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Anthony Soroka speaks at "2016 Reception & Roundtable For Homeowners Associations, Neighborhood Groups and Property Management Companies"

Partner Anthony Soroka spoke at the "2016 Reception & RoundtableFor Homeowners Associations, Neighborhood Groups and Property Management Companies" at the Miramar Cultural Center on June 2nd.

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Categories: Community Outreach
Tags: Condos and HOAs

Condo Laws - How can you keep up?

Condominium Associations are tasked with a difficult assignment.  They want to keep the condo running smoothly, while keeping residents and unit owners happy and still complying with laws and bylaws.  No simple assignment.

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

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

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

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

Board of Contributors: CMBS Loans on Verge of Rebound But With Stricter Rules

As economic conditions improve, a recent article explains how the booming Commercial Mortgage Backed Securities market collapsed with such stunning speed and severity. About $32.5 billion of the loans made in 2007 are maturing in 2012; and, according to CoStar Group, 50 to 60 percent of those maturing this year will fail to refinance or pay off in full.

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Categories: Real EstateCorporate Law
Tags: Condos and HOAsSouth Florida Private Transactions AttorneysSouth Florida Private Transactions LawyersFort Lauderdale Private Transactions AttorneysMiami Private Transactions 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 Real Estate LawyerMiami Real Estate Lawyer
Author(s): Joseph Hernandez