Becker & Poliakoff


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Webinar: Out with the Old and In with the New: Upgrading Your Community Association Documents

 Operating a community association with outdated governing documents is risky business. Your documents should be updated to stay current with the law and the operation as it has evolved under unit owner control, not under developer control. Also, there is a benefit to clarity in the documents, particularly as regards the allocation of maintenance […]

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Backyard Storage Woes: Does the New Backyard Storage Statute Apply to Your Homeowners Association?

While there has been a lot of buzz about changes made in the 2023 Florida Legislative Session to laws affecting our Association clients, one potentially important change has been largely overlooked. The seemingly innocuous flag bill – House Bill (HB) 437 — creates the new Florida Statute 720.3045 prohibiting homeowners’ associations from regulating certain backyard storage.

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“Voting Requirements After Merger Questioned” – News-Press

Q: In your previous column from 2022, it clearly addresses which documents control in the example of when a sub-association’s documents are stricter than the master. Which documents prevail in the following situation? My community had a master association and also four smaller sub-association. The sub association declarations have a 75 percent approval requirement by […]

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Take It To The Board: Lessons in Leadership – A Discussion with Becker’s Managing Partner, Gary Rosen

For more episodes of Take It To The Board, click here! Get set for an insightful exchange as host Donna DiMaggio Berger dives into the world of effective leadership with guest, Gary C. Rosen, Managing Shareholder and the commanding force behind Becker & Poliakoff. Donna and Gary discuss what leadership truly means, and the qualities one must possess to […]

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“Emergency Voting by E-mail Questioned” – News-Press

Q: I am on the board of my condominium association, and we are in the process of repairing our building following damage from Hurricane Ian last year. The board of directors must make numerous decisions regarding the reconstruction process. To facilitate the reconstruction, the board has been using an online system where each board member […]

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“Florida Anti-Mandate Law About Masks, Vaccinations Imperils Senior Communities” – The Palm Beach Post

In her Op-Ed, “Florida anti-mandate law about masks, vaccinations imperils senior communities” published in the August 25, 2023, Palm Beach Post, Becker Community Practice Group Shareholder Donna DiMaggio Berger weighs in on how a new Florida law effectively ties the hands of community associations that want to keep their common areas safe and open during […]

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“Where Is the Money Coming From?” – Florida Community Association Journal

With all the new laws, especially for buildings three stories in height or higher, along with reserve funding requirements, condominium living has just gotten a lot more expensive. With only one steady source of income, namely the assessments paid on a monthly or quarterly basis from unit owners, sometimes those funds are just not enough […]

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Community Update – August 2023

Hurricane Idalia is reported to be the worst hurricane to make landfall in Florida’s Big Bend in 100 years. Our hearts are with everyone affected and we are always here to help. Our website contains a significant amount of educational information for your community. Should your property incur damage, the firm’s affiliated public adjusting company, Association […]

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You May Be Able to Extend Your Permit Expiration Dates Due to Hurricane Idalia – Here’s How

As Hurricane Idalia heads for Florida’s Gulf Coast, some property owners, developers, construction industry professionals, and other building permit- and authorization-holders may be eligible for extensions to preserve their development and construction rights. A Florida law allows certain qualifying permits and authorizations to be extended beyond their current expiration dates once the Governor issues a […]

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Housing For Older Persons

In 1968 the Federal Fair Housing Act (also known as Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act) was enacted to prohibit discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Subsequently, in 1988 the Act was amended to add discrimination based on disability and family status and in 1995 the Housing for Older Persons […]

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Take It To The Board: Medical Marijuana and ESA Trends – Checking in Again with FHA Expert JoAnn Nesta Burnett

For more episodes of Take It To The Board, click here! Are you confused about whether your board can stop residents from smoking marijuana in your community even if they claim it is for medical purposes? Join Donna DiMaggio Berger and guest JoAnn Nesta Burnett, Shareholder at Becker, as they unravel the intricacies of marijuana use within community […]

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Keeping Your HOA’s Covenants Alive

The Marketable Record Title Act’s (MRTA) purpose is to extinguish old interests and use restrictions on lands and to allow for land sales to be completed more easily and with less expense. Unfortunately, aged homeowners’ association covenants are amongst the interests that can be extinguished by MRTA, and preventing such extinguishment is a very important […]

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Can Anything Be Done About Solar Panels?

If you are living in a homeowners association you probably know that the Association cannot prohibit the installation of solar panels (or “solar collectors”). But what about a request to install such devices on the roof of a condominium? Section 163.04, Florida Statutes, provides: A deed restriction, covenant, declaration, or similar binding agreement may not […]

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Jennifer Biletnikoff Quoted on

Are board members allowed to attend violation hearings? What should be the appropriate response when condo/HOA owners request contract access? Additionally, as EV chargers are becoming more popular in community associations, what essential information should your association be aware of when considering the installation of charging stations? In the latest series of articles and questions […]

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No Pets In Publix

Upon my weekly visit to Publix supermarket recently, I was met with very large signs stating: “No Pets Allowed. This Includes Emotional Support Animals.” Well, technically, emotional support animals are not “pets,” but I get what Publix is trying to do. Animals and food just don’t mix. They are cracking down on animals being brought […]

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“Legislature Limits HOA Rental Amendments” – News-Press

Q: Is a homeowners’ association permitted to adopt amendments changing the leasing rights of owners in the community? I was recently told that the statute was changed, and rental restriction amendments are no longer permitted. Is this correct? (W.K., via e-mail) A: Not exactly. Chapter 720 of the Florida Statutes is called the Florida Homeowners’ […]

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2024 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America Recognizes 34 Becker Attorneys

The 2024 edition of The Best Lawyers in America®, one of the oldest and most revered peer review publications, recognizes 34 Becker attorneys across the Firm’s practices. Our own Steven B. Lesser, was also recognized as Lawyer of the Year, a distinction based on the highest overall peer feedback for their specialty and location. Lesser […]

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Take It To The Board: Legal Resilience – Fostering A Growth Mindset for Lawyers Amidst Mental Health Realities with Professor Marcia Narine Weldon, Director of Transactional Skills Program and Lecturer at the University of Miami School of Law

For more episodes of Take It To The Board, click here! Does being an attorney make you unhappy? Could the legal profession be the root cause of your stress? Join host Donna DiMaggio Berger and guest Professor Marcia Narine Weldon as they pull back the curtain on the high-pressure legal industry, exploring its impact on mental health and offering […]

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“Association Borrowing Questioned” – News-Press

Q: The board of directors of my condominium association has been discussing taking out a loan to pay for major repairs to our condominium building. To my knowledge, our association has never borrowed money before. It seems to me that for such a serious undertaking, a vote of our owners should be required. Is a […]

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“Insurance Proceeds Should Be Bonded” – News-Press

Q: My condominium association is in the process of renewing its insurance policies and our insurance agent advised that we needed a fidelity bond policy with a higher limit for the coming year because of the insurance proceeds the association received following Hurricane Ian. Why would we need higher limits on our fidelity bond? (W.K, […]

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“Protecting The Financial Well-Being Of Your Association” – Florida Community Association Journal

The financial well-being of any association is based on the proper adoption and collection of assessments. Assessments are the lifeblood of the community and how an association pays for the maintenance and upkeep of the community. Without proper adoption and collection of assessments, communities can fall into disarray and struggle to provide services to their […]

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Take It To The Board: We’re Having a Heat Wave – The Physical and Mental Impacts from Extreme Heat and What Your Community Should Do with Dr. Jason Mansour, Medical Director at Broward Health Medical Center’s Emergency Department

For more episodes of Take It To The Board, click here! Brace yourself for a deep dive into the hot issues surrounding extreme summer heat with host, Donna DiMaggio Berger, and guest Dr. Jason Mansour, Medical Director at Broward Health Medical Center’s Emergency Department. Together, they discuss the physical and mental impact of extreme heat events. This […]

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“So, You Received a Written Inquiry” – FCAP Managers Report

So, your community association received correspondence that requests answers to certain questions. You may have just received what is also referred to as a “written inquiry.” What to do? First and foremost, you should always ensure that the Board of Directors and legal counsel of your community association are promptly advised of the receipt of […]

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Community Update – July 2023

The 2023 Legislative Session brought significant changes for community associations in Florida. In this issue, we aim to provide you with a thorough review and understanding of these new laws. From multifamily property safety to the preparation and response of natural disasters, we provide practical tips to help you understand these new changes. Don’t miss our featured podcast episode, […]

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