Thursday, June 27, 2013

What is an estoppel letter?

Most owners know that when they want to buy or sell their unit or house that they need to contact the community association, or its attorney, to get an estoppel letter.  Both the Florida Condominium Act and Florida Chapter regarding homeowners associations specifically devote sections to estoppel letters a/k/a certificates of assessments. See 718.116(8) and 720.30851. But what does an estoppel letter do, why is is needed, what's required to be in the estoppel letter, and why is it called "estoppel" anyways? through to read on.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Bankruptcy filed by condo what???

An owner in our community filed for bankruptcy...what can and should we do?  Even though the worst of the real estate crisis is behind us, this is still a common question facing association boards. Ever heard of an "automatic stay?" How about the owner doesn't want to pay assessments because they "surrendered" the property to the bank? Or, had an owner say "I don't have to pay assessments anymore because I filed for bankruptcy?" Click on the jump for a complete tutorial on bankruptcy for community associations....

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Impact of the 2013 Florida Legislative Session / New Laws Relevant to Associations

All of the major bills passed by the Florida Legislature have now been signed into law by Florida Governor Scott. These bills include House Bill 73 - Residential Properties, House Bill 87 - Mortgage Foreclosure, House Bill 7119 - Homeowner's Associations, and House Bill 77 - Landlords Tenants.  Below is a brief summary including the key points of each bill along with commentary regarding the pro/cons and practical implications of each bill....

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Selective Enforcement of Rules and Waiver of Covenants

What do you mean I can't build a fence??.... my neighbor has a fence!

You waived late fees for them....why can't you waive late fees for me???

I can't have a sign on my truck??? my neighbor has a sign on their truck, they just aren't here during the day so people don't see it.

There are many examples of situations when the uniformity of enforcing rules is put into question. This post will address what a Board should do to maintain rules and regulations, what happens when a Board has been enforcing rules against some and not others, and how to reestablish those rules that haven't been enforced.

Monday, June 10, 2013

What to do when a board member resigns?

Be around an association long enough and you will at some point face the resignation of a board member.  Board members resign for reasons ranging from the innocent (like selling a unit or lack of time to devote to the association) to the contentious (a heated argument amongst directors leads to a resignation). Click though to read how and when to fill the vacancy of an officer or director of an association...

Governor signs Foreclosure Bill (HB 87) - What it means for your association?

On Friday, June 7, Governor Scott signed House Bill 87 (HB 87) relating to Mortgage Foreclosures into law. What this mean for your association and a new weapon to fight stalled mortgage foreclosures.... 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Guide to Pet Ownership/Restrictions in Condominium

There's hardly a more emotionally charged and contentious issues than regulating pet ownership in a community.  According to the Human Society, 39% of American homes have at least one dog and 33% have at least one cat. Yet, due to close proximity of condo style living, it's difficult to have an unregulated pet policy without infringing on the rights of non-pet owning individuals in the community. Click the jump to find tips for implementing an effective pet ownership policy and how to enforce those policies.....

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

3 Keys For Collecting Past Due Assessments

Every community association at one time or another deals with collecting past due assessments. Whether the owner isn't paying assessments due to financial constraints, they're withholding payment because of a disagreement with the board, or they've abandoned responsibilities for the property, click through to find 3 keys to collecting unpaid assessments.....