As all Floridians know, storm season can be a very hectic time. Preparation for – as well as the aftermath of – storms is stressful. Board members of community associations are hit particularly hard by the nerve-wracking days of hurricane season because not only do they have to worry about themselves, they also have to worry about common areas and the building structure itself. Vulnerable residents and funds also play into the mix. Add all these factors together and being a board member can be a tough position to be in this time of year. Shareholder Donna DiMaggio Berger recently penned a very informative article which addresses these issues. She gives her Top 10 “to do” list for communities.
Click here to read the full article in the Miami Herald
We have all heard the environmentalists’ cry about the Dead Sea shrinking. Water levels are falling at an average rate of three feet per year due to evaporation and human diversion of tributaries. The opposite conundrum – sea level rise – is not occurring quite as rapidly but is equally as concerning.
Community association law is an area of practice that has experienced considerable growth in the past few years. As a result, many unqualified lawyers are jumping on the community association bandwagon. Therefore, your board should do its homework before hiring an attorney.
Whether you know it or not, the roads traveling through your subdivision are likely easements created for the purpose of providing ingress/egress access to public streets. And whether you know it or not, those easements may also benefit neighboring properties, giving them access through your subdivision to a point of entry on a public road.
Every director who sits on the board of a homeowners association gets a voice in the operations of the association. The questions I receive are more about how that voice is exercised through a vote. For instance, some directors travel quite a bit, whether for work or play is irrelevant. The directors however are entitled to notice of the board meetings and can participate by telephone, casting their vote via phone at the time of the meeting. But what about voting by proxy in an HOA, is that allowed? No, the Homeowners’ Association Act specifically prohibits a director from voting via proxy on matters that come before the board. Similar prohibitions exist in the Florida Condominium Act and the Florida Cooperative Act, so it is important to keep this in mind.
Special assessments happen. The unfortunate reality is that during the life of a condominium building some unexpected expenses are going to arise and the association must take steps to fulfill its obligations to the membership. If the operating budget cannot handle these expenses, and there is not a funded reserve account which can dray the cost, then it is likely that a special assessment will need to be levied.