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

Association can amend declaration to shift maintenance responsibility

Posted: 4 days ago

Question: We have recently taken over as new board members in an HOA community. We have been collecting a reserve for roof replacement for over 15 years, but neither our bylaws nor any other community documents stated that the HOA would replace roofs. We have over $700,000 in reserve. My question is whether we can vote to make a one-time...
Proxy can offer multiple alternatives for waiving reserves

Posted: 11 days ago

Question: A prior president of our condominium convinced a majority of our residents that the proxy for voting on a waiver of reserves had to be written such that the only votes offered would be for either collecting the full statutory amount, or for a complete waiver. His justification was that, if a third alternative (less than full reserves...
Email addresses may be included in directory with owner consent

Posted: 18 days ago

Question: I am on the board of our community. For years, the residents have been trying to get email addresses placed in our phone book, but many excuses have been given for not providing us with them. Many of us have given permission, but to no avail. What is the policy of providing email addresses along with current contact info? &mdash...
Condominium can amend declaration to prohibit smoking or smokers

Posted: 25 days ago

Question: Is it legal for us to amend our declaration of condominium to deny the future sale or rental of an apartment to tobacco smokers? Current smokers would be “grandfathered in.” — J.A. Answer: There really are two variations to your question — can you prohibit “smokers,” as a category of persons,...
State will not ‘take over’ a condominium association or HOA

4:00 AM Saturday, Mar. 24, 2018

Question: What is the legal standard for the state to intervene and take over an HOA? What is the procedure to initiate the state to investigate an HOA? — P.K. Answer: The state does not take over any association, whether it is an HOA, condominium or cooperative. While the Division of Florida Condominiums does have some jurisdiction...
Owner responsible for assessments regardless of when damage occurred

4:00 AM Saturday, Mar. 17, 2018

Question: Our HOA is assessing every homeowner in our development for damage incurred during Hurricane Irma. We did not own our home during that time, and only closed on the house after the owners fixed the damage that Irma caused. Are we required to pay that assessment? — A.S. Answer: Owners are responsible for all assessments that...
Lot and unit owners entitled to inspect delinquency report

5:00 AM Saturday, Mar. 10, 2018

Question: We live in a 55-plus HOA community that recently was turned over to the residents from the builder. Some of our owners are requesting to see the detailed packet that the board members receive prior to the board meeting. This package contains a list of residents who are delinquent in their assessments. Can this information be withheld...
Association has right to perform pest control

5:00 AM Saturday, Mar. 03, 2018

Question: I have been living in my condo for two and a half years. Our association hires an outside company to spray for bugs on the first Thursday of each month, by entering the individual units accompanied by the maintenance man (who has the keys for each unit). I am sensitive/allergic to the “nontoxic” substance they spray...
Condo Act does not restrict nonresident owners from serving on panel

5:00 AM Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018

Question: I am an original condo owner (46 years) in our building. I am originally from New York. In the past six years, we have become Florida residents, spending six months per year in Florida. Our community needs a lot of work, and last year I invited several neighbors to my home to talk about what we could do to improve the look of the...
Owners bound by most amendments to Declaration of Condominium

5:00 AM Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018

Question: I own a unit in a small (10-unit) condominium. It is located in a tourist-zoned area. I have lived here 35 years in a tranquil, residential-restricted association, where owners can rent their units, but it must be for 90 days or longer. Some more recent buyers (investors) would like to change our condo bylaws/restrictions to allow...
Conflict of interest does not disqualify owner from running for board

5:00 AM Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018

Question: Assume that a condominium employs a licensed community association manager. Is the manager’s spouse an eligible candidate for the condo’s board of directors? If yes, please specify to what extent the spousal board member must abstain from voting on board matters. — C.E. Answer: Let’s assume, to start, that...