Monthly Archives: January 2016

Florida Homeowner Associations and Federal Income Tax Considerations

Homeowners’ associations in Florida are governed by Florida Statute Chapter 720. This chapter of the Florida Statutes is known as the Homeowners’ Association Act. Florida Statute Section 720.3015. The statutory definition of a Florida homeowners’ association (“HOA”) is “a Florida corporation responsible for the operation of a community or a mobile home subdivision in which the voting membership is made up of parcel owners or their agents, or a combination thereof, and in which membership is a mandatory condition of parcel ownership, and which is authorized to impose assessments that, if unpaid, may become a lien on the parcel.” Florida Statute Section 720.301(9). An HOA does not include a community development district or other similar special taxing district created pursuant to statute. Florida Statute Section 720.301(9). Read Full Post

CATEGORY: Florida Condominium Law Blog Practice Areas: ,

Litigating Construction Defects in Community Association Property: Part I

The Board of a Condominium Association or Homeowners Association has many decisions to make when it discovers telltale signs of construction defects in common property. These latent construction defects can manifest themselves in a number of different ways, including but not limited to, water intrusion, peeling paint, staining, wood rot, cracking of stucco, concrete spalling, curling shingles, or cracking or separating sealant. Construction defects can also occur in other property that may be owned by a community association or a community development district (“CDD”), such as roads, pools, tennis courts, or other property commonly owned by the association or CDD. Read Full Post

CATEGORY: Florida Condominium Law Blog Practice Areas: ,

Florida Playground Safety Act – 2016 Proposed Legislation

Each year, children are injured or killed as a result of playground hazards, such as sharp edges, hot surfaces and surfacing, hard surfacing material, impacts from protrusions, poorly maintained equipment, or from head entrapments and entanglements. The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that more than 200,000 children each year are injured severely enough on playgrounds to necessitate a trip to a hospital. Also the Commission estimates that between 5 and 15 children die each year as a result of dangerous or defective playgrounds. Read Full Post

CATEGORY: Florida Condominium Law Blog Practice Areas:

Who May Serve on the Board of Directors for Florida Condominium Associations?

Generally, the ability to serve on a condominium association’s board of directors is overlooked and not raised as an issue. While this may seem like good news for the association, it could create issues in the future. This blog will discuss the limitations on who may serve on the board of directors for a condominium association. Read Full Post

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Appropriate Forum for Condo Association and HOA Disputes in Florida: Arbitration, Mediation or State Court?

Determining the correct forum for any given dispute involving a Florida condo association or HOA can be confusing. Often times the board members, licensed managers and unit owners are unsure of where a dispute will be resolved if a party initiates formal legal action. Florida’s Condominium Act and HOA Act govern the procedures for community association disputes, and both Acts include arbitration, mediation and state court for resolving various issues. This blog post will provide an overview of the appropriate forum for both condo associations and HOAs to resolve certain disputes in Florida. Read Full Post

CATEGORY: Florida Condominium Law Blog Practice Areas: ,

Inverse Condemnation Claims in Florida

Real property rights in the United States and in Florida are constitutionally protected. In Florida, Article X of the Florida Constitution protects a “taking” of one’s private property without just or full compensation. When government action results in a “taking” of private property, such action results in eminent domain or inverse condemnation claims. The focus of this post is inverse condemnation claims. Read Full Post

CATEGORY: Florida Business Litigation Blog, Florida Eminent Domain Law Blog Practice Areas: ,

Escrow Binder Disputes and Interpleader Actions in Florida

When a real estate transaction fails to close, there are a multitude of legal issues that arise for the buyer, seller, and real estate broker. Often times the buyer’s earnest money binder or “deposit” is being held by a third party escrow agent. Both the buyer and seller are making conflicting claims to the binder. Section 475.25(1)(d)1., Florida Statutes, sets for the statutory procedure that real estate professionals should follow in the event of conflicting binder claims. Remember that real estate agents and brokers are regulated by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation so they must follow some specific procedures in the event of a binder dispute. These procedure are outlined generally by Florida Realtors® and include seeking an Escrow Disbursement Order, Arbitration, Mediation or Interpleader. This blog will focus on the use of Interpleader Actions for escrow binder disputes in Florida. Read Full Post

CATEGORY: Florida Business Litigation Blog Practice Areas: , , , ,

Unwinding Fraudulent Transfers and The Diligent Creditor Rule

Quite often a creditor discovers that one of its debtors has avoided satisfying a liability by fraudulently transferring assets to another individual or entity. This is a frustrating discovery, but the creditor is not without remedies. Under Florida Statutes fraudulent transfers can be attacked and unwound through two methods. The popular method is filing a lawsuit to include a statutory cause of action to invalidate the fraudulent transfer under Chapter 726, Florida Statutes. A lesser used approach is through a post-judgment procedure known as proceedings supplementary under Section 56.29, Florida Statutes. This blog post discusses these two differing approaches for unwinding fraudulent transfers, when proceedings supplementary is the preferable approach, and a related doctrine of Florida common law known as the Diligent Creditor Rule. Read Full Post

CATEGORY: Florida Business Litigation Blog Practice Areas: