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.
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.
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. Additionally, the firm sponsors many free educational seminars throughout the State on various topics related to the management and operation of community associations.
The Florida Condominium & HOA Law Blog
Find insightful analysis of current issues on our blog. The vast combined knowledge of the firm’s community association attorneys is shared with you to keep you and your community informed. Log on and subscribe to receive updates as they happen. Click here www.floridacondohoalawblog.com.
CALL — 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 (www.callbp.com) 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.
The website provides:
- the name and contact information for the community’s State Representative and State Senator;
- useful links to important information such as House and Senate websites, Becker’s disaster recovery site, and governmental agencies such as FEMA;
- categorizes the legislative bills based on subject matter and the type of common interest ownership community;
- provides press coverage from around the State concerning common interest ownership issues and much more.
Related Statutes and Administrative Codes
Practice Group Chair
- “Director Term Limit Law Development,” Naples Daily News
- “Maintenance of Structure Usually Association Responsibility,” News-Press
- Donna DiMaggio Berger Addresses Service Animal/ESA Challenge for Community Associations
- “Special Taxing Districts Explained,” News-Press
- Legislative Changes on the Horizon
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