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Appeals Court Holds Condo Cannot Foreclose On Property If Bank Files Foreclosure Suit First

A Florida appeals court recently held that a condominium association that filed a foreclosure complaint to recover unpaid assessments could not foreclose its lien because of an existing lis pendens placed on the property by the first mortgagee. The court held that, if a bank files a lis pendens on a property, this lis pendens bars others that have an interest in the property from enforcing liens and levies against the unit unless that party intervenes in the first mortgagee’s case. While the decision is only binding in Broward and Palm Beach Counties for now, courts in other Florida counties could rely on it as persuasive authority. This decision has important implications for community associations; if an association does not record a lien against a property before the bank records a lis pendens, a court can bar the association from foreclosing on that property. Therefore, it is important for associations to record liens early so that they can “get in front of” the bank’s lis pendens. Of course, community associations must still comply with the statutory waiting periods in pre-suit collections. Condominium associations must wait thirty days after sending a demand letter to record a lien against the property, and another thirty days after recording the lien to file a complaint. Homeowners associations must wait forty-five days between each step in order to file a foreclosure complaint against a delinquent owner.

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Categories: LitigationCondominium AssociationsHomeowners' Associations
Tags: CollectionsCondos and HOAsCovenants and RestrictionsJamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesJoshua D. KrutMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Commercial Litigation LawyerFort Lauderdale Condominium Association AttorneysMiami Condominium Association AttorneysSouth Florida Condominium Association AttorneysMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale Homeowners' Association AttorneysMiami Homeowners' Association AttorneysSouth Florida Homeowners' Association AttorneysFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsSouth Florida LitigatorsFlorida Community Association LawFlorida Condo Association LawFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysMiami Litigation Attorney
Author(s): Joshua D. Krut & Brooke P. Dolara

Mandatory Registration with the DBPR Begins for Florida HOAs

The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation recently launched a website where HOAs must register certain information about their associations. Newly passed legislation requires an HOA’s community association manager or management firm (or the HOA where there is no community association manager or management firm) to register with the Department and provide information about the HOA before November 22, 2013. The Department will use the information provided to prepare an annual report that will be submitted to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. The Department will prepare annual reports containing this information until the reporting requirement ends in 2016 (unless reenacted by the Legislature).

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Categories: Homeowners' Associations
Tags: Condos and HOAsJoshua D. KrutFlorida LegislatureFort Lauderdale Homeowners' Association AttorneysMiami Homeowners' Association AttorneysSouth Florida Homeowners' Association AttorneysFlorida Community Association LawDepartment of Business and Professional Regulation
Author(s): Joshua D. Krut & Brooke P. Dolara

It’s the Law: Broward Community Associations Must Provide Specific Reasons to Applicants When Denying Applications to Rent or Buy

On September 10, the Broward County Commission passed an amendment to the County Code of Ordinances that would require community associations to provide written notices to applicants regarding the status of an application to rent or purchase a dwelling, including specific reasons when rejecting an application.

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Categories: Condominium AssociationsHomeowners' Associations
Tags: Condos and HOAsGoverning DocumentsCovenants and RestrictionsJoshua D. KrutFort Lauderdale Condominium Association AttorneysMiami Condominium Association AttorneysSouth Florida Condominium Association AttorneysFlorida Community Association LawFlorida Condo Association Law
Author(s): Joshua D. Krut

WSH Attorneys Recognized as Florida SuperLawyers

Florida SuperLawyers recently revealed its list of "SuperLawyers" and "Rising Stars" for 2013; each year, the magazine rates outstanding attorneys from more than seventy practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process for SuperLawyers includes independent research, peer nominations, and peer evaluations. This year, SuperLawyers recognized twenty WSH attorneys. 

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Categories: Land Use & Zoning (Public)Environmental/SustainabilityLitigationCondominium AssociationsLocal GovernmentHomeowners' AssociationsAppellate Law & PracticeAwards & RecognitionsLand Use & Zoning (Private)Construction LawReal Estate
Tags: Governmental LitigationMunicipal GovernmentSpecial Counsel to Local GovernmentGary L. BrownJonathan CohenJamie A. ColeChad S. FriedmanEdward G. GuedesStephen J. HelfmanEric P. HockmanJoshua D. KrutGilberto PastorizaMatthew J. PearlMichael S. PopokAnthony L. RecioBrett J. SchneiderClifford A. SchulmanJoseph H. SerotaAlison F. SmithSusan L. TrevarthenRichard Jay WeissSamuel I. ZeskindFort Lauderdale Business Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Business Litigation LawyersMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Commercial Litigation LawyerSouth Florida Commercial Litigation AttorneySouth Florida Commercial Litigation LawyerFort Lauderdale Condominium Association AttorneysMiami Condominium Association AttorneysSouth Florida Condominium Association AttorneysFort Lauderdale Municipal AttorneysMiami Municipal AttorneysSouth Florida Municipal AttorneysMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale Homeowners' Association AttorneysMiami Homeowners' Association AttorneysSouth Florida Homeowners' Association AttorneysFort Lauderdale Real Estate AttorneysMiami Real Estate AttorneysSouth Florida Real Estate AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Real Estate AttorneysMiami Commercial Real Estate AttorneysSouth Florida Commercial Real Estate AttorneysFort Lauderdale Appellate Law AttorneysMiami Appellate Law AttorneysSouth Florida Appellate Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Environmental Law AttorneysMiami Environmental Law AttorneysSouth Florida Environmental Law Attorneys South Florida LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Employment Law AttorneysMiami Employment Law AttorneysSouth Florida Employment Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale Labor Law AttorneysMiami Labor Law AttorneysSouth Florida Labor Law AttorneysFlorida Commercial Litigation LawyerFlorida Community Association LawFlorida Condo Association LawFlorida Employment AttorneysFlorida Environmental LawFlorida Labor LawyersFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Construction LawyerFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerFort Lauderdale Real Estate LawyerMiami Construction LawyerMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Labor LawyerMiami Litigation AttorneyMiami Real Estate LawyerSouth Florida Employment Lawyers
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

Developers Announce Major Projects in South Florida, Including Billion-Dollar Project in West Brickell

Following the economic collapse of 2008, the South Florida condominium market has shown signs of a slow and steady recovery, with developers successfully unloading previously unsold units to wealthy foreign investors. Developers report that the increased demand for condominium units has prompted new construction in South Florida; in the past two years, twenty five new condominium projects have been announced. The New York Times recently ran a story on this mini construction boom, recognizing noteworthy projects like Brickell CityCentre, a $1.05 billion shopping and mixed-use development located south of the Miami River and west of Brickell Avenue. The project’s developers are working with the Whitman family, owners of Bal Harbour Shops, to turn Brickell CityCentre’s 500-square foot retail space into an attractive luxury shopping destination along with a 1,600 space underground parking lot and renovated public transportation facilities. The project’s objective is to diversify the downtown area by offering accessible luxury retail to a location traditionally associated with offices and hotels.

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Categories: Condominium AssociationsLand Use & Zoning (Private)Real Estate
Tags: Stephen J. HelfmanJoshua D. KrutGilberto PastorizaMichael S. PopokFort Lauderdale Condominium Association AttorneysMiami Condominium Association AttorneysSouth Florida Condominium Association AttorneysFort Lauderdale Real Estate AttorneysMiami Real Estate AttorneysSouth Florida Real Estate AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Real Estate AttorneysMiami Commercial Real Estate AttorneysSouth Florida Commercial Real Estate AttorneysJoseph HernandezCarlos M. Rodriguez
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

Tiara Condominium: The Final Chapter in the Economic Loss Rule in Florida?

In 1987, the Florida Supreme Court decided the seminal case of Florida Power & Light Co. v. Westinghouse Elec. Corp., 510 So. 2d 899 (Fla. 1987), which marked the beginning of what would become nearly three decades of the application of the "Economic Loss Rule" (or Economic Loss Doctrine)("ELR") in Florida to bar tort claims for "purely economic losses" that were not accompanied by personal injury or damage to other property. As the Court would later explain in Casa Clara Condominium Ass'n, Inc. v. Charley Toppino And Sons, Inc., 620 So. 2d 1244, 1246 (Fla. 1993), purely economic losses are "damages for inadequate value, costs of repair and replacement of the defective product, or consequent loss of profits -- without any claim of personal injury or damage to other property." While application of the rule in Westinghouse began in the context of products liability--to bar FPL's claims in negligence for defective steam generators designed, manufactured and furnished by Westinghouse--the Court quickly expanded its use to services in the case of AFM Corp. v. Southern Bell Telephone & Telegraph Co., 515 So. 2d 180 (Fla. 1987)--to deny recovery in negligence for what amounted to a breach of contact by Southern Bell which used an incorrect phone number in an advertisement for AFM causing only economic damages.

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Categories: LitigationCondominium AssociationsHomeowners' AssociationsConstruction Law
Tags: Condos and HOAsFlorida Supreme CourtGary L. BrownJamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesJoshua D. KrutMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaDamagesFort Lauderdale Business Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Business Litigation LawyersMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Commercial Litigation LawyerSouth Florida Commercial Litigation AttorneySouth Florida Commercial Litigation LawyerFort Lauderdale Condominium Association AttorneysMiami Condominium Association AttorneysSouth Florida Condominium Association AttorneysSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation AttorneysSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation LawyersMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale Homeowners' Association AttorneysMiami Homeowners' Association AttorneysSouth Florida Homeowners' Association AttorneysFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsSouth Florida LitigatorsEleventh Circuit Court of AppealsFlorida Commercial Litigation LawyerFlorida Condo Association LawFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Construction LawyerMiami Construction LawyerMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Litigation Attorney
Author(s): Gary L. Brown

Florida Legislators Consider Changes to Existing Foreclosure Laws

For the third time since 2010, Florida lawmakers introduced a bill designed to accelerate the foreclosure process in the state. House Bill 87, otherwise known as the "Fair Foreclosure Act,” offers a number of changes to civil procedures in foreclosure cases, including limiting discovery time available to owners and requiring lenders to file the original note or certification that they have the note. The bill makes these changes retroactively, so pending cases would be affected as by the legislation. Proponents of the Fair Foreclosure Act argue that it provides community associations with leverage against banks that file foreclosure lawsuits against delinquent owners and then fail to litigate the case aggressively. By speeding up the foreclosure process, they argue, the Fair Foreclosure Act helps community associations get rid of delinquent owners who incur massive arrearages during the pendency of a long foreclosure process. Detractors counter that the bill does not incentivize the banks to prosecute a foreclosure aggressively, and that most of the changes place too great a burden on homeowners.

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Categories: LitigationCondominium AssociationsHomeowners' AssociationsCivil Procedure
Tags: CollectionsCondos and HOAsGoverning DocumentsCovenants and RestrictionsJamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesJoshua D. KrutMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaFlorida LegislatureMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Commercial Litigation LawyerSouth Florida Commercial Litigation AttorneySouth Florida Commercial Litigation LawyerFort Lauderdale Condominium Association AttorneysMiami Condominium Association AttorneysSouth Florida Condominium Association AttorneysMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale Homeowners' Association AttorneysMiami Homeowners' Association AttorneysSouth Florida Homeowners' Association AttorneysFlorida Commercial Litigation LawyerFlorida Community Association LawFlorida Condo Association LawFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation Attorneys
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

Dogs Can Be Prescriptive Medicine - How Should a Condo Association Handle This?

“No dogs allowed” is the mantra for many condominiums, and residents who sneak in lap dogs are subject to punishment. But what if a dog is specifically ‘ordered’ by a physician to aid with the resident’s mental health? What’s a condo association to do?

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Categories: Condominium AssociationsHomeowners' Associations
Tags: Joshua D. KrutFort Lauderdale Condominium Association AttorneysMiami Condominium Association AttorneysSouth Florida Condominium Association AttorneysFort Lauderdale Homeowners' Association AttorneysMiami Homeowners' Association AttorneysSouth Florida Homeowners' Association AttorneysFlorida Community Association LawFlorida Condo Association Law
Author(s): Joshua D. Krut

Federal Court Holds Condo Association Went Beyond Reasonable Inquiry into Owner's Disability

A Florida federal court recently held against a condominium association for violating federal and State law when it refused to grant an accommodation for an owner with an emotional support animal. The Association is a condominium association located in Altamonte Springs, Florida. The Association rules and regulations limit all pets to a maximum weight of 25 pounds. Owner Bhogaita acquired a dog weighing more than 25 pounds. The Association sent Bhogaita a notice demanding that Bhogaita remove the dog. Bhogaita responded by sending a note from his doctor, which stated that Bhogaita suffered from chronic anxiety brought on by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and that the doctor had prescribed an emotional support animal to help Bhogaita cope with his anxiety. The Association subsequently sent written requests for additional information pertaining to Bhogaita’s mental impairment and treatment he had received, and demanded that the dog be removed. Bhogaita sued the Association, claiming it violated the Fair Housing Act and corresponding State law by denying his requested accommodation.

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Categories: LitigationCondominium AssociationsHomeowners' Associations
Tags: Condos and HOAsJamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesJoshua D. KrutMichael S. PopokFort Lauderdale Condominium Association AttorneysMiami Condominium Association AttorneysSouth Florida Condominium Association AttorneysFort Lauderdale Homeowners' Association AttorneysMiami Homeowners' Association AttorneysSouth Florida Homeowners' Association AttorneysFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsSouth Florida LitigatorsFlorida Community Association LawFlorida Condo Association LawFlorida Litigation AttorneysMiami Litigation Attorney

Condo Levels Sand Dune In Accordance with Modification Granted in ALJ Final Order

This summer, we reported on a favorable decision in an administrative proceeding that WSH Members Mitchell J. Burnstein and Susan L. Trevarthen obtained on behalf of the Mayan Beach Club (“Association”). The case arose when Broward County and the Sea Turtle Oversight Protection (“STOP”) challenged a modification to an Association permit that would level a 176-foot sand dune, arguing that the dune provided significant environmental protection and should not be destroyed for the purpose of providing a more desirable ocean view for the Association’s owners. On October 17, Secretary Herschel T. Vinyard, Jr. issued a Final Order adopting the Recommended Order in its entirety and granting the Association's Modification.  In the Final Order, Secretary Vinyard acknowledged that there was competent substantial evidence of record supporting the decision in the Recommended Order.Last week, the Mayan Beach Club leveled the 176-foot long dune.

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Categories: Land Use & Zoning (Public)Environmental/SustainabilityCondominium AssociationsAdministrative Law
Tags: Condos and HOAsMitchell J. BurnsteinJoshua D. KrutClifford A. SchulmanSusan L. TrevarthenFort Lauderdale Condominium Association AttorneysMiami Condominium Association AttorneysSouth Florida Condominium Association AttorneysFort Lauderdale Environmental Law AttorneysMiami Environmental Law AttorneysSouth Florida Environmental Law Attorneys Florida Condo Association LawFlorida Environmental Law

WSH Obtains Favorable Final Order in Significant Environmental Law Matter for Condominium Association

This summer, WSH reported on a favorable decision in an administrative proceeding that WSH Members Mitchell J. Burnstein and Susan L. Trevarthen obtained on behalf of the Mayan Beach Club (“Association”). The case arose when Broward County and the Sea Turtle Oversight Protection (“STOP”) challenged a modification to an Association permit that would level a 176-foot sand dune, arguing that the dune provided significant environmental protection and should not be destroyed for the purpose of providing a more desirable ocean view for the Association’s owners. Specifically, the challengers alleged that the dune contained an endangered species of plant known as the beach star, helped prevent coastal erosion of the shoreline, and provided a nesting habitat for species of marine turtles that are protected under state law. The Association and the Department of Environmental Protection (“DEP”) countered that the Association had agreed to partner with the City of Fort Lauderdale as part of a dune restoration project at the Palms Condominium, under which a stretch of beach would harbor several endangered species of vegetation. The Association and DEP also argued that neighboring beach areas provided nesting habitats for the turtles. On August 25, Florida Administrative Judge David Maloney recommended that the DEP enter a final order issuing the Modification. In his opinion, Judge Maloney stated that there was no evidence that the adjacent beaches provided inferior protection for the sea turtles or endangered vegetation. He also held that the facts did not support a finding that the dune prevented coastal erosion, since it lacked the height or continuity along the shore needed to be considered a “significant dune.”

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Categories: Land Use & Zoning (Public)Environmental/SustainabilityGovernment AffairsLand Use & Zoning (Private)Eminent Domain
Tags: Mitchell J. BurnsteinJoshua D. KrutClifford A. SchulmanSusan L. TrevarthenFort Lauderdale Condominium Association AttorneysMiami Condominium Association AttorneysSouth Florida Condominium Association AttorneysFort Lauderdale Governmental Affairs AttorneysMiami Governmental Affairs AttorneysSouth Florida Governmental Affairs AttorneysFort Lauderdale Eminent Domain AttorneysMiami Eminent Domain AttorneysSourth Florida Eminent Domain AttorneysFort Lauderdale Environmental Law AttorneysMiami Environmental Law AttorneysSouth Florida Environmental Law Attorneys Florida Environmental Law
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

New Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Guidelines Aim to Curb Foreclosures, Facilitate Short Sale Process

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (“FIFA”), the regulatory agency governing Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Loan Banks, recently promulgated new guidelines to facilitate approval for eligible borrowers for a short sale.

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Categories: Condominium AssociationsHomeowners' AssociationsReal Estate
Tags: CollectionsCondos and HOAsJonathan CohenJoshua D. KrutFort Lauderdale Condominium Association AttorneysMiami Condominium Association AttorneysSouth Florida Condominium Association AttorneysFort Lauderdale Homeowners' Association AttorneysMiami Homeowners' Association AttorneysSouth Florida Homeowners' Association AttorneysFort Lauderdale Real Estate AttorneysMiami Real Estate AttorneysSouth Florida Real Estate AttorneysFort Lauderdale Real Estate LawyerMiami Real Estate Lawyer
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

Elections and Condominium Associations: Who Can Serve as a Director?

A condominium’s annual election provides the association’s voting members with the opportunity to select new individuals to serve on its board of directors.  Candidates provide their notice to the association at least forty days before the scheduled election, leaving plenty of time for unit owners to weigh their options and research the qualifications of both incumbents and challengers.  Each election, some questions may arise as to whether certain candidates are qualified to serve on the board of directors.  Although Florida law places some restrictions on who can serve as a director, it permits individual associations to tailor their qualifications for board membership.

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Categories: Condominium AssociationsCorporate Law
Tags: Joshua D. KrutFort Lauderdale Condominium Association AttorneysMiami Condominium Association AttorneysSouth Florida Condominium Association AttorneysFlorida Condo Association LawAbigail Watts-FitzGerald

Condos Should Check Insurance Policy to Ensure Compliance

As South Florida nears the second half of hurricane season, many community associations are bombarded with questions from unit owners regarding insurance coverage on the condominium property. More often than not, owners want to know whether property damage to their specific unit is covered under the association’s insurance policy. Fortunately, the Florida Condominium Act, 718.001 et seq. and 718.111(11)(f) in particular, provide associations with guidance in identifying what they are obligated to cover.

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Categories: Condominium Associations
Tags: Condos and HOAsJoshua D. KrutFort Lauderdale Condominium Association AttorneysMiami Condominium Association AttorneysSouth Florida Condominium Association AttorneysFlorida Condo Association Law

Total Recall: How an Association Can Remove a Board Member

Board members are elected by owners to run the association and manage its property and finances. Owners rely on the board to enforce association rules and resolve problems. When a board member loses the confidence of the owners, he or she may be replaced at the annual election of board members. However, some circumstances warrant the immediate removal of a director. In the event that the owners want to remove a director, the Florida Condominium Act provides a procedure for an association’s voting interest to “recall” a director.

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Categories: Condominium AssociationsHomeowners' AssociationsReal EstateCorporate Law
Tags: Joshua D. KrutFort Lauderdale Condominium Association AttorneysMiami Condominium Association AttorneysSouth Florida Condominium Association AttorneysFort Lauderdale Homeowners' Association AttorneysMiami Homeowners' Association AttorneysSouth Florida Homeowners' Association AttorneysFlorida Commercial Litigation LawyerFlorida Community Association LawFlorida Condo Association Law

WSH Partner Josh Krut Discusses Responsibility for Mold Remediation in Cooperatives

For South Florida residents, mold infestations are an unfortunate byproduct of the humid tropical summers.  Eradicating mold can be costly and time-consuming.  For people living in shared communities, the question of whether the owner or association is responsible for mold remediation may be puzzling.  WSH Partner Joshua D. Krut, who chairs our Community Association, Club and Resort Practice Group, recently spoke with the South Florida Cooperator about what responsibilities cooperatives owe their residents with respect to paying for mold remediation. 

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Categories: LitigationCondominium AssociationsHomeowners' AssociationsReal Estate
Tags: Condos and HOAsJonathan CohenJamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesJoshua D. KrutMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaFort Lauderdale Condominium Association AttorneysMiami Condominium Association AttorneysSouth Florida Condominium Association AttorneysMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale Real Estate AttorneysMiami Real Estate AttorneysSouth Florida Real Estate AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Real Estate AttorneysMiami Commercial Real Estate AttorneysSouth Florida Commercial Real Estate AttorneysFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsSouth Florida LitigatorsFlorida Condo Association LawFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Real Estate LawyerMiami Litigation AttorneyMiami Real Estate Lawyer
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

More Clubs File for Bankruptcy as Refundable Membership Deposit Structures Nosedive

As refundable membership deposit structure has tumbled in popularity, many membership deposit clubs find themselves filing for bankruptcy in an effort to restructure their liabilities. Before the economic downturn, refundable membership deposit structures were the preferred method of financing for clubs. A club would charge a membership deposit to join the club, which would be repaid in thirty years or after the member’s resignation from the club or death. In order for the structure to work, new members would have to join so that resigning members could receive their repayments. However, as resigning members began to outnumber new members, many outgoing members had to wait longer for their refunds. In 2007, membership market prices fell further, affecting the market for club properties.

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Categories: Bankruptcy & Creditors’ Rights
Tags: Chapter 7 BankruptcyChapter 11 BankruptcyJoshua D. KrutAleida Martinez MolinaChapter 13 BankruptcyFort Lauderdale Bankruptcy AttorneysMiami Bankruptcy AttorneysSouth Florida Bankruptcy AttorneysChapter 9 Bankruptcy
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

Condos and HOAs: A How-to On Running An Effective Board Meeting

One of the most common problems community association boards face is difficulty conducting an efficient board meeting. Many board meetings are plagued by disorganization, bickering, and other time-wasting habits. This unpleasantness can be lessened, and even eliminated, by the adoption of a fair and uniform meeting protocol.  According to WSH Partner Joshua D. Krut, who chairs the firm's Community Association, Club and Resort Group, a few simple tweaks in procedure can have even the most combative boards functioning properly.

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Categories: Condominium AssociationsHomeowners' Associations
Tags: Condos and HOAsJoshua D. KrutFort Lauderdale Condominium Association AttorneysMiami Condominium Association AttorneysSouth Florida Condominium Association AttorneysFort Lauderdale Homeowners' Association AttorneysMiami Homeowners' Association AttorneysSouth Florida Homeowners' Association AttorneysFlorida Condo Association Law
Author(s): Joshua D. Krut

WSH Attorneys Recognized as Super Lawyers and Rising Stars by National Legal Publication

We are thrilled to report that several WSH attorneys were recently selected as Super Lawyers and Rising Stars by Super Lawyers magazine.

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Categories: LitigationCondominium AssociationsGovernment AffairsLocal GovernmentHomeowners' AssociationsAppellate Law & PracticeFederal LawAwards & RecognitionsLand Use & Zoning (Private)Federal CourtsConstruction Law
Tags: Governmental LitigationMunicipal GovernmentSpecial Counsel to Local GovernmentAwards & RecognitionsGary L. BrownJamie A. ColeJoshua D. KrutMatthew J. PearlMichael S. PopokAnthony L. RecioRichard Jay WeissSamuel I. ZeskindFort Lauderdale Business Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Business Litigation LawyersMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Commercial Litigation LawyerSouth Florida Commercial Litigation AttorneySouth Florida Commercial Litigation LawyerFort Lauderdale Local Government LawMiami Local Government LawSouth Florida Local Government LawMiami Aviation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Condominium Association AttorneysMiami Condominium Association AttorneysSouth Florida Condominium Association AttorneysFort Lauderdale Governmental Affairs AttorneysMiami Governmental Affairs AttorneysSouth Florida Governmental Affairs AttorneysFort Lauderdale Municipal AttorneysMiami Municipal AttorneysSouth Florida Municipal AttorneysSouth Florida Airport LawSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation AttorneysSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation LawyersSouth Florida Private Transactions AttorneysSouth Florida Private Transactions LawyersFort Lauderdale Private Transactions AttorneysMiami Private Transactions AttorneysSouth Florida Public Transactions LawFort Lauderdale Public Transactions LawMiami Public Transactions Law Matthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale Eminent Domain AttorneysMiami Eminent Domain AttorneysSourth Florida Eminent Domain AttorneysScope of the Project RuleFort Lauderdale Homeowners' Association AttorneysMiami Homeowners' Association AttorneysSouth Florida Homeowners' Association AttorneysFort Lauderdale Bankruptcy AttorneysMiami Bankruptcy AttorneysSouth Florida Bankruptcy AttorneysFort Lauderdale Real Estate AttorneysMiami Real Estate AttorneysSouth Florida Real Estate AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Real Estate AttorneysMiami Commercial Real Estate AttorneysSouth Florida Commercial Real Estate AttorneysFort Lauderdale Appellate Law AttorneysMiami Appellate Law AttorneysSouth Florida Appellate Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Constitutional Law AttorneysMiami Constitutional Law AttorneysSouth Florida Constitutional Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale Environmental Law AttorneysMiami Environmental Law AttorneysSouth Florida Environmental Law Attorneys South Florida LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Employment Law AttorneysMiami Employment Law AttorneysSouth Florida Employment Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale Labor Law AttorneysMiami Labor Law AttorneysSouth Florida Labor Law AttorneysAdrian J. AlvarezFlorida Commercial Litigation LawyerFlorida Community Association LawFlorida Condo Association LawFlorida Employment AttorneysFlorida Environmental LawFlorida Labor LawyersFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Construction LawyerFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerFort Lauderdale Real Estate LawyerFort Lauderdale Tax AttorneyMiami Construction LawyerMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Eminent Domain AttorneyMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Labor LawyerMiami Litigation AttorneyMiami Real Estate LawyerSouth Florida Employment Lawyers
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

WSH Partner Josh Krut Discusses Condominium Associations and Permissible Religious Displays by Unit Owners

Earlier this month, WSH Partner Joshua D. Krut sat down with Aventura News to discuss permissible displays of religious faith by condominium unit owners on the doors to their units. The topic stemmed from a legal battle in Connecticut in which a condominium association threatened to fine a unit owner $50 per day until she removed a mezuzah from her doorpost. Arguing that other unit owners were permitted to display crucifixes and wreaths on their doors without penalty, the owner and her attorneys persuaded the condominium association to permit the unit owner to display the mezuzah without incurring any fine.

You can read a copy of the article here.

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Categories: Condominium Associations
Tags: Condos and HOAsGoverning DocumentsCovenants and RestrictionsRule EnforcementJoshua D. KrutFort Lauderdale Condominium Association AttorneysMiami Condominium Association AttorneysSouth Florida Condominium Association AttorneysFort Lauderdale Constitutional Law AttorneysMiami Constitutional Law AttorneysSouth Florida Constitutional Law AttorneysFlorida Community Association LawFlorida Condo Association Law
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

Dog Ownership in Condos - What's Everybody Barking At?

Rule enforcement at community associations can be problematic enough when dealing with delinquent owners and rowdy neighbors. However, managers and board members may have an equally difficult time enforcing the rules when it comes to owners’ most beloved companions – their pets.

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Categories: Condominium AssociationsHomeowners' Associations
Tags: Condos and HOAsGoverning DocumentsCovenants and RestrictionsRule EnforcementJoshua D. KrutFort Lauderdale Condominium Association AttorneysMiami Condominium Association AttorneysSouth Florida Condominium Association AttorneysMiami Homeowners' Association AttorneysSouth Florida Homeowners' Association AttorneysFlorida Community Association LawFlorida Condo Association Law
Author(s): Joshua D. Krut & Brooke P. Dolara

DBR Recognizes WSH as One of the Ten Most Diverse Law Firms in South Florida

On January 23, the Daily Business Review released the names of the 25 most diverse law firms in South Florida.  This year, WSH was named the 10th most diverse firm, coming ahead of large law firms such as Greenberg Traurig, Akerman Senterfitt, and Becker & Poliakoff. 

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Categories: Awards & Recognitions
Tags: Awards & RecognitionsDaniel L. AbbottLillian M. ArangoSara E. AulisioMitchell A. BiermanNina L. BoniskeGary L. BrownMitchell J. BurnsteinJonathan CohenJamie A. ColeJeffrey DeCarloIgnacio G. Del ValleBrooke P. DolaraRaquel ElejabarrietaChad S. FriedmanAlan L. GabrielDouglas R. GonzalesEdward G. GuedesStephen J. HelfmanEric P. HockmanHarlene Silvern KennedyJoshua D. KrutKathryn M. MehaffeyAleida Martinez MolinaAlexander L. Palenzuela-MauriGilberto PastorizaMatthew J. PearlMichael S. PopokTimothy M. RavichAnthony L. RecioAmy J. SantiagoBrett J. SchneiderClifford A. SchulmanDaniel A. SeigelGail D. SerotaJoseph H. SerotaJonathan C. ShamresEstrellita S. SibilaAlison F. SmithAnthony C. SorokaEduardo M. SotoJoanna D. ThomsonSusan L. TrevarthenPeter D. WaldmanRichard Jay WeissLaura K. WendellJames E. WhiteDavid M. WolpinSamuel I. ZeskindFort Lauderdale Business Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Business Litigation LawyersMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Commercial Litigation LawyerSouth Florida Commercial Litigation AttorneySouth Florida Commercial Litigation LawyerFort Lauderdale Local Government LawMiami Local Government LawSouth Florida Local Government LawMiami Aviation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Condominium Association AttorneysMiami Condominium Association AttorneysSouth Florida Condominium Association AttorneysFort Lauderdale Governmental Affairs AttorneysMiami Governmental Affairs AttorneysSouth Florida Governmental Affairs AttorneysFort Lauderdale Municipal AttorneysMiami Municipal AttorneysSouth Florida Municipal AttorneysSouth Florida Airport LawSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation AttorneysSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation LawyersSouth Florida Private Transactions AttorneysSouth Florida Private Transactions LawyersFort Lauderdale Private Transactions AttorneysMiami Private Transactions AttorneysSouth Florida Public Transactions LawFort Lauderdale Public Transactions LawMiami Public Transactions Law Matthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale Eminent Domain AttorneysMiami Eminent Domain AttorneysSourth Florida Eminent Domain AttorneysScope of the Project RuleFort Lauderdale Homeowners' Association AttorneysMiami Homeowners' Association AttorneysSouth Florida Homeowners' Association AttorneysFort Lauderdale Bankruptcy AttorneysMiami Bankruptcy AttorneysSouth Florida Bankruptcy AttorneysFort Lauderdale Real Estate AttorneysMiami Real Estate AttorneysSouth Florida Real Estate AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Real Estate AttorneysMiami Commercial Real Estate AttorneysSouth Florida Commercial Real Estate AttorneysFort Lauderdale Appellate Law AttorneysMiami Appellate Law AttorneysSouth Florida Appellate Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Constitutional Law AttorneysMiami Constitutional Law AttorneysSouth Florida Constitutional Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale Environmental Law AttorneysMiami Environmental Law AttorneysSouth Florida Environmental Law Attorneys South Florida LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Employment Law AttorneysMiami Employment Law AttorneysSouth Florida Employment Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale Labor Law AttorneysMiami Labor Law AttorneysSouth Florida Labor Law AttorneysRobert MeyersAdrian J. AlvarezAlternative Dispute ResolutionJohanna M. LundgrenFlorida Commercial Litigation LawyerFlorida Community Association LawFlorida Condo Association LawFlorida Employment AttorneysFlorida Environmental LawFlorida Labor LawyersFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Construction LawyerFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerFort Lauderdale Real Estate LawyerFort Lauderdale Tax AttorneyMiami Construction LawyerMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Eminent Domain AttorneyMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Labor LawyerMiami Litigation AttorneyMiami Real Estate LawyerSouth Florida Employment Lawyers
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

Mandatory Foreclosure Mediation Ends in Florida

On Monday, Florida Supreme Court Justice Charles Canady issued an Order terminating the state’s mandatory foreclosure program. Citing the program’s abysmal success rate, Justice Canady wrote that the state “cannot justify the continuation of the program.”

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Categories: LitigationCondominium AssociationsBankruptcy & Creditors’ RightsHomeowners' AssociationsAlternative Dispute Resolution
Tags: CollectionsFlorida Supreme CourtJamie A. ColeDouglas R. GonzalesEdward G. GuedesJoshua D. KrutAleida Martinez MolinaMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaFort Lauderdale Condominium Association AttorneysMiami Condominium Association AttorneysSouth Florida Condominium Association AttorneysFort Lauderdale Homeowners' Association AttorneysMiami Homeowners' Association AttorneysSouth Florida Homeowners' Association AttorneysFort Lauderdale Bankruptcy AttorneysMiami Bankruptcy AttorneysSouth Florida Bankruptcy AttorneysFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsSouth Florida LitigatorsAlternative Dispute ResolutionMediation
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

Third DCA Upholds Strict Compliance Requirement for Florida Construction Lien Law

On October 5, the Third DCA held that strict compliance with Florida’s construction lien laws is a condition precedent to a claim against a payment bond. What was likely a scrivener’s error precluded recovery of more than $269,000.

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Categories: LitigationCondominium AssociationsConstruction Law
Tags: Jamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesEric P. HockmanJoshua D. KrutMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaBondsFort Lauderdale Business Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Business Litigation LawyersMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Commercial Litigation LawyerSouth Florida Commercial Litigation AttorneySouth Florida Commercial Litigation LawyerFort Lauderdale Condominium Association AttorneysMiami Condominium Association AttorneysSouth Florida Condominium Association AttorneysSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation AttorneysSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation LawyersSouth Florida Private Transactions AttorneysSouth Florida Private Transactions LawyersFort Lauderdale Private Transactions AttorneysMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsSouth Florida Litigators
Author(s): Eric P. Hockman

DNA Testing For Dog Waste – Condominium Association Gets Tough On Owners Who Don’t Clean Up

Fed up with owners who refused to pick up their pets' waste, the Village of Abacoa Condominium Association implemented a policy to have pets' DNA tested and then use the results to determine which dogs were defecating on the property. The policy created a rift between supporters who were tired of putting up with dog waste on the property and other owners arguing that the policy was costly, ineffective, and would lead to a number of lawsuits.

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Categories: Condominium Associations
Tags: Condos and HOAsGoverning DocumentsRule EnforcementJoshua D. KrutFort Lauderdale Condominium Association AttorneysMiami Condominium Association AttorneysSouth Florida Condominium Association AttorneysFlorida Community Association LawFlorida Condo Association Law
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

MRTA Puts An Expiration Date On Land Restrictions...But HOAs Can Protect Their Covenants

Most people who buy houses in a homeowners' association are cognizant of the covenants and restrictions contained in their deeds. These restrictions allow associations to maintain uniformity in design and appearance among the various parcels. However, what some homeowners don't know is that if these covenants and restrictions aren't renewed within thirty years of recording, they expire and become unenforceable.

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Categories: Homeowners' Associations
Tags: Condos and HOAsMRTAGoverning DocumentsCovenants and RestrictionsJoshua D. KrutFort Lauderdale Homeowners' Association AttorneysMiami Homeowners' Association AttorneysSouth Florida Homeowners' Association AttorneysFlorida Community Association Law
Author(s): Joshua D. Krut & Brooke P. Dolara

Southern District of Florida Dismisses ILSA and Personal Fraud Claims Against Developer With Prejudice

Recently a pre-construction purchaser of a unit in a stalled condominium project in Sunny Isles, Florida asserted multiple claims in federal court against the project's developer and its employees. In addition to the standard breach of contract claim, the plaintiff also attempted to allege multiple violations of the Interstate Land Sales Act ("ILSA") and Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act ("FDUTPA") as a class action on behalf of all other contracted unit-purchasers.

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Categories: LitigationCondominium Associations
Tags: Condos and HOAsJamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesJoshua D. KrutMichael S. PopokILSAFort Lauderdale Business Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Business Litigation LawyersMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Commercial Litigation LawyerSouth Florida Commercial Litigation AttorneySouth Florida Commercial Litigation LawyerFort Lauderdale Condominium Association AttorneysMiami Condominium Association AttorneysSouth Florida Condominium Association AttorneysSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation AttorneysSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation LawyersSouth Florida Private Transactions AttorneysSouth Florida Private Transactions LawyersFort Lauderdale Private Transactions AttorneysMiami Private Transactions AttorneysMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsSouth Florida LitigatorsFlorida Commercial Litigation LawyerFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Construction LawyerMiami Construction LawyerMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Litigation Attorney
Author(s): Michael S. Popok & Samuel I. Zeskind

Condo Owner Files Bankruptcy...Collection Efforts End? Not Necessarily...

Most well-informed Florida condominium and homeowners' association boards know that the filing of a petition in bankruptcy court by a unit owner halts direct collection efforts. What most boards do not understand, however, is that the mere filing of a Chapter 7 or Chapter 11 petition does not discharge that debtor's post-bankruptcy filing obligations to the association – even when the debtor "surrenders" the property in the bankruptcy or otherwise moves out of the subject unit.

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Categories: LitigationCondominium AssociationsBankruptcy & Creditors’ RightsHomeowners' Associations
Tags: Automatic StayCollectionsChapter 7 BankruptcyChapter 11 BankruptcyCondos and HOAsJoshua D. KrutAleida Martinez MolinaFort Lauderdale Business Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Business Litigation LawyersMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Commercial Litigation LawyerSouth Florida Commercial Litigation AttorneySouth Florida Commercial Litigation LawyerFort Lauderdale Condominium Association AttorneysMiami Condominium Association AttorneysSouth Florida Condominium Association AttorneysFort Lauderdale Homeowners' Association AttorneysMiami Homeowners' Association AttorneysSouth Florida Homeowners' Association AttorneysFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsSouth Florida LitigatorsFlorida Commercial Litigation LawyerFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Litigation Attorney
Author(s): Aleida Martínez Molina