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Community Update

October 2019

In this Issue

As election season approaches, many community association professionals are reviewing their procedures and policies. As board members or managers, it is important to understand the nuances of what is, or isn’t, permitted when it comes to the operations of your community. Read on for helpful tips pertaining to common association issues.

This month’s spotlight article, “Slow Your Roll: How to Address Speeding Issues in Your Association,”  examines the best solutions for the common problems of speeding within private residential communities. What does the board have the power to do? Find out below!

Our second article, “Why Community Associations Should Check Their Zoning and Entitlement History,”  explores why it is important for associations to understand what is allowed in their community when it comes to land zoning regulations and entitlements.

Can spouses serve on an association board simultaneously? Find out in our third article, “Can Both Spouses Continue to Serve on the Board?”

What are the best practices for community elections? “Make Your Vote Count at This Year’s Condominium Election,”  will help you brush up on proper procedure.

Check out our Spanish Feature, “¿permite Su Asociación El Uso De La Casa Club Para Eventos Políticos?”  which discusses the question of whether or not your association can hold political events in the clubhouse. This is especially important to know with the upcoming elections.

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

Spanish Feature: CondoMundoUSA

Read This Month’s Article: ¿Permite su asociación el uso de la casa club para eventos políticos?

En un marco de Condominio, los Estatutos de la Florida permiten a los propietarios el uso de los elementos comunes (áreas de recreación) para el uso para el cual fueron diseñados. La ley también permite a la Junta de Directores crear y adoptar reglamentos razonables relacionados con el uso de los elementos comunes. En otras palabras, a pesar de que usted, como dueño, tiene el derecho de usar las áreas de recreación, ese derecho no está sin límites. Por ejemplo, no es razonable usarlas de una manera o para un propósito que moleste o interfiera con los derechos de los residentes de disfrutar y usar dichas áreas de recreación y áreas que le rodean de manera pacífica.

Becker’s Community Columnists

Did you know Community Association Practice Group Shareholders Donna DiMaggio Berger, David Muller, and Joseph Adams write columns for the Miami Herald, the Naples Daily News, and News-Press, respectively? Check out their recent columns for informative articles on hot button issues and frequently asked questions pertaining to Emotional Support Animals, short-term rentals, annual meeting requirements, and more!

Still counting ballots the old-fashioned way?

BeckerBALLOT logo in card

With the year’s end fast approaching, many communities are deeply involved in preparations for their upcoming annual meeting. Maybe your association is considering capital improvement projects, amending your documents, or electing new directors; whatever the agenda, perhaps now is the time to consider electronic voting?

Becker has recently launched BeckerBALLOT.com, a state-of-the-art electronic voting platform. Designed specifically with the unique needs of community associations in mind, BeckerBALLOT.com will help increase voter participation as well as reduce the possibility for errors in the voting process, making your job as a board member or manager that much easier.

Onboard your community in only a few steps. Simply, upload your member information, create your vote, and notify your members that electronic voting will be offered as an option in addition to paper votes for those of your members who still wish to vote in that manner. An added bonus is the reduced length of your meeting as BeckerBALLOT.com tabulates your online votes for you in real-time. No need to endure tedious elections by counting hundreds of ballots the old-fashioned way. So, what are you waiting for? Simplify your voting process by taking advantage of electronic voting today.

Don’t miss out on our Webinars, Click here to learn more.

“How Condo Associations Can Mitigate Damages from Sea-Level Rise,” Sun-Sentinel

Climate change is one of the biggest problems facing the world today and with this comes sea-level rise. Miami, as well as Florida in general, is predicted to be hit particularly hard by this consequence of increased greenhouse gas emissions. Within the next century, sea levels will likely rise over 24 inches. Florida, with its seaside communities, can lessen financial loss by doing a number of things, including construction and zoning changes.

Becker’s Rosa de la Camara shares her insight on what condo associations can do in particular to mitigate damages that are sure to occur.

Becker Launches Trademarking and Logo Creation for Community Associations

Having your community’s name associated with a certain quality of lifestyle goes a long way towards promoting your real property values and keeping you competitive in the real estate marketplace. Trademarking your community’s name (and logo) can also serve two important functions: (a) you can prevent bad actors from using your community’s name and/or logo to create confusion or mischief online and in print and (b) you can license your community’s trademark to valued local businesses and entities as a means to supplement your association’s revenues.

Your community’s brand and how you are perceived in the marketplace is essential. Many developers rely upon name recognition and a stylish logo to attract attention from potential buyers – spending considerable effort and money to build a certain mystique around the community’s name and look. But, they often overlook the critical need to protect that name and logo by registering a trademark. There is no reason, however, that your board cannot take this crucial step. Registering your community’s name and logo as trademarks in Florida protects you against local businesses and neighboring communities trading on your good name. Owning your name and logo also allows the board to prevent anyone intent on setting up a shadow website or other online presence as a way to harass or harm the association.

If your community association has taken the time to thoughtfully create a memorable brand, it only makes sense to protect that investment. If you’ve never thought about the need to brand and protect your community’s name, perhaps now is the time to consider doing so. Our team will guide you through the process of registering your association’s name and logo, and can also design a logo for you in the event your association doesn’t already have one.

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?

Amending Leasing Restrictions – “Can They Do That?” – Episode 10 is Live!

My neighborhood wants to adopt leasing restrictions in a community association where they previously didn’t exist. Can they do that? Find out in Episode 10!

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!

Becker’s Legislative Guide is Here!

Every year Becker prepares a Legislative Guide providing you with not just an easy-to -use reference guide for the most recent legislative changes affecting community associations in Florida, but also practical application pointers. It is prepared in digital form and readily available to you via download from your iOS, Android, or Windows device from our CALLBP website.

In other news, for all our high-rise communities in the State, you can breathe a little easier when it comes to Engineered Life Safety System (ELSS) installation. House Bill 7103 was signed into law providing those buildings constructed before 1992 and 75 feet or higher, four more years to complete their ELSS installation. Four years may seem like a long time, but trust me it is not..

An ELSS is designed based on the age and construct of your building in conjunction with the Fire Marshall. Bidding, contracting, permitting, and funding for this project will take time that should be factored into your estimated installation completion date. Do not sign any contract or enter any bank loan without first seeking the advice of your community attorney as safeguards in favor of the community are necessary.

CAll BP Legislative-guide-2019

Becker CFCAM Scholarship Winners

Congratulations to Becker CFCAM Scholarship honorees, Tiffany Jackson of St. Petersburg and Deborah Carroll of Orlando, pictured respectively. Both were recently presented with the scholarship, which is awarded to CAMs who have attained the highest level of Florida-specific professional training and includes all tuition, certification costs, and FCAP membership for one year.

Becker is proud to promote excellence in the Community Association Industry through continuing education. This scholarship allows qualified professionals in the community association field to grow and advance, ultimately making the entire CAM community stronger.

Did You Know?

Marty Platts: Attorney, Mom, and So Much More
Based in West Palm Beach, Marty Platts has 16 years of experience in the legal profession, but did you know that being an attorney is really her third career? She started out as an insurance agent and then transitioned to a trial paralegal, finally landing as an attorney in Becker’s Community Association Practice.

As a Florida Bar Board Certified attorney, Marty is an expert in community association law, representing clients in their day-to-day operations, budget, management issues, corporate governance, contracts, and enforcement of association covenants, among other matters. She also has garnered experience in the areas of mass tort litigation, personal injury, wrongful death, international law, RICO, and criminal law at both the state and federal levels.

¿Hablas Español? Marty does! She is fluent in Spanish and loves writing articles for Spanish-speaking audiences. You can often read her work in CUP. Check out her article this month,“¿Permite su asociación el uso de la casa club para eventos políticos?”

Outside of the legal world, Marty’s most important job is being a single mom to two girls. Her four grandkids’ activities, such as soccer, hockey, dance, and taekwondo, keep her hustling and bustling all weekend. So much for days off!