Are your Declaration’s lease and sale approval provisions enforceable?

Clinton Morrell

Clinton Morrell

Two of the fundamental purposes of a community association are to provide an enjoyable place for its members to live and to protect the value of its members’ properties. In furtherance of these goals, many community associations’ declarations include provisions limiting or requiring pre-approval from the association before a member may lease or sell his unit, so that the prospective purchasers or tenants can be screened to ensure compatibility with the community. While these provisions are generally “recognized as a valid means of insuring the association’s ability to control the composition of the [community] as a whole,” Aquarium Foundation, Inc. v. Sholom House, Inc., 448 So.2d 1166, 1167 (Fla. 3d DCA), in some cases Florida courts have refused to enforce them as an “unreasonable restraint on alienation.” Continue reading

Consideration of a first mortgagee’s “safe harbor” request

Davis_Jason

Jason Davis

As Florida courts continue to work through the backlog of first mortgage foreclosures (referred to in that way due to their first or priority lien position on the property), it becomes increasingly important for associations to thoroughly review the first mortgagee’s entitlement to the “safe harbor” provisions of Florida Statutes when responding to estoppel requests. For Homeowners’ Associations, the relevant language is included in the Homeowners’ Association Act, Fla. Stat. §720.3085(2)(c), which provides that: Continue reading