1200 Park Central Boulevard South,
Pompano Beach, FL
954.928.0680

9121 North Military Trail, Suite 200,
Palm Beach Gardens, FL
561.241.4462

1211 N. Westshore Blvd., Suite 409,
Tampa, FL
813.375.0731

1200 Park Central Blvd. S., Pompano Bch, FL | 954-928-0680
9121 N. Military Trail, Ste. 200, Palm Bch Gdns, FL  | 561-241-4462
1211 N. Westshore Blvd., Ste. 409, Tampa, FL | 813-375-0731

LAST SURFSIDE-INSPIRED BILL FAILS: A Perfect Opportunity Lost

Rembaum's Association Roundup | Jeffrey A. Rembaum, Esq., BCS

As a result of the 2022 Florida legislative session, there will be no new statutes requiring mandated building/engineering inspections, no statutory changes to budgeting procedures, no mandated reserve study requirements, and no statutory changes to required disclosures.

While only a very few Florida counties have mandated in their code of ordinances that older condominium buildings have life-safety inspections, that does not mean required maintenance and proper planning can be otherwise avoided elsewhere. Board members must exercise their fiduciary duties with due care and due diligence. Voluntary engineering inspections and professional reserve studies should be considered to take place on a regular schedule. Maintenance, repairs, and replacements should be budgeted and funding sources properly identified.

[Read the Full Article…]

BORROWING TO BUY A CONDOMINIUM UNIT? Freddie Mac’s & Fannie Mae’s New Lending Requirements

Rembaum's Association Roundup | Jeffrey A. Rembaum, Esq., BCS

Buying a bundle of home loans to later sell on the secondary market can be risky business. A lot can go wrong in the process. For example, the economy could tank, causing massive defaults; or even worse, as occurred recently in the case of Champlain Towers South, the building could collapse—where not only did many residents die, but also insurance proceeds are unlikely to be sufficient to satisfy all of the outstanding mortgage debt. This reality has a ripple effect on the mortgage-backed security, ultimately causing financial harm to the investors buying the bundled mortgages.

[Read the Full Article…]

Will The Association’s Denial Of An Architectural Request Withstand Challenge? Many Won’t—Find Out Why

Rembaum's Association Roundup | Jeffrey A. Rembaum, Esq., BCS

For many homeowners associations, a top priority is ensuring that the homes in the community are maintained in conformity with the “community-wide standard.” But, what is this subjective standard? How is compliance measured? What is the process to be judged when a request to the association’s architectural review committee (ARC) is made? The ARC is instrumental in ensuring that the community-wide standard is met. However, your association may run into a problem if the ARC denies a request from a homeowner if the association has not adopted specific, objective criteria and guidelines on which the ARC can rely.

[Read the Full Article…]

Securing Your Gated Community | Exactly Who is Allowed In?

Rembaum's Association Roundup | Jeffrey A. Rembaum, Esq., BCS

While living in a gated community can add peace of mind for the residents who live behind the gates, there are many important considerations for the association when crafting rules and regulations regarding who may and who may not be permitted to enter the community. In today’s gated communities, there are three entry control options: (i) live personnel to monitor the gate, (ii) a virtual gate guard where the gate guard who allows guests to pass through is off-site and monitoring electronically, or (iii) a simple call box.

Many associations adopt rules which require visitors to the community to present valid identification to ensure that the visitors are authorized by the association or a resident to enter the community. But, what kind of identification can an association require? Are there limits? In the end, the association must…[Read the full article]

Deconstructing the Construction Contract | A Plain English Explanation

Rembaum's Association Roundup | Jeffrey A. Rembaum, Esq., BCS

If your community association has engaged the services of a contractor, engineer, architect, or other construction or design professional to perform a maintenance, repair, replacement, or capital improvement project, you know the process can be overwhelming. No matter the mad rush to execute the contract as soon as possible, when beginning such projects, no matter how big or small, the board needs to ensure the contract adequately protects the association. Even the smallest of projects can have unexpected, disastrous consequences. A few of the more common provisions which every board member should understand follow. [Read the Full Article]

Don’t Want Your Association To Be The Next Rental Community? Then You Better Read This

Rembaum’s Association Roundup | Jeffrey A. Rembaum, Esq., BCS

Many community associations throughout Florida struggle to deal with the increase in overnight and short-term rentals caused by the proliferation of online websites such as VRBO and Airbnb. As such, many communities fear being turned into “rental communities,” especially with so many large corporations buying homes in the South Florida area for the express purpose of renting them. These transient rentals can present nuisance and safety issues and can easily change the composition of your community. The good news, however, is that there are steps your association can take to help protect the community from becoming the next transient rental community by having the necessary language in the declaration of restrictions, as further discussed below.

There are two types of restrictions which work together to help achieve this goal. First, corporate (or business entity) ownership must be fully addressed. Second, specific criteria for approval of purchasers, tenants, and occupants residing in the community for longer than 30 days (or such other time period) must be adopted. Finally, a brief discussion regarding the applicability… [Read the Rest]

It’s the Manager’s Fault…Or Is It?

Rembaum’s Association Roundup | Jeffrey A. Rembaum, Esq., BCS

Few professions have more demands placed upon them than that of the Florida licensed community association manager (CAM). Depending on whom you ask, the CAM is the organizer, rules enforcer, keeper of secrets (meaning confidential and statutorily protected information not limited to the medical record of owners and attorney-client privileged information), best friend, the “bad guy” (a frequent misconstruction), and the first person in the line of fire when things go wrong; in other words, the one who takes all the blame and gets little credit when things go right.

When things at the association go wrong, what comment is most likely heard? “It’s the manager’s fault!” But, is it? Unless the manager failed to carry out a lawful directive from the board, breached a management contract provision, or violated a Florida statute, then in all likelihood, the manager has no culpability. CAMs are licensed by the State of Florida pursuant to Part VIII of Chapter 468 of the Florida Statutes, and there are statutory standards by which CAMs must conduct themselves.

Pursuant to §468.4334, Florida Statutes, “[a] community association manager or a community association management firm is deemed to act as agent on behalf of a community association as principal within the scope of authority authorized by a written contract or [Read the Rest]

Should Emails Between Board Members & Managers Be Considered Official Records Subject to Members Inspection?

Rembaum’s Association Roundup | In today’s instant world, email allows us to express our thoughts anytime, anywhere. So often, emails serve as a substitute for making phone calls. If a phone call is made from a board member to a manager, absent a deposition of either party or a contemporaneous note documenting the conversation, the content of the communication remains private. But, if the board member sends an email rather than calling the manager, that email is considered a written record of the association and is required to be produced as a part of a member’s official record request, with limited exception as discussed below.

With the sheer volume of emails received by a manager from owners, board members, purchasers, contractors, and lawyers, etc., there is no practical method of separating the emails which must remain confidential. This includes emails with respect to attorney-client privileged matters, personnel matters, information obtained in connection with a sale or lease, social security numbers, and medical information, etc., and separating these emails cannot occur without the manager or [Read the rest]

Implications of Governor’s Newest Executive Order on Florida’s Community Associations

Rembaum’s Association Roundup | Effective May 3, 2021 at 4:06 P.M., Governor DeSantis, by way of Executive Order 21-102, suspended all remaining local government mandates and restrictions based on the COVID-19 State of Emergency.

In short, this Order provides that all local government COVID-19 restrictions and mandates on individuals and businesses are hereby suspended.  However, this Order does NOT address private rules enacted by Florida’s community associations.

Remember that in order for a community association to use the statutory emergency powers, there must be a State of Emergency declared by the Governor. Therefore, since the Governor’s declared State of Emergency remains in effect through June 26, 2021, community association  boards of directors may still rely on the use of the statutory emergency powers. However, please remember that in order for a community association to use the statutory emergency powers there must be a nexus between the power being utilized and the actual conditions taking place at the association. In other words, a community association cannot just exercise the emergency powers  because it is convenient.  There should be a nexus.

Executive Order 21-102 can be viewed by clicking HERE.

Emergency Order Extended | Omnibus Legislation Affecting Associations | CAM CE Breakfast Returns

Rembaum’s Association Roundup | Jeffrey A. Rembaum, Esq., BCS

Governor Extends Emergency Order

On April 27th, 2021, The Governor extended the State of Emergency through June 26, 2021. You can view the document filing HERE.

Omnibus Legislation Affecting Community Associations May Have Huge Impact

Senate Bill 630, which is referred to as this year’s community association omnibus bill because it contains so many changes to Chapters 718, 719, and 720 of the Florida Statutes, sailed through the Florida House and Senate. Presently, it is on the way to the Governor to sign into law. Once that happens, unless otherwise provided in the Bill, the legislation will take effect in July 1, 2021. While Kaye Bender Rembaum will be publishing summaries of all of the new laws, for those that cannot wait to read the Bill it can found by clicking https://hjq.a4f.myftpupload.com/links/.

In case you missed it, please check out [Read the Rest]