[mc4wp_form id="5389"]

Community Update

May 2023

In this Issue

This edition of Becker’s Community Update highlights remote voting, managing your personnel, and constitutional rights. Don’t miss the 50th anniversary video that showcases Becker’s rich history and culture.

Also featured this month is our Hurricane Preparedness and Recovery Guide. While we hope to be spared from the worst, it’s crucial that your community association is prepared this hurricane season. If you have any questions or are in need of guidance, please reach out to your Becker attorney.

Associations frequently ask the question: “When should a delinquent owner be turned over for collections?” Joy Mattingly discusses recent statutory requirements in the article, “Understanding the New Timeframes for Collections.”

Florida laws governing community associations require notice of meetings to encourage owner participation. Kathleen Berkey provides a helpful guide summarizing the “Condo/Co-Op/HOA Meeting Agendas & Notice Requirements.”

With hurricane season quickly approaching, it is important that you prepare for the worst (and hope for the best)! “The Worst Storm Is the Storm You Didn’t Prepare For” by Jennifer Biletnikoff shares important tips for the 2023 hurricane season.

Association approval rights for unit purchases is at the heart of, “THIS CASE: Coquina Club, Inc. v. Mantz” by Jay Roberts. Find out why this case is important.

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.



Understanding the New Timeframes for Collections

By: K. Joy Mattingly

Associations frequently ask the question: “When should a delinquent owner be turned over for collections?” To fully answer to this question, the association must understand the relatively new statutory requirements that must be fulfilled before an account is turned over to legal counsel for collections, as well as understanding the increased timeframes an owner is given to remit payment in both condominium and cooperative associations. These timeframes impact how quickly an association can proceed with collections and foreclosure proceedings against delinquent owners.

Click here to read more!


Condo/Co-Op/HOA Meeting Agendas & Notice Requirements

By: Kathleen O. Berkey, AICP

Florida laws governing community associations require notice of meetings to encourage owner participation. Here is a helpful guide summarizing the notice requirements under statute; however, this guide is not intended to be all inclusive and is only for general reference. 

Click here to read more!

Who Can Be A Condominium Board Member?

By: Mark D. Friedman

Can a non-owner be a Board member in a condominium?

Every year this question comes up in one form or another. In some cases, it is a spouse who is not on the deed who wants to be on the Board. In other cases, someone who is on the Board moves away but his/her term is not up.

Click here to read more!


Coquina Club, Inc. v. Mantz
342 So.2d 112 (Fla. 2d DCA 1977)

By: Jay Roberts, Esq.

Association approval rights for unit purchases is at the heart of THIS CASE. The Coquina Club declaration of condominium required approval by the board of directors of new unit purchasers. The declaration of condominium also restricted ownership of units to persons without children under the age of twelve. [Note: This was in the days prior to the Fair Housing Laws as such a restriction would not be legal in 2023 in a community that was not Housing for Older Persons.] The association received an application for purchase of a unit, and on the face of the application it stated that the potential purchasers had two children under the age of twelve. On this basis, the association rejected the application, and refused to provide a substitute purchaser.

The unit owner (seller) sued the association, asserting that association was required, pursuant to the declaration of condominium, to provide a substitute purchaser for the unit. The trial court agreed with the unit owner and entered a final judgment requiring the association to timely provide a substitute purchaser, and providing for a mechanism for awarding monetary damages, including punitive damages, in the event the association failed to do so. The association appealed the trial court’s ruling.

In overturning the trial court, the appellate court noted that the age restriction clause existed from the time that the developer created the condominium. The court further held that there was no need for the association to provide a substitute purchaser for the unit because the original applicant was not facially qualified due to the children under the age of twelve.

So why does THIS CASE matter? Florida law allows for pre-screening and approval of condominium unit purchasers. Each association should have very clear provisions in its declaration of condominium, based on current Housing and Urban Development guidelines, specifying the legal, non-discriminatory reasons for denial, to create a level playing field for all sellers and applicants. If the purchaser is qualified to own the unit, and the association denies the purchase application, the association must still find a substitute purchaser for the unit so that is why clear guidelines are important. A very important caveat to THIS CASE is that in 1988 the Federal Fair Housing Act was amended in such a way that governing documents could not restrict a purchaser due to the purchaser having children unless the community is a properly constituted 55+ age community. You should discuss any potential purchase denials with your association counsel.



Consisting of relatively minor changes to the sweeping building inspection and reserve laws enacted in 2022, Joseph Adams discusses Senate Bill 154, which will become law upon signature by the Governor.

Joseph Adams discusses this and more!



As we mark our 50th anniversary, we are thrilled to share with you a video that showcases Becker’s rich history and culture.

Since our humble beginnings, our firm has been engaged in the practice of law and has built a reputation for excellence in the legal industry. What sets us apart is not just our legal expertise, but our employees, who we believe are our greatest asset. This video highlights some of the key moments in Becker’s history, as well as the values and principles that guide us in our work. You will see how our firm has evolved over the years, and how we have remained true to our core values of integrity, client service, and innovation.

Watch the video here.



By: Nicolas M. Jimenez

During the COVID-19 pandemic, people and businesses alike struggled to meet, organize, and otherwise conduct business in person due to quarantine measures and social distancing policies. In light of these challenges, in 2021, the Florida Legislature enacted laws to make clear that, during a state of emergency, condominium, cooperatives, and homeowners’ associations are authorized to conduct board meetings, committee meetings, elections, and members meetings, in whole or in part, by telephone, real-time videoconferencing, or similar real-time electronic or video communication. As a result, many community associations have become accustomed to remote functionality and utilizing popular real-time video conferencing software such as “Zoom” for the purposes of organizing meetings of members and Directors alike. However, now that the pandemic state of emergency has come and gone, can the Directors and members of your community association continue to meet and vote via Zoom or similar remote methods?

Click here to read more.


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


  • The Ins and Outs of Florida’s New Condominium and Cooperative Safety Law
    06/01/23 – 12:00PM – REGISTER HERE
  • Construction Contracts: Why You Should Never Accept Contractors Forms
    06/13/23 – 10:00AM – Registration Coming Soon
  • Becoming a Smoke Free Community
    06/15/23 – 11:00AM – Registration Coming Soon
  • Insights Into Your Role as a Board Member
    06/22/23 – 10:00AM – Registration Coming Soon
  • Condo Construction Defects 101
    06/28/23 – 10:00AM – Registration Coming Soon
  • Collections and Foreclosures
    06/29/23 – 11:00AM – Registration Coming Soon


“I wanted to take a moment to express my sincere gratitude for the wonderful seminars that you consistently organize for managers in our community. The fact that these seminars are provided at no cost and offer Continuing Education Unit (CEU) credits is truly commendable. I have had the pleasure of attending several of Becker’s seminars in the past, and each experience has been nothing short of exceptional. Your team consistently demonstrates a high level of professionalism and expertise in the topics presented. The knowledge and insights shared during these seminars have been invaluable in enhancing my skills as a manager.

Moreover, I appreciate the effort that goes into selecting relevant and interesting topics for each seminar. The diversity of subjects covered ensures that attendees receive a well-rounded educational experience. The opportunity to earn CEU credits through these seminars also greatly benefits managers like myself, as it allows us to conveniently renew our licenses while staying up-to-date with industry developments. Beyond the educational value, I must also commend Becker for their outstanding customer service. The team has always been pleasant, approachable, and accommodating. Whether it’s answering questions, providing additional resources, or addressing concerns, your staff consistently goes above and beyond to ensure a positive experience for all attendees.

I genuinely appreciate Becker’s commitment to supporting the professional growth and development of community managers. Your seminars have become an essential resource within our industry, and I am grateful for the opportunity to participate in these enriching events.”

~ Mónica Abreu, General Manager

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”

This podcast was started with the goal of giving its listeners a glimpse into the inner workings of a community association including the good, the bad, and the ugly. Now, it is only fitting to give a glimpse of its host, Donna DiMaggio Berger, who is joined by her husband, Michael Berger, a fellow University of Miami Law School graduate. In this episode, Donna and Michael discuss how they met, their unorthodox introduction to the condominium approval process when they purchased their first home in Aventura, a special assessment they paid as new homeowners for a problem-plagued skylight repair project, and their separate experiences later serving on their Broward County HOA Board. Listen to the full episode here.



Becker Shareholder Jay Roberts, who represents community associations and developers with respect to all aspects of creating and operating planned community developments throughout Northwest Florida, sits down with Donna DiMaggio Berger to discuss two thought-provoking questions:

  1. Should commonly accepted rules regarding signs, flags, and holiday decorations be considered unenforceable because they potentially infringe upon constitutional rights?
  2. Conversely, in a community association context, do residents’ constitutional rights to free speech, freedom of assembly, and the right to bear arms lose their applicability if restricting these freedoms serves the greater good?

Listen to the full episode here.

CAI National’s 2022 Florida Legislative Action Committee of the Year Award

Robyn Severs accepted the CAI National’s 2022 Florida Legislative Action Committee of the Year award which is presented to a state legislative action committee that has demonstrated organizational excellence, maintained strong member support, successfully managed statewide campaigns, and raised the visibility and effectiveness of CAI.

The Becker team was mainly recognized for their work on Senate Bill 4-D establishing structural inspections and structural integrity reserve studies to establish safe condominiums and cooperatives in Florida. The legislation has been used by other states and countries as guidance for their own structural inspections and reserve studies.

Click here to read more.



By: Jamie B. Dokovna

Shareholder, Jamie Dokovna writes about the challenges that ensue when managing personnel by highlighting five important lessons:

Lesson One – Hire the right people
Lesson Two – Have policies and enforce them
Lesson Three – Be flexible when necessary
Lesson Four – The tools you have aren’t any good if you don’t use them
Lesson Five – Document everything!

Click here to read more.

Congratulations to Glenys Vincent on Winning Our Survey Giveaway!

We appreciate your feedback! Thank you to Glenys 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.

Webinar Replay

2023 Legislative Update

Jane L. Cornett
Steven H. Mezer

New Law Puts Communities at Risk – How to Protect Your HOA or Condo

Patrick C. Howell



Hurricane Season Runs From June 1 to November 30

Our Hurricane Preparedness and Recovery Guide is designed to assist community association boards and managers to prepare themselves, their members, and their property for the approach as well as the aftermath of a serious storm or other disaster. Our attorneys, many of whom have been representing community associations in Florida for over 20 years and are board certified by the Florida Bar, have assisted in all phases of planning and preparing, as well as recovering and rebuilding.

Click here to read more.