During transfers of properties in condominiums or other planned communities, community associations are frequently contacted by prospective buyers, lenders or realtors with requests for information pertinent to the transfer. Often, these requests seek detailed information about a broad range of topics related to the condition and operation of the community. Complying with such requests can become extremely time-consuming for directors or property managers tasked with preparing the responses. Fortunately, community associations are not required to provide any information to prospective buyers, lenders, or realtors under Florida law. Continue reading
Does your homeowners association require nominations from the floor for an election to the board of directors? Recent changes to the Florida Statutes governing homeowners associations have given some associations the right to forego accepting nominations from the floor during an election of board members. However, your association should analyze its governing documents for compliance with the statutory requirements prior to refusing to accept nominations from the floor. Continue reading
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