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“Lessons Learned from Past Hurricanes” – FCAP Managers Report

In 2004 the east coast of Florida was struck in very short order by two significant hurricanes, Frances and Jeanne. While we learned many, many lessons from those hurricanes, one of the problems that we faced, over which we had limited control, was the issue of communication. While many clients did not have up-to-date email […]

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What Are Limited Common Elements and Who’s Responsible?

The Florida Condominium Act defines limited common elements as those common elements that are reserved for the use of a certain unit or group of units, as specified in the declaration of the condominium. This definition indicates that the limited common elements are a subset of the common elements. Examples of what may be included […]

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The New Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Lender Questionnaire: To Answer, or Not to Answer, That Is the Question!

The Federal National Mortgage Association (“Fannie Mae”) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (“Freddie Mac”) recently issued new temporary requirements as an attempt to mitigate risk in community association loan underwriting. Many other industries within the community association world, such as insurance, have adjusted costs and guidelines in an effort to mitigate risk as […]

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Getting “Flag Ready” for the Fourth of July

Flags serve as a powerful symbol of a nation, its ideals, and its people, and their display in community associations is addressed under State law. The Florida Condominium Act permits a unit owner to display, in a respectful manner, one portable, removable United States flag and portable, removable official flags, not larger than 4.5-feet by […]

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“Simplifying Official Records Inspections for both the Association and the Owners” – FCAP Managers Report

Condominium associations, cooperatives, and homeowners’ associations are all required to maintain and make available to owners official records of the association. The respective statutes governing each type of association contain a list of records that must be maintained by the association, as well as a catch-all provision for “all other written records of the association.” […]

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“Reserve and Inspection Laws Changed” – News-Press

Consisting of what I would categorize as relatively minor changes to the sweeping building inspection and reserve laws enacted in 2022, here is a look at Senate Bill 154, which will become law upon signature by the Governor: Inspection Deadlines: The relevance of proximity to the coastline has been removed from the law as a […]

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“Minutes Must Be Kept Permanently” – News-Press

Q: How long must a 50-year-old condominium retain the minutes of the board of directors’ meetings? (K.B., via e-mail) A: Section 718.111(12)(a) and (b) of the Florida Condominium Act requires that the minutes of all meetings of the condominium association, including meetings of the unit owners and meetings of the board of directors, be permanently […]

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“Can the Directors and Members of Your Community Association Meet and Vote Remotely?” – FCAP Managers Report

During the COVID-19 pandemic, people and businesses alike struggled to meet, organize, and otherwise conduct business in person due to quarantine measures and social distancing policies. In light of these challenges, in 2021, the Florida Legislature enacted laws to make clear that, during a state of emergency, condominium, cooperatives, and homeowners’ associations are authorized to […]

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“Managing Your Personnel: Five Lessons That You Don’t Want to Learn the Hard Way” – Florida Community Association Journal

Shareholder, Jamie Dokovna writes about the challenges that ensue when managing personnel by highlighting five important lessons: Lesson One – Hire the right people Lesson Two – Have policies and enforce them Lesson Three – Be flexible when necessary Lesson Four – The tools you have aren’t any good if you don’t use them Lesson […]

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“Use of Surplus Money Questioned” – News-Press

Q: My condominium association recently approved a special assessment to pay for a construction project. The project is now completed and there is money left over. The board has now called a meeting where they are going to consider the applying those funds to a different project. Isn’t the association required to return this money […]

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“Avoiding Legal Woes by Mastering the Mundane” – FCAP Managers Report

It seems now more than ever that Florida’s community association managers are asked to do more and more. Focusing on a few of the basics can go a long way in keeping the community association out of legal trouble and alleviating the stress of community association management. Here are a few traps for the unwary […]

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Understanding the New Timeframes for Collections

Associations frequently ask the question: “When should a delinquent owner be turned over for collections?” To fully answer to this question, the association must understand the relatively new statutory requirements that must be fulfilled before an account is turned over to legal counsel for collections, as well as understanding the increased timeframes an owner is […]

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“Board Bickers Over Meeting Agendas” – News-Press

Q: The board of directors for my condominium association has an ongoing dispute over which board members can put items on the agenda of a board meeting. Can individual board members put items on the agenda of a board meeting? (J.N, via e-mail) A: The Florida Condominium Act does not address how the agenda of […]

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“Veto SB 360, Gov. DeSantis. It Makes Residents in Older Condo Buildings Less Safe” – Miami Herald

Last year, the Florida Legislature passed SB 4-D with the stated purpose of safeguarding the millions of Floridians living in older multifamily buildings. Known as the Condo Safety Law, SB 4-D requires periodic engineering inspections for buildings three stories and higher and mandates that associations reserve funds to pay for ongoing maintenance and repair projects. […]

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“Workshops Require Minutes” – News-Press

Q: What are the requirements regarding keeping minutes for workshops by the board of directors? (L.F., via e-mail) A: A board “meeting” is generally defined as any “gathering” of a “quorum” of the board members gathered to “conduct association business.” Breaking this down into its basic components, a gathering is any physical or virtual assembly, […]

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“Associations May Now Have Broader Standing to Pursue Construction Defects Claims” – CAI Central Florida Times

When your community needs to pursue a claim for construction defects, your community must have a stake in the outcome of the litigation – known as standing – to pursue that claim. Because both Section 718.111 and 720.303 empower an association to pursue claims for matters of common interest, an association usually has standing to […]

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“Community Association Budgeting in the Sunshine” – FCAP Managers Report

‘Sunshine’ laws require transparency and disclosure in government and business. Community associations have their own of “sunshine” requirements. Are there any “sunshine” requirements for the budgeting process? In other words, what parts of the budget process must community boards ensure to make open, available, or transparent to community members? What notice is required? Board meetings […]

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“Material Alteration Voting Explained” – News-Press

Q: A question has arisen in my condominium association regarding what vote is required to change the property. At a recent meeting, 2/3rds voted in favor. However, this was just 2/3rds of the proxies, and not 2/3rds of everybody. Isn’t there a minimum number of votes required to make certain changes to the property? (C.D., […]

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New Laws Regarding Emotional Support Animals

Nothing evokes more of an “emotional” response than the issue of emotional support animals in a no-pet community. While this is not a new issue, and has been discussed many times in this forum and others, Florida laws affect how a community handles a request for a reasonable accommodation to its governing documents, rules and […]

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Borrowing Money

We have been receiving a number of loan requests. Even though we’ve done articles in this forum regarding association borrowing in the past, there are some issues that keep reoccurring. Do not start the borrowing process without a discussion with your attorney. Often, we are asked to assist an association in obtaining a loan, but […]

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Does Your Association Allow You to Use the Clubhouse for Political Events?

Florida Statutes allow the Condominium unit owners to use the common elements for the purposes for which the common elements were intended as long as their “use does not hinder or encroach upon the lawful rights of other unit owners.” The statute also permits the Board of Directors to create and adopt reasonable rules pertaining […]

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“Why You Should Become A Board-Certified Lawyer” – The Capstone

The Florida Bar reports there over 93,000 lawyers eligible to practice law. Demand for legal services is on the rise as droves of out of state consumers and their businesses relocate to Florida. To meet this demand, law firms have aggressively been recruiting lawyers particularly in specialty areas such as real estate, construction, and corporate […]

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