Ryan D. Poliakoff

Ryan D. Poliakoff, a partner at Backer Aboud Poliakoff & Foelster, LLP, serves as general corporate counsel to condominium associations, homeowners’ associations, master associations and country clubs. His articles and editorials on shared ownership have appeared in newspapers and magazines throughout the United States, and he has been interviewed on National Public Radio and numerous other radio programs. In addition to representing associations and owners, Poliakoff is a frequent lecturer at seminars and workshops for attorneys and board members, speaking on subjects such as property management, collections, covenant enforcement, the Fair Housing Act and executive board operations and service.  He is the co-author of “New Neighborhoods—The Consumer’s Guide to Condominium, Co-Op and HOA Living.”

Latest from Ryan D. Poliakoff

Quorum must be met to approve change in financial reporting

Posted: 6 days ago

Question: We are a small HOA community with 50 homes and an approximately $180,000 budget. As the time comes near to do the compiled financial statements that are required by Florida Statutes 720.303(7), we are looking at ways that we can better handle those requirements. We would like to hold a membership meeting to approve a different type...
Owners who rent units may use association property as rules allow

Posted: 13 days ago

Question: Florida law states that, when owners rent their units, they are not allowed to leave their cars on the property. We live in a condo complex with 148 units. The parking chairman is allowing a unit owner to pay $185 for a second parking space so that he can leave his car while he rents his unit, instead of removing his car from the...
Board must abide by special requirements when passing assessments

Posted: 20 days ago

Question: My condominium board wants to discuss whether to pass a hurricane assessment, and a meeting was held to determine whether this special assessment was needed. Should the board inform unit owners about this discussion before or after the meeting? The board has taken the position that, if the assessment is approved, then they will...
Condominium Association can’t help with landlord-tenant disputes

Posted: 27 days ago

Question: We need help. We live in a condo and we are renting from a slum landlord. We have paid $1,300 a month since April, but the landlord never fixes anything. We have a bad refrigerator, and the patio screen has holes in it. We are two seniors. We have never been late, not one day. My bathroom is falling apart and we paid first month&rsquo...
Young people may be allowed to live in over-55 community

5:00 AM Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017

Question: We live in an over-55 condominium community. There is a woman in her 30s who inherited her condo unit from her father. The problem is that this woman is constantly causing disturbances with late-night parties and friends going in and out of her unit all hours of the day and night. The other owners in the building have filed numerous...
Members of master association may not be owners in the community

5:00 AM Saturday, Dec. 09, 2017

Question: We live in a condominium with over 550 units. We have a sister condominium in the same community which has 125 units. Both associations belong to a master association. The master association governs combined recreational facilities. I am told that membership in the master association is limited to the three master board members...
Owners must use limited proxy to approve waiver of reserves

5:00 AM Saturday, Dec. 02, 2017

Question: We live in a condominium. There has been a lot of confusion this past year regarding membership votes, and how they are conducted. Our association recently sent out proxy letters that included two voting items. The first item asked owners to approve waiving the collection of reserves. A second item, about which several board members...
Eligibility to serve on board depends on governing documents

5:00 AM Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017

Question: My husband bought our condominium in 1999. We married in 2002. We are Florida residents who have lived here at least seven months each year for the past 15 years — we spend some time in New Jersey during the summer. I would like to run for a position on our board, but I was told that I cannot, because I’m not on the...
If association president won’t follow will of board, replace him

5:00 AM Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017

Question: I live in a new townhome golf cart community with a newly established HOA, of which I am the secretary. The community has one road with a gated entrance and a posted 20 mph speed limit. We have mailed several newsletters to owners regarding speeding, which is dangerous for pedestrians and children. The board finally voted to install...
Most boards can create rules governing units, common elements

5:00 AM Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017

Question: There was a brief discussion of limited common areas in a previous column. I understand that a limited common element is appurtenant to the unit to which it is attached, and that it is for the exclusive use of the owner of that unit. My question is, does the board have any control over the use of that area? Can a limited common...
All owners usually must OK converting common elements to private

4:00 AM Saturday, Nov. 04, 2017

Question: Is the majority in a condo HOA entitled to “privatize” common areas? I live in a two-story building in Century Village, with eight apartments on the first floor and eight condos on the second floor. The owners living on the first floor are looking for signatures in order to get a majority vote to allow them to build...