Becker grew out of its pioneering role creating the law pertaining to the operation of common ownership housing. Many of the leading cases in the field bear the firm’s name. Our attorneys are recognized as individual leaders in the field through published works, public service, legislative activities, and industry group leadership positions. Several attorneys are members of the prestigious College of Community Association Lawyers (CCAL). In Florida, Becker has the largest, dedicated team of Board Certified attorneys in Condominium and Planned Development Law among any firm in the state.
The attorneys in the Community Association Law Practice Group cover the entire spectrum of legal counseling of condominium, cooperative, time shares and homeowners’ associations. In addition, the practice group provides counseling to country clubs, master associations and owners’ ad hoc committees. Each attorney plays an integral part in their client’s professional team – assisting the Board and management prepare for and conduct meetings, answering questions about documents and the pertinent law, enforcing the covenants and restrictions, and drafting and negotiating contracts for the provision of services.
Each client is assigned a Community Association attorney who is primarily responsible for providing legal counsel to the officers and directors, as well as the manager, on the operation of the association. The association’s attorney also serves as a liaison between the client and other attorneys in the firm to ensure that all the association’s legal needs are being met by attorneys who practice exclusively in those specialized areas.
Among the types of services routinely provided to community association clients are the following:
- Legal counsel in the application of state and local law and court rulings and administrative decisions impacting the operation of Community Associations.
- Compliance with applicable Federal laws, such as the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the Fair Housing laws, and the Employment Discrimination laws, as well as similar state and local statutes and ordinances.
- Interpretation, amendment, and enforcement of the governing documents — Declaration of Condominium, Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions, the Articles of Incorporation, the Bylaws of the Association and the rules and regulations.
- Answering day-to-day questions regarding operational, technical, regulatory, and practical issues.
- Advising on hurricane preparation, protection and counsel on recovery and rebuilding efforts.
- Assisting the Board of Directors on fiscal matters such as budgeting, levying special assessments, and establishing reserves.
- Addressing maintenance and repair issues and distinguishing between those projects which require Board approval and those which require unit owner approval.
- Drafting and reviewing contracts for the management, maintenance, repair and operation of the community.
- Assisting in planning and developing contracts for construction projects and complying with construction lien laws.
- The collection of delinquent assessments.
- Counseling owners’ ad-hoc committees in the pre-transition phase of the Community’s evolution.
- Providing legal counsel for post-transition, unit owner-controlled associations on developer issues, including the resolution of warranty, accounting and representation claims, and the establishment of on-going operational controls.
- Reviewing loan documents and structuring commercial lines of credit and/or arranging sources of financing for recreation lease purchases, capital improvements, etc.
COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION RESOURCES
Our team values innovation. Our development of MyCommunitySite.com, a website service for community associations and an important tool for disseminating information to members, is the perfect example of our commitment to bringing innovative products to market on behalf of our community association clients and friends. This tool is very useful to those in the community association space, as is our proprietary online voting software, BeckerBALLOT.com, which was formerly known as BPBallot.com. This e-voting software is used throughout Florida to facilitate and increase member participation in association votes.
Did you know that Becker provides over 200 educational classes per year on a variety of topics ranging from board member certification to compliance, and everything in between? Our most popular classes are now available online!
Commitment to Communication
The firm publishes a newsletter, Community Update, containing articles on developments in Community Association law, notes on significant case decisions, helpful tips on the business aspect of Association operations, and details on changes in legislation and administrative decisions.
The Florida Condo & HOA Law Blog provides readers with up-to-date analysis of issues affecting associations in Florida. With many years of cumulative experience, our blog authors are community association attorneys who help to keep you apprised of important issues affecting your community. Want to receive updates? You can subscribe here!
Community Association Podcast
Think you know what community association life is all about? Think again. Residents must obey the rules, directors must follow the law, and managers must keep it all running smoothly. Take It To the Board explores the reality of life in a condominium, cooperative or homeowners’ association, what’s really involved in serving on its board, and how to maintain that ever-so-delicate balance of being legally compliant and community spirited. Leading community association attorney Donna DiMaggio Berger acknowledges the balancing act without losing her sense of humor as she talks with a variety of association leaders, experts, and vendors about the challenges and benefits of the community association lifestyle.
The Community Association Leadership Lobby (“CALL”) is a statewide advocacy group which represents the interests of our over 4,000 community association clients. CALL provides information, education and other tools through the CALL website and email alerts to keep its members up to date on issues and legislation that impact them and their communities. Through the Legislator Connect tool on the website, a CALL member can contact all 160 members of the Florida Legislature to convey his or her opinion on a particular bill with just the click of a button. CALL has established a strong reputation with legislators and public opinion leaders as a credible voice for the ever increasing number of Floridians living in common ownership housing. The website is accessible by each community association by using its assigned firm matter number as the password to log on to the site.
Every community association will experience a significant property damage claim at some point during its lifespan. In addition to windstorms, fires and floods there are the everyday water leaks with which volunteer boards and managers must contend. While it is reasonable to believe that after years of dutifully paying your insurance premiums your damage claims will be paid quickly and in full, the reality is often quite different.
Time-strapped volunteer board members and managers are at a significant disadvantage while trying to shepherd an insurance claim on their own. And the insurance company’s adjuster is not there to help you maximize your claim-in fact, it is the opposite. The insurance company’s adjuster is there to minimize or even deny your claim if possible. Our team intimately knows your business and will fight hard to maximize your insurance payout.
Association Adjusting is a licensed and insured Public Adjusting Firm led by Joseph “Joe” Connelly (#E157037), an advocate for insurance consumers for more than a decade. Mr. Connelly has served as Executive Board Officer for the Florida Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (FAPIA).
Recognized as an authority in the community association industry, Association Adjusting has the expertise and experience to help you achieve the most favorable outcome possible.
Related Statutes and Administrative Codes
Practice Group Chair
Related Areas of Practice
- Collections & Foreclosure
- Community Association Leadership Lobby (CALL)
- Community Association Litigation & Covenant Enforcement
- Corporate Representation
- Disaster Recovery
- Florida Community Association
- Local Government
- New Jersey Community Association
- Premises Liability
- Pre-Suit Mediation Practice
- Property Insurance Claims
- Technology / Telecommunications
- Trademarking & Logo Creation
- “Board Workshops Covered by Sunshine Law” – News-Press
- “Can a Married Couple Both Serve on the Board?” – Naples Daily News
- “Management of Community Amenities, Landscaping, and Pests” – FCAP Managers Report
- Take It To the Board: Taxes, Taxes, and . . . Fewer Taxes with Marty Kiar, Broward County Property Appraiser, Part II
- “‘Estoppel’ Fee Explained” – News-Press
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