How will legislation recently passed by Florida lawmakers affect owners in condominium and homeowners communities? Which statutes are causing the most problems in the state's shared communities?
You'll get some answers at our upcoming Sun Sentinel town hall meeting — Florida Forward: What you need to know about condo and HOA laws. It's a free event, and will take place at Nova Southeastern University's Huizenga Business School in Davie on May 23 at 7 p.m.
Yours truly will moderate. We guarantee a lively debate and informative session focusing on the latest and most troublesome laws in effect or coming online this summer.
The list includes one that takes effect on July 1 and eliminates what are called "implied warranties" in shared communities. Signed earlier this month by Gov. Rick Scott, the law, formerly known as House Bill 1013, means developers are no longer responsible for flawed construction of common areas — such as sidewalks, roadways and underground plumbing — in condos and HOA communities.
For decades, developers were on the hook for poor building construction. Fortunately, they remain so for construction of condos and homes within an individual owner's property, such as sinks, toilets and window frames.
But does ending implied warranties of common areas make sense, now that so many communities are plagued by dwindling budgets caused by foreclosures and owners not paying maintenance fees?
Also on tap for discussion that evening: Should Florida increase safe harbor limits — the amounts banks are responsible to pay following a foreclosure — which is currently 12 months of unpaid maintenance fees or 1 percent of the original mortgage value, which ever is less. Should associations be able to evict tenants of owners in arrears and move in their own tenants, as one Florida board recently did?
Here is a preview of what you might hear:
"The only law passed this year, HB 1013 , was a slap in the face to every consumer of housing in the state of Florida," said Gary Poliakoff, a founder of Becker & Poliakoff, one of the largest local law firms specializing in community association law. He will be among our expert panelists at the meeting.
Joining Poliakoff on our panel:
Donna Berger, managing partner at Katzman Garfinkel & Berger;
NSU law professor Ken Lewis;
Tim O'Keefe, CEO of the Continental Group;
Stuart Fisher, president of Devon Condominium Association of Kings Point of Tamarac.
For details and registration, visit condoforum.eventbrite.com.
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