Pavilion from the Ocean

Pavilion from the Ocean

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Miami rises 8.6% in past 12 months- US home price gains slow in November on weaker sales

U.S. home prices rose at a modest pace in November, held back by weaker sales and a limited number of houses for sale.
The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index, released Tuesday, increased 4.3 percent in November from 12 months earlier. That's down slightly from a 4.5 percent pace in October. Home price gains have decelerated for 12 straight months.
The slowdown in price increases should help boost sales this year. Home values rose at a double-digit pace in early 2014, making many homes unaffordable. Sales of existing homes fell 3.1 percent to 4.93 million last year. First-time buyers in particular were priced out of many neighborhoods and accounted for a historically low proportion of sales last year.
Economists are hopeful that home sales and construction will rebound this year, partly because price gains are returning to levels consistent with a stable housing market. Lower mortgage rates, healthy hiring, and lower down payment requirements from mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac may also spur sales.
Home prices in all 20 cities increased over the past 12 months, the Case-Shiller index showed. San Francisco's increase of 8.9 percent was the largest, followed by Miami at 8.6 percent. Cleveland posted the smallest gain, at 0.6 percent.

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Miami Beach Makes New York Times List of Top 52 Places to Visit in 2015

The New York Times hasn't been particularly kind to Miami in recent months. Back in August, the storied publication skewered our fair city with an ill-advised editorial by Miami native Pamela Druckerman. Druckerman lambasted the city's lack of culture with an appalling absence of insight.
But that's in the past, and all is forgiven. We're snubbed, no longer! The newspaper recently saw fit to include Miami Beach in its list of 52 places to visit in 2015.
Miami Beach came in at number 45 on the lengthy list, wedged between two Chinese cities: Shanghai (46) and Chengdu (44). Orlando came in at number 13.
The paper led the section with the headline: "A white-sand spot is getting seriously fancy." The write-up centers around the upcoming Faena District, a mega development scheduled to open north of South Beach this summer. Names are dropped: Baz Luhrmann, Ian Schrager, Norman Foster, Tommy Hilfiger. Superfluous adjectives used: unprecedented, gleaming.


By Eric Glazer, Esq.
Over the last several years, the issue of delinquencies in ourFlorida community associations became worse and worse.  The more people didn’t pay, the more the good paying owners had to pay.  The more bank foreclosures, the less the association was receiving in badly needed revenue.

The real solution to the problem was changing the law to make a bank pay more money to the association when they foreclose on a property and then become the owner of that property after a foreclosure sale, instead of capping the bank’s liability at one year of unpaid assessments or 1% of the original amount of the mortgage. Because of the banking industry’s power in the State of Florida , that simply never had a chance of happening.

Instead of taking the fight to the banks, The Florida Legislature created laws that took the fight from the association to the unit owners.  For example, there were laws passed that now prevented unit owners from using the common areas if they were delinquent, prevented them from running or serving on the Board and prevented them from voting.  In other words, if someone owed the association $10,000.00 in unpaid assessments, this new law that prevented the unit owner from now using the exercise room, was somehow going to make that delinquent owner pony up the $10,000.00 so he can now continue use of the treadmill. 

At seminar after seminar, I am told that these new laws didn’t put any dollars in the hands of the association and that while they sounded nice, were simply not enough of a stimulant to get people to pay their delinquent assessments.

Finally though, a law was passed that had teeth.  This law directly went after the worst violator, the unit owner who owns a unit, rents it out, keeps the rent and stiffs the association.  In both condos and HOAs, the law provides:

If the unit is occupied by a tenant and the unit owner is delinquent in paying any monetary obligation due to the association, the association may make a written demand that the tenant pay to the association the subsequent rental payments and continue to make such payments until all monetary obligations of the unit owner related to the unit have been paid in full to the association. The tenant must pay the monetary obligations to the association until the association releases the tenant or the tenant discontinues tenancy in the unit.
1. The association must provide the tenant a notice, by hand delivery or United States mail, in substantially the following form:
Pursuant to section 718.116(11), Florida Statutes, the association demands that you pay your rent directly to the condominium association and continue doing so until the association notifies you otherwise.
Payment due the condominium association may be in the same form as you paid your landlord and must be sent by United States mail or hand delivery to   (full address)  , payable to  (name)  .
Your obligation to pay your rent to the association begins immediately, unless you have already paid rent to your landlord for the current period before receiving this notice. In that case, you must provide the association written proof of your payment within 14 days after receiving this notice and your obligation to pay rent to the association would then begin with the next rental period.
Pursuant to section 718.116(11), Florida Statutes, your payment of rent to the association gives you complete immunity from any claim for the rent by your landlord for all amounts timely paid to the association.
2. The association must mail written notice to the unit owner of the association’s demand that the tenant make payments to the association.
3. The association shall, upon request, provide the tenant with written receipts for payments made.
4. A tenant is immune from any claim by the landlord or unit owner related to the rent timely paid to the association after the association has made written demand.
(b) If the tenant paid rent to the landlord or unit owner for a given rental period before receiving the demand from the association and provides written evidence to the association of having paid the rent within 14 days after receiving the demand, the tenant shall begin making rental payments to the association for the following rental period and shall continue making rental payments to the association to be credited against the monetary obligations of the unit owner until the association releases the tenant or the tenant discontinues tenancy in the unit.
(c) The liability of the tenant may not exceed the amount due from the tenant to the tenant’s landlord. The tenant’s landlord shall provide the tenant a credit against rents due to the landlord in the amount of moneys paid to the association.
(d) The association may issue notice under s. 83.56 and sue for eviction under ss. 83.59-83.625 as if the association were a landlord under part II of chapter 83 if the tenant fails to pay a required payment to the association after written demand has been made to the tenant. However, the association is not otherwise considered a landlord under chapter 83 and specifically has no obligations under s. 83.51.
(e) The tenant does not, by virtue of payment of monetary obligations to the association, have any of the rights of a unit owner to vote in any election or to examine the books and records of the association.
(f) A court may supersede the effect of this subsection by appointing a receiver.

I have seen this law work well for community associations.  I personally encourage the use of this statute whenever possible because it hits the landlord in the pocket book and often times gets results.  It certainly gets a lot better results than threatening a delinquent owner with the inability to run for the Board.  In fact, there may be some Board members out there right now who would gladly pay to get of the Board.
P.S. Our Board Certification Seminar is now out for 2015 and we will be all over the state.  To register at a location near you, please go

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Everything You Wanted to Know about Being a Board Member... But Were Afraid to Ask!

If you agreed to serve on your board, you will want to be sure you comply with the State’s certification requirements, have the tools and information you need to perform your job well and to avoid any potential liability associated with your new role.
Our Board certification class is designed to equip directors in all types of shared ownership communities with the information they need to make their communities function well. We will discuss statutory requirements, common documentary provisions as well as best practices in the community association industry.
Some of the topics we will cover include:
  • Defining Fiduciary Duty
  • Analyzing Association Operations
  • Explaining how to properly maintain the association’s books and records
  • Understanding the pros and cons of Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Avoiding Common Election pitfalls
  • Preparing Budgets & Funding Reserves
  • Understanding Financial Reporting Requirements
  • Navigating the quagmire of insurance coverage
  • Defusing conflict
Our class allows both newly-elected directors and board veterans to ask questions and get the answers they need in a comfortable environment.

Contact Leydis Hernandez at 
or (305) 262-4433 Ext. 11041 for more info.

MB Mayor on Atlantic Broadband Incidence

Dear Friends and Neighbors:

Yesterday, Atlantic Broadband service was interrupted due to an automobile colliding with a utility pole. As a result of the lack of redundancies as well as the need for FPL to first make major repairs to the pole, many Miami Beach residents were without power, internet connection, and/or cable. 

Following my conversation with the Atlantic Broadband CEO, Atlantic Broadband has agreed to issue a service credit to residents who were affected by the service interruption.

I will be bringing this matter to the City Commission so we may discuss alternative methods to reduce the city's vulnerability in the future.


Philip Levine

City of Miami Beach 

FIXED - Cable, TV, Internet out