As­so­ci­a­tions dis­cour­aged from hav­ing mem­bers as­sist with du­ties that may in­volve po­ten­tial liability

Sun Sentinel Broward Edition - Homespot - Broward East - - CONDO & H.O.A. LAW -

Michael Bo­gen de­votes his le­gal prac­tice to rep­re­sent­ing hun­dreds of con­do­minium and home­owner as­so­ci­a­tions. Bo­gen, who is ad­mit­ted to prac­tice law in Florida, Wash­ing­ton, D.C., and Ne­vada, also is ad­mit­ted be­fore the United States Dis­trict Court in the South­ern and Mid­dle Dis­tricts of Florida. He is as­sis­tant ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Condo Coun­cil, which pro­vides ed­u­ca­tion to over 1,000 as­so­ci­a­tion mem­bers.

EMAIL: col­umn@Condo What pro­fes­sional ac­com­plish­ment makes you the most proud? Af­ter three years of serv­ing on the Griev­ance Com­mit­tee for the Greater Fort Laud­erdale Real­tors, I was asked to sit on the Pro­fes­sional Stan­dards Com­mit­tee. This com­mit­tee me­di­ates or holds hear­ings on ar­bi­tra­tions be­tween Real­tor mem­bers and mem­bers of the pub­lic work­ing with Real­tors. I am pleased to have ac­com­plished that goal. What sep­a­rates you from other Real­tors? My cus­tomer ser­vice, work ethic and strict at­ten­tion to de­tail are un­par­al­leled.

Which neigh­bor­hoods/ Does the law re­quire home­own­ers’ in­sur­ance in home­own­ers or con­do­minium as­so­ci­a­tions? No. But don’t stop read­ing here…. Over the past sev­eral years, the Florida leg­is­la­ture has made many changes to home­owner and con­do­minium as­so­ci­a­tion law. A few years ago, home­own­ers’ in­sur­ance was re­quired, then it wasn’t. What about now? Are own­ers re­quired to have in­sur­ance on their houses or con­do­mini­ums? It de­pends. Whether or not home­own­ers’ in­sur­ance is re­quired is de­pen­dent on your as­so­ci­a­tion’s ar­eas are your spe­cial­ties? Light­house Point and East Fort Laud­erdale to Boca Ra­ton. De­scribe your work­ing style: I take the time to learn my cus­tomers’ real es­tate goals, and then I work to achieve those goals for them. What ad­vice do you have for buy­ers? This is a very com­pet­i­tive mar­ket: Be pre­pared with your fi­nances be­fore you start look­ing for a home. Sub­mit strong of­fers sup­ported by lender ap­proval or proof of funds for cash of­fers. What ad­vice do you have for sell­ers? It’s im­por­tant to price your home prop­erly from the be­gin­ning oth­er­wise your dec­la­ra­tion of covenants, con­di­tions and re­stric­tions (HOA) or your as­so­ci­a­tion’s dec­la­ra­tion of con­do­minium (condo as­so­ci­a­tion). If your “dec­la­ra­tion” re­quires own­ers to have in­sur­ance, then you must have it. As vice-pres­i­dent, one of my du­ties is help­ing out with the land­scap­ing of our as­so­ci­a­tion. May I ask an owner to help? I would not rec­om­mend it. There are far too many rea­sons to squeeze in here. How­ever, one ex- list­ing may not get the at­ten­tion it de­serves. Are you in­volved with any char­i­ta­ble or­ga­ni­za­tions? Food for the Poor CALL (954) 304-4424 • EMAIL julie@juliemah­ • VISIT JulieMah­ PROD­UCT DE­VEL­OP­MENT MAN­AGER AD­VER­TIS­ING DE­SIGNER SPE­CIAL SEC­TIONS WRITER SE­NIOR SALES MAN­AGER REAL ES­TATE AC­COUNT EX­EC­U­TIVES Broward and Palm Beach Coun­ties Dade County & Out of Area am­ple is: the owner trips and falls and breaks his o her leg while per­form­ing land­scap­ing ser­vices for the as­so­ci­a­tion. I could see mul­ti­ple an­gles of po­ten­tial liability for the as­so­ci­a­tion in hav­ing its own­ers per­form ser­vices for the as­so­ci­a­tion and would not rec­om­mend it. Dur­ing board meet­ings of our as­so­ci­a­tion, own­ers are con­stantly sti­fled from speak­ing and ask­ing ques­tions. I am al­ways told by the board that my ques­tions must per­tain to agenda items only; how­ever, any­thing I ever want to talk about is never on the agenda. I am told


MARIA SALES to sub­mit my other ques­tions to the man­age­ment com­pany, which never re­sponds. Isn’t the board re­quired to ad­dress me and an­swer my ques­tions at board meet­ings? What can I do? The law re­quires that own­ers be given the op­por­tu­nity to speak at board meet­ings; how­ever, the board may pass rea­son­able rules and reg­u­la­tions con­cern­ing how the meet­ings are con­ducted. Such a rea­son­able rule may in­clude re­strict­ing owner ques­tions and state­ments to agenda items only. So if you want to talk about a non-agenda item, you




MICHAEL D. ROSS 954-425-1642 954-425-1029 954-425-1695 954-425-1234 954-425-1517 954-425-1640 may be out of luck, un­less you ob­tain 20 per­cent of the to­tal own­ers to pe­ti­tion the board to ad­dress an is­sue for the next board meet­ing. In condo as­so­ci­a­tions, if you send a ques­tion or “in­quiry” to the as­so­ci­a­tion or its man­age­ment com­pany via cer­ti­fied mail, re­turn re­ceipt re­quested, the as­so­ci­a­tion must re­spond, by law, within 30 days, or 60 days if a le­gal opin­ion is needed from its at­tor­ney. For home­own­ers’ as­so­ci­a­tions, there are no re­quire­ments, un­less such re­quire­ment is listed in the HOA’s gov­ern­ing doc­u­ments.

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