Local Law Firm to Host Two Free Informational Seminars in Vero Beach

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Leading Florida community association law firm Kaye Bender Rembaum will host two free town hall meetings in Vero Beach Tuesday, March 31 at the following locations and times:

 

o   10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Bethel Creek House

4405 Highway A1A, Vero Beach

 

o   2 to 4 p.m.

Indian River County Main Library

1600 21st Street, Vero Beach

 

The town halls are sponsored by FirstService Residential.

 

Attorney Jeff Rembaum of Kaye Bender Rembaum will discuss industry hot topics, including legislation, new cases, assistance animal issues and more, as well as answer community association-related questions from board members, residents and property managers of condominium, homeowner and cooperative associations.

 

“We have found that attendees like the town hall format. They can ask questions pertaining to their specific circumstances in an informal setting,” said Rembaum. “Association leaders need the type of information we cover in order to effectively and efficiently run their communities.”

 

Attendees should RSVP and send questions or topics for discussion to TownHall@KBRLegal.com or call 561-241-4462561-241-4462.

 

Kaye Bender Rembaum is a full-service commercial law firm concentrating on the representation of more than 800 community associations throughout Florida. With offices in Broward and Palm Beach counties, the Firm is ranked ninth in South Florida and 62nd in the South among “Top 300 Small Businesses” by Business Leader magazine, and was awarded the 2014 Readers’ Choice Award for Legal Services by the Florida Community Association Journal. For more information, visit www.KBRLegal.com.

HB 611 Harmful to Associations

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Day two of the 2015 Legislative Session will bring HB 611 – Residential Properties sponsored by Representative John Wood (R – Winter Haven) in front of its first committee. This bill makes major changes to the estoppel process which are detrimental to association boards and will be heard in the House Civil Justice Subcommittee at 12:30 pm. Click here to watch the committee.

Among the many problems with HB 611, is the forcible cost-shifting this bill will, in fact, impose on association boards and homeowners through an arbitrary cap on what can be charged for an estoppel certificate when it is requested of an association by a lender. The bill proposes:

1.To cap estoppel fees at $100, with some provision for “rush fees”.

a. In many cases, the average cost of an estoppel, especially those which are being requested just hours before a closing is to occur, may need to be well above $100 in order to gather the necessary information and ensure the estoppel’s accuracy within such a tightly compressed period of time. The rationale for the concept of capping estoppel fees seems to focus on the hope that this will reduce what a prospective home buyer must pay at a closing and further expedite closings.  If that is the issue, then the bill falls woefully short because:

i.    the litany of other, much higher priced real estate transactions which must be paid at closing are NOT being capped – or even addressed – under this bill. And

ii.   If there is no economic incentive to expedite an estoppel within a few hours, then in many cases, estoppels will be provided no earlier than the statutorily-required 15 days, or under the bill, 10 days, adding further delay to a closing.

b. The “cost shift” will occur when the actual cost of providing an estoppel certificate above the arbitrary cap will end up being passed on to other homeowners in the association, who by the way, have already paid for an estoppel on their home.

2.    Additionally, the bill reduces the amount of time an estoppel must be provided by an association from 15 to 10 days, with no clear definition of when the actual “clock” begins and concludes.

We encourage each of you to email the members of the Civil Justice Subcommittee and  ask them to vote “NO” on this bill.

Here is an example of what you may say:


Dear Civil Justice Committee:

On behalf of the condominium and homeowners associations in your District, and the tens of thousands of constituents who reside in these community associations, I urge you to oppose HB 611 being heard in your Civil Justice Subcommittee on Wednesday, March 4, 2015. This legislation will have a negative impact to community associations by drastically changing the way the estoppel process is carried out by thousands of associations throughout the State of Florida.  Please consider the following:

  • If the association does not respond to a written request within the shortened time frame, they will lose any claim, including the association’s statutory and contractual right to secure delinquent assessments by recording a claim of lien against the unit/parcel.  This will result in a loss of revenue for the association, will result in higher assessments for the membership, and will result in the membership being forced to pay for the contractual debt owed by members who are delinquent in their assessment obligation.
  • This bill would severely penalize an association’s membership for an inadvertent clerical mistake in the preparation of an estoppel that is routinely demanded either the day before or the day of the closing on the property. 
  • The estoppel fees set into statute by the bill do not take into consideration that fees are generally set by contract with a management company or by agreement with a law firm. The fees charged by both the management company and the attorneys are based on the local market and in consideration of the work needed to meet the demand.  Florida courts have consistently held that a new law may not impair an existing contractual right, this proposed legislation would do just that.
  • The nominal $50 “standard fee” and $100 “rush fee” proposed by the HB 611 completely marginalizes the reality that the vast majority of estoppel requests come on the “11-hour” just before, or on the same day as, a closing.  Under this bill, failure to provide a last minute estoppel with laser precision sacrifices significant association recourse and remedies to address rampant delinquencies within their community. 

Furthermore, if associations are required to do the work of accurate estoppel preparation before getting paid for their services and then chase after any fee, (which HB 611 artificially predetermines regardless of association agreements), additional collection costs will be incurred by the membership. 


Again, please vote NO on HB 611 in the Civil Justice Subcommittee.

Florida Communities of Excellence announces finalists

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Water Conservation (Indoors and Outdoors): Small communities

  • Apogee Beach Condominium Association, Hollywood
  • Milano at Deering Bay Condominium Association, Coral Gables
  • Tuscany Bay Master Association, Naples
Water Conservation (Indoors and Outdoors): Large communities
  • On Top of the World Communities, Ocala
  • Stonecrest POA, Summerfield
  • Timber Pines Community Association, Spring Hill
Energy Efficiency: Small communities
  • Castillo at the Westshore Yacht Club, Tampa
  • City 24, Miami
  • Venetian Condominium, Ft. Lauderdale
Energy Efficiency: Large communities
  • On Top of the World Communities, Ocala
  • Royal Stewart Arms, Dunedin
  • Villaggio Homeowners Association, Lake Worth
Florida-Friendly Landscaping: Small communities
  • Dockside at Ventura Condominium Association, Orlando
  • Madeira Cove Condominium Association, Madeira Beach
  • Promenades East Condominium Association, Port Charlotte
Florida-Friendly Landscaping: Large communities
  • Evergrene, Palm Beach Gardens
  • MetroWest Master Association, Orlando
  • Wellington at Seven Hills HOA, Spring Hill
Civic Volunteerism & Advocacy: Small communities
  • K. Hovnanian’s Four Seasons at Delray Beach Homeowners Association, Delray Beach
  • River Dance Condominium Association, Bradenton
  • The Solaire at the Plaza, Orlando
Civic Volunteerism & Advocacy: Large communities
  • Egret Landing at Jupiter POA, Jupiter
  • Fiddlesticks Country Club, Ft. Myers
  • Valencia Pointe Homeowners Association, Boynton Beach
Communications & Community: Small Community
  • Mirror Lakes, a 55+ Adult Community, Boynton Beach
  • Pines of Delray West, Delray Beach
  • Willoughby Golf Club, Stuart
Communications & Community: Large community
  • IslandWalk of Naples, Naples
  • Southwood Residential Community Association, Tallahassee
  • Stonecrest POA, Summerfield
Family Friendly Programs & Initiatives: Small communities
  • Buckingham Estates, Sanford
  • Misty Oaks Park Homeowners Association, Ocala
  • Paramount on Lake Eola, Orlando
Family Friendly Programs & Initiatives: Large communities
  • Heritage Park of St. Augustine, St. Augustine
  • Independence, Winter Garden
  • Pembroke Falls HOA, Pembroke Pines
Safety & Security: Small communities
  • L’Hermitage I Condominium Association, Ft. Lauderdale
  • Little Harbour Homeowners Association, Naples
  • Venetian Condominium, Ft. Lauderdale
Safety & Security: Large communities
  • Fiddlesticks Country Club, Ft. Myers
  • Island Walk of Naples, Naples
  • Country Club of Mt. Dora, Mt. Dora
Disaster Preparedness Initiatives: Small communities
  • Overlook at Baymeadows Condominium Association, Jacksonville
  • The Solaire at the Plaza, Orlando
  • Trump Hollywood, Hollywood
Disaster Preparedness Initiatives: Large communities
  • Kings Point, Sun City Center
  • On Top of the World Communities, Ocala
  • VeronaWalk, Naples
Financial Innovation: Small communities
  • Island Pointe, Bay Harbor
  • Tuscany Bay Homeowners Association, Boynton Beach
  • Venetian Condominium, Ft. Lauderdale
Financial Innovation: Large communities
  • Egret Landing at Jupiter POA, Jupiter
  • St. George Plantation, St. George Island
  • Turtle Cay, Riviera Beach
“The Comeback Kid”: Small communities
  • The Towers Condominium Association, Ft. Myers
  • Windward Bay Condominiums, Longboat Key
  • Yacht Harbour Condominium, Miami
“The Comeback Kid”: Large communities
  • The Charter Club, Miami
  • Tradewinds, a Metrowest Condominium Association, Orlando
  • Turtle Cay, Riviera Beach
“Trendsetter Awards”

In this category, no finalists are named in advance. Winning communities will be notified within the next three weeks.

Community Video Showcase

The deadline is April 1, so there is still time to enter.  The top three videos selected by our panel of judges will be shown at the Awards gala.

  • Theme: “A day in the life of our community”
  • No longer than 2 minutes (and not a second longer, please)
  • Include the name of the community in some way, either in a shot or as text, along with your city
  • Shoot, edit, and upload your video to YouTube, and include “2015 Communities of Excellence video submission” in the video description along with this link: http://communitiesofexcellence.net/. (YouTube is free; anyone can easily open an account and upload their video.)
  • E-mail a link to your video on YouTube to Alan Penchansky, by April 1. We will contact you if yours is selected to be shown at the Conference & Awards Gala.
Congratulations to all the communities that entered and to the finalists.

There is still time to enter the Community Video Showcase.  The deadline is April 1.  The theme is “A day in the life of our community” and videos must be no longer then 2:00 minutes.  You should include the name of the community in some way, either in a shot or as text, along with your city.  Shoot, edit, and upload your video to YouTube, and include “2015 Communities of Excellence video submission” in the video description along with this link: http://communitiesofexcellence.net/. E-mail a link to your video on YouTube to Alan Penchansky, by April 1. We will contact you if yours is selected to be shown at the Conference & Awards Gala.

And now is the time to register to attend the Conference & Awards Gala on May 15.    If you are a board member, resident, or active association manager, there is no cost to attend the Conference & Awards Gala, but you must register.