disapprove the inter vivos gift of a home by an owner to an adult child who happens to be an organized crime figure or terrorist.   At present, however, that language is missing.”

If you want to ensure your association has the legal authority to approve all transfers, it is essential you contact your association’s counsel to have them review your governing documents and advise if any amendments are required to provide clarifications or additional authorities.




Q: Does a member of a homeowners’ association have the right to review a list of properties that have violated the HOA rules, such as landscape plants that are not permitted or exterior house paint colors not approved?

Joseph Adams discusses this and more!



By: Kathleen “Katie” O. Berkey, AICP

On June 12, 2024, the Governor issued Executive Order No. 24-115 declaring a major 60-day state of emergency, unless extended further, for Broward, Collier, Lee, Miami-Dade, and Sarasota Counties due to widespread heavy rainfall and flooding, with additional rounds of heavy rain forecasted for the next several days that will exacerbate the ongoing flood conditions.

As a result of this Executive Order, qualifying permit-holders can extend certain permits and authorizations for a total of 24 months and 60 days as long as they follow the procedures set forth in the orders. It is important to note, however, that under Section 252.363(1)(a), Florida Statutes (2023), the maximum extension period may not exceed forty-eight (48) months in total in the event of multiple natural emergencies for which the Governor declared a state of emergency.

Click here to learn more.



Florida Community Association Journal
By: Brandon R. McDowell

The snowbirds and spring breakers have all returned home. The weather is warmer, and the days are longer. The summer vacationers have not yet arrived but will soon be here. Unfortunately, this also signifies the potential arrival of a dreaded and uninvited guest: a hurricane. While hurricanes are unpleasant, as with many things in life, a little preplanning can go a long way. The time to evaluate, prepare, and plan is now before the season is firmly upon us.

Click here to read more.



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.



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



‘Knowledge is Power’ classes do NOT satisfy the Board Certification requirement.

4 Hour Board Certification class(es) will be coming soon – stay tuned!

We do not discuss other people’s certificate status with anyone other than that person.

You have 90 days to download the certificate or you will have to re-take the class.
We do not give out old certificates/submit old CEU.

There will be no CEU credits submitted to the DBPR between Sept 1 and Oct 15,
so make sure to take the classes and submit the form well before the deadline.

Featured Testimonial

“Thank you for all the wonderful and comprehensive webinars you offer! Your speakers are of great help to us. I am recommending your classes to all owners even if they do not think of joining the Board one day. Knowledge is power!”

~ Sylvie Gagnon



BeckerBALLOT is here!

You may have heard that BeckerBALLOT is shutting down. That is not correct information. However, there are big changes happening at BeckerBALLOT, Becker’s online voting platform. Becker was the first law firm to bring online voting to the Florida market as a value-added service for our annual retainer clients. We entered the New Jersey market shortly thereafter. We once again wish to be the innovator in this area by evaluating and improving the current software capabilities. Towards that end:

  • We are evaluating new software and partners so that we may bring you better efficiency and enhanced client service.
  • This may take several months. We aim to have more news for you by the end of the year.
  • BeckerBALLOT will not be accepting any new votes or annual subscriptions.
  • BeckerBALLOT is only available to those who have a vote in progress. After that vote, BeckerBALLOT will not be available to those communities until the revised version of BeckerBALLOT is released.
  • Refunds for annual subscriptions will be handled by customer service at beckerballot@beckerlawyers.com
  • However, your input is greatly valued and will help us decide next steps for BeckerBALLOT, including a possible new and improved version of the software and services with a new product partner.

We’d love to hear your thoughts as to what you would like to see in a possible next iteration of BeckerBALLOT. Please complete the survey here.


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?”

Catch up on past episodes from this series here.



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.


Click here to visit “Take It to the Board”


Featured Episode: A Lobbyist’s Lens – A Bird’s Eye View of the Legislative Process, Community Advocacy and Condo Law with Lobbyist Travis Moore of Moore Relations, Inc.

Host Donna DiMaggio Berger takes listeners behind the curtain of Florida’s legislative process with lobbyist Travis Moore of Moore Relations, Inc. to uncover what lobbyists do, how they do it, and why community association leaders and residents need to know about this process. Together, they discuss the often misunderstood role of lobbying in shaping laws that impact community associations across the Sunshine State. From the financial burdens of campaigning to the vital need for grassroots involvement, Donna and Travis provide an insider’s perspective on navigating the political labyrinth while revealing the delicate balance between public perception and the reality of advocating for meaningful changes.

Listen to the full episode here.



Chambers USA Recognizes Becker’s Construction and Litigation Practices; 7 Attorneys in 2024 Edition

Becker is thrilled to announce that the firm and its attorneys have been recognized in the 2024 edition of Chambers USA, a prestigious annual guide of leading law firms and attorneys. The rankings are driven by independent interviews of clients and members of the legal community at peer firms. Chambers’ sources describe the firm as “strategic” with “experts in the field who can break down the complexity of a case while articulating a clear and concise recommended plan.”

This year, Becker once again received top recognition in the Construction category, an honor the practice has received every year since the publication’s inaugural edition. The firm’s General Commercial Litigation practice was also ranked as “Highly Regarded.”

Click here to read more.

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 here:


Mark D. Friedman, Esq.
Mark D. Friedman, Esq.
Jay Roberts, Esq.
Jay Roberts, Esq.