Pavilion from the Ocean

Pavilion from the Ocean

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This forum, by owners for owners, provides useful information for owners to view and discuss.

This blog does not belong nor represents the views of the Pavilon Condo Association

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#MiamiBeach Short-Term Rentals Are Illegal - VIOLATION! $20,000

Renting or advertising a property for illegal short-term rental is subject to a $20,000 fine for the first offense. 

Fines double and triple for subsequent violations.

'Condo crime family' pleads guilty to felonies - Pay $500,000

Article Courtesy of Local 10 News
By Bob Norman
Published October 29, 2016

MIAMI - After nearly 20 years and more than 30 complaints to the state with allegations ranging from rigging elections to stealing funds, the so-called “condo crime family” has finally been stopped.

Married couple Robert and Rachel Dugger, and daughter Rachel Badilla, pleaded guilty Tuesday morning in Miami-Dade court to conspiracy to commit grand theft, with Badilla also pleading guilty to grand theft from the Kennedy House condo in North Bay Village.

Badilla had been charged with forging checks to herself from the association and stealing the money, along with using association keys to enter a vacant unit and strip it of its kitchen and other goods.

Former state Rep. Julio Robaina, who conducted a state investigation into condo corruption, said the Dugger family was one of the most complained-about condo-management teams in Florida. It was Robaina, an attorney, who dubbed the Duggers the “condo crime family,” a name he said “they’ve earned.”

“It’s a big relief that they are not going to be at the Kennedy House and they’re also not going to be able to victimize the thousands of other people that they have been victimizing at the other communities that they manage,” Kennedy House resident Lynn Ragusa said. “My husband and I go to work, we pay our condo dues and they steal the money. It comes from hard-working people.”

Ragusa was one of several condo residents who came to watch the family members plead guilty to their crimes – and she wasn’t alone in her disappointment that they weren’t given jail time.

The trio instead were sentenced to five years probation and 300 community-service hours, and ordered to pay more than $500,000 in restitution and other costs. Perhaps most importantly for the condo residents, Judge Alberto Milian also ordered them to surrender their condo-management licenses and cease all condo work in the state of Florida within 10 days.

If they violate probation, the Duggers face up to 15 years in prison while Badilla could spend up to 35 years behind bars.

“They put a manual together in how to commit fraud in condominiums,” said Jorge Brito, a retired detective who helped spark the police investigations that nabbed the family. ”This has been a nightmare, but it’s a good day overall for the residents of the Kennedy House. Finally, this is coming to a closure. Today we feel better -- a little better going home tonight.”

NEW: Condominium Crime Task Force

9105 NW 25 Street, Suite #3122
Doral, FL 33172 USA
Map to station
Phone: 305-994-1000
Fax: 305-994-1004 
Major: Arnold Palmer
The Economic Crimes Bureau (ECB) conducts criminal investigations into crimes that inflict a serious financial hardship on the community.  The Bureau also conducts investigations into identified organized criminal groups and enterprises, which by their nature; require investigative resources and capabilities that exceed those of other departmental elements or entities.  The functions of the Bureau are separated into the Major Fraud, Arson, Vice Crimes, and Cargo Thefts Sections.

Special Investigations Section (Major Fraud)

The Special Investigation Section (SIS) investigates the following types of fraud: Credit Card, Check, Real Estate, Prescription, Embezzlement, Flim-Flam (Lottery Scams), and Contractor Fraud. This section is also responsible for investigations related to Homestead Exemption Fraud in partnership with the Office of the Property Appraiser and responds to leads regarding squatters who illegally occupy vacant homes.

Second arrest made by the new Miami-Dade Police unit in charge of Condominium Fraud

Second arrest made by the new Miami-Dade Police unit in charge of Condominium Fraud.

Fraud, illicit enrichment, lack of transparency, harassment, intimidation, defamation…etc.

Sounds Familiar?

Serious in house fighting at the DBPR

By Eric Glazer, Esq.
Published October 24, 2016
Normally, when we talk about lawsuits in this blog, it’s between unit owners and their associations. Not this week. Today, learn about a lawsuit filed by the arbitrators that decide your cases against their employer, The Department of Business and Professional Regulation. Read about what the DBPR did after getting sued.

Rather than reinvent the wheel, click on the link below to read the article written in the Tallahassee Democrat. Then, let us know how you feel about the issue so we can pass on your comments to the DBPR.

Department in legal dispute with in-house arbitrators

Another South Florida developer is putting a condo project on hold

As the luxury market struggles, condo projects are dropping like flies.

Argentine developer Alan Faena confirmed Tuesday he was “pausing” a planned two-tower condo complex in Miami Beach.

“In all of my business dealings, from Buenos Aires to Miami, I have always trusted my sense of the market and successfully read its cycles,” Faena said in a statement. “The best business decision at this time is to pause Faena Mar as we evaluate various options. .... Because of the shifting market and the success we have already achieved ... we are not in a hurry to decide.”

Faena said he could shift from condos to another hotel.

Developers across South Florida have pumped the brakes on condo high-rises as a strong dollar and weak economies abroad cripple the buying power of foreign investors. The Real Deal first reported the news of the delay at Faena Mar, formerly called Faena Versailles, on the site of the old Versailles Hotel at 35th Street and Collins Avenue. The hotel building is being renovated.

Faena has developed an eponymous arts district in Mid-Beach that includes the Faena Hotel and a luxury condo called Faena House that saw the most expensive home deal in Miami-Dade County history.

Last October, hedge fund billionaire Ken Griffin paid $60 million for a duplex unit at the 18-story tower. But in a surprising twist, Griffin soon put the units back on the market for $73 million.

Russian buyer says $7 million ‘nightmare’ condo leaks so much he’s moving out

A former legislator in Vladimir Putin’s political party who resigned his post under pressure is suing a South Florida developer over allegedly faulty construction at his $7 million condo in Sunny Isles Beach.

The displeased buyer, Alexey Knyshov, says his brand-new unit at the Mansions at Acqualina has a leaky window and faulty fire sprinkler that caused water damage and mold in the 17th-floor apartment and led to health problems for his two young daughters, according to a complaint filed Monday in Miami-Dade County Circuit Court.

The suit alleges breach of contract, fraud and misleading advertisement by Acqualina developer Jules Trump (no relation to Donald Trump), among other charges.

Trump denies the accusations. “It’s a hold-up job,” he told the Miami Herald.

Knyshov claims that soon after he and his family moved into the three-bedroom apartment in January, water began seeping in through the window of his daughters’ bedroom during a rainstorm, damaging the floor. A building representative told Knyshov that “the building is aware about the issue which is present in every apartment, and work will be done soon,” according to the suit. But the leaks kept happening, including during Hurricane Matthew.

Knyshov also said the fire sprinkler in a master bathroom suddenly came to life one afternoon, “sending foul-smelling black water gushing into the [unit] at a rapid rate.”

Later, he alleges that a pipe burst inside the master bedroom closet, soaking the floor and ruining custom wallpaper, for which the developer refused to reimburse him. The air in the apartment grew stifling and redolent with mold, causing Knyshov, his wife and children to suffer difficulty breathing, burning eyes and congestion, the suit says.

In court filings, Knyshov and his family describe the situation as a “nightmare.” They say they haven’t been able to spend a comfortable night in the condo since the problems began and ended up moving out.

It’s the most illogical thing you ever saw. Jules Trump

Responding to the allegations, Trump said contractors hired by Knyshov were the ones who damaged the fire sprinkler, causing a major flood. He said Acqualina workers made repairs. Trump also said that a leak one floor up from Knyshov’s unit damaged his condo and several others, but that workers fixed the damage to the satisfaction of the owners — except Knyshov, who refused to let a crew into his apartment.

“He denied us access to the unit and sent us a number of letters indicating that he was going to go to the press about faulty construction while he wouldn’t let us in to make repairs,” Trump said.
The developer said Knyshov asked for $360,000 in damages.

“It’s the most illogical thing you ever saw,” said Trump, who insisted the damage to Knyshov’s unit was not extensive. “We take our relationships with customers very seriously.”
In addition to Trump, the suit targets builder Coastal Construction Group of South Florida, AQ Property Management and the condo association of the Mansions at Acqualina, located at 17749 Collins Ave.

In a statement, Coastal executive Dan Whiteman wrote: “Coastal Construction is working closely with the developer and the individual unit owner to remedy the issues and to determine the exact cause of the damage.”

Putin’s party

One thing not mentioned in the lawsuit: Knyshov briefly served in the State Duma, Russia’s lower legislative chamber, as a member of United Russia, Putin’s political party. But he resigned in 2012 after less than a year in office amid accusations that he illegally headed two construction firms in his native city of Rostov-on-Don. Russian legislators are not allowed to run businesses while holding office.

“I have made the difficult decision to leave the Duma,” Knyshov said, according to the Moscow Times. He denied wrongdoing.

David Wolff, Knyshov’s attorney in the condo case, said his client had no comment on the political controversy. (The suit describes Knyshov as a “successful Russian businessman” who comes from humble beginnings.)

Russian buyers have flocked to Sunny Isles Beach in such numbers the city is sometimes called “Little Moscow.”

Trump is one of the largest developers in the area. His projects include the neighboring 51-story Acqualina Resort & Spa hotel, which consistently wins top ratings from travel guides.

The Mansions at Acqualina, where a penthouse was listed for $50 million, are described in marketing materials as “the world’s finest residences.” Trump is now developing a new project called the Estates at Acqualina, where he says sales have stayed strong despite a struggling market for luxury condos in South Florida.

He did not develop the nearby Trump Towers, which are named after the better-known Donald.

Airbnb: The Major Tourist Center in #MiamiBeach was the ZIP code of 33140.

Miami Beach - Hurricane Matthew Update

Hurricane Matthew Update
October 5, 2016
Dear Residents, Business Owners and Visitors:

The City of Miami Beach continues to monitor Hurricane Matthew. The National Hurricane Center has issued a Tropical Storm Warning for most of Miami-Dade County, including Miami Beach. A Tropical Storm Warning means that sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph are expected within 36 hours of impact. No evacuation orders have been issued for the City of Miami Beach. Please remember that beginning at sunset today, all beach access east of the dunes will be closed, as well as beachfront restrooms.

City trolley service will follow Miami-Dade Transit's leads in determining when to cease operations. Emergency bus service is provided by Miami-Dade County in case of an evacuation, please contact 311 for additional information.

The Venetian and 71 Street/JFK causeway bridges will be locked in the down position at 8 p.m. tonight to ensure traffic flow.

All Citi Bikes are being removed and will not be available until after the storm has passed.

All board and committee meetings taking place at City Hall on Thursday and Friday have been cancelled, including Thursday's Special Master Hearing (all cases will be rescheduled) and Board of Adjustment. For an updated list of closings, please visit our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Florida Power and Light (FPL) outage and restoration information is available by calling 1.800.4.OUTAGE (1.800.468.8243) or through their website at This phone number may also be used to report a downed power line.

It is important to note that the impact of the storm, which is expected to include high winds and heavy rains, could last up to two days. During this timeframe, FPL restoration efforts may be delayed due to it being unsafe for workers to operate bucket trucks in wind conditions exceeding 35 mph. For more information on the status of outages in your area, please visit the FPL website.

Miami-Dade County has closed schools on Thursday and Friday.

The Miami Beach Parks & Recreation Department will be closing our pools, recreation centers and tennis centers today at 6 p.m.  as well as all programing, including after schools programs, classes and all extra-curricular activities on Thursday and Friday. For a complete list of closures, click here.

Now is the time to have a plan in place, and begin to execute that plan. Make sure your hurricane kits are complete and you have all your supplies ready. We ask that residents DO NOT cut trees and place piles for pickup, as this causes hazardous conditions as the winds pick up.

Residential garbage pickup is cancelled for tomorrow and Friday. Residents should not leave garbage or garbage cans out and should ensure all loose items are brought inside.

A storm water system, ours included, is generally built to handle typical rain events. Our system has also been designed to accommodate sea level rise. But no system is ever designed to handle a tropical storm or major hurricane. Early predictions for the effects of Hurricane Matthew in Miami-Dade County include the possibility of receiving up to 10 inches of rain in isolated areas. This is more water than our storm water system (pumps) have been designed to handle. This, combined with the potential of storm surges of at least one foot above normal high tides, mean that you should expect standing water on the streets and minor to moderate flooding conditions during the peaks of the storm. All of the currently installed pump stations, as well as temporary pumps will be deployed to make every effort to reduce the flooding as much as we can.
Due to Hurricane Matthew, the City will be closing the Customer Service Center at 5 p.m. today, instead of the regularly scheduled 6 PM closing.The Customer Service Center will reopen Monday, October 10, 2016 at 8:30 a.m.

Today, at 5 p.m. we will be activating the Resident Information Center and will be available to respond to questions about the storm.  Residents with questions should call 305.604.CITY (2489).

There have already been incidents of price gouging reported.  Residents who suspect price gouging should report the information to the Attorney General's Price Gouging Hotline at 1.866.966.7226.

Most importantly - stay tuned to the local news media for updates. For more information and preparation recommendations, please visit our website and view our hurricane guide.  For updates from the City of Miami Beach, please follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Thank you,