We are frequently retained by homeowners associations and condominium associations who have just undergone transition/turnover from developer control to control by the unit owners other than the developer. Two of the first questions we ask them are 1) what amenities and other common elements does the association own or is it required to maintain; and 2) has the association, in consultation with an engineer or other expert, inspected the common elements to ensure they are free from defects? We ask these questions right up front during our initial consultation because of Florida’s Statute of Limitations and Statute of Repose, which limit the time within which the Association may pursue recovery of expenses for needed repairs to the common elements from the developer or other individuals or entities arising from the improper design or construction. (Note: Applicable Statutes of Limitations and Repose differ according to the nature of the claim – this article focuses only on construction and design defect claims). Continue reading “What Every HOA and Condo in Transition/Turnover Should Know About Florida’s Statutes of Limitations and Repose”
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On March 23, 2018, Governor Scott approved House Bill 841, amending a number of statutes regulating community associations. The following is a summary of House Bill 841 by topic:
Are subsequent title holders who obtain an interest in real property during the pendency of a foreclosure lawsuit where a lis pendens has been properly recorded (referred to as a “Purchaser Pendente Lite”), entitled to join in the lawsuit to protect that interest? In Bonafide Properties v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., 198 So.3d 694 (2d DCA 2016) the Second District Court of Appeal says no and affirms the long standing doctrine of generally barring the intervention of a purchaser pendente lite in a pending lawsuit for foreclosure. Continue reading “Two’s Company, but Three’s a Crowd: A Third Party’s Right to Intervene in a Foreclosure Lawsuit”
Restrictive endorsements when coupled with payment are still applicable to associations.
As many may remember, The Florida Legislature amended Florida Statutes §718.116 and §720.3085 to include language relating to the applicability of restrictive endorsements, designations or instruction accompanying payments made for delinquent assessments. Specifically, Florida Statutes §718.116(3) and §720.3085(3)(b) state as follows: Continue reading “Restrictive Endorsement”
Effective July 1, 2016, § 83.683, Florida Statutes, requires landlords, condominium associations, cooperative associations and homeowners associations to process rental applications submitted by service members within seven days of submission. Within that seven day period, the landlord or association must notify the service member in writing of an application approval or denial and, if denied, the reason for the denial. If a rental application submitted by a service member is not timely denied, the landlord or the association must allow the lease to the service member if he or she has complied with all other terms of the application and lease. The statute applies to all “Service members,” which means any person serving as a member of the United States Armed Forces on active duty or state active duty and all members of the Florida National Guard and United States Reserve Forces. Continue reading “Limitations on Community Association Approval or Denial of Service Member Rental Applications”
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 “Limitations on Community Association-Imposed Solar and Renewable Energy Restrictions”
In order to avoid adverse tax consequences, community associations should consider conducting a vote to apply surplus funds in their operating budgets at the end of their fiscal year to the budgets for their next fiscal year.
The two common tax return filing options for associations are form 1120, referred to as the corporate income tax return, and form 1120-H, which is used by associations to take advantage of certain tax benefits that allow associations to exclude certain income (membership dues, fees, or assessments) from their gross, taxable income. Associations should consult with their accountants to determine which type of tax return they will file, as there are different qualifications and benefits for each. Continue reading “When do community associations need to vote to roll over surplus funds to the next fiscal year?”
In recent years, community associations across Florida have encountered difficulties in collecting assessments and other outstanding amounts from delinquent homeowners. Often, the delinquent units are leased to third-parties as a source of income for their owners despite the owners’ non-payment of amounts owed, which can be especially frustrating for a community association. Although tenants are not obligated to pay amounts owed by their landlords under most community associations’ governing documents, the Florida Legislature has provided both Chapter 720 Homeowners Associations and Chapter 718 Condominium Associations with multiple statutory avenues to intervene and recover rent directly from the tenants. Continue reading “Community Associations’ Recovery of Rent from Delinquent Tenants and Owners”