Both Florida Statutes Chapters 718 and 720 require newly elected condominium and homeowners’ association board members to read their association’s governing documents and certify in writing that they will fulfill the obligations of their office. In lieu of such certification, new board members may complete an education curriculum administered by a division-approved education provider within 90 days of their election. Continue reading
Due to its climate, Florida – the “Sunshine State” – is ideally situated to take advantage of unlimited and environmentally friendly solar energy. In the last two decades, the price of solar collectors has dropped significantly in cost and many individual homeowners are now finding solar panels to be a cost-effective method to reduce their home energy costs. Although solar energy collection technology which will blend seamlessly into our homes and office buildings is on the horizon, today’s commercially available solar collectors are typically bulky and, as a result, highly visible. The high visibility of the solar collectors often leads community associations to adopt measures seeking to limit, or eliminate altogether, the ability of homeowners to install solar collectors on their property. However, Florida Law provides substantial protection to homeowners wishing to install solar collectors and other renewable energy devices on their properties. Specifically, Florida Statutes § 163.04(2) provides: Continue reading
As you may be aware, the deadline for condominium associations to vote to forego retrofitting with a fire sprinkler system is rapidly approaching.
Section 718.112(2)(l), Florida Statutes, requires certain condominium associations to retrofit their common elements, association property, and units with a fire sprinkler system in accordance with Chapter 633 (“Florida’s Fire Prevention Code”) and any other code, statute, ordinance, administrative rule, or regulation relating to a fire sprinkler system. Compliance may require substantial costs. To the extent an association falls within the statutory requirement to retrofit its fire sprinkler system and does not desire to undertake such project, the association can opt out of the requirement to retrofit. Continue reading
Frequently, the governing documents of condominium associations contain limitations on the ability of owners to lease or sell their property, such as provisions requiring owners to obtain the Association’s approval before such leases or sales may take place. Although these provisions are often very important to the association’s ability to protect its members’ happiness and property values, associations should be aware of certain drawbacks when considering the inclusion of such limitations in their governing documents. Continue reading
Many community associations are presented with requests for accommodating service animals and emotional support animals. It can be difficult to navigate through the various laws. There are specific obligations required of housing providers under the Fair Housing Act (“FHA”) and, if applicable, the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). Continue reading
Generally speaking, condominium associations have the legal obligation to maintain insurance on all of the condominium improvements, with some exceptions. Chapter 718 of the Florida Statutes (the “Condominium Act”), expressly excludes the following from an association’s insurance responsibility:
[A]ll personal property within the unit or limited common elements, and floor, wall, and ceiling coverings, electrical fixtures, appliances, water heaters, water filters, built-in cabinets and countertops, and window treatments, including curtains, drapes, blinds, hardware, and similar window treatment components, or replacements of any of the foregoing which are located within the boundaries of the unit and serve only such unit. Such property and any insurance thereupon is the responsibility of the unit owner. Continue reading
Jonathan Ellis, Partner and Community Associations Practice Administrator was named Top Lawyer by Tampa Magazine in Community Association Law.
Jonathan’s litigation experience includes handling matters in the areas of general commercial litigation, arbitration, business disputes, health care, professional malpractice, real estate litigation, collection and appeals. Continue reading