BLG Newsletter: Fire Sprinkler Retrofit

Do you need to install fire sprinklers in your condominium common elements and/or units? Do you need to install an Engineered Life Safety System (ELSS) in your condominium? Do you need to conduct a membership vote to opt-out of the fire sprinkler requirement? These are just a few of the questions that have arisen as the December 31, 2016 and December 31, 2019 deadlines for fire sprinkler retro-fitting quickly approaches.

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Probate: How does it effect delinquent accounts?

Inevitably, the specter of probate will come along to possibly complicate an association’s efforts to recover monies owed on delinquent accounts. Probate is a court-supervised process for identifying and gathering the assets of a deceased person, paying debts, and distributing assets to his or her beneficiaries. Probate is necessary for distributing assets that are not properly disbursed in a will. In general, the deceased’s assets are used first to pay the cost of the probate proceeding, then are used to pay the outstanding debts, while the remainder is distributed to the beneficiaries.

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BLG Newsletter: Zombie Properties -- Abandoned Properties in Disrepair

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) assists consumers by regulating banks, credit agencies, and financial companies.  The CFPB is now taking an interest in zombie properties and together with the Community Association Institute (CAI) is asking for our help to report and regulation zombie properties and the banks responsible for them.  The CFPB has rules requiring banks to maintain distressed properties during the pendency of a mortgage foreclosure. 

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BLG Newsletter: Proposed Legislation vol. II

I briefly mentioned the estoppels legislation in my January 2016 newsletter.  SB 0722 and HB 0203 still continue to move forward at this time, but HB 0203 has undergone some association friendly amendments recently.  Specifically HB 0203 was amended to increase the estoppel fee provision and allow associations and their agents to collect an estoppel fee in advance of a real estate closing.  While these amendments are a step in the right direction, both SB 0722 and HB 0203 still contain many provisions which will be detrimental to community associations and I encourage you to contact your Legislator to oppose both of these bills. 

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BLG Newsletter: Water Law and Reasonable Use Law

While most other states are rightfully envious of our weather in Florida, living here still means that we must deal with the occasional deluge of rain associated with a hurricane or large storm.  With this rainfall comes potential issues with our neighbors regarding drainage.  Who is responsible for damage brought about by improving your land to deal with this excess water?

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BLG Monthly Newsletter - January, 2016

Many of us choose to live in planned communities, whether it is a Homeowner or Condominium Association, because we value the benefits and security provided by the governing documents.  However, with these benefits comes the responsibility of adhering to the guidelines established in the governing documents and Florida Statute.  It is the responsibility of the Board of Directors to ensure that the governing documents in your community are being enforced in a uniform manner.  This job can be extraordinarily difficult and thankless, that is why there are professionals such as managers, accountants and attorneys to help. 

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BLG's Monthly Newsletter - August 2015

When engaged in electronic voting the association must provide: 1) a method to verify the owner’s identity to the electronic voting system; 2) a method to confirm that the owner is able to communicate successfully through the electronic voting system at least 14 days before the voting deadline; 3) electronic voting procedures that are consistent with the association’s governing documents.  

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BLG's Monthly Newsletter - May, 2015

On May 14, 2015, the Florida Supreme Court issued its opinion in Re: Advisory Opinion—Activities of Community Association Managers. This long awaited order adopts and incorporates the 2013 Florida Bar Advisory Opinion on the unlicensed practice of law as it relates to the activities of community association managers. The new order makes only minor changes to the prior rules regarding the unlicensed practice of law. This newsletter is intenede to provide a brief summary.

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BLG's Monthly Newsletter - April 2015

Are collection costs incurred by an Association pursing delinquent assessments a charge that can be recovered from the delinquent owner?   Yes. 

             Often times an association incurs collection costs prior to or at the time a delinquent account is referred for collection.  These costs may be incurred by associations engaged in self-management or as part of an association’s contract with its management company and often include sending late notices, a statutory pre-lien notice, as well as preparing and sending the delinquent account to the association’s collection professional. These are actual costs incurred by the association and should be included in any collection efforts made on behalf of the association, including but not limited to a claim of lien, lien foreclosure, personal judgment, etc.

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BLG's Monthly Newsletter - March 2015

The 2015 Legislative Session has begun in Tallahassee.  There are a number of proposed Bills that, if passed, will effect community associations, their managers, attorneys, and other vendors.  Some of the proposed Bills will improve the standing of community associations when it comes to the administration of the association as well as the collection of assessments from owners and foreclosing mortgagees.  I write this month to inform you of a Bill that has alarming potential negative impacts throughout the community association industry and ask for your help in making the Legislature aware of our concerns.

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BLG's Monthly Newsletter - February 2015

For many condominium, homeowner, and cooperative associations increased foreclosures have translated into increased rental properties in the community.  Rental properties serve an important function in the larger real estate market, however too many rentals may cause enforcement issues, decrease property values, and jeopardize lending in an association.  A large percentage of rentals may also be a pre-cursor to converting a condominium to apartments.  There are several tools available to community associations to restrict rentals to serve the best interests of the community.

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