Latest from Ryan D. Poliakoff

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Independent fining committees are appointed by the board

Posted: 8 days ago

Question: I live in an HOA community. In a recent column it was stated that, apparently, an infraction committee can be appointed by the board. Please let us know the statutory basis for that. — M.H. Answer: The HOA Act, at Section 720.305, expressly states that “a fine or suspension levied by the board of administration may not...
Pool age restrictions may violate Fair Housing Act

Posted: 15 days ago

Question: We have a posted rule at our pool stating that children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult 18 years of age or older. Renters are continuously letting their children use the pool without adult supervision. There is a group of four to five children in elementary school that frequently use the pool, and sometimes they...
Administrative assistants may not require a CAM license

Posted: 22 days ago

Question: With respect to your recent column regarding management staffing, what actions by an “extra person” helping out in the office would require a CAM license? I thought that, whether the person is working on-site or off-site, they are still required to have a CAM license to work with a condo or HOA. Aren’t there some...
Association may be liable for failure to enforce pet rules

Posted: 29 days ago

Question: I was hoping you could help answer questions about a recent event that took place in our HOA community. My mom was walking her small dog outside. Within 30 feet of her home, she passed her neighbor’s home and their pit bull raced out of the home and attacked my mother and her dog. Luckily, my mother was not physically injured...
Management staffing is business decision to be determined by board

4:00 AM Saturday, Jul. 14, 2018

Question: Our association is managed by a management company, and their fee is paid by our quarterly maintenance assessments. The LCAM who is assigned to our property is “overwhelmed” by all of the work involved. So, a board member has hired an extra person (a homeowner in our complex) to help the property manager. Shouldn&rsquo...
Associations have options to collect from bankrupt owners

4:00 AM Saturday, Jul. 07, 2018

Question: Our condo has been suffering from one owner since 2011. She keeps changing the name of the entity that owns the unit and filing bankruptcy to avoid paying maintenance. We settled one case with her and settled for a small amount and a promise (agreement was notarized) that the owner would stay current with maintenance. We hired an...
Condo association may assess owners to replenish operating account

4:00 AM Saturday, Jun. 30, 2018

Question: Our condo association incurred repairs for Hurricane Irma. Some of these were immediately incurred (landscape, cleanup, etc.) and others were deferred for a special assessment (major wall damage). We paid out of operating funds $35,000 last year for immediate repairs. Can we reimburse the operating account this amount as part of...
Draft contracts likely not inspectable records

4:00 AM Saturday, Jun. 23, 2018

Question: I live in a community with a HOA. I understand that, as a parcel owner, I have the right to view official records upon request. My HOA is currently in negotiations with a cable provider to renew our cable contract. I have access to the bids, as I understand those are part of the official records. My question is: Would I have the...
HOA has broad authority on community-access rules

4:00 AM Saturday, Jun. 16, 2018

Question: I live in a gated community with access to the Intracoastal Waterway. I have a boat behind my house. I employ a young man as a fishing mate. This individual works only on my boat. Our POA insists that, since he is paid a wage, he should be considered a vendor or a contractor. As a friend, the mate can have 24/7 access to my boat...
Board members obtaining rewards for HOA purchases is not illegal

4:00 AM Saturday, Jun. 09, 2018

Question: My HOA hosts a number of parties and community get-togethers in a clubhouse during the year. Food and snacks with accompanying dining materials (plates, napkins, plasticware, snacks, etc.) are provided. This is procured from local big-box stores and supermarkets. Individuals use their personal credit cards for which they are reimbursed...
Members often do not vote directly in master association matters

4:00 AM Saturday, Jun. 02, 2018

Question: My adult community comprises condos and HOAs, which are governed under a master association that operates shared recreation facilities. Each association elects five board members, and two directors from each association sit on the master board. The master association has unrestricted powers to assess the entire community. The master...
Association may be responsible to control spread of insect infestation

4:00 AM Saturday, May. 26, 2018

Question: I was hoping to get some feedback on an ongoing, and extremely frustrating, pest control issue I’ve been dealing with for years in my condo development. My building, not just my unit, has an infestation of Phorid flies, and I’m not getting anywhere with my association in terms of resolving the issue. I’ve attached...
Boards may act outside meeting by unanimous written consent

4:00 AM Saturday, May. 19, 2018

Question: Our board of directors recently entered into a complex insurance contract in accordance with a resolution apparently adopted by the board with no notice of any meeting. We were told that such action by resolution or written consent is consistent with the Florida Condominium Act and is permitted by the not-for-profit statute. No...
Aggressive collections policy is key to reduced receivables

4:00 AM Saturday, May. 12, 2018

Question: Our condo association has some members who have not paid their dues for a long time. This puts a major dent in our monthly budget as well as making assessments higher for paying owners. Is there any recourse for the board to collect these fees and assessments from the delinquent owners? There has been a lien put on one of the properties...
HOA unlikely to be liable for damage caused by tree felled in storm

4:00 AM Saturday, May. 05, 2018

Question: I have two questions about my HOA. First, my HOA keeps trimming the trees on our perimeter from the bottom. They are now very top-heavy and at least 30 feet high. FPL just recently came through and trimmed the same trees to keep them from the power lines. I live about 20 feet from the perimeter. If a tree on the perimeter falls...
Costs of an unsuccessful recall effort must be borne by all owners

4:00 AM Saturday, Apr. 28, 2018

Question: A group of owners in our townhome community was very unhappy with the 2017 elected HOA board due to excessive spending of association funds, and they attempted to coordinate a recall. The recall vote was unsuccessful — of 306 owners, approximately 100 voted for the recall, and approximately 10 voted to retain. The board spent...
Association can amend declaration to shift maintenance responsibility

4:00 AM Saturday, Apr. 21, 2018

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

4:00 AM Saturday, Apr. 14, 2018

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

4:00 AM Saturday, Apr. 07, 2018

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

4:00 AM Saturday, Mar. 31, 2018

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,...
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