30 03, 2020

Florida Supreme Court COVID-19 Administrative Orders Impact Court Cases

Community Association, Condominium Association, COVID-19, Foreclosure, Homeowners Association|

We are in unchartered waters as our country faces the COVID-19 pandemic. Millions of people have been laid off, millions more are dealing with reduction in work hours, and businesses that were once thriving are completely shut down.

Florida like many other states have issued emergency orders that significantly impact the way we do business –

16 03, 2020

COVID-19: Actions Communities Should Take to Mitigate Against the Health Risk

Community Association, Condominium Association, COVID-19, Emergency Powers, Homeowners Association|

With the declaration of a national emergency and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) urging a nationwide halt to gatherings of more than 50 people for the next eight weeks, the COVID-19 public health emergency has created a lot of uncertainty for communities. Communities need to balance taking reasonable steps to limit exposure

3 03, 2020

2020 Community Association Legislative Update – Part I

Community Association, Condominium Association, Homeowners Association, Legislation|

While some legislative sessions can be relatively uneventful for condominiums and homeowner associations, this year there are a number of bills that could have a significant impact on the operation and governance of these communities.

In particular, House Bill 623 – Community Associations includes a number of proposed changes that would significantly impact condominiums, cooperatives, and

17 02, 2020

Assessments are a Debt Subject to the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act

Assessment Collection, Condominium Association, Court Decisions of Importance, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, Foreclosure, Homeowners Association|

The collection of consumer debts is regulated both by the federal law under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (the “FDCPA”), and state law under the Florida Consumer Collections Practices Act (the “FCCPA”). The FDCPA and the FCCPA are not identical, but the FCCPA specifically acknowledges the continued applicability of the FDCPA. This means coming

3 02, 2020

Is Relief for Fraudulent Emotional Support Animal Accommodation Requests on the Horizon?

ADA Compliance, Condominium Association, Emotional Support Animals, Fair Housing Act Issues, Homeowners Association|

As so many community associations have encountered first-hand, the Florida and Federal Fair Housing Acts (FHA) require condominium and homeowners associations to grant exceptions (or a waiver) to pet restrictions in order to allow a person with a disability to keep an animal which alleviates one or more symptoms of that disability, but would otherwise

30 12, 2019

Can Your Community’s Developer Use HOA Capital Contributions Collected at Closings to Offset the Developer’s Deficit Funding Obligation?

Capital Contributions, Community Association, Deficit Funding, Governing Documents, Homeowners Association, Legislation|

Many communities impose a capital contribution (sometimes called an initiation fee) on new owners. This is a one-time, nonrefundable fee paid by the buyer at closing. These fees usually go into a special account used to fund capital improvements and repairs in the community. Both Fla. Stat. §720.308(6) and §720.308(4)(b), prohibit a developer from using

17 12, 2019

Proposed Mortgage Foreclosure Legislation May Negatively Impact Competitive Bidding at Community Association Foreclosure Sales

Assessment Collection, Banks and Mortgages, Community Association, Condominium Association, Foreclosure, Homeowners Association, Legislation, Tenant/Landlord|

In today’s lien foreclosure market, most community associations benefit from competitive bidding at their lien foreclosure sale. Since the great recession a cottage industry sprouted of investors competitively bidding at these sales.  Investors then renovate the properties and rent them until the mortgagee completes its own foreclosure action. This is generally a win/win situation as

3 12, 2019

Is Your Association’s Website Exposing Your Community to Liability for ADA or FHA Violations?

ADA Compliance, Community Association, Condominium Association, Fair Housing Act Issues, Homeowners Association, Legislation, Social Media / Communication, Website Matters|

Let’s face it, we do almost everything online – from shopping to paying bills. Following that trend, many community associations also conduct a lot of activity through a website, including; paying assessments, advertising sales or rentals, or posting documents, notices, minutes, and social calendars for members to easily access. In fact, the Florida legislature passed

30 09, 2019

Should Our HOA Implement a Social Media Policy?

Community Association, Condominium Association, Homeowners Association, Rules and Regulations, Social Media / Communication|

Benefits of social media in the community association context are numerous, not the least of which are speed and reach. Various online platforms enable communities to instantly deliver information to potentially hundreds or thousands of their residents who are regularly glued to their screens. As a result, however, many communities approach the use of social

4 09, 2019

Who’s on First? Condominium Unit Owner Joint and Several Liability for Delinquent Assessments After Foreclosure

Assessment Collection, Condominium Association, Court Decisions of Importance, Foreclosure, Homeowners Association, Legislation|

The First District Court of Appeal decision in Coastal Creek Condominium Association, Inc. v Fla Trust Services, LLC, Case No. 1D18-1457 (Fla. 1st DCA, July 16, 2019) addressed whether a current condominium unit owner is jointly and severally liable for delinquent assessments accruing during the ownership of a remote owner.  Having found that the joint