Perspectives

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CAI West Florida Chapter “Community Associations and COVID-19” Webinar

Becker, in association with the Community Associations Institute – West Florida Chapter, presented “Community Associations and COVID-19: What’s on the Horizon?” a webinar featuring Becker Shareholders David Muller, Kevin Edwards, and Steven Mezer. Panelists discussed how volunteer boards can safeguard their communities in light of COVID-19. Panelists: David Muller Shareholder Becker Kevin Edwards Shareholder Becker […]

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“New Law Impacts 55+ Communities,” Naples Daily News

Q: I heard there is a new law that impacts the registration process for “55+” communities. What are the details? R.W. A: You heard correctly. Effective July 1, 2020, Section 760.29(4) of Florida Statutes was amended to delete the requirement for “housing for older persons communities” (often called “55 and over communities”) to register with […]

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“Transition Committee and Construction Defect Claims,” Naples Daily News

Q: My new condominium will soon be turning over from the developer. I am a unit owner and have been selected to serve on the transition committee, which has been primarily tasked with determining whether the developer has any obligation to make building repairs, etc. What are some things the transition committee should be thinking […]

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Webinar: Are Your Board’s Emergency Powers Still in Effect?

The fluid nature of the pandemic, mixed with oftentimes inconsistent guidelines from all levels of government, has led to understandable confusion. Becker Community Association Shareholders explore the continuing state of emergency powers throughout Florida, best practices to follow when reopening facilities, how to handle allowing access to outside guests and contractors, and other timely topics. […]

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Week 9 Webinar: COVID-19 Best Practices for Community Associations

Becker Shareholders David Muller, Rosa de la Camara, and Steve Mezer participated in a webinar discussion hosted by KW Property Management and Consulting (KWPMC). The webinar, entitled “COVID-19 Best Practices for Community Associations,” was moderated by KWPMC Managing Director, Tim O’Keefe and addressed best practices for HOAs and condo associations. Watch the replay.

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The “New Norm” for Community Associations in Light of COVID-19

The COVID-19 virus has substantially impacted all types of community associations throughout Florida. From closing amenities, to limiting access by non-residents, taking in travelers from other parts of the country, including those deemed “hot spots”, and reacting to the endless flow of emergency and executive orders from the state, counties, and municipalities, associations across Florida […]

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Community Update – April 2020

 Our featured article, “Obtaining a Bank Loan; Step-by-Step,” explores the process of attaining a line of credit. A loan can help an association ensure they have necessary funding to navigate through an emergency, whether it be due to the coronavirus, hurricane season, or otherwise. We live in an age where the lack of civility has become […]

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“Can Pool Remain Closed?,” Naples Daily News

Q: My condominium association board voted to close the swimming pool in late March due to the COVID-19 threat. A few days later Governor DeSantis signed the “Stay at Home” Order and specifically defined “swimming” as an essential activity. Does this mean that my condominium’s swimming pool closure is overturned by the Governor’s Order? R.W. […]

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Community Update – March 2020

  With a growing number of confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) cases throughout Florida and Governor DeSantis having issued a state of emergency, many are wondering what can be done. This month’s edition is focused on providing community association boards and managers with strategies that they can employ to help combat the spread of the virus. Know […]

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Community Update – February 2020

  This month, we shine a spotlight on some of the issues that boards contend with on a regular basis. From election procedures to collection policies and data breach prevention, we provide practical guidance to help steer you and your community in the right direction. Our first article, “Election Process – Part 2 of 2,” […]

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Episode 13: Disruptive Owners Interfering at Board Meetings – “Can They Do That?”

We have an owner at our board meetings who is a hothead and very disruptive. They want to keep attending the meetings even though they cause so much trouble. Find out the answer in this month’s episode! When it comes to association rules and bylaws, there seem to be more questions than answers. Becker’s video […]

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“Limit on Charging Transfer Fees? ,” Naples Daily News

Q: My condominium association imposes strict limitations on the rental of units.  The condominium documents include a requirement for the board to review and approve all proposed leases and tenants.  The condominium documents also permit the association to charge a fee up to the highest amount the law allows to cover the cost of the […]

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Community Update – January 2020

The start of the new year means election season for community associations across the state. To help alleviate some of the burden board’s may be feeling this time of year, we focus this month on answering some of the frequently asked questions we receive from communities about election dos and don’ts. Is a voting certificate […]

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“Are no pet restrictions enforceable?,” Naples Daily News

Q: I live in a condominium that does not allow pets of any kind, and never has allowed them.  One of the reasons I purchased a unit in this condominium is because I don’t like pets and I don’t want to be around them.  Last year my condo board allowed a new owner, who is […]

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“Should Extra Ballots be Counted?,” Naples Daily News

Q: My condominium association recently held its annual meeting and the election was quite close.  Only one vote separated the candidates for the last open director position.  The candidate that lost the election by one vote requested to review all the election materials, including the ballots.  He determined that three election ballots, all with votes […]

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Community Update – November 2019

As we prepare for the holidays and other year-end festivities, associations are also beginning to look ahead to the needs and demands of the coming year. This month’s edition explores some of the issues that associations may encounter from time to time and discusses best practices for putting your community’s best foot forward. If your […]

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Are Signed Condominium Election Ballots Valid?

For the most part, voting in a condominium election is supposed to be by secret ballot but many times owners sign their ballots. Does this invalidate the ballot? No, it does not. This issue was addressed in the arbitration case of Alvarez v. Club Atlantis Condominium Association, Inc. In this case an association rejected ballots […]

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“Can a Recalled Director Run Again?,” Naples Daily News

Q: I am an owner, living in a community with a homeowners’ association. I would like to know if a member of the board of directors who has been “recalled” (removed by a member vote) can run again for the board.  Our membership, following all the proper procedures outlined in Florida Statutes relating to the […]

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Episode 10: Amending Leasing Restrictions – “Can They Do That?”

Your association used to have leasing restrictions that allowed for annual rentals. They just changed the rules and now only seasonal rentals are permitted. “Can They Do That?” 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 […]

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Can Both Spouses Continue to Serve on the Board?

Sometimes spouses both take an active part in how their community functions. There is no prohibition on them serving on committees, but can they both serve on the board? They can, but only under certain circumstances. The first is if the condominium has less than 10 units. If that is the case, then regardless of […]

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“Notice of Annual Meeting Requirement,” Naples Daily News

Q: The manager of my condominium association sent out the first notice of annual meeting and election late.  Instead of sending out the first notice 60 days in advance of the annual meeting he sent the first notice out 55 days before.  When I raised my concern he said there likely won’t be enough candidates for […]

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Community Update – September 2019

As technology moves forward, community associations are becoming more and more self-sufficient. This is, at its core, a great thing. Associations can run their own websites and their own social media, among other activities. It’s important, however, that with this new freedom board members also remain informed on best practices. This month’s spotlight article, “Attorneys […]

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Adapting to Short-Term Rentals: What You Need to Know About Restrictions

Last month, our CUP touched on the fact that in the City of Miami Beach, illegal rentals might mean jail time. The problem, however, is not limited to beach front condominiums. Many single family home and townhome communities are facing similar issues. These homeowner associations, struggling with short term rental issues, want rental policies that […]

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“How much can be charged in transfer fees?,” Naples Daily News

Q: How much can a condominium association charge to review and approve a lease application received from a proposed annual renter?  Can the same fee be charged for a seasonal renter? G.F. A: Section 718.112(2)(i) of the Condominium Act states that no transfer fee shall be made by an association or its agent (e.g. management company) in connection […]

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“Can Both Spouses Continue to Serve on the Board?,” Naples Daily News

Q: My condominium association’s board is comprised of 8 board members, with directors serving 2-year terms.  At the 2018 Annual Meeting there were four persons who submitted their notice of intent to run for the board, including a husband and wife who jointly own one unit.  Since there was no election these four persons became […]

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Directors Voting – Dispelling Myths

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 […]

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“Recent Developments Concerning Director Term Limit Law,” Naples Daily News

Editor’s Note:  David G. Muller is a Board Certified Attorney in Condominium and Planned Development Law with Becker & Poliakoff, P.A., which represents community associations throughout Florida, with offices in Naples, Fort Myers and 10 other Florida cities.  The Firm focuses a substantial amount of its practice on condominium and homeowners association law.  Attorney Muller […]

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27 Becker Attorneys Board Certified in Condominium and Planned Development Law

  Becker’s Community Association practice group has been an industry leader since we opened our doors in 1973. Today, we’re proud to announce that we have the largest, dedicated team of Board Certified attorneys in Condominium and Planned Development Law in the state of Florida. Board certification demands rigorous testing and is in recognition of […]

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Community Update – May 2019

Association board members are tasked with acting in the best interest of their communities while also upholding the parameters set forth in their association’s governing documents. These documents are the cornerstone of association operations and often dictate everything from member rule enforcement to protocol for removing a delinquent officer. This month’s featured article, “Premises Liability […]

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What Can a Board Do about a Rude Officer or Director?

Most community association governing documents as well as applicable corporate statutes grant the board the right to appoint and remove officers. This is important when an officer proves to be prone to bad/rude behavior. The board likely has the right to vote to remove this individual as an officer (president, vice president, treasurer, secretary) at […]

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“Are Signed Election Ballots Valid?” Naples Daily News

Editor’s Note:  David G. Muller is a Board Certified Attorney in Condominium and Planned Development Law with Becker & Poliakoff, P.A., which represents community associations throughout Florida, with offices in Naples, Fort Myers and 10 other Florida cities.  The Firm focuses a substantial amount of its practice on condominium and homeowners association law.  Attorney Muller […]

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Community Update – April 2019

As most everyone knows, volunteering to serve on your community’s board can oftentimes be a thankless job. This month, we break down some of the rights and responsibilities that the position holds. In our featured article, “Can an Association Be Held Liable for Discriminatory Conduct of Residents?” we explore some of the questions that arise […]

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Community Update – March 2019

Happy spring! As we move into the new season, there’s no better time to start thinking about spring cleaning for your association!  Whether your association board has new members or your building is in need of maintenance, now is the time to make sure you’re on the right track for success. When strangers come together […]

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“Adopting Short Term Rental Restrictions,” Naples Daily News

Editor’s Note:  David G. Muller is a Board Certified Attorney in Condominium and Planned Development Law with Becker & Poliakoff, P.A., which represents community associations throughout Florida, with offices in Naples, Fort Myers and 10 other Florida cities.  The Firm focuses a substantial amount of its practice on condominium and homeowners association law.  Attorney Muller […]

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“Developments Regarding New Term Limit Law,” Naples Daily News

Editor’s Note:  David G. Muller is a Board Certified Attorney in Condominium and Planned Development Law with Becker & Poliakoff, P.A., which represents community associations throughout Florida, with offices in Naples, Fort Myers and 10 other Florida cities.  The Firm focuses a substantial amount of its practice on condominium and homeowners association law.  Attorney Muller […]

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Community Update – February 2019

This month’s update is all about lowering your risk profile. Read on for a playbook of best practices and procedures that your association should be aware of when dealing with difficult situations such as tenant enforcement actions, insurance company lawsuits, sexual harassment claims, and more. Our featured article, Enforcement Tool Belt – Fining and Suspension, […]

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Community Update – January 2019

Welcome to 2019! We hope that your year is off to a wonderful start. In this issue we hit the ground running so that you can rest assured your association is beginning the new year on a high note. Don’t commit a party foul! This month’s featured article, Performing Rights for Organizations and Associations, digs […]

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Penalties for Financial Reporting Violations

In 2018, the Florida Legislature revised a provision within the Condominium Act concerning financial reporting.  Specifically, if a condominium association fails to comply with a request from the Division of Condominiums, Timeshares and Mobile Homes (the “Division”) regarding providing a unit owner with a copy of the annual financial report, the condominium association, as a […]

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Community Update – December 2018

As 2018 comes to a close, we look back at a selection of our most popular Community Update articles. From changes in law to navigating and implementing rules for your association, here are the top five most read articles from this year. For those concerned with regulating smoking in the common areas of your association, Smoking […]

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Procedure To Convert To Pooled Reserves

Q: Can a condominium association board vote to convert from straight-line reserves to pooled reserves without a membership vote?  R.F. via e-mail A: “Cash flow” funding of condominium reserves, often referred to as the “pooling” method of reserve funding, is a concept that was introduced many years ago through an amendment to the state’s administrative […]

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Community Update – November 2018

Recent updates to the laws and regulations governing association operations are making an impact. In this issue we aim to provide you with the necessary tools and information to move your association forward into the New Year. As of July 1, 2018, condominium associations must now maintain records of their meeting minutes forever. Our first […]

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Community Update – October 2018

Fear not! We’ve got nothing here to scare you. Rather than something spooky on Halloween, we’re aiming for items that are helpful to clarify or ease the board member or management responsibilities you have for your community. So yes, it’s a treat! Our first article, Term Limit Law Continues to Spark Controversy, takes a look […]

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Community Update – September 2018

Of course it doesn’t feel like it in Florida but autumn is officially here, which means before you know it breathing outdoors will be possible again. This of course means more and more comfortable time outdoors, more residents back to living in your association and with it all – more risk. That’s why in this […]

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Is a Bid Required?

Certain contracts entered into by a condominium association require competitive bidding. Section 718.3026(1) of the Florida Condominium Act requires competitive bidding for contracts related to the purchase, lease, or renting of materials or equipment, or for the provision of services, which require payment by the association which (in the aggregate) exceeds 5% of the total […]

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Community Update – August 2018

With back-to-school season in full swing we don’t want you to miss out on your share of continuing education – certainly not when it comes to the board member or management responsibilities you have for your community. After all, why should the kids have all the fun? In this issue, we aim to provide you […]

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Who is Responsible for Electrical Wiring and Plumbing Repairs?

Disputes over maintenance, repair and replacement responsibilities are common in community associations and a well drafted declaration or amendment to the declaration can help prevent disputes over who (owner or association) is responsible for a specific item of maintenance. Regarding how to interpret your existing condominium documents, the unit boundaries will be defined within the […]

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Community Update – July 2018

Summer is here in full dew point oppression, and while many people take this time to vacate the area, many managers and board members are hard at work with the day-to-day operations and maintenance of Florida’s communities. In this issue, we hope to make some of that work a bit easier. Our featured article, There’s […]

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