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Condominium & Homeowner Association Law

Once Bitten, Twice Sued! Homeowners’ Associations may be Held Liable for Dog Bites on Common Areas

October 13th, 2017

Posted in Condominium & Homeowner Association Law

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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Post-Hurricane Irma Cleanup and Safety Tips for Community Associations

September 15th, 2017

Posted in Condominium & Homeowner Association Law,General Practice,Real Estate Law

As communities in Northeast Florida work toward recovering from Hurricane Irma, we would like to share a few important reminders for condominium, cooperative and homeowner associations. While the task of repairing and cleanup is extensive, communities should be on the lookout for the following “scams”:

  • Beware of government “officials” coming to your community offering to perform inspections. Require documentation and contact information from any such individual.
  • Many out of state “contractors” appear offering to do a free inspection of a roof or common areas and common elements. Ask for their licensing and contact information before entering into any contract for work.
  • Do not execute an Assignment of Benefits (“AOB”) without first contacting your insurance agent and attorney.
  • Beware of any contractor requiring a large down payment for “supplies”.


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Condominium and Homeowners’ Associations may Contract with Municipality or County to Regulate Traffic on Private Roads within the Community

July 21st, 2017

Posted in Condominium & Homeowner Association Law

Encouraging residents in condominium and homeowners’ associations to safely drive their vehicles while in the community can be difficult for many associations.  If the streets within the community are public streets, or streets owned by a county or municipality, the association can contact law enforcement and request an increase in patrolling.  However, if the streets are private, or owned by the association or other non-governmental entity, law enforcement may not have the authority to regulate traffic within the community absent an agreement with the association. 
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Natural Disaster Planning and Management for Condominium and Homeowners Associations

June 23rd, 2017

Posted in Condominium & Homeowner Association Law

Is your condominium or homeowners association properly prepared for a natural disaster event such as a hurricane?  The Atlantic hurricane season officially began on June 1st of this year and will continue until November 30th. While September is usually the most active month for tropical activity, last year’s Hurricane Matthew demonstrates that communities should be prepared well before a hurricane hits to mitigate confusion in the aftermath.
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Associations Should Amend Governing Documents to be Better Prepared for Next Economic Downturn

May 26th, 2017

Posted in Condominium & Homeowner Association Law

Community associations experienced a record number of delinquencies during the economic recession that began in 2007-2008.  As a result, associations were forced to dedicate most of their resources to the collection of delinquent assessments.  Community associations were also severally impacted by the mortgage foreclosure crisis.  The increased amount of cases created a traffic jam for courts resulting in prolonged foreclosures, which decreased the associations’ chances of recovering all the past due amounts.      
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Strategies for Obtaining Membership Approval to Amend Condominium and Homeowners’ Associations Governing Documents

April 28th, 2017

Posted in Condominium & Homeowner Association Law

If you are a condominium or homeowners’ association board member or community association manager, this scenario probably sounds too familiar:  The association’s board of directors has identified a provision in the governing documents which would benefit the association to amend.  Perhaps amending the provision could have a direct, positive financial effect (for example, removing that unfortunate provision excusing past-due assessment liability of third-party purchasers after mortgage foreclosure).  Unfortunately, however, the governing document provision requires 75% approval of the entire membership to amend and the association cannot even attain a quorum at its membership meetings.  Accordingly, the board and manager question whether they should even attempt to propose an amendment to the governing documents and incur the associated expenses.  Should they just give up?

If the scenario above sounds familiar, there may be some strategies available to generate the support necessary to adopt the amendment, some of which are as follows:
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How to Hold an Efficient Board Meeting: Tips and Strategies

March 31st, 2017

Posted in Condominium & Homeowner Association Law

Have you attended a Board meeting for a condominium, cooperative, or homeowner association that lasted for what seemed like hours on end?  If so, you are not alone.  Many communities spend more time than necessary at their board of director meetings.  Below are some tips and strategies on how to hold an efficient board of directors meeting.
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Enforcement of Governing Documents – What are the Association’s Options?

March 3rd, 2017

Posted in Condominium & Homeowner Association Law

One of the most common topics we are asked by association clients is how to enforce the covenants and restrictions set forth in the association’s governing documents (declaration, articles of incorporation, bylaws, and rules and regulations).  Below is a brief review of an association’s options in regards to enforcement.
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