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Condominium and Homeowners’ Associations Should Coordinate with Legal Counsel Before Obtaining Loans

January 5th, 2018

Posted in Condominium & Homeowner Association Law

The past two hurricane seasons have resulted in many problems that Florida condominium associations, homeowners’ associations, and their managers are experiencing for the first time. Some problems include finding contractors to repair damaged property, negotiating a fair payment with the association’s insurers, and determining how to pay for repairs not covered by insurance (e.g., deductibles).  Associations that do not have sufficient reserve funds to cover the full costs of repairing the damaged property often have limited options to pay for repairs: either levy a special assessment against the members or obtain a loan (or both).  
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Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

December 22nd, 2017

Posted in IRS & Tax Information

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has now made its way through Congress and is awaiting signature from the President to become law. Since the Act generally gives a tax break to most people, it is expected to add $1.5 trillion to the deficit over the next ten years.  A law enacted in 2010, called PAYGO, requires such a large deficit created by a bill to be offset by spending reductions.  Currently, these cuts would require $150 billion in cuts for 2018, including a $25 billion cut to Medicare.  Congress would either have to change this law to avoid these cuts, or the President can delay the cuts by signing early next year.  However, Congress is currently working to pass a spending bill to prevent a government shutdown, and a waiver concerning PAYGO is in this spending bill, so we may see this Act become law in 2017.
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Financial Reporting Requirements for Community Associations

December 8th, 2017

Posted in Condominium & Homeowner Association Law

Condominium, cooperative, and homeowner associations have financial reporting requirements for each fiscal year.  Specifically, associations must prepare and complete a financial report within 90 days after the end of the fiscal year, or annually on a date provided in the bylaws.
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IRS Scam Phone Calls

November 27th, 2017

Posted in General Practice,IRS & Tax Information

In the past few years, the IRS has continued to see instances of scammers who are targeting victims by telephone.  The scammers make aggressive and threatening phone calls to individuals, claiming that a warrant is out for his or her arrest for unpaid taxes.
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Deadline Reminder – Website Requirement for Condominium Associations

November 10th, 2017

Posted in Condominium & Homeowner Association Law

Pursuant to the recent laws passed during the 2017 legislative session, Florida condominium associations with 150 or more units that do not manage timeshare units must have an independent website or web portal to post digital copies of various official records by July 1, 2018
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Buyer Beware of Ghosts: Does a Seller Have to Disclose Whether a House is Allegedly Haunted?

October 27th, 2017

Posted in General Practice,Real Estate Law

Each year, people visit St. Augustine to experience the rich history that comes with being the Nation’s Oldest City.  Visitors flock to learn about any number of our City’s offerings: the Castillo de San Marcos, which is the oldest masonry fort in in the continental U.S.; the Oldest Wooden School House; or Flagler College, built in 1888 as a luxury hotel for Henry Morrison Flagler.  But as any local will tell you, no visit to St. Augustine is complete without a good ghost story or two along the way.
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Once Bitten, Twice Sued! Homeowners’ Associations may be Held Liable for Dog Bites on Common Areas

October 13th, 2017

Posted in Bankruptcy Information

Pet restrictions are prevalent in condominium and homeowners’ association governing documents.  Some restrict dog breed types, such as Pit Bulls, Doberman Pinschers, Rottweilers, and German Shepherds, and others restrict animals based on weight.  Many people, including some who are unfamiliar with the risks associated with injuries caused by pets, question the rationale for restricting dog breeds or imposing weight limits.  This brief article discusses an association’s potential for liability and some steps an association may consider to mitigate risks associated with members’ dogs.
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Estate Planning: When is it a Good Time to Start?

September 29th, 2017

Posted in Estate & Personal Planning

There are a lot of misconceptions about estate planning.  One of the major ones is that it is not necessary or important to do until later in life.  I can understand that mindset, because I previously had similar thoughts.  However, after practicing in the estate planning field, I can tell you from experience that waiting on creating an estate plan is not a prudent course of action and can result in a lot of agony, frustration, and economic loss for your loved ones. In this post, we explore how estate planning can be useful over the various stages and circumstances of life.
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