Rembaum's Association Roundup

Association Assessment Liens – The Importance of a “Relation-Back” Provision in your Community’s Declaration

Generally, liens, like any other recorded instrument, are deemed effective upon their date of recording. In other words, in Florida, lien priority is based on the notion of “first in time, first in right”. This means that the older liens have priority over more recently recorded liens. The older lien can “wipe out” junior, inferior liens […]

Reserve Funding Obligations – HOA Developers Beware: No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

Unlike condominium associations, homeowners’ associations (HOAs) do not have reserves mandated by statute. Instead, pursuant to Chapter 720 of the Florida Statutes, more commonly known to as the “Homeowners’ Association Act,” reserves in an HOA are either initially created by the community’s developer or by a vote of the majority of the entire membership. Once […]

“All-Risk” Insurance Policies are not Always What they Appear to Be

Your board of directors has diligently met with the association’s insurance agent. After many meetings and protracted negotiations, the association purchases an “all-risk” insurance policy. Not too long after, the association’s clubhouse is damaged by hurricane force winds, water intrusion, and possibly some faulty construction, too. Will the damage be covered by the association’s insurer? […]

Retroactive Application of Statute Amendments: Does Your Declaration Have “Kaufman” Language?

Community association lawyers are often presented inquiries from their clients as to whether laws newly adopted by the Florida legislature apply to their governing documents, especially when the new law is contrary to their declaration’s existing provisions. A similar question was recently asked and answered by Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal in the case […]

Decorating for the Holiday Season: Religious Symbol or Secular Adornment?

Thanksgiving is almost here, and you can feel the holiday cheer is in the air. The recent overabundance of political signs is giving way to holiday decorations and glittering lights. Many communities are in the process of putting up white lights and oversized red bows. But, how many communities are setting up Christmas and Hanukkah […]

The Problem of Choosing One Association over Another When Serving on Multiple Boards: The duties of loyalty and care

On October 21, 2016, after a three day trial in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Florida, one of the largest (if not the largest) residential developers in the Nation, D.R. Horton, Inc., and four employees of D.R. Horton who served as developer-appointed directors on multiple boards of directors received a devastating […]

Loan Servicers in the Post-Foreclosure World Are They Entitled to Safe Harbor Protection?

When purchasing your home, you likely shopped for the lender that would provide you with the most favorable terms for your mortgage loan. While you may have found the perfect lender, it is quite typical for your mortgage loan to be bought and sold on the secondary market. As a result, you receive a letter […]

ATTENTION FIRST MORTGAGEE LENDERS Be Careful What You Wish For

Of late, more and more first mortgagee lenders argue that they do not have to pay past due assessments which became due prior to their acquisition of title that occurred as a result of their foreclosure. Such argument results from recent appellate cases where it was found that the statutory assessment obligation which provides for […]

Community Association Liability – Neighbor to Neighbor Discrimination

There is a dangerous trend being established by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) under the Federal Fair Housing Act (the “Act”) and the enforcement of the Act of which community associations must be aware. On April 4, 2016, HUD’s General Counsel issued guidance regarding the application of the Act on the […]

Is That New Rule Adopted by the Board Really Enforceable? Back to Basics

Long before the Condominium Act, more specifically, section 718.110(13) of the Florida Statutes, was amended to include that “an amendment prohibiting unit owners from renting their units or altering the duration of the rental term or specifying or limiting the number of times unit owners are entitled to rent their units during a specified period […]