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“Easements Explained” – News-Press

Q: The survey for my lot when I closed on my property shows a 15-foot-wide drainage easement dedicated to my homeowners’ association. Can my association use the drainage easement for another purpose besides drainage? (A.D., via e-mail) A: Most likely not. However, the answer to your question depends on several things, including the language contained […]

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“Association Loans Explained” – News-Press

Q: The board of directors of my condominium association has stated they are considering major restoration projects soon and have stated that they are considering a loan from a bank to fund part the projects. While nothing has been decided, the board has mentioned that considering a loan to pay for the work. Does the […]

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“Manager Licensing Explained” – News-Press

Q: What exactly is a CAM? I hear this term used at some of our board meetings. (K.R., via e-mail) A: The term “CAM” is an acronym often used when referring to a “community association manager.” A CAM is a person licensed by the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation to perform “community association […]

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“SBA Loan Update” – News-Press

The U.S. Small Business Administration (“SBA”) has announced that it is waiving the interest rate for the first year on new loans and deferring loan re-payments for 12 months. Therefore, SBA loan borrowers will not be required to make principal payments or interest payments during the first year of the loan. The SBA is automatically […]

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“Board Can Install Vehicle Chargers” – News-Press

Q: There have been recent discussions in my condominium about the board installing an electric vehicle charging station for everyone to use. It was my understanding that owners are entitled to install charging stations at their expense. Doesn’t a common charging station that we all have to pay for require a vote of the owners? […]

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“Condo vs. HOA Budget Procedures Explained” – News-Press

Q: How much notice to the members is required when the board is adopting the annual budget? (B.R., via e-mail) A: For a condominium association, budget meetings must be noticed at least 14 days in advance for the benefit of the members. Notice is to be posted on the condominium or association property, and also […]

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“Competitive Bidding Explained” – News-Press

Q: When does a condominium association have to get bids for repair work and does the association have to hire the company with the lowest bid? (K.R., via e-mail) A: Contracts for legal, accounting, architectural, engineering, and landscape architectural services are not subject to the competitive bid requirements. Contracts for employees who work directly for […]

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“Hurricane Ian Cleanup and Restoration Work Issues” – News-Press

It has now been over a month since Hurricane Ian made landfall in Southwest Florida, causing historic levels of damage to our community. Some of the most shocking damage from Hurricane Ian was due to its unprecedented levels of storm surge, causing flooding in large portions of Southwest Florida. However, our community has responded in […]

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“Hurricane Ian Recover: Debris Removal Issues” – News-Press

It has now been about a month since Hurricane Ian devastated Southwest Florida. The clean-up process is ongoing, and many community associations still have significant amounts of debris to deal with. One option that may be available to community associations to address debris removal is authorizing entry by county contractors to remove materials. The Stafford […]

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“Emergency Powers for Community Associations” – News-Press

Two and half weeks ago, Hurricane Ian made landfall in Southwest Florida. Hurricane Ian was practically a worst-case scenario for our area and has impacted essentially every person and community. The recovery for many of our communities will take years and the process is only beginning. In response to Hurricane Ian, the Governor has declared […]

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“Association Voting in the Electronic Age” – News-Press

Q:  I serve on the Board of a very large condominium association. Getting unit owners to return proxies and ballots is difficult (to say the least), making it almost impossible to get voting items to pass. Oftentimes, we have a hard time even getting a quorum. With so many people being accustomed to “Zoom” meetings, […]

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“Recovery From Hurricane Ian” – News-Press

Recovery From Hurricane Ian Unfortunately, Hurricane Ian was a historic storm and has left a wide and substantial swath of damage across Southwest Florida. As we all work to recover from the ongoing effects of Hurricane Ian, I would like to share a few pointers we have learned from past storms and some things we […]

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“Special Assessment Due Dates Not Set by Statute” – News-Press

Q: I understand that the board of directors of my condominium association has the authority to levy special assessments. However, is there any requirement on when special assessments must be due? Does the association have to allow at least 30 days or more before the special assessment can be due? (M.B., via e-mail) A: The […]

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“Board Workshops Covered by Sunshine Law” – News-Press

Q: I understand that if the board of directors posts notice for a meeting, and a majority of board members are there, that is a board meeting. However, what if a board just holds a workshop to discuss certain items and to get input, but no vote is taken. What is that, and is that […]

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“‘Estoppel’ Fee Explained” – News-Press

Q: I recently contacted my condominium association to get an account status for refinancing my mortgage. I was charged $299.00, which seems like a lot. Is this a valid charge? (J.R., via e-mail) A: The Condominium Act, the Cooperative Act, and the Homeowners’ Association Act, all regulate the amount the associations can charge for “estoppel […]

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“Neighbor Complaint Letters Not Confidential” – News-Press

Q: Our association has a requirement that no cars be parked in the street. I keep receiving letters from the manager saying that keeping a car parked in front of my house is a violation and that the letters are because of complaints from my neighbors. Am I allowed to be told who complained? (M.P., […]

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“State Publishes Mandatory Condo Form” – News-Press

As previously discussed in this column, the Legislature adopted SB4-D effective May 26, 2022. In addition to imposing new requirements for structural inspections for buildings of 3 stories or more in height, and significantly changing the reserve laws, the new law also creates new reporting requirements for condominium and cooperative associations. The law requires that […]

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“Neighbor’s Secondhand Smoke A Bother” – News-Press

Q: Can a condominium association ban smoking inside condominium unit? I have discomfort and health concerns related to my neighbor’s constant smoking. (M.C., via e-mail) A: There is no case law on this topic, and it is not addressed in the statute. The board is usually given the authority to adopt rules regarding the common […]

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“Notice of Board Meetings Must Be Posted” – News-Press

Q: It is my understanding that board meetings require paper posting of notice on the condominium property. However, our board does not always post notice saying that “they forgot.” What action can be taken to address a failure to post meeting notice as required? (M.G., via e-mail) A: Board members have a fiduciary duty to […]

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“‘Master’ Association Documents Usually Controlling Authority” – News-Press

Q: I own a unit in a condominium association that is part of a larger community made up of a number of other condominium associations and homeowners’ associations, all of which are governed by a master association. This raises questions about which documents control. For example, the master association’s documents state that leases must be […]

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“New Structural Safety Laws Create Questions” – News-Press

Q: I have heard that there will be efforts to change the new condominium law about inspections and reserves. Can you shed any light on what the proposals might be and their chances of passing? (S.G., via e-mail) You can read my initial summary of the new statute in my column “Enforcement of New Structural […]

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“HOA Lien Procedures Explained” – News-Press

Q: There has been confusion on my HOA board regarding when the association can record a lien against a delinquent owner. I thought we could lien after 45 days, but our manager says we must give a warning letter first. Is this correct? (G.M., via e-mail) A: More or less. First, the association needs to […]

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“Enforcement of New Structural Safety Law Examined” – News-Press

Q: In a previous column, you mentioned the new statute that deals with building inspections and reserves. I understand the reason for these changes, but do not understand how they are enforced or how extensive they are. Can you comment further on that? (S.S., via e-mail) A: This may be the most impactful change to […]

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