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Community Update

November 2023

In this Issue

As 2023 comes to an end, community associations are beginning to plan for the coming year. This issue of CUP provides helpful insight so your community can put its best foot forward. Whether you’re looking to combine operating funds with reserve money, struggling with the property insurance crisis, or need a new online voting platform, we have something for you! Don’t miss our featured podcast episode where Dr. Jason Mansour sits down with host Donna DiMaggio Berger to discuss Defibrillators (AEDs), Bleeding Control Kits (BCKs), and CERTs.

The holiday season is approaching which means it’s a good time for associations to consider its authority regarding outdoor holiday decorations. Yeline Goin discusses the benefits of having set guidelines in, “Holiday Decorations – Ho, Ho, Ho or Bah Humbug?

When faced with a reoccurring issue in a condominium, the Board of the Directors may want to consider implementing a restriction as a long-term solution to the problem. How are such restrictions implemented? Nicolas M. Jimenez has all the answers in, “Implementing Condominium Restrictions.”

Section 720.3045, Florida Statutes was created during the recent legislative session as part of House Bill 437. What does this mean for your association? Florence King explains this new statutory provision in, “The Effect of Section 720.3045, Florida Statute on Homeowner Association.”

If your association desires to use fines as a covenant enforcement tool, it is vital that all due process procedures contained in your association’s governing documents, as well as contained in the applicable community association act, are strictly followed. Jay Roberts provides helpful guidance in, “THIS CASE: Gillis v. Jackson Shores Townhomes Association, Inc.

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.



Holiday Decorations – Ho, Ho, Ho or Bah Humbug?

By: Yeline Goin

As the holiday season approaches, it is a good time for associations to consider its authority regarding outdoor holiday decorations. Every community is different, and opinions vary about when the holiday decorations should be put up and “how much” is “too much.” Some people want to start decorating for the holidays on November 1, while others think that you should at least wait until after Thanksgiving. Some communities only permit white lights and prohibit “blow up” decorations, while in others “anything goes.” And it is no longer just the December holidays—it has now become more popular to decorate for other holidays such as Easter, Fourth of July, and Halloween. When one holiday ends, another is right around the corner, so you may have some homes with a never-ending carousel of holiday decorations.  

Click here to read more!


Implementing Condominium Restrictions

By: Nicolas M. Jimenez

When faced with a reoccurring issue in a condominium, the Board of the Directors may want to consider implementing a restriction as a long-term solution to the problem. For example, after increasing complaints of loud music at late hours, the Board of Directors may consider a restriction as to when and to what extent music can be played at the condominium. Or perhaps unit owners have complained of the increase in short term rentals in the condominium, prompting the Board of Directors to consider a restriction on the amount of times a unit may be rented throughout the year. How are such restrictions implemented?

Click here to read more!


The Effect of Section 720.3045, Florida Statute on Homeowner Association

By: Florence King

Section 720.3045, Florida Statutes was created during the recent legislative session as part of House Bill 437. This section prevents associations from restricting the installation, display and storage of “any item” on a parcel that is not visible from the parcel’s frontage or an adjacent parcel, unless same are prohibited by general law or local ordinance. This means that homeowners and residents of such parcels are permitted to install artificial turf or install items within such areas of the parcels and/or maintain recreational vehicles, campers, boats and other items in such areas. 

Click here to read more!


Gillis v. Jackson Shores Townhomes Association, Inc.
351 So.3d 668 (Fla. 2d DCA 2022)

By: Jay Roberts, Esq.

Proper due process for fining is at the heart of THIS CASE. On December 5, 2017, the Association’s property manager conducted a site inspection of the Association property. She found violations on Mr. Gillis’s property. The next day, she sent a violation letter to Mr. Gillis informing him that he owed a fine of $100 for the alleged violations. Accompanying her letter was an invoice also dated December 6, 2017, for $100 with instructions that the payment of the fine was due by December 31, 2017. Mr. Gillis objected to the fine, and eventually the Association suspended his access to community amenities and removed him from the Association’s board because he refused to pay it. Mr. Gillis then filed a lawsuit against the Association seeking to rescind the fine, amongst other causes of action. The trial court ruled in favor of the Association, and Mr. Gillis appealed.

On appeal, the Court noted that the Declaration of Covenants required the Association provide a notice AND opportunity to cure a violation prior to levying a fine. Further, the Court recited the fact that Section 720.305(2), Florida Statutes, requires that prior to a fine being imposed, the Association provide at least 14 days’ notice of a committee hearing whereat the committee must agree with the fine being imposed. The Court held that the Association failed to comply with its Declaration of Covenants and the Florida Homeowners’ Association Act. Thus, the Court reversed the trial court’s judgement in favor of Mr. Gillis.

So why does THIS CASE matter? If your association desires to use fines as a covenant enforcement tool, it is vital that all due process procedures contained in your association’s governing documents as well as contained in the applicable community association act are strictly followed. Failure to do so, could expose your association to substantial prevailing party litigation fee liability. Should you have any questions regarding what is required for certain covenant enforcement measures to be taken in your community, you should contact your association’s legal counsel.



Q: Can a condominium association’s operating funds be combined with the reserve money? My association has not moved money into the reserve account and out of the operating account in the last year. The money is there, it is just not in the right account. Is it permissible to keep the reserve and operating funds together?

Joseph Adams discusses this and more!



An unprecedented number of property owners in the Sunshine State are being abruptly dropped by their long-time carriers. Others are seeing premium rates increase by as much as 200% (or more!) while having to replace their roofs or pay for other expensive upgrades just to stay insurable.

What can be done to fix this statewide crisis?

Becker brought together a prestigious panel of Florida property insurance experts to offer their legal, legislative, and insurance industry insider perspectives on the state of Florida’s insurance crisis and what can be done to protect property owners’ interests.

Click here to watch the full webinar.

Becker’s Board Member Bootcamp

Mission complete! Becker’s Board Member Bootcamp was one for the books!

On Tuesday, November 14, Becker hosted 154 board members and managers from across South Florida at the Signature Grand, in Davie, Florida. Veteran community association attorneys Donna DiMaggio Berger, Howard Perl, and Kenneth Direktor mustered the troops to teach the essential skills to run a successful operation. Be on the lookout next month for our video reel and full report on this signature event.




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


  • HOA/Condo Board Member Certification
    12/12/23 – 10:00AM – Registration coming soon
  • Electronic Media for Community Associations
    12/14/23 – 10:00AM – Registration coming soon


“I attended the webinar about Florida’s Insurance Crisis on 11/2/2023. This was the first time I had experienced the Becker Law firm. The two Becker representatives were outstanding in their knowledge and strategies on how best to deal with this ongoing crisis. I found the discussion to be extremely valuable and learned several things I was unaware of. Furthermore, they included two other external resources to join the conference panel who were just as knowledgeable. This convinced me that they are very well connected and seek out advice from some of the best folks in the State. I will definitely be keeping in touch with this firm. Thank you very much for the opportunity to participate in this session.”

~ Mark Decker, Landmark at Hillsboro Beach COA


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: Saving Lives in Your Community Association – Defibrillators (AEDs), Bleeding Control Kits (BCKs), and CERTs with Dr. Jason Mansour

Does your community association have an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) or a Bleeding Control Kit (BCK) on hand in the worst-case scenario and do you have trained people on hand to use these devices? Do you have a gym, pickleball/tennis courts, and other recreational amenities where a cardiac event may be more likely? Are you familiar with the responsibilities and value of a volunteer Certified Emergency Response Team (CERT)? Join Donna DiMaggio Berger and guest Dr. Jason Mansour, Chair of Emergency Medicine at Broward Health, as they dive into the details of these vital life-saving tools. Learn about local ordinances that require these devices in multi-story residential buildings, how they operate, and the essential training needed for their use.

Listen to the full episode here.


Discover the power of BeckerBALLOT.com – the premier voting software trusted by hundreds of Florida community associations!

Since 2016, Condominiums, Cooperatives and Homeowners’ Associations have been able to conduct votes electronically, including elections. If you haven’t implemented online voting in your community, think of all the postage, manpower, and sheer hassle that can be saved by utilizing BeckerBALLOT.com.

Sign up for one of our upcoming webinars and we will show you how easy and affordable BeckerBALLOT.com can be for your association!

Click here to register.


Congratulations to Sylvia on your $50 Amazon Gift Card prize! You are this month’s Online Program Feedback Winner! We truly appreciate you taking the time to complete the program survey and letting us know what you found beneficial and what we can do better. Education is a top priority for Becker, and it is important to us to hear what you find of value. Thank you for your thoughtful response to our survey!

If you would like to be in the running for next month’s $50 giveaway, please provide your feedback on any of our in-person or online program(s) that you have attended. You can find all of our on-demand classes here, and our webinars here, which are currently free and available to the public, for you to watch at your convenience. We want to hear from you! 



Becker & Poliakoff Earns Coveted National First-Tier Rankings in the 2024 Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” Guide 

We are pleased to announce that Becker & Poliakoff ranked as a national first-tier law firm for Construction Law and Banking and Finance Litigation in the 2024 edition of the Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” guide. Becker was also nationally ranked in five other practice areas: Banking and Finance Law, Commercial Litigation, Construction Litigation, and Real Estate Litigation.

In addition, the firm achieved 35 metropolitan rankings across several of its U.S. offices, including Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Miami, New Jersey, New York City, Orlando, and Tampa.

Click here to read more.