Pavilion from the Ocean

Pavilion from the Ocean

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BOD MEETING OCT 30, 2013 7:30pm


1) Meeting called to Order

2) Roll Call/Quorum Verification

3) Concrete Restoration Project Update by Diversified Construction and Pistorino & Alam

Taped HOA Board Meetings Should Be Disclosed

By Joseph Adams on 

Posted in Reader Q&A
Question: Can a Florida homeowners’ association require that a homeowner disclose, prior to taping, that they wish to tape a board meeting? D.D. (via e-mail)
Answer: In my view, a homeowners’ association can require that a homeowner disclose their plans to record a board meeting, prior to doing so. Section 720.306(10) of the Florida Homeowners’ Association Act states that any parcel owner may tape record or videotape meetings of the board of directors and meetings of the members. However, the statute also permits the board to adopt reasonable rules governing the taping of meetings.
It is likely that a rule that requires disclosing one’s intent to record prior to doing so is reasonable because Florida law supports obtaining permission prior to recording in other situations. For example, Chapter 934 of the Florida Statutes provides that in certain situations, wire and oral communication requires consent, prior to recording, to safeguard the right of privacy. This is known as Florida’s “all-party consent law”, which provides, in part, that private conversations cannot be recorded unless all parties provide consent. While Chapter 934 does not govern “public” oral communications, and its applicability to an HOA meeting is certainly debatable, the statute supports the idea that people have a right to know when they are being recorded.
In a 2002 appeals court case called Pinellas County School Bd. v. Suncam, Inc., the court found that it was unlawful to deny the right to record a public meeting. However, the court quoted the attorney general in stating that reasonable rules and policies, to ensure the orderly conduct of a public meeting and to require orderly behavior on the part of those attending, are appropriate. Similarly, it seems reasonable for a board to adopt a rule requiring homeowners to disclose their plans to record a meeting because this could allow the Board to determine where recording equipment should be set up, provide access to outlets if equipment needs to be plugged in, and announce that the meeting is being recorded, so that the meeting is not disturbed and those who speak are aware that they are being recorded.

Top 10 Questions Regarding Condominium Construction Defects

Posted in Construction Issues & Contractual Disputes
The following are the 10 most frequently asked questions by Condominium Associations that are facing potential claims for construction defects:
1.    What is a construction defect? 
Construction defects can be classified into three categories:  defective building material; faulty workmanship; and improper design.
2.    Who is responsible for the construction defect? 
The developer, design professional, and contractor may all be responsible. Historically, the law has recognized that the various participants in the construction process are liable only for those defects that fall within their respective areas of expertise. For example, a contractor who builds a structure according to the design supplied by the owner generally is not responsible for the adequacy of the design.
3.    What warranties should the Association be aware of?
In addition to express written warranties received from the developer and contractors, the Association should be aware of warranties provided by the Condominium Act. The Condominium Act provides implied warranties in favor of individuals who purchase their units from the developer. The warranties as to the developer, run 3 years from completion of the building, (usually measured by the issuance of the Certificate of Occupancy) or 1 year from transition of control from the developer to non-developer unit owners but in no event more than 5 years from completion of the building. There is also a common law implied warranty under which the Association can make claims for a period up to 4 years from transition.
The warranties as to the developer are as follows:
-    As to the roof and structural components of a building or other improvements and as to mechanical, electrical, and plumbing elements serving improvements or a building, except mechanical elements serving only one unit, a warranty for a period beginning with the completion of construction of each building or improvement and continuing for 3 years thereafter or 1 year after owners other than the developer obtain control of the association, whichever occurs last, but in no event more than 5 years.
-    As to all other improvements for the use of unit owners, a 3 year warranty commencing with the date of completion of the improvements.
Contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers all grant warranties as to work or materials supplied as follows:
-    For a period of 3 years from the date of completion of construction of a building or improvement, a warranty as to the roof and structural components of the building or improvement and mechanical and plumbing elements serving a building or an improvement, except mechanical elements serving only one unit.
-    For a period of 1 year after completion of all construction, a warranty as to all other improvements and materials.
4.    How do we prove that a construction defect exists? 
In most cases, the Association will need to hire the services of an independent expert. Experts are those who have the necessary training, education, and experience to give testimony in court as to the cause of a defect. For example, if your roof leaks, a roof expert who has designed roofs, evaluated other defective roof systems, and knows how roofs should be built would be in a good position to testify. A general or roofing contractor can repair a damaged roof, but he may not be the best person to act as the expert.
5.    What kinds of damages can we recover if a lawsuit is filed? 
Generally, the measure of damages is the cost to correct, repair, or replace the defective building component.
6.    How long do we have to file a lawsuit? 
A lawsuit must be filed before the Statute of Limitations expires. The Statute of Limitations as to defects which the Association knew of or should have known of through the exercise of reasonable diligence is tolled until time of transition and then runs for 4 years. If there are latent defects, the Statute of Limitations as to those defects commences when the Association knows or should have known through the exercise of reasonable diligence of the existence of the defect and runs for 4 years with an absolute bar of 10 years from the time the building was completed (Statute of Repose), measured as of the date of the Certificate of Occupancy.
7.    How much will a lawsuit cost? 
The total cost of prosecuting a lawsuit on behalf of the Association will depend on a number of factors, including the nature and amount of damages, the number of parties, and the attitude of the parties. Some lawsuits are settled within a short period of time, while others are not resolved until just before trial. Construction defects lawsuits can be extremely expensive, and close cooperation between the Board of Directors of the Association, property manager, expert, and attorney is necessary to contain the costs as much as possible.
8. Will the Condominium Association insurance cover damages caused by construction defects?
Usually, the Association’s insurance policy will not cover damages caused by construction defects. The language in most insurance policies excludes coverage for faulty construction, design, workmanship, and/or defective materials. However, disaster coverage such as coverage for flood, earthquake, and hurricane must be evaluated separately as coverage may be afforded under said scenarios.
9.  Is the Association required to make repairs while the lawsuit is pending and can said cost of repair be recovered in the lawsuit?
The Association is required to mitigate damages. That is, the Association must take all required steps to protect the property from sustaining additional damage. These costs are usually recoverable if a lawsuit is filed. However, if temporary repairs are made, said repairs must be carefully evaluated with the Association’s expert to assure correct documentation of the temporary repairs. Furthermore, it is recommended that notice be given to all parties of the proposed repairs to be made.
10. Should the Association allow the developer and/or the contractor to make necessary repairs?
The proposed repair should be evaluated by the Association and its expert. If the proposed repair meets the approval of the Association’s expert, the Association should allow the repair unless other reasons exist to reject it. The same expert should oversee actual repairs. Once repairs are agreed upon, a proper settlement agreement should be drafted that only releases the developer of liability for the limited and defined repairs being made, and then only after the repairs have proved effective.

Ten Reasons to Serve on Your Association Board

Written by  
As a homeowner, you have a big investment in your neighborhood. In addition to your own dwelling unit, your Association may have common amenities, such as a clubhouse, pool, sidewalks, roads, and more. How do you make sure that your Association is properly maintained and cared for?  One way is to volunteer with your homeowner’s Association as a committee or board member.
Protecting your own investment is just one reason to serve as a volunteer for your Association, though. Below is a list of 10 important reasons to serve on an Association board.  
1. Protect Your Property - One of the top priorities of all board members should be to protect the value of all homes in the community. This is not a self-serving act; it is an obligation to all members of the Association.  Being involved on the board puts you in a better position to make and implement rules that directly affect property value, especially if they require decisions about the Association’s budget or routine maintenance.
2. Correct Problems – If you notice problems in your community, such as parking violations, maintenance issues, or situations with unruly neighbors, you can help to correct them by serving on the board.
3. Meet Expectations – Everyone has certain expectations when they move into an Association. Are those expectations being met? It is unlikely that an Association will meet everyone’s expectations, but by serving on the board, you can help balance competing expectations to create a better community.
4. Gain Better Understanding of Applicable Laws - Volunteering as a board member forces you to become better-versed in laws and regulations related to community Associations.
5. Learn New Skills – Most members who volunteer to serve on the board don’t possess all the skills necessary for this management / leadership position. Most will learn on the job. This is an opportunity to learn about maintenance issues, finances, and budgeting.
6. Learn Life Lessons - As an Association board member, you must learn to work as a team. A one-man-show is effectively a dictatorship. While this type of leadership can be very efficient, the Association is usually better off if board members share their interests and responsibilities with others, as the job is too big for one person. At the same time, you will appreciate the importance of valuing others’ opinions before making decisions.
7. Have Fun - Serving on the board doesn’t have to be boring. The interaction with your fellow board members and active members who get involved is also a socialization process. You get to meet and know your neighbors and develop friendships. The collaboration that occurs during the decision-making process of the board often brings out the creative side of people as they strive to create outcomes that work for all members. In the process, you cause your community to run better.
8. Develop Leadership Skills - Serving on the Association board gives you a chance to hone your leadership skills. Organizational skills are generally improved as you deal with coordination of board activities and membership social functions.
9. Give Back to the Association - By volunteering on your Association’s board, you are also giving back to your neighbors and community. Many people derive a great sense of satisfaction in volunteering.
10. Meet Neighbors - An Association board meeting can be one of the best places to meet your neighbors and to learn more about them. It gives you a chance to socialize and make friends with others living in your neighborhood. Many friendships start right here.
Polls of community Association lifestyles consistently remind us that the vast majority of homeowners in Associations have a positive view of their Association – but that doesn’t make the news. If you rely solely on the large media outlets for information about Associations, you could easily develop the opposite viewpoint, since what makes the news are the very small number of incidents where things go wrong.
Too many people describe what’s wrong with Associations rather than talk about what’s right with Associations. This article attempts to present some of the benefits that you can derive from volunteering to serve your Association. Serving on your Association board puts you in a better position to have a positive influence in your community.

What the Law says for Contracts for products and services; in writing; bids...

718.3026Contracts for products and services; in writing; bids; exceptions.Associations with 10 or fewer units may opt out of the provisions of this section if two-thirds of the unit owners vote to do so, which opt-out may be accomplished by a proxy specifically setting forth the exception from this section.

(1)All contracts as further described herein or any contract that is not to be fully performed within 1 year after the making thereof, for the purchase, lease, or renting of materials or equipment to be used by the association in accomplishing its purposes under this chapter, and all contracts for the provision of services, shall be in writing. If a contract for the purchase, lease, or renting of materials or equipment, or for the provision of services, requires payment by the association on behalf of any condominium operated by the association in the aggregate that exceeds 5 percent of the total annual budget of the association, including reserves, the association shall obtain competitive bids for the materials, equipment, or services. Nothing contained herein shall be construed to require the association to accept the lowest bid.

#5 - Miami Beach, FL - 100 Best Places to Live

Miami Beach packs a lot of amenities into a tiny stretch of oceanfront, just seven miles long and one mile wide, including museums, art deco buildings, shopping and cuisine. Oh, and let’s not forget the beach. It all adds up to a city striving to be more livable for the diverse communities that call it home.

Foreclosure activity fell in Miami in latest quarter, but rose in Broward

Foreclosure activity in metropolitan Miami declined in the third quarter ended in September compared with a year earlier and the prior quarter, according to RealtyTrac.
Foreclosure activity — which includes initial filings, notices of sale and bank repossessions — fell 7.7 percent in greater Miami from a year earlier and was down 35.4 percent from the second quarter, the Irvine, Calif.-based data firm said.
Still, Miami’s foreclosure activity remained high in comparison to both state and national averages. During the third quarter, one of every 95 residences in greater Miami received some type of foreclosure filing, RealtyTrac said. That compared with one out of every 126 homes in Florida and one of every 348 residences nationally experiencing such activity, the firm said.
Nationally, foreclosure starts in the third quarter were at a seven-year low. Across Florida, foreclosure activity declined 7 percent from the prior quarter and 8 percent from a year earlier.
The metropolitan Fort Lauderdale area bucked the trend, with foreclosure activity rising 3.8 percent from a year earlier and 11.6 percent from the second quarter, RealtyTrac said.

Miami: Where Luxury Real Estate Meets Dirty Money

The buyers come from all over the globe, bearing cash and complicated pasts.

Board Vote can Remove Officer

By Joseph Adams, Becker & Poliokoff
Question: Can a condominium board member who was appointed by the board of directors be removed by the board of directors? A.B. (via e-mail)
Answer: No. A board member may only be removed by a vote of the owners pursuant to the recall provisions of the Florida Condominium Act. The Florida Condominium Act provides that any member of the board may be recalled or removed from office with or without cause by a vote or agreement in writing by a majority of the voting interests. The Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares and Mobile Homes has adopted a number of procedural rules that must be followed in order to effectively recall a board member.
If the recall is by written agreement, a copy of the written agreement must be served on the association by certified mail or by personal service. The board must then duly notice and hold a meeting of the board within five full business days after receipt of the agreement. A board member may also be recalled at a special meeting. In that case, a special meeting may be called by ten percent of the voting interests. If the recall is done at a special meeting, the board must duly notice and hold a board meeting within five full business days of the adjournment of the unit owner meeting. At the board meeting, the board must either certify the recall or file a petition for recall arbitration with the Division.
Regardless of whether a director is recalled by a vote or written agreement, if the board determines to certify the recall, the recall is effective immediately. The recalled director has five days from the date of certification to turn over any and all records and property of the association in his or her possession to the board.
The board of directors does have the authority to remove a director from an officer position. The board of directors generally has the power to appoint officers, and therefore can also remove the board member from the office which he or she serves. After removal from office, the board member will continue to serve on the board, but simply as a “director.” For example, if the board member was appointed to serve as treasurer, a majority of the board can vote to remove the director from the office of treasurer and appoint another person to fill the position. The old treasurer would still be a director and continue to serve the remainder of his or her term on the board, but would no longer hold the office of treasurer.