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60.3 F
POrt Orange FL
Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Legal Issues

Legal Issues

Too close to home

trust-but-verify

A new treasurer of an HOA in New Smyrna Beach, In checking the finances she discovered that $500,000 was missing from the finances. A forensic audit was conducted and the manager of the HOA was convicted and sentence to one year and one day. Among other items the manager used the money for was a cruise trip to Alaska with her boyfriend. This is true folks, and is a fact. Do not let your HOA try to silence you when you ask probing questions.

Hundreds protest against condo fraud in South Florida

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screenshot-2016-09-27-06-39-10More than 250 South Florida condo residents marched Saturday through the streets of Doral to demand that authorities take steps to stop a wave of fraud hitting their neighborhoods.

With posters, flags and whistles, the group of protesters marched through downtown Doral shouting about alleged abuses by their board of directors and the private companies hired to manage the condominiums.

“We want our demands heard in Tallahassee,” said William Mendieta, one of the organizers of the march and resident of the Las Vistas condos in Doral. “We have left behind apathy and indifference to unite with other condos so that together we can make one request: Justice!”

It was the fifth public protest since an investigation by el Nuevo Herald and Univision 23 in March revealed the systematic frauds facing condos in Miami-Dade County — including at least 84 fraudulent votes in November election for the board of directors at The Beach Club condos in Fontainebleau Park, and a fraudulent bidding process in which a company won a $5.2 million contract in a competition against two front companies.

Association Has Several Options to Enforce HOA Documents

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screenshot-2016-09-26-19-06-47Question: The governing documents for our homeowners’ association contain a number of restrictions and rules. However, they do not contain any instructions on what happens if an owner fails to comply with the documents. If an owner is not obeying the documents, what does the homeowners’ association do? (D.H by e-mail)

Read the Answer here:

In Brief: A Bill of Rights for Homeowners in Associations: Basic Principles of Consumer Protection and Sample Model Statute

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screenshot-2016-09-25-06-30-09Homeowner associations have been criticized for having excessively restrictive rules and regulations on how homeowners are allowed to conduct themselves and use their property. Legal scholars and the AARP have charged that in a variety of ways HOAs suppress the rights of their residents. AARP has created a “Bill of Rights” for Homeowners in Associations with ten principles (or “rights”). They suggest it be used as a model for statutory language that states can follow when developing laws and regulatory procedures for common-interest communities.

The full report is available here

 

Lessons from HOA lawsuit over Florida-friendly grass

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screenshot-2016-09-25-06-00-56The long-fought lawsuit between a homeowner near Windermere and her HOA makes me realize three fundamental truths at the exact same time, to borrow a phrase from the Hamilton soundtrack.

No. 1: This state’s Florida-friendly law is neither very Florida nor very friendly. The law, passed in 2009, is meant to protect homeowners who want to use plants and grasses in their yards that need less water and fertilizer than the typical lush St. Augustine lawn.

See the story here:

HOMEOWNER SUITS AGAINST HOAs

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screenshot-2016-09-23-14-56-20The relationship between a homeowner and their community association has been increasingly defined in litigation in recent years, due to the rapid growth of common interest communities and the issues being presented to the courts.  The community association is usually an incorporated entity operating under corporate nonprofit status.  The community association was created by the developer/declarant for the purpose of managing the common interest community.  The community association is funded by dues or assessments contributed by the individual unit owners (or members) and is run by an Executive Board, Board of Managers, Trustees or a Board of Directors composed of unit owners who typically serve as volunteers.  The community association is a separate legal identity and may sue and be sued independent of its members.

READ MORE HERE

Olathe man’s war with HOA over landscaping: $400,000 at stake

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screenshot-2016-09-22-07-20-22Four years ago, Jim Hildenbrand was ready for a change.

His kids were grown, his father had died, and he wanted to be closer to his mother. So he shut down his architectural consulting business in the Quad Cities in Iowa and bought a three-bedroom home in the Avignon Villas subdivision in Olathe.

But instead of settling into paradise, he says, he landed in purgatory.

For months, he fought the homeowners association over the placement of his satellite dish. He accrued tens of thousands of dollars in fines for parking his cars in the driveway too long and placing a ceramic flower pot and a St. Francis statue in his front-yard landscaping. And what started as a dispute with the HOA over a landscaping project that featured a long, low accent wall has cost Hildenbrand more than $200,000 in legal fees.
Read more here:

Woman’s family in Resiles murder case sues property manager, claims inadequate security

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screenshot-2016-09-22-07-15-04A security company and property manager should have kept Jill Halliburton Su safe from the killer who stabbed her to death in her gated community, her family alleges in a lawsuit.

Su, 59, was stabbed in a home invasion robbery on Sept. 8, 2014, in Davie, police say. Her son found her partly clothed body in a bathtub, her hands and feet bound.

Her accused killer, Dayonte Resiles, 22, was jailed 10 days later. In July, he bolted from a Broward County courtroom and eluded capture for six days.

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Couple sues HOA over home invasion robbery

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screenshot-2016-09-21-22-24-24When officers arrived at the home on Osprey Trail last March, they found Mike and Sabrina Ferry, their hands and feet bound with zipties.

The pair had been watching TV in their living room that Tuesday evening when men wearing masks and brandishing handguns busted into their house. The men stole cash and jewelry and the keys to the Ferrys’ car.

Theirs was the fourth Collier County home invasion in a five-week span.

Now the couple is suing their homeowner’s association, saying the Estuary at Grey Oaks neighborhood promised a secure community and failed to deliver despite knowledge of the recent home invasions going on in the county.

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Sea change for Florida’s 60,000 homeowners associations

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hoa-florida-capitalOn July 1, Florida law was amended to give condominiums, cooperatives and homeowners’ associations throughout Florida the right to conduct membership votes online. While online voting has been permitted for some time in other states, this new law represents a sea change for Florida’s more than 60,000 community associations.

For communities with a large percentage of investor and snowbird owners, online voting gives these owners a newfound opportunity to participate in important membership votes in their association. Currently, many of these owners are unable to timely return voting materials and they are disenfranchised as a result. Even for owners who are local but do not wish to attend meetings or send in a proxy, online voting may spark an increase in their participation.

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